the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, December 2009back to archive

November. It was the most of mustaches. It was the least of mustaches. Bite. Chew. Mull. has the truncated story.

Dear Beano: It's snarky, it's poignant, it's snoignant.

Looking for compelling content straight from our readers? Sorry, Obstinate Reader Commentary is the best we can offer.

And (epilogue) still knows how to enjoy a good burrito every now and again.

By all means! Pull up a food!

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It's the final holiday season of the decade, so why not go out in some semblance of style by picking up one of our officially sanctioned T-shirts? Visit our Apparel Bazaar at once! It's where all your cartoon-mustache dreams come true. (Complimentary shards of burrito-scented foil included with every purchase. No joke.)

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Pick up a copy of Lonely Planet's freshly published California Trips, wherein we don our bright purple Contributing Expert clown outfit and parade through our favorite San Francisco taquerias with hungry author Nate Cavalieri for his excellent piece, "A Burrito Odyssey." Belt-busting breakfast burritos from El Castillito are ingested, heads are scratched while analyzing faux-cubist depictions of pork rotisseries at El Farolito, and Latino power ballads are grimaced at all over town.

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"As everyone's favorite taqueria anthem, 'Piano Man,' bleated from somewhere inside El Tepa, we gnawed our way through this perfectly respectable slab."
--> El Tepa, 5/24/2005

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Succulence Vs. Suckulence

With the radically notable exception of another hall-of-fame burrito from Gordo on Clement, the first two-thirds of our burrito-eating November were, frankly, kind of scuzzy. 6.92 mustaches at La Loma...6.67 at Rico Mex...7.00 at La Parrilla...and then there was the 6.33-mustache clangfest at Los Coyotes, all full of brilliant ideas and lunkheaded execution.

The last week-plus of the month, though, finally saw San Francisco's burrito-muscle car kick into high gear, with November's second nine-mustache champslab (courtesy of El Burrito Express on Divisadero) highlighting our celebrated run of Thanksgiving-era taqueria visits.

RICO MEX (South of Market), 11/3/2009, Super Breakfast (Ham with Eggs): 6.67 mustaches
Rico Mex: Where the microwave gets a whole lot of use and the horchata tastes strangely like bubble gum. A burrito this troubled barely deserves a review with a proper conclu--

TAQ. LA LOMA (Portola), 11/5/2009, Breakfast (Huevos con Chorizo): 6.92 mustaches
All told, kind of a drag...rife with unmemorability. However!: Piñatas and kimchi are available in La Loma's adjoining market.

LA PARRILLA GRILL (Ingleside), 11/9/2009, Super Steak: 7.00 mustaches
The main advantage of this shop's taqueria/café arrangement is that it offers an opportunity to eat a poorly mixed burrito on a sofa.

GORDO TAQ. (Clement) (Outer Richmond), 11/12/2009, Super Grilled Chicken: 9.08 mustaches
Two of our last three burritos here have gone for 9.08 mustaches. These people clearly have the widget. Slab of the Month, November 2009.

LA FAJITA GRILL (Castro), 11/15/2009, Grande Steak: 7.17 mustaches
The ingredient that earned this burrito's ultimate dunce cap was its austere pinto beans, drier than an English comic.

TAQ. LOS COYOTES (Mission), 11/17/2009, California (Carne Asada): 6.33 mustaches
Despite a horrendous overall rating, two bonus mustaches for intangibility; unrealized potential never tasted this weird. Easily one of the wackiest slabs on Burritoeater record. Fries were involved.

TAQ. CAN-CÚN (Mission/Valencia) (Mission), 11/22/2009, Super Carne Asada: 8.08 mustaches
You can soak in the two-mustache tub of maximum intangibility all you want, but when damn near every bite is lousy with Spanish mush-rice and way too much of it, you've got troubles.

LA SALSA (Financial District), 11/24/2009, Overstuffed Grilled (Steak): 8.75 mustaches
Everlasting spice, a ruinously grilled tortilla, tucked-in shirts galore, and the sort of juicy steak butchers like to eat on their off-days. Why aren't more burritos grilled?

EL BURRITO EXPRESS (Western Addition), 11/28/2009, Super Bronco Chile Colorado Beef: 9.00 mustaches
At its worst, everything other than the mix was plenty good; at its best, fuhgettaboutit. Another one for the hall of fame.

LA LAGUNA TAQ. (Bayview), 11/30/2009, Super al Pastor: 8.50 mustaches
So good. And there was this one part of the tortilla that kept flapping open, mid burrito, like some floury door to the sauce-slathered world within. This is a top-ten taqueria, you know.

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"Clango 20! is more like it."
--> Tango 20! (since closed), 7/19/2005

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Tactless, Jowly, Mustachioed, and Badass

How many men have been labeled a "taqueria sage," "community linchpin," and "insensitive jackass" -- often at the same burrito banquet? We can think of only one.

