the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, November 2005back to archive

Number of taqueria visits we made in October: 14. Number of times we heard people at the next table discussing Burritoeater: One. Not bad. The full monty in Bite. Chew. Mull.

Ageless correspondent Morley Safer checks in with our resident taqueria sage in Dear Beano. Not really.

The user commentary in Obstinate User Commentary this time around isn’t really all that obstinate, to be honest.

This Month in Burrito Brawls takes a disheartening look at what happens when a few mooks get themselves (and their snarling pooch) all up in a frothy lather over a 99-cent microwaveable food-product.

Ever wonder how we determine our taqueria visitation schedule? No? Go ahead and skip right by Burritoeater Action Plan then.

And it’s the BEST (epilogue) YET.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Swimming Pools, Movie Stars

Greatness at El Burrito Express and El Castillito. Ghastliness at Las Estrellas, Chino’s, and Taq. Gaby & Liz. Visits to both Azteca and El Azteca. And yet, has anyone bothered to break out the tickertape on Market for us? Has Newsom kicked down a key to the city? Of course not. If these kind of civic snubs continue, we’ll have to move someplace where they’ll treat us with the adoration we deserve. Somewhere north of here.

Burritoeater, live from Edmonton. Sure, scoff all you want. Those Albertans are already waving fat wads of relocation dollars in our faces, albeit devalued Canadian ones.

TAQ. EL ZORRO (North Beach), 10/1/05, Super Pollo: 7.58 Mustaches
Taq. El Zorro pulled itself out of the six-mustache gutter with this mostly strong effort, and what’s more, they finally turned down the volume on that damn television.

EL AZTECA TAQ. (Bayview / Silver Terrace), 10/4/05, Especial Spicy Chicken: 7.75 Mustaches
Friendly help. Tidy room. Crazy-looking orange sauce. Fine burrito.

EL BURRITO EXPRESS (Parkside / Outer Sunset), 10/6/05, Super Grilled Chicken: 8.67 Mustaches
Snoots will dismiss Taraval as a dilapidated corridor of Irish taverns, overhead streetcar cables, and Asian tapioca joints. Given the radness of this Burrito Train slab, however, the Fog Belt’s having none of it.

TAQ. BAJA CALIFORNIA (Mission), 10/8/05, Super Carnitas: 7.08 Mustaches
Sure as the ever-sorry jalapeño bunch-up never fails to send slab-wide temperatures a-tumblin’, we rarely meet a hyphenated phrase not worth co-opting. Faceless burritowork on 16th St.

DOS AMIGOS TAQ. (Tenderloin), 10/10/05, Super Chile Verde Pork: 8.08 Mustaches
Wherein the only real bummer was the envy we felt upon spotting the clearly heftier slab at the next table.

TAQ. EL NORTEÑO (Bayview), 10/12/05, Super al Pastor: 7.25 Mustaches
How’d they craft that strange, graduated cylinder-like shape? With an actual graduated cylinder in the kitchen? Is this a physics lab or a taqueria?

CHINO’S TAQ. (Outer Richmond), 10/15/05, Super Spicy Pork: 6.33 Mustaches
Stubby, a little emaciated, and floppier than a fresh-caught sturgeon on the deck of a fishing pier. Chino’s drum of disappointment bangs on.

LAS ESTRELLAS (Hayes Valley), 10/17/05, Super BBQ Chicken: 5.58 Mustaches
When it’s clear that everything inside the tortilla has been fatally splattered amidst a creamy hue, it’s pretty much all over. A disgraceful lunch.

TLALOC SABOR MEXICANO (Financial Dist.), 10/19/05, Chorizo con Huevos: 6.33 Mustaches
Given the barely-there impact this A.M. burrito had on our slab-consciousness, we may as well have had a 22 oz. bottle of oxygen for breakfast. Chalk up a victory for Team Dull.

AZTECA (Castro), 10/21/05, Super Veggie: 7.45 Mustaches
Azteca’s serviceable vegetarian effort left enough good will in its wake to earn muted kudos from our panel of usually carnivorous dunces. But beware of rice gluttony.

ANDALÉ (Marina), 10/24/05, Supremo Carnitas: 8.25 Mustaches
Alright, fine. No more Andalé barbs out of us for awhile.

NICK’S CRISPY TACOS (Russian Hill / Polk Gulch), 10/26/05, Pollo: 7.17 Mustaches
Better than we anticipated, even if it wasn’t crispy. If you go, prepare yourself for a riceless burrito, men in $175 jeans, and a couple of signs with feet on them.

TAQ. GABY & LIZ (Potrero Hill), 10/28/05, Super Tinga Chicken: 6.17 Mustaches
San Francisco’s newest slabwagon produces burritos that seem to specialize in taste-deficient dead weight. It’s disgruntling.

TAQ. EL CASTILLITO (Duboce Triangle / Castro), 10/30/05, Super Pastor: 8.33 Mustaches
Must we again trumpet how El Castillito’s virtuosic tortilla-grilling and cheese slice-melting skills are firmly entrenched in San Francisco taqueria lore, amongst the pantheon of hellacious one-two punches? Probably not, but here we go again anyway.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Dude’s Totally Bananas

Last we heard, Beano had again been put on probation – most recently for behavior at his last press conference, during which he called a male pool reporter “Softhands” and challenged him to a barbecue sauce-drinking contest at sundown. All this supports the conventional wisdom that the Old Bean’s train has finally lurched ‘round the bend for good. But since he wholly bankrolls this preposterous venture of ours, we keep him around to answer our increasingly cumbersome bag of monthly mail. He enjoys that.

