Rickie Lee Jones was an itinerant teenager, running away from home and traveling around California as she looked to make a career out of music. When she was 16 (around 1971) she found herself hitchhiking when someone picked her up and bought her a burrito at a restaurant called Burrito King, which inspired this song.
In a Songfacts interview with Jones
, she said: "When I was 22, six years later, I was wondering what the people who lived near Burrito King were up to. Mostly Hispanic, an exciting part of town. So I made up these people and had them go out and have some fun."