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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, September 2005back to archive

Bite. Chew. Mull. bites, chews, and mulls its way through the 13 food-blimps on Burritoeater record for August.

The Apocalypse’s resident taqueria sage Beano Cook would rather eat a ham sandwich than a wrap. Read the virulent transcript of his latest press conference in Dear Beano.

Attempted theft, attempted parsley. These and other crimes in this month’s Obstinate User Commentary.

Burritos in Cinema assembles an Oscar-worthy reel of foil-wrapped moments from the silver screen.

It’s that nosy (epilogue) knocking at the door again.

(In other news, Burritoeater is flattered silly to be featured alongside our friends at Burritophile on Wikipedia. Get hungry.)

Pull up a food, alright.

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Kindly Look Elsewhere for In-Depth Bagel Dog Reviews

Our August slabtacular got going at San Francisco’s oldest taqueria and wound down at one of the city’s newest. And while Taq. San Francisco, Taq. El Toro, and Taq. El Jalapeño were among the month’s biggest winners, freshly opened (and lamely named) Taq. Express stole the spotlight with a rare nine-‘stacher at a time when everyone had their heads turned the other way.

EL FARO (Mission), 8/2/05, El Gigante al Pastor: 7.00 Mustaches
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, and you can cue the sound of a fist banging on a tabletop for all we care: We deserve a hot burrito.

MARIACHI’S (Mission), 8/4/05, Super Chile Colorado Beef: 7.67 Mustaches
Mighty tasty, and somewhat better than its merely respectable rating indicates. Furthermore, they’ve got our favorite refried beans in town.

GORDO TAQ. (Outer Richmond), 8/7/05, Super Bean & Cheese: 7.91 Mustaches
We’d heard the rumors that Gordo makes one of the best de-meated blimps in town. Julie Christie, the rumors are true. This one beats down Can-cún’s vegetarian entry eight ways to Sunday, in our book.

SI SEÑOR (Downtown), 8/10/05, Combo Breakfast (Bacon): 7.25 Mustaches
Crippled from the get-go by an elfin tortilla and some downright granitic bacon, Si Señor’s effort averted an A.M. disaster thanks to a full slate of melted cheese and its neat, two-napkin comportment.

BAJA FRESH (Downtown / Financial Dist.), 8/12/05, Dos Manos (Carnitas): 6.42 Mustaches
Given how much Baja Fresh’s friendly, yet severely brain-cramped counter staff muffed our order, it’s a wonder we weren’t served lobster thermadore with a side of slaw by mistake.

TAQ. EL JALAPEÑO (Ingleside), 8/14/05, Super al Pastor: 8.58 Mustaches
A mess of eights and nines had their say, as did a pair of 10s. A sky-high mustache rating here was inevitable, given this slab’s remarkable top-to-bottom consistency. Rad.

TAQ. SAN FRANCISCO (Mission), 8/16/05, Super al Pastor: 8.42 Mustaches
The New York Times picked up the slab tab at our favorite taqueria in town. These are the good old days.

LA MEXICANA (Tenderloin), 8/18/05, Super Chicken Verde: 8.17 Mustaches
All aboard La Mexicana’s Inconsequential Express.

TACO RICO (South of Market), 8/20/05, Super Pollo Asado: 7.25 Mustaches
Clearly one of the more mediocre efforts on Burritoeater record, and one in which every single element neither outstood nor sucked.

TAQ. CHILE VERDE (Civic Center / Downtown), 8/22/05, Super al Pastor: 6.75 Mustaches
Pardon our generality, but this burrito didn’t taste all that great at times.

TAQ. EL TORO (Mission), 8/24/05, Super Spicy Chicken: 8.17 Mustaches
An El Toro slab is a relative splurge, but it’s tough to feel jilted when the burritowork is this exceptional. Nothing drew our ire here.

LA TAQ. MENUDO (Excelsior), 8/28/05, Super Pollo en Chipotle: 7.00 Mustaches
The supposedly chipotle-enhanced chicken had us all in a pre-blimp lather, but the sauce ended up screaming "Pace Picante" way more than it should have. Any taqueria named for cow guts counts for something in this world, though.

TAQ. EXPRESS (Tenderloin), 8/30/05, Super Asada: 9.00 Mustaches
Taq. Express’ Burritoeater debut was the equivalent of a three-run homer on a first big league at-bat. Best of all, nobody on their staff lied to a Congressional committee. An extraordinary burrito.

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He’s a One-Man Cold War

Beano’s gout may have subsided, and thankfully that battle with the whooping cough only sacked him for a few days. Still, the old bean hasn’t been the same since they replaced his 24-hour horchata I.V. drip with Fresca in the afternoon and Clamato at night. You’d be real bummed, too.

Send your sympathetic notes, bouquets, and taqueria-related inquiries to

Dear Beano: How come the menu at El Faro on Kearny includes ham sandwiches?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Just because they produced San Francisco’s first super burrito at El Faro back in ‘61 doesn’t mean they’re strictly beholden to the rigorous confines of standard taqueria fare. Would you prefer wraps? We wouldn’t. Edward G. Robinson loved a good ham sandwich, and he was a good man, see.

