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Category: Potential New Careers

Potential New Career: Burrito / Spaghetti Street Vendor

Potential New Career: Burrito / Spaghetti Street Vendor




As you may be aware, I am currently unemployed, having been deemed un-Streetworthy last fall.  And now my life is terrible.  I am forced to have some drinks, watch the market, and write inane stuff for this website.  And sleep a lot.  Actually, that is all pretty good.  I suspect, however, that there will come a time very soon where I need to start generating some cash flow.  Given my strong resume, robust experience and all-consuming work ethic, this shouldn’t really be a problem; maybe look for something that’s a little better “fit” than hanging out with mostly type-A nerds and sociopaths in the making.    

So I have recently spent a little time reflecting on my passions – most of which involve eating or drinking something.  Actually, all of them involve eating or drinking something (if you assume that, while rolling dice, you are also drinking).  So, I decided to peel the onion a little bit (note: this is metaphorical, I hate onions.  Unless they are Funyuns as previously discussed).  They say you’re supposed to do what you love, right?  So maybe I should open a bar, restaurant or a bar/restaurant?  Having worked at a start-up restaurant, I can tell you that it sucks for the owners.  Backbreaking work, major stress basically a 107% of financial ruin.

But what about a street cart?  Take most of the overhead away, add the pain in the ass of getting the cart back and forth from wherever you store it, and you probably have a more financially viable solution.  I am somewhat a connoisseur of street food here in New York, having eaten at the 53rd and 6th Halal cart about 15,000 times (hat tip to my boy C-Note for putting me on to the place).  And thanks to midtownlunch, I have tried several of the other joints – honestly some of the best grub in the city, with respected chefs now backing many of the newer carts.  The city is filled with Halal carts, hot dog stands, roasted nut vendors (they smell uber-delicious and then you want to vomit after you eat like three of them) – how might I stand out in this crowded crowd?

I cook only two items, each having one variation and both having one thing in common.  They’re fucking spicy.  That may be counterintuitive given my well documented hatred of onions, tomatoes and peppers.  But here’s the catch – I mainly hate the texture of these disgusting vegetables.  If you pound them into powders, or dry and crush them, them I’m down.  So the food I prepare is drenched in cayenne pepper (ground) and crushed red pepper, as well as some New Mexico chili powder and healthy doses of onion and garlic (powder form, of course).

My greatest creation and single most significant contribution to the culinary world is the chicken burrito.  I also offer a taco variant for when you’re looking for less than 7,000 calories.  You will sweat through the top of your head – guaranteed.  I won’t give away the recipe, but here’s how it looks hot off the stove – remember that all deliciousness looks gross at birth.  Please note the super sweet T-Fal pan that I’ve had for 15 years – take that All-Clad!


That's not burned Teflon, it's just well-done deliciousness
That's not burned Teflon, it's just well-done deliciousness


People have actually cried with delight after the first succulent bite, their tears a combination of saline and habanero extract.  I also offer a somewhat different take on the regular burrito, something I like to call Burritchos (patent pending).  It’s basically an open faced burrito, with an added heaping portion of Tostito’s Scoops (accept no other scoop-shaped tortilla chip).  First, you eat about 80% of the burrito contents (which always includes Frontera brand Chipotle salsa).  That leaves you with about 20% of the chicken, beans, cheese, salsa mix left – take another immodest handful of Scoops (at this point there should be an ample selection of broken Scoops, use them here, don’t be shy) drop in the very middle of the tortilla, then fold up and eat as a regular burrito.  Maybe add a little more salsa depending on what you’ve got going on there.  Trust me on this – it will rule your world.



Yellow Tail is a perfect complement to Burrichos
Yellow Tail is a perfect complement to Burrichos


Yeah, that's mild cheddar.  Don't question this move
Yeah, that's mild cheddar. So what?


You don’t see many burrito carts around – a few taco trucks here and there, but nothing close to market saturation.  The success of Chipotle in Manhattan points to the near-endless demand for tortilla-encased goodness.  I’m afraid the chicken chopping motion would probably have me wearing those carpal tunnel straps within two hours of opening.  And I’d have to get distribution deals signed up with both Scoops and Frontera.  Hmmm….

