Colorado is not known for Mexican food. You might as well just come to terms with the fact that you will be eating either Chipotle, Velveeta-derived queso, or shitty Tex-Mex around here if you are really craving Mexican cuisine. But Colorado native Michael Odbert doesn't seem to mind. Michael is a burrito-eating champion. He ate 100 burritos in one year and documented every single one of them (and is still counting). Much like the dude who survived eating pizza alone for 25 years, Odbert eats so many burritos because, well, he just really fucking loves burritos. You would think that eating 100 burritos in a year would legitimately make your insides look (and feel) like the bottom of a porto potty—but this is not the case.
I talked to the burrito-obsessed Coloradan about his year in burritos, what makes up a quality one, and more importantly, what's going on with his poop cycle.
MUNCHIES: Why did you decide to do this?
Michael Odbert: I started for pretty much no reason. Before the actual count started I ate a ton of burritos, and once I started counting I just kept track of them. After a few weeks of eating burritos every single day, my roommate suggested I start documenting them. I had just gotten an Instagram a few months before and I figured, Why not? Just post them on that. I kind of put it off for a while until I ate the biggest Chipotle burrito I have ever seen on August 22, 2012 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and decided that would be number one on my count.
Was that your first time at Chipotle, or was it legitimately the biggest burrito you had ever seen?
Definitely not my first time at Chipotle. That was my go-to burrito spot for a long time. This specific Chipotle burrito was massive, pretty much two tortillas offset from each other, about the length of a tortilla and a half. It didn't even fit in the basket.
Thats crazy. I'm assuming you ate the whole thing.
I did. I never leave a burrito unfinished (95 percent of the time).
So you try and eat a burrito for most meals if you can? Why was the goal to document every burrito you ate for a year?
Not really. There is no "try." I just eat burritos when I want a burrito. I just really like them so I eat them a lot. This year I'm definitely going to hit 200 before the year is up. I'm currently at 181 and still have all summer. I started on August 22, 2012 and on August 22, 2013, I ate my 100th burrito.
So I have to ask… What are your poops like with all that burrito inside of your body? Are you a bloated whale all the time?
I'm a skinny man, 6'3″ 178 lbs, but I have always been able to eat a ton. Just before this conversation I had a chimichanga, an enchilada, and a tamale. That was about an hour ago and I could totally go for a snack right now. What I'm getting at is that burritos don't mess with my insides. Poops are normal, which for me means once every one to three days. My body is very efficient.
So you can go one to three days with like three burritos in your body and no poop? That's impressive. I would probably die.
Two burritos for sure. One time I didn't poop for 16 days and it was okay. But that is a different story.
What and where was your favorite burrito you've ever had?
It used to be Chipotle, but now I've transitioned to Illegal Pete's.
Illegal Pete's is the best. That queso. Oh man. So you're still living in Colorado… have you tried a bunch of different Colorado Mexican restaurants?
Kinda… I love Mexican food, but have only ever had it in Colorado. From what I've been told, that's not Mexican food. So I guess I've never had real Mexican cuisine, but the stuff I have been eating is great.
Have you ever been in a burrito eating contest?
So Illegal Pete's had a burrito eating competition at their Denver location. The winner got tickets to Riot Fest. My friend told me about it and I figured, Why not? Worst case I'll get a free burrito. The whole thing wasn't marketed very well and kinda thrown together, but it was their first year of doing it. There were about about ten people who participated, including me and one of my friends, Jon. They set it up so there were two rounds of five people and whoever ate a potato burrito the fastest won. Then the two people that won from both rounds ate another burrito and the first person to finish was the overall winner.
And you won?
I "tied" for the first round. There is video evidence that I won, but whatever. I moved on, but I lost my stamina and ended up third, maybe second. Either way, my friend Jon won it all and got two VIP tickets to Riot Fest. Everyone who participated got a regular ticket, so that was cool.
Watch Michael destroy a burrito at 2:30. He's the dude in the red shirt.
The other awesome part was that the VIP included a ride on the Illegal Pete's party bus and free breakfast burrito each morning. Plus Illegal Pete's was sponsoring Riot fest, so they had burritos there. From Friday night until Sunday night I ate nothing but eight to ten burritos and beer. The exact number is documented. Great weekend.
What's your definition of a bad burrito?
One with crappy rice, with no salsa so they are super dry, that kind of stuff. It doesn't happen often, and usually happens with catered burritos, but those ones suck. I want to eat it 'cause it's a burrito, but it's a struggle to finish, especially the dry ones.
What's inside of your ideal burrito?
It took a lot of burritos to figure it out, but I think the best burrito is from Illegal Pete's: wheat tortilla, brown rice, half pinto beans, half black beans, half pulled pork, half shredded beef, queso, pico, a good chunk of the house hot jalapenos, cilantro, lettuce, and guacamole (which is free if you don't get cheese or sour cream). Corn is optional, but I usually go for it. The trick is the half and half beans and half and half pulled pork/shredded beef. Try that anywhere, it's a delicious combo. Plus, you get more food.
Now I want a burrito.
You can see all of Michael's burrito pics on his Instagram.