Dear Beano: Why does Burritoeater list Tacos Santana under “S”? What’s your logic here?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Good question. Here’s why: Just as many taquerias’ names begin with “Taqueria,” burrito wagons / taco trucks such as Tacos Santana have a funny habit of prefacing their unique name with “Tacos.” Since we list places by the meat of their monikers rather than their appetizer-like prefaces, we try to be consistent in our alphabetization. If we didn’t, nearly half the burrito shops in town would be listed under “T” on our site. Really, what sort of shoddy equal interval classification system is that? And what kind of example would that set for the youth of today? Don’t you love your country?

Dear Beano: I’m a big fan. I sent you a card I made. Did you get it?
Dear Apocalypse reader: This one? Yes, yes, very nice. Way pro. Thanks.

Dear Beano: I saw you last weekend walking up Valencia, around 17th St. You were drinking refried beans from a Styrofoam cup. Don’t even deny it.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Yeah, well, when you request an extra order of beans at Mariachi’s and they hand them to you in an environmentally questionable Tommy Tippee, you don’t ask questions. You hoist and you slurp.

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You People and Your “Independent Thought”

Everyone’s got an opinion nowadays. It’s not like old times, when everyone just walked around quietly with their hands in their pockets and kept their opinions to themselves. No, sir. Everywhere we go now, it’s always, “I think this,” or “I think that.” Whatever happened to not giving your opinion unless you’re asked? It’s out of hand.

So perhaps against our better judgment, Burritoeater welcomes your yays, your nays, even your boo-yahs and heyaheyaheyaheyaheyaheyas when it comes to your thoughts on the matter of San Francisco taquerias. E-mail us the ol’ what-for at Remember to type hard.

(Comments may be edited for spelling, clarity, and/or brevity at our discretion.)

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“I had two carne asada tacos from the Tacos San Buena truck today, and get this...parsley instead of cilantro! I've been there enough to know it was a mistake, but how could it happen? I’m still trying to get the taste out of my mouth.”

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“Gordo deserves another visit. I have been going to the one on Clement since I was old enough to buy my own lunch (I am 31 now), and I have never found that their burritos have a tendency to fall apart. I understand that I may not have the same tastes as others, so I respect your review. I just believe that they deserve another chance - so much so that it is on me. Give me a physical address and a promise that you will give them another chance, and $5 is on its way.”
(Ed. note: We took the Gordo’s challenge, but not this reader’s money. See Bite. Chew. Mull. above.)

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“Glad to see you are getting hip to the perfection El Taco Loco serves up. A trend I am noticing there: the emptier the place is, the bigger burritos they sling. My last late-night trip (which ended in my friend and I running out the door after a guy who had just stolen said friend’s bike) earned me a super carnitas that left me teetering between giddiness and outright fear.”

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“I had a shrimp burrito at La Salsa on Fillmore and California last night. It was delicious! Huge chunks of fresh avocado.”

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“I live a block from Ocean Taq. on Divisadero and have forced myself to visit twice, and only because it was Sunday and El Burrito Express is closed. I will probably not visit again. Takes way too long, seeing how they don't get the number of customers they should, so they have to grill your meat while you wait. Plus, after ordering in detail, they always ask what you want at least two additional times, then always mess it up anyway. Notice how chicken is spelled "chiken" in every instance on the hand-scribbled menu?”

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Rip Torn’s Favorite Lunch Hits the Big Screen

Food has played an inarguably pivotal role in the annals of film since the days of Man Ray, Metropolis, and Mary Pickford. Whether on or off the set, directors, actors, key grips, and gaffers alike enjoy a good meal every now and again, no? How about Breakfast at Tiffany’s? That one had food in it. Howard Beale’s famous line in Network boils it all down: “I’m hungry as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

To put a finer point on it, a close examination of some of Hollywood’s best-loved scripts reveals the celluloid world’s subtle, but enduring love for any and all things burrito. How many of these memorable moments in movie dialogue are embedded in every film lover’s heart? Any?

"I love the smell of carnitas in the morning." (Apocalypse Now)
"I made him a slab he couldn't refuse." (The Godfather)
"You had me at pollo." (Jerry Maguire)
"Beans. Lots of beans." (The Matrix)
“You can’t handle the salsa roja!” (A Few Good Men)
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a finely grilled tortilla." (Gone With the Wind)
“When you buy a hat like this, I bet you get a free plate of sesos, huh?” (Caddyshack)
"We're gonna need a bigger plate." (Jaws)
"I'm an excellent burrito eater." (Rain Man)
“Forget it, Jake. It’s the corner of 24th and Mission.” (Chinatown)
Tripitas, alright.” (Say Anything...)

(Apocalypse reader and film historian Bill DeFazio wins a parsley-free taco for his research.)

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Yours, in delicious horchata, (as featured on Wikipedia)