From the golf course to the snaking line at El Farolito to the Moose Lodge podium, nobody commands attention quite like our own Beano Orenthal James Cook. And he's receiving your e-mail inquiries re: San Francisco taquerias between 3:00-3:15 PM on the third Tuesday of each month at

Dear Beano: Real men eat quesadillas, son.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Is that right? And I suppose you eat your favorite man-food in your favorite man-chair?

Dear Beano: I'm picking up a Burritoeater golf shirt. The things is sweet.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Golf: It not only prompts people with the first name "Payne" to wear silly pants, it also ruins diction. Now step aside, caddy! Your shadow's in my putting line.

Dear Beano: When is the Slab Scrum going down, and who's in the running this year?
Dear Apocalypse reader: 2004, 2006, 2008....

Dear Beano: It seems that whenever I go to a taqueria, it's at least one mustache less than what your panel experienced. It drives me loco. What am I doing wrong?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Well, for starters, you're always wearing a Burritoeater golf shirt and ordering quesadillas. Two strikes right there. Aside from those fundamental miscues, I don't know what else to tell you. Are you asking them to hold everything but the romaine lettuce and sour cream?

Dear Beano: Anything in particular stand out over the last several years in your quest for the perfect burrito?
Dear Apocalypse reader: (Jim, grab the projector and cue up that "wistful montage" sequence, will you? Thanks, Jim.) OK, so here we are on New Year's Day 2003, eating a lousy burrito at Chino's Taq. in the Outer Richmond...our first foray into the mustache-rating game, 700-some-odd burritos ago...look at how young our panel looks there!...Oh, this was the day later that same year when La Placita wedged an unmelted slice of Borden cheese-food into our lunch, and in the process rang up only two mustaches -- two mustaches! -- on our novel contraption, the Burritoeater Mustachometer...some pretty unhappy faces grim...Here we are on the last night of our 2004 Scrum, when Papalote pulled off its then-unthinkable upset over heavy favorite Taq. San Francisco in the finals...look at the stunned crowd!...OK, it's a couple years later now with this one, that time when our Founder/Chief got his picture in the paper...his mom sure got a kick out of that...huh? what's that?...yeah, that was taken at Taq. San Francisco, too...Hang on, let me get a drink of horchata...Oh, here's a personal favorite...this was taken at the ground-breaking ceremony for Burritoeater Towers in 2005...I never understood these silly photo-ops where dignitaries stand around holding shovels...and who invited the Army Corps of Engineers?...but at least we got to bust out our corporate mascot, Mr. Mustache, for the first time that day...Alright, so here's our panel at El Castillito with our friends from whole "feud" our camp supposedly had with theirs in the summer of '05, we all just contrived that as a clever PR stunt...This one's at Papalote on 24th St., the night of our 500th on-record burrito in the summer of '07...shame that most of the press contingent that night was over at the ballpark, covering what they felt was a "more national story"...Oh, check this! Best fan gift ever -- a handmade mustache pillow! So rad...And...oh, do we have to go out with this, Jim?...alright, fine, so this is the other night at La Parrilla Grill in the's a rainy Sunday, the place is virtually empty, the burrito was nothing special (although the post-burrito churro ruled)...hey, it can't be Slab Scrum championships and press adulation and nine mustaches every night...but it was still nice to be there. I guess I like taquerias.

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"We raised our palm for a high-five; we were left hanging."
--> La Taqueria, 7/11/2005

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Shake Your Menacing Fist at Burritoeater Towers

Now, this is the sort of obstinance we look for in our readers -- when e-mails to our Feedback Division begin with phrases such as "Who are you kidding?" and "Screw La Corneta." Nicely done, people.

(And a few kind words for us as well. That's nice.)

Join the cage-match fray today! Send your thoughts on San Francisco taquerias to

(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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"Who are you kidding by giving high marks to Andalé? It's in an underground food court, for crying out loud!"
Its location is less than ideal, and so are its prices. But Andalé's burritos somehow come through for us. -Ed.

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"Screw La Corneta. Anyone riding for them is as suspect as the peas and carrots they put in their filler rice. Going to La Corneta is like going to Subway over McDonalds -- you're just a gullible idiot who believes the babbling thoughts of some dumb-ass in pleated khakis. I really can't stand that Glen Park abyss of bland."

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"Your site's wisdom came through for me again by turning me on recently to Taq. Reina's in Crocker-Amazon. I live in the Excelsior, so it's not as far from me as from your more centrally located readers. Excellent chile verde pork."

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This final Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly of the aughts is dedicated to Eleanor, who enjoyed a good burrito every now and again.

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,