Now let me start by reassuring you that your favorite stripper has not passed away but in fact I’m writing about the loss of my favorite liquor store treat. As a matter of fact I’m talking about the death of the best microwave burrito that the world had ever tasted, REL’S RED HOT BURRITO. Let me start at the beginning of my relationship with the delicious treat that was a red hot. I originally discovered the king of the liquor store lunch menu in 1988. The previous year we had moved to Oakland from Hayward and up until that point in my life the liquor store was only good for chips, soda and garbage pail kids. Well as I got older and my desire to eat more than a lunch that looked as if someone stole my sandwich I made a decision to expand my choices beyond snacks and sugary beverages. I set my sights on the most delicious process treat to ever be cooked by radioactive particles. It was hard enough working up the nerves just to purchase the beast but then I realized I was going to have to nuke this thing all on my own. I read the instructions, cracked the end of the wrapper open and twisted the knob (remember those days?) on the microwave and crossed my fingers. A minute and a half later that sweet sound filled the air “ding”, my life was about to change.
Ever since that day I was hooked! I’ve probably eaten somewhere in the range of 2000+ red hot’s over the last 20 years, easily. Before school, after school, the weekend and at least 3 to 4 times a week for lunch during high school. Well a few years back, I would say early 2010 I made a trip to the corner store to grab me and my girlfriend some for lunch (she loved the green variation) and low and behold he was sold out. Now as everyone who has ever eaten or had a love affair with the rel’s red hot knows this was a common occurrence, after all they are absolutely delicious. For the next few weeks I made trip after trip checking in to see if the new shipment had arrived. Well on one of those trips I was informed of some of the most terribly devastating news I have ever bared witness to. I was asking SAM (the proprietor of said corner store) if he knew when he was getting more burritos and low and behold the ice cream guy jumped in the conversation to inform me that rel’s foods was no more. Out of curiosity I asked the guy how he knew this for sure. He delivered a death blow to the part of my brain that craved the red hot, he used to be the delivery guy for rell’s until they closed and he made the jump to the ice cream people. I was devastated! I could have hit the floor sobbing like a school girl, never again would I taste that deliciousness that I’ve craved since I was 10.
It was hard to come to terms with but I really had no choice. I had to go cold turkey without as much as a final taste to help me say goodbye to that microwave treat that was so good to me over the years. A few weeks after I found out about the closure of rell’s my girlfriend came upon the greatest discovery mankind has ever know… The grocery outlet had the last of what was left of the red hot’s. Between the red hot’s and her favorite green burritos she must have bought at least ten of each, which in retrospect is minimal if you compare it to the fact this was the last time we would ever see them again. I did what I could and rationed my burritos over the next few months eating at most one a week. I think I held onto that last one for at least four months, by the time I pulled it out to nuke that bad boy it was frostbitten beyond recognition. But I’ll tell you this, it was just as delicious as the first rel’s red hot burrito I had sunk my teeth into back in 1988. You will always be missed, a few of my taste buds died the day you ceased to exist…