The potato burrito is a great example of how wraps have evolved beyond the traditional Mexican burrito. On the mainland, even Chinese food gets wrapped burrito style in something called moo shu pork, which is pork, julienne black mushrooms, maybe some bamboo shoot slivers, some egg, and hoisin sauce all rolled into a crepe. In Hawaii, with all of our Chinese population being decended from Cantonese farmers, this dish is almost unheard of. I, myself, had clue what this dish was the first time I went to the mainland, where it is a common "Chinese" menu item. Luckily, I had experienced this dish once by the time Disney named their little dragon, Mooshu, so I could catch the reference in Mulan. But I'm not sure that everyone here in Hawaii (or in China for that matter) did. Regardless, it just goes to show how just about anything gets wrapped up these days.
My very favorite place to get different types of wraps on the island though, is sadly gone and way before it's time. It was a little place in Manoa Marketplace called Pili Wraps Cafe. They used to use tortillas that were very similar to the ones served at BC Burrito, resulting in the same tightly packed, cohesive goodness. However, instead of filling those wraps with just Mexican flavors, Pili Wraps put all kinds of things in their wraps. They used to make a chicken caeser salad wrap that would put Salad Creations to shame. It had the full caesar flavor and crunch of a real salad, but tightly bound in handheld form. They also made a terrific spicy Thai peanut sauce chicken wrap and an Indonesian chicken wrap that really captured the flavors of Southeast Asia. But my favorite was always their Cajun chicken wrap. Instead of the Mexican rice you would find in most burritos, this wrap had real Cajun dirty rice. The chicken was perfectly tender grilled white meat chicken. Everything was then smothered in a wonderful creamy, spicy Cajun sauce that actually had the right blend of spices. Sinking your teeth into this warm soft wrap was a great combination of textures from the ever so slightly chewy doughy tortilla, to the tender meaty chicken, to the soft beads of rice. It was warm and filling and utterly delicious. I was very sad to see Pili Wraps close before they got the chance to establish a following and make some lasting memories. BC Burrito may wrap the perfect burrito, but Pili Wraps used to dominate the non-Mexican wraps.
Wraps are still changing and evolving, but when people wrap them as expertly as BC Burrito or Pili Wraps, they should be more than just a passing food fad.