My other food creation is super spicy spaghetti sauce.  I’m almost certain that sounds disgusting to you – but you are incorrect.  It’s delicious.  Insanely delicous.  In fact, I’m getting pretty damn hungry just writing this.  Yeah, I make my sauce from scratch.  Well, sort of.  I use tomato sauce as a base (see above reference to revulsion at whole vegetables) and then bolognese the shit out of it.  Ground turkey is the only way to go for the bolognesing – and not the white meat ground turkey either.  That shit don’t cook right.  Gotta have that fatty ground turkey.  The ultimate incarnation of this is one of my legendary lasagnas – sorry no pictures available.  But trust me when I say we’ve eaten lasagna nine meals in a row before.  (I’m also working on a lasagnachos hybrid, but so far has not come together)


What's with that tiny pour?  And the green stuff?
What's with that tiny pour? And the green stuff?


Unfortunately, there probably aren’t too many spaghetti carts for a reason.  Probably too much potential wastage if you don’t have a good estimate of that day’s customer flow.  And people probably (foolishly) want something a little less hearty during lunchtime.  Maybe I could fire up a dual purpose cart – burritos during the day, spaghetti at night?This idea might have legs (at least than being a foot model), I’ll have to do a little more market research.



Potential New Careers: An Ongoing Series

Potential New Careers: An Ongoing Series


Seeing as how the whole Wall Street banking thing didn’t quite work out for me, and that I have been unable to get my asking price for this sweet website ($250 million, Rupert, that’s the opening number!) I might ultimately have to seek gainful employment again.  I suppose I have a reasonably solid resume, but so does every laid off banker out there.  (And there are tons – Qdoba happy hour is filled with ex-bankers every day at 2:00)  I have to think outside the box (jargon alert!) a little bit: what do I have that every other Wall Street loser doesn’t have?

Hmmm…well, I’m really good at foosball…but that pro foosball circuit never really caught on…I am formidable at using ellipses, but at the current moment the national ellipsis lobby isn’t that powerful…I am excellent at watching TV and drinking wine, but there doesn’t seem to be a market for that (Nielsen apparently pays like shit, and I’m probably not recognizable enough to be a Yellow Tail endorser)…what do I have to offer?

Then, like a bolt, it hit me: I have incredibly beautiful feet.  I can become a foot model.  Talk about inelastic demand – there will always be a need for attractive feet: flip-flop advertisements, bunion treatments, motion picture body doubles.  How many times, in teen movies alone, has a character inadvertently (and humorously) been stuck hiding under a bed with the viewer only able to see the other characters feet ?  Those are foot doubles!  Elisha Cuthbert was a foot model – perhaps with proper networking this could lead to a full-fledged acting career (Hollywood is sorely lacking in fat, balding, middle-aged leading men).


Potential New Career: Foot Model


The Visual Evidence

Just look at the perfect formation of the toes – no abberant second toe that is more massive than the big toe.  There’s a reason that the big toe is called “the big toe” – it’s the thumb of the foot.  Admire the perfectly balanced hairiness – just enough to project confident masculinity; not so much as to suggest Yeti heritage.    

Opinions on toe hair vary by culture
Opinions on toe hair vary by culture

A slightly more revealing shot – I think this is safe for work – reveals the soft underbelly of the sole (given my proclivity for blisters there I’m pretty sure that my bodacious feet share the same exact skin type as the fingers of Josh Beckett’s gifted right arm).  Also a teasing glimpse of the powerful calf, what better form to market an athlete’s foot medication?

Barely safe for work
Barely safe for work



Wait a second…I’m remembering something horrible from my past…

Moment of honesty:  Let me be truthful here: there is a bit of embellishment on this website from time to time.  For instance, I have never actually had a foursome with 3 Solid Gold dancers, as I may have alluded to before.  The story I’m about to tell, however, is 100% true.

100% True Story

Setting: Summer 2002

I had finished the summer after B-school in San Diego, it was fucking incredible.  I was heading to NYC to start what was sure to be a long-term career in the prosperous industry of investment banking.  I was on top of the proverbial world: wide-eyed and optimistic, like every romantic comedy ingenue who impulsively moves to the Big Apple.  The flight from San Diego to Las Vegas had no issues.  I had a short layover before the redeye to NYC – no time for gaming but luckily at McCarran there is a sweet Taco Bell Express.  I remember it like it was yesterday: four soft tacos and an order of nachos, lots of Fire sauce (this is not my usual order, but you have to make adjustments for the Express).  Took my bag of deliciousness with me on the plane (much to the chagrin of all the other passengers).

