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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, February 2010back to archive

Looking for a handy compendium of our January taqueria rounds? No? Then what to do with this Bite. Chew. Mull. feature?

It's a rare opportunity to see our loquacious mailbag guy stymied and baffled by a single reader in this month's Dear Beano. Includes free mumbled replies.

Obstinate Reader Commentary? Yeah, it's still hanging on.

And (epilogue) offers tangible evidence that Phoenix is the town that knows how to party.

Kindly pull up a food.

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Are you a proud Gordo acolyte who scoffs at "overhyped" Mission taquerias? Perhaps you carry a fastpass for El Burrito Express' un-derailable slab train? Or maybe you've been happily bespelled by Papalote's twin hypnotics of extraordinary meaty and meatless fare? Find out how these and other civic burrito titans (and pretenders) rank according to our incorruptible panelists: Check our Mustache Chart today!

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"As for the funny beans, they were pale and looked like they'd maybe rather be lounging in a tureen of minestrone up in North Beach. But we enjoyed them."
--> Taq. La Tambora, 7/20/2007

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Bite It. Chew It. Mull It!

January may not have been a particularly rabble-rousing month out on the San Francisco taqueria tiles, but it still enjoyed a few moments of glory. Two relative unknowns, veteran shops La Taq. Menudo and Taq. Chile Verde, shared the month's top honor; meanwhile, a pair of civic legends, El Farolito and El Faro, safely toed our eight-mustache line. At the month's low end, previously credible L'Avenida took several steps down the Mustache Chart, and new-ish joint Taq. Cazadores had mediocrity pinned like a 2010 calendar to the wall. And of course, as expected, the burritos at Nick's Crispy Tacos aren't any less strange than they were last time we stopped in.

LA TAQ. MENUDO (Excelsior), 1/4/2010, Super Pollo en Salsa Roja: 8.33 mustaches
Booming intangibility and an all-together-now ingredient mix made our panel feel real alright. Co-slab of the Month, January 2010.

TAQ. MANÁ (Union Square), 1/7/2010, Super Barbacoa: 7.92 mustaches
We'll enthusiastically pigeonhole Taq. Maná's marvelously stewy barbacoa beef as nine-mustache material.

TAQ. CHILE VERDE (South of Market), 1/11/2010, Super Chile Verde Pork: 8.33 mustaches
Thanks to a slew of highly rated elements, our panel departed this dangerously situated taqueria on an up note, just before receiving numerous invitations to violate a host of civic penal codes in broad daylight right outside its entrance. Co-slab of the Month, January 2010.

TAQ. EL FAROLITO (Excelsior), 1/14/2010, Super al Pastor: 8.00 mustaches
Steady spice, ruthlessly saucy pork, and grilled onions to the rescue. Onions!

L'AVENIDA (Inner Sunset), 1/17/2010, Super Chicken Fajita: 7.08 mustaches
We totally left our feet and bought this burrito's head fake. It looked a dumpling. A giant, burrito-shaped dumpling.

EL FARO (Mission), 1/20/2010, Super Grilled Chicken Fajita: 8.08 mustaches
And all the while, a doe-eyed Linda Ronstadt looked down from a frame high on the wall, gazing upon our burrito, longingly.

NICK'S CRISPY TACOS (Russian Hill), 1/25/2010, Carne Asada: 7.58 mustaches
Despite a number of on-point elements, the Spanish-inspired rice was a microcosm of this length-deprived burrito: seven mustaches we couldn't quite figure out.

TAQ. CAZADORES (South of Market), 1/29/2010, Super Chile Verde Pork: 7.00 mustaches
Mediocre, seven-mustache burritos deserve equally mediocre analogies. Read review for examples.

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"Steel-toed spice put the boot through our grill."
--> Taq. Zapata, 11/30/2003

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Ham Toss! Tonite!!

On occasion, our notoriously eloquent in-house taqueria sage, Beano Orenthal James Cook, gets a question lobbed his way that even he doesn't quite know what to do with. Invariably, these vexing, vaguely existential queries come from the same Apocalypse reader. We're just