the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, February 2009back to archive

Bite. Chew. Mull.: Three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (Of a Taqueria).

Dear Beano: Six Academy Award nominations, including Best Performance as a Fictional Grump.

Obstinate Reader Commentary: One Academy Award nomination, including Best Limp-Wristed Attempt to Implement a Community Feature Into an E-Newsletter.

(epilogue): Lifetime Achievement Award for sticking around enough years without ever winning anything until now.

Kindly pull up a food.

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

Another Quality Recap Of Last Month's Taqueria Visits

January got interesting. Several San Francisco burrito purveyors turned in expected results: Current top dog Gordo Taq. out on Clement dropped an 8.75-mustache bomb; Casa Mexicana sent us into a shrugging seizure; and Fisherman's Wharf Deli & Taq. pretty much sucked the chrome off a trailer hitch. Still, a pair of (positive) surprises lurked. Much-maligned Fire House Cafe got all eight-mustachy on our shocked panel, while previously meh Taq. Miraloma nearly pulled off the same feat. As for Tropisueño, isn't it about time San Francisco's museum district acquired a bit of Scottsdale-style sophistication?

GORDO TAQ. (Clement) (Outer Richmond), 1/3/2009, Super Beef: 8.75 mustaches
Classic ensemble burritowork from the top-ranked taqueria on's Mustache Chart, circa now. Slab of the Month, January 2009.

TROPISUEÑO (South of Market), 1/10/2009, Super Barbacoa: 7.17 mustaches
This spot on Yerba Buena Lane feels strangely ersatz-suburban Phoenix. Hmm. And where'd that sour cream in our burrito come from? We didn't order it. Not since around 2004, in fact.

FIRE HOUSE CAFE (Financial District), 1/13/2009, Chicken: 8.17 mustaches
Last time we visited Fire House Cafe's "burrito bar," you still saw people with Discman CD players on MUNI. Much better this time than the steamed shoe with steak and beans in the heel we’d endured here over five years prior.

BUR-EAT-OS (South of Market), 1/16/2009, Super Chicken: 7.75 mustaches
Atrocity-free lunchtime dining at its most effectively unspectacular.

CASA MEXICANA (Castro), 1/19/2009, Super Cochinita Pibil (Pork): 7.42 mustaches
Mediocre burrito receives review that includes questionable references to subjects on which our panel is ill-versed: pantsuits, politics, etc. etc.

FISHERMAN'S WHARF DELI & TAQ. (Fisherman's Wharf), 1/23/2009, Super Carnitas: 6.42 mustaches
And you wonder why we only visit this sorry echo chamber every four or so years.

TAQ. PEPE'S (South of Market), 1/28/2009, Grande Pollo Asado: 6.92 mustaches
We're still waiting on our 50-cent refund for those sickly, unmelted mini-grates of Jack cheese.

TAQ. MIRALOMA (Mira Loma), 1/31/2009, Super Chicken Molé: 7.92 mustaches
It's 2009. It's high time we finally rhymed "molé" with "olé."

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

Another Quality Q&A With Our Crabby and Over-the-Hill Taqueria Sage

Beano's got the blues this month. He's sick of these 45-degree days that make his feet and legs crack like walnut shells and prevent him from getting to his regular Wednesday night Watusi class down at the senior center. He couldn't get a date for Valentine's Day. He lost his shirt betting on the Pro Bowl. He left his phone at La Taqueria - and when the staff figured out whose phone it was, they drove the company van over it about 15 times.

So Mr. Cook's particularly grouchy this month. But if you think your skin's thick enough, drop him a note at The worst thing that can happen to you is Internet humiliation.

Dear Beano: If you can give me three good reasons why there's ranch dressing at La Cumbre's salsa counter, I will buy you a taco.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Wow! OK. One: According to recent focus group reports, ranch dressing is a "hingepoint" condiment that "gets people talking" and "drives return sales." Two: La Cumbre was recently the subject of a hostile takeover by T.G.I.Friday's - you've surely noticed the silly uniforms now worn by the counter staff there. Poor folks...although at least La Cumbre wasn't bought by Hot Dog On A Stick. Three: The presence of ranch dressing at La Cumbre's salsa bar has made the venerable Mission taqueria the leading choice among actual ranchers visiting the Mission. One taco, coming up.

Dear Beano: I lived in Michigan and now in Arizona and i love the saucy burritos at the ram horn or the avenue could you tell me how they make them thanks
Dear Apocalypse reader: Sure, it's easy. Before anything, you'll need two or three cups of punctuation and -- whoa, hang on a second, you seem to out of it! Call back after you pick some up.

Dear Beano: I'm troubled. I've just read with alarm that, due to a revision of statistical methodology, Gordo Taq.'s locations on Clement and 9th Ave. are now at the top of your ratings. I admit I live three blocks from the Clement outlet and haven't tried it. It just doesn't seem to qualify. To me, a taqueria should be open until at least midnight and serve beer. Tables and a jukebox are also de rigueur.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Ah, but that's your misperception. covers San Francisco's extensive network of taquerias, which for our purposes are defined as informal dining establishments serving own-made burritos (among other delicacies). It seems as if you have "taqueria" confused with another sort of business found not only in San Francisco, but in several other communities we've visited. They are called "bars" and they serve popular items called "drinks." Along with the four characteristics you cite from your own misguided definition, this diverse type of establishment may also feature leering men, restrooms of questionable cleanliness, and much sports on television - although certain such places in San Francisco will instead put on Carol Channing look-alike contests from time to time.

Dear Beano: I had a burrito in New York last night with sweet potato in it. Um, gross.
Dear Apocalypse reader: And ranch dressing as well?

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

Another Quality Forum Discussion Re: San Francisco Burritos

Is it quality, though? Perhaps. It can be kind of toothless at times, half-obstinate at others. It's our contractual obligation feature, month in month out.

But we're never at a loss for comments to run in this space. Join Club Slab today:

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

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

"Ground beef and fries in that Caramba burrito? Interesting. All the sandwiches in Peru come with built-in fries too. It works."

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

"Nice discovery on El Norteño. I work near it and have stopped by for lunch two or three times recently. I can see how it won the 2008 Great Mustache. Great carne asada."
(We don't toss those Great Mustaches around lightly. -Ed.)

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

"It's amazing that Fillmore Mexican Grill stays open at all. At least El Super Burrito has a bunch of hangovers and Polk St. drug dealers keeping it open. The two places need to have a fight to the death for the Worst Taqueria North of Market award."

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


Please forward freely, yet responsibly.

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

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

Hi Dave!

Now for this month's hidden bonus track.

The Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly,, and The Great Mustache logo are brought to you by The Exploding Head Trick Publishing Co.

Yours, in delicious horchata,