Friday, October 10, 2014

Hart Street Woman Sets New Complimentary Salsa Record

By Nita Keswick, Quilt Staff


Evie Speriglio, a 33 year-old mother of two, has set a new world record for number of miniature cups filled with free salsa for potential consumption with a single burrito, with an astonishing 27 little containers.

The record was set Thursday evening at El Pollo Loco at the corner of Topanga Canyon & Roscoe Boulevards in Canoga Park’s bustling Roscopanga neighborhood.

“She ordered the Classic Chicken Burrito combo meal, which comes with the burrito, chips and a drink,” says cashier Lupe Darula. “I told her to help herself to our free salsa bar while we got her order ready. And, uh, boy, did she ever.”

The El Pollo Loco restaurant at Topanga Canyon and Roscoe - the site of Thursday's record-
breaking complimentary salsa achievement, or salsachievement, by Evie Speriglio. Staff photo.
Eyewitnesses note that the single mother then pushed her way between two other customers already at the salsa bar and then began pulling miniature “cup after cup after cup” from the dispenser which she systematically laid out on the stainless steel counter, effectively forcing the others to quickly grab what little salsa they had already spooned into containers, and “just kind of, yeah, get out of the way,” according to Brian Rauschebart, whose salsa-doling was cut short. “I ordered a 12-piece meal because we were having friends over for a binge-watch primer on Dr. Who. And, yeah, all I managed to get was some chopped onions and half a little container of pico de gallo before she kind of took over.”
Queen of the Salsa Bar: Evie Speriglio.
Photo courtesy Dept. of CPS of Los Angeles
When an ever-increasing number of others in want of the spicy tomato-based sauce began complaining, Speriglio at first acted like she didn’t hear them, and then actively ignored them. Once remarks such as “What are you, opening a frickin' restaurant?” “Dios mio, how much salsa do you need, woman?!” “Come on, I only get a half-hour for my dinner break!” and “Jesus Christ, let’s go, lady!” became more frequent and too difficult to tune out, the unemployed former cable television customer service rep then passive-aggressively took out her smartphone and started making calls.

“Oh, that was just great,” grouses Ted Pasternak, who just wanted to get “one little container” of the avocado salsa to go with his meal. “She was already slow and then once the phone came out, she’s doing it one-handed and going even slower.” 

When told she was breaking a world salsa record, Pasternak surmised that “it certainly wasn’t for speed.”

The Classic Chicken Burrito.
“I was behind her in line,” says Trenice Campbell, a donation intake coordinator with Salvation Army. “And all she got was the $5 combo burrito. That’s like the smallest burrito they got. It comes with this rinky-dink little sack of chips. What the hell she need all that salsa for?”

But Speriglio held her ground as she spooned complimentary salsa into little cups and yelled into her phone. “Yeah, well, that asshole ex of mine better have my kids home by seven p.m.! I don’t care if I’m not home! You tell him he can have the asshole super let them into my place! If not I’ll get that asshole from CPS on his ass!” she said, keeping up a steady stream of peppery dialogue other patrons seemed too intimidated to interrupt. 

At one point, Speriglio briefly dropped the serving spoon back into one of the salsa bowls and Pasternak leaned in and reached for it. He was unsuccessful.

“She must have seen me out of the corner of her eye and grabbed it back before I could get it and told me to ‘wait my turn,’” he reports. “Oh, and she called me an asshole.”

When she finally left after 11 minutes, 47 seconds at the salsa bar, she had filled 28 1.5 ounce plastic Dixie brand containers, known in the service industry as “souffle cups.”

“I woulda got more, but I emptied the bowl of House Salsa and those assholes couldn’t be bothered to refill it,” she says of the employees. Add to that the fact that she hadn’t properly snapped the lid on one of the cups, its contents spilling in the large plastic bag she carried her food home in, and it brings her official total down to 27 cups.
The official weigh-in. Staff photo.

But it didn’t matter - she beat the old record (18 little cups of salsa for consumption with a Ranchero Burrito, set by customer Dawn Haberlind at El Pollo Loco on Sherman Way & Winnetka in 2011) handily.

“To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about settin' no record,” Speriglio says. “I just wanted some salsa with my burrito. I was more focused on getting home to watch me some Family Feud with Steve Harvey.”

Speriglio’s record will likely stand for the foreseeable future, experts note. “Her burrito weighed 10.6 ounces. Add the little bag of tortilla chips - 13 chips and some broken pieces - and they weigh a combined 12.2 ounces,” reports Bob Farrell of the Owensmouth / Canoga Historical Society, who performed official adjudicating services by counting the filled cups and weighing their contents at Speriglio's Hart Street apartment. 

“The salsa alone weighed 2 lbs, 1.7 ounces. That’s a remarkable salsa-to-burrito-and-chips ratio. We’re not likely to see anything like this again in our lifetime. I’ve already submitted it to Guinness.”
Evie Speriglio's TV tray laden with her record-breaking salsa haul photographed mid-meal. Staff photo.
As to how she enjoyed the salsa, Speriglio responds with surprise. “Huh? It was okay, I guess. Except the assholes who designed the cups made them too shallow - you can’t really dip your chips and get much on them. I had like two cups and threw the rest out. Now shut the f___ up - the Fast Money Round’s coming up next and I want to see these assholes lose!”

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