Obama takes on Romney in burrito naming battle

President Obama and Mitt Romney are going head to head — in a burrito race.

California Tortilla just announced the winners of a contest to bestow names on two of its dishes inspired by the presidential candidates. The local restaurant chain says it received more than a thousand entries for its “Presidential Burrito Bowls” naming contest.

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Stacey Kane, the company’s vice president of marketing, says the No. 1 requirement is “they had to make us laugh.”

The winning name for the current commander in chief sticks pretty straight to the point — it’s called “Obama’s Chicken Teriyaki Luau Bowl.” With ingredients such as grilled pineapple spears and teriyaki sauce, the meal draws inspiration from the president’s Hawaiian childhood.

The winning entry to name the food based on the Republican presidential candidate is a bit more pun-tastic: “Romney’s Mexican Mitt-Loaf Bowl.” The restaurant says the meatloaf theme was chosen because meatloaf cakes made by Romney’s wife, Ann, are the former Massachusetts governor’s favorite birthday treat.

It’s not the first time California Tortilla has mixed burritos and politics. Co-founder Pam Felix writes, “We guarantee that whose ever bowl sells the most will win the election. Why are we so confident? … We’ve used this method to accurately predict congressional, presidential and gubernatorial races in the past.”

In a close 2008 race, sales of the O-Chili-Bama burrito outweighed those of the McCain-Chilada burrito, 51 to 49 percent.

This time, Kane isn’t placing bets on which burrito will rein supreme. “I’m not in a pundit position,” she says. “But I will tell you that they’re both ridiculously delicious.”

Kane says California Tortilla has fun with the presidential campaign every four years because “We love the election process.”

Burrito fans will have to wait to cast their vote. The “Presidential Burrito Bowls” go on sale Aug. 13. And mark your calendars: The company plans on offering a free taco to customers on Election Day.