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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, June 2007back to archive

The highs and lows of our May taqueria visits are culled in Bite. Chew. Mull. Rating: PG.

Dear Beano probably isn't any less antagonistic since the last time you checked in. Rating: NC-17.

This edition's Obstinate User Commentary is nice enough for the kids to stay up and watch. Rating: G.

This Month In Golden State Slab Skirmishes probes the recent spate of ill will between two port cities with nothing better to do than lob ham-fisted insults at one another. Rating: R

And (epilogue) wraps things up with all the class of a ten-mustache grilled tortilla. (This feature does not yet have a rating.)

Pull up a food.

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Because Chomp. Masticate. Ruminate. Just Won't Cut The Mustard

In with a whimper, out with a roar. That's the story our burrito-eating May, in a nutsack.

The month started with a Potrero Hill slabwagon slinging forth a gristle-marred clanger, but finished with an under-appreciated Bayview shop's exceptional take on that whole foiled breakfast mystique with which we're so fascinated. Along the way, winning burritos in Portola, South of Market, Glen Park, the Inner Sunset, and the Outer Richmond rang our eight-mustache bell, just as a pair of Mission joints couldn't even clear the seven-mustache barrier. Meanwhile, two shops virtually next door to one another in the Excelsior kept it real...real mediocre.

TAQ. GABY & LIZ (Potrero Hill), 5/2/07, Super Carne Asada: 6.58 mustaches
First bite: dry bite. Second bite: same. You get the drift.

GORDO TAQ. (Clement) (Outer Richmond), 5/4/07, Super Carnitas: 8.58 mustaches
Most tellingly was the moment when one of the more difficult members of our judges panel mumbled, face-deep into this burrito, “Them’s some refrieds.”

CASA SANCHEZ (Mission), 5/7/07, Super Carnitas: 6.75 mustaches
We’re still wondering how this grilled tortilla ended up so limp, although perhaps that’s a mystery better left unsolved.

EL TESORO (Geary) (Civic Center / Tenderloin), 5/10/07, Super Chile Colorado Pork: 7.50 mustaches
This El Tesoro location's debut slab couldn’t shake its shrug-enticing reading on our intangibility meter.

CINCO DE MAYO TAQ. (Portola), 5/13/07, Super Pollo Asado: 8.25 mustaches
May 5th Taq. continued its fundamental habit of crafting solid slabs that fundamentally grasp all the right fundamentals.

TAQ. EL BUEN SABOR (Mission), 5/16/07, Special Pollo Asado: 6.92 mustaches
Once again, we did not find Taq. El Buen Sabor’s sabor very buen.

EL FARO (South of Market), 5/18/07, Super Carnitas: 8.08 mustaches
Ever notice that small patch of AstroTurf in this burrito shop's front window? What’s with that?

LA CORNETA TAQ. (Glen Park), 5/20/07, Super al Pastor: 8.08 mustaches
Steady sizing. Sharp intangibility. Great foil!

LA TAQ, MENUDO (Excelsior), 5/23/07, Super Carnitas en Salsa Verde: 7.17 mustaches
While the melted cheese was raising a gooey ruckus, and the refried beans were laying down the slop-law something fierce, the brown rice was a non-starter in its overapplied flatness.

MEXICO TIPICO TAQ, (Excelsior), 5/25/07, Super Carnitas en Salsa Verde: 7.33 mustaches
We ceased taking sour cream in our slabs in 2004, so imagine our befuddled reaction when the second bite of this hulking slab was scuttled by dairy wiz.

L'AVENIDA (Inner Sunset), 5/28/07, Fajita Beef: 8.08 mustaches
Back on the Burritoeater block after a lost weekend (2005-07) spent in the table-service ghetto, L'avenida's return turned out a winner.

LA LAGUNA TAQ. (Bayview), 5/31/07, Super Breakfast (Bacon): 8.67 mustaches
Had it been produced in 1959, this burrito's egg/bacon scramble would have surely been described as “keen" by someone in a cardigan sweater.

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Land Grouchiness Record Shattered!

Records were made to be broken, they say. So, join us in congratulating our very own in-house taqueria sage, Beano Cook, on setting a new world mark for ongoing grouchiness by a fictional entity. So impressive.

The previous record-holder, one "Oscar the Grouch" of 1197 Sesame Street, sent the following succinctly congratulatory telegram: "WHO CARES?!"