Shoot Mr. Moneybags your queries at

Dear Beano: My boy told me about a spot out on 24th St. and Treat called the Taco Trough, where they actually have a real trough they cook everything in. I have yet to hit it up, but you should mob out there and see if it sucks or not.
Dear Apocalypse reader: We’re pretty sure you mean the food cart Taq. Vallarta sets up on the sidewalk in front of their place on weekends. It’s too bad, in a sense, because if any taqueria were ever sharp enough to successfully work “Trough” into its name, it would be a lock for Business of the Year.

Dear Beano: Very funny. Not burritos, however. Those are rarely funny. It’s like laughing at the night. Can you laugh at such limitless possibilities? If I opened your eyes to the cosmos, or showed you the inner workings of the honeycomb, would you laugh? Of course not, you would cry. Such is the way of the great mysteries in life. Who are we? Where are we going? What kinda beans do you want?
Dear Jon: Your metaphysical graffiti is just dust in the wind, dude.

Dear Beano: Did you know there's a band called the Flying Burrito Brothers? I think they're a country band.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Nice call. Country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons fronted those guys before putting out a pair of crucial solo albums of his own. But the real news is that, before his untimely passing in the mid-1970s, Parsons left specific instructions in his will for his heirs to invest all future royalty earnings in a Gainesville, Florida burrito delivery business. The Parsons Estate is now worth an estimated $14 billion as a result of this self-styled Cosmic American’s savvy vision.

Dear Beano: Could you please research this new craze that’s come from some burrito-forsaken place called Baja Fresh? It’s a chain of restaurants trying to turn the burrito into the next health craze - grilled veggies, black beans, steamed rice, thin tortillas (probably lo-carb), and roasted meats (instead of fried). What a bunch of assholes.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Done.

Dear Beano: Even though she's not a taqueria, you might consider rating the burrito lady, who walks around the Mission at night with her cart. There have been times when I've been hungry watching bands at some club, and *bang*, there she is with her ***$2.00*** vegetarian burritos!! And they're pretty good.
Dear Apocalypse reader: You sure those aren’t tamales you’ve been eating? She’d top our chart, were she eligible.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Steinbrenner Fires Entire New York Taqueria Workforce

Sometimes you have to hit the road to truly appreciate the bountiful pleasures of home. And sometimes, you don’t. Nothing strums the provincial guitar strings so sweetly as words of woe from friends who’ve recently relocated to New York, only to realize upon arrival how much they pine for a San Francisco burrito.

As for the Tenderloin-centric note below, we confidently recommend Taq. Express, given the nine-mustache cannonball we enjoyed there a few months back.

We now offer free shipping on all taqueria-related remarks. Send to

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

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Chunky's continues its downward slide to blah. The last two times I've been there, they didn't even have garlic chicken or chile colorado. I’ve been hoping for another Tenderloin taqueria to take over. El Super Burrito seems to be the only candidate currently, but they don't cook quesadillas the right way. Sigh. Maybe Taq. Fiesta Taco?”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

“I went to Harry's Burritos for lunch because when I Googled “New York burritos,” the place got rave reviews. I wouldn't feed this to a dog. They didn't wrap up the ends, just rolled it. Stewed beef, no salsa, all in a tortilla straight from a bag. $7.25. I feel sick and violated.”

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

“When you eat Chipotle as if it were God's socks, you know you’re in some kind of biblically proportionate burrito wilderness. In other words, Manhattan.”

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Capitol Hill Lobbyists Immediately Move to Steamroll “Cujo Bill” Through Congress

What results when a simple story about early morning hunger pangs, insufficient pocket change, and overly aggressive consumerism has its key chapter written by a foamy-mouthed pet? Total mayhem outside a Washington, D.C. convenience store.

The moral here has nothing to do with carrying a few extra bucks in your pocket, an indictment of fisticuffs, or even canine control tactics. Rather: Only total dumb-asses eat frozen burritos, especially before sun-up. Always buy fresh-made slabs.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Take Your Whiteboard and Shove It

We periodically get e-mails asking how we schedule our ongoing taqueria visits. Newly opened taquerias always command top priority (as indicated by our early November itinerary), but the last few months of this year will find our cracked staff hell-bent on dropping into most local burrito shops that have gone unvisited since 2003.

Once 2006 hits, we’ll turn our attention toward visiting each taqueria in town that produced a eight-mustache (or greater) burrito in 2005. This terrible onslaught of spectacular slabbery should take us into April, if not even deeper into allergy season.

Then: playoff time again. Awwww yeeeah.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>


Because the guys at Quinn-Martin would have wanted it that way.

Please forward freely, yet responsibly.

Newsletter subscription addition/removal requests, questions, comments, and/or anecdotes always welcome and encouraged:

Kindly direct news of taqueria openings, closures, or name-changes here:

The Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly,, and The Mustache Logo are exclusive properties of The Exploding Head Trick Publishing Co. © 2003-2005. They're ours and you can't have them, unless perhaps you ask politely. And even then, we’ll probably hit you with a six-figure licensing fee that will have you seeing stars and us pricing vacation retreats in Bermuda, Paris, Cape Cod, and possibly even Campbell and the Catskills.

Yours, in delicious horchata,