I'm calling you out, Papalote

via upload.wikimedia.org

Papalote is a "taqueria" near me that long had the following on their menu:

"Guacamole and Chips - Market Price"

I'm not going to lie to you...In a restaurant where you order at the counter, that rubs me the wrong way. You can freeze avocados and thaw them whenever you need them, and even if Papalote doesn't, the market price for them is not so volatile that you can't just put a price on the board that would cover all eventualities. After years of having "market price" on the board, they finally did put a price on their A.Q. guacamole: $7.50. Now that is a heist - Pancho Villa sells a large chips and guacamole for $4.75. I went through the menus for a few other taquerias, but people don't usually order chips and guacamole, so I couldn't find anywhere else that sold it specifically. The point is, Papalote went from market price to the highest price around. Perhaps their market prices aren't so market after all?

I went back through the Internet Archive and found four different menus since their website was first archived on April 7, 2001. Here's the annual price inflation relative to overall annual US inflation since 4/7/01 and 10/22/2006:


5-year 10-year
Core Inflation 2.54 1.85
Food at Home 3.22 2.84
Food Out 3.10 2.93
Papalote 9.31 6.47

Yeah, I know you're surprised that they raised their prices much faster than food prices have risen. But an annual rate of 9.31% over five years? The last month we had an annualized inflation rate that high was November 1981, and in 55 of the last 60 years, the inflation rate was lower than 9.31%. Bottom line: I can attest that their portions haven't gotten any bigger in the last decade, so Papalote is just ripping off its customers.

Here's a summary of the raw menu data:

Menu Menu Menu Menu Inflation Inflation
Burrito 4/7/2001 10/22/2006 2/3/2011 9/1/2011 5-year 10-year
Rice + beans 3.5 3.25 4.95 5.25 10.36 3.97
Veggie 3.75 4.95 6.5 6.95 7.23 6.11
Grilled Veggie 4 4.95 6.5 6.95 7.23 5.45
Chile Verde 4 5.45 7.5 8.2 8.76 7.14
Carne Asada 4.25 5.45 7.5 8.2 8.76 6.52
Pollo Asado 4.25 5.45 7.5 8.2 8.76 6.52
Camarones 5.25 5.95 8.5 9.25 9.50 5.59
Taco 4/7/2001 10/22/2006 2/3/2011 9/1/2011 5-year 10-year
Veggie 2.75 3.75 5.25 5.75 9.19 7.34
Grilled Veggie 3 3.75 5.25 5.75 9.19 6.45
Carne Asada 3.75 4.15 5.95 6.75 10.52 5.81
Pollo Asado 3.75 4.15 5.95 6.75 10.52 5.81
Camarones 4.5 4.95 6.75 7.25 8.16 4.69
Quesadillas 4/7/2001 10/22/2006 2/3/2011 9/1/2011 5-year 10-year
Plain 2.25 3 4.25 4.75 9.91 7.44
Veggie 2.75 4.15 6.25 6.75 10.52 9.01
Grilled Veggie 3.25 4.15 6.25 6.75 10.52 7.27
Carne Asada 3.75 5 7.25 7.95 10.01 7.49
Pollo Asado 3.75 5 7.25 7.95 10.01 7.49
Camarones 4.5 5.75 7.95 8.5 8.37 6.30

Note that the menus may not have changed on exactly the days listed - those are simply the dates that their menu was crawled on the internet.

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