E-mail Mr. Cook your own well wishes, as well as any taqueria-related questions, comments, and anecdotes. Do not expect congeniality in response.

Dear Beano: I had a burrito at Papalote today, and guess what the people at the next table were discussing? Burstage abatement. They actually used those words. Later, I heard something about mustaches.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Nice to see people tackling such crucial issues head-on these days. In my era, burstage abatement was as taboo a subject as politics, sex, or religion - not to mention all the controversy generated by sweater-wearing Jim never having a second cup of coffee at home. We weren't even allowed to mention the weather until after supper!

Dear Beano: About a decade ago, when I lived in the Bay Area, we used to eat at a taqueria in the Mission. Can't remember the name. But on the wall was a big painting of a glorious, Mexican revolution-era babe with a torn dress and full breasts. Do you know it? Do you know her name? I'm desperate to find that image. Can you help me please?
Dear Apocalypse reader: The woman with the bugle at La Cumbre? That's Adelita, my third wife. She left me years ago for Pancho Villa (the guy, not the taqueria). They're both jerks. And no, you can't have her number, you horndog.

Dear Beano: Who's got the finest horchata in town?
Dear Apocalypse reader: The place I always think of when people ask this question is Cinco de Mayo Taq., on San Bruno Ave. in Portola. And even though its burritos have taken a torpedo to hell lately, El Super Burrito on Polk and Sutter mixes a mean rice/cinnamon/water concoction. On the flip side, as much as I love almost everything about Cuco's in the Lower Haight, the horchata at that place is complete swill.

Dear Beano: What, in your opinion, would be the best album to accompany an El Farolito slab? How about Can-cún? Papalote?
Dear Apocalypse reader: I hate music. It's got too many notes. I don't feel like answering this. Try again some other month.

Dear Beano: "Beano." I bet that's a made-up name.
Dear Apocalypse reader: You're right. It is. But "Orenthal James" doesn't fit the bill in this line of work, so this is what we're left with.

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It May Be A Fascist Editorial Process, But It's Our Fascist Editorial Process

Everyone's entitled to an opinion or two. We just don't want those opinions on our site.

But if you e-mail us your comments on the local taqueria(s) of your choice, we promise that we'll do our best to mold them into a shape fit for this august monthly publication.

(Comments may be edited for spelling, clarity, and/or brevity at our editorial board's discretion. In fact, count on it.)

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"Rico’s on Columbus near Chestnut is damn good, and a neighborhood staple. But I noticed it isn’t listed. I recommend their carnitas or grilled chicken. And their guac is out of this world."
Fair enough. But our past experiences there have been marred by table service. Not our jurisdiction. -Ed.

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"You're missing the boat on Baja Fresh. I eat there several times a month, and I can't say I've ever left the building feeling let down. Beats the dog out of most of the other burrito places in that area."

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"I see L'avenida is listed on your site again. Right on. I think my neighborhood, the Inner Sunset, is the lost jewel of the San Francisco taqueria scene. La Fonda doesn't mess around, and we all know about your dramatic change of heart re: Gordo over the last few years. Now if we could only do something about getting rid of Pasta Pomodoro."

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Cage Match / Dirt Clod Fight

Scuffling over water rights is so 20th century.

You know how when one person says one thing in one part of the state about that same thing in another part of the state? And then a couple people in that other part of the state say a few things back about that same thing in the part of the state that started the quarrel? And then people in the first part of the state say something back about that same thing in the other part of the state? This is kind of like that. This is why people wear those silly "NOR*CAL" hoodies. This is why Pavement recorded "Two States." This is why California is not one big happy tax base.

San Francisco Burritos vs. San Diego Burritos, Part One: Of The Battle / Cygnus X-1
Pull quote: "Compared to the San Diego burrito, (San Francisco burritos) aren't even close. They're wrapped in foil."

San Francisco Burritos vs. San Diego Burritos, Part Two: We Would Not Like Fries With That
Pull quote: "San Diego (is)...the Triple-A baseball of the burrito world. You'll see more boneheaded assembly errors (there) than you will up here in the big leagues."

San Francisco Burritos vs. San Diego Burritos, Part Three: Melee At The Madonna Inn
Pull quote: "Maybe we could meet at a flagpole in San Luis Obispo and work a few things out?"

(Next month: San Francisco Burritos vs. Tuscaloosa Burritos.)

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Yours, in delicious horchata,