Boarding the plane – still no issues.  There was a rugby team of some sort boarding ahead of me – I was just hoping to get some sleep and feared they’d be loudly headbutting each other the entire trip.  I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, running shoes, carrying a duffel bag and a bag of tacos.  As I entered the plane, the First Class flight attendant pulled me aside and asked if I’d like to be upgraded to First Class.  Fuck yeah I would – he was clearly an oracle who could see the Master of the Universe I was to become.  First Class was effectively empty – he told me I would need to sit in the first row as he’d upgraded me for security reasons.  This was less than a year after 9/11, tensions were still high, and – obviously – I’m a bad motherfucker.  Of course it’s logical to move me (and my tacos) up to First Class to protect the pilots; it would make little sense to use any of the 25 rugby Neanderthals for this purpose.

This flight attendant would not shut the fuck up – he kept asking me all these questions and generally being annoying as shit.  I didn’t want to be rude – he did, of course, hook me up (and he realized that I had the ability to put a fucking whoopin on any would-be terrorists).  So I pulled out a book, headphones – none of it worked, he kept prattling on.  He kept asking me if I wanted some wine; given that I drank every day for three months, I wasn’t really in the mood.  Finally, I relented, hoping he would quiet down.  I had some (disgusting) red wine, which he kept refilling every 1-2 minutes.  I moved to the window seat to escape his chatty ass.  He told me I had to sit in the aisle seat (again for security reasons).  This, for some reason, did not seem peculiar to me.  The reason, in hindsight, was that I am a moron.

So there I was: Seat 1B, drinking wine I didn’t want, with this fucker interrupting me every two minutes.  I decide it’s time to sleep, surely that will shut him up.  So I grab a blanket, throw on some headphones, and feign sleep.  He taps me on the shoulder and asks if I want to prop my feet up.  I say no.  He pulls some random box thing out and puts it in the aisle and puts my feet on top of it.  Another security measure to literally trip up potential terrorists?  Now I was starting to get a little freaked out.  Did I mention that EVERY WORD OF THIS IS TRUE?

So now I was really getting sleepy, the red wine had contributed greatly to the cause.  This fucking guy then asks if I want to take my shoes and socks off?  Nope, I’m good.  He says don’t be ridiculous – and fucking removes my shoes and socks himself!  At this point I started having a little more empathy for those Lifetime protagonists.  

Actually, it was a bit more comfy, given how your feet swell when flying (John McClane was right – but given my antiterroist role on the flight I should’ve recalled how the shoe decision ultimately backfired on him).  After my 12th glass of wine, I finally succumbed to the seductive charms of sleep….I awakened to the First Class flight attendant, rubbing my fucking feet!  He’d drawn the curtain at the front of first class; my feet were propped up on the box, behind the curtain – he was massaging away with what I pray were his hands.  

Now this is a situation that you rarely believe you will get yourself in: getting a foot rub from a male flight attendant against your will sitting in the almost empty first class cabin, at a time of extremely heightened airline security.  There is also a rugby team sitting about ten rows back.  Do you scream?  Punch the guy?  Kick him in the face?  Embrace your shame?  Seriously, you think you know what you’ll do, but trust me, you don’t.  I chose to withdraw my feet and move to the window seat, where I curled up in the fetal position for the remainder of the flight.

I got off that plane as fast as I could.  My girlfriend harmlessly asked how the flight was.  “Uh, it, um, I uh don’t really want to discuss it.”  Eventually I decided I had to say something to someone at the airline because, my extraordinarily beautiful feet notwithstanding, it seemed like he’d done this before (the wine, the box, etc).  I was too petrified even to threaten to sue though – imagining the Post headlines was enough (“Bare Market: Finance Fiend Foot Fondled on Flight”).

So maybe I’ll skip the foot modeling gig, probably better for the common good to not take these puppies national.  The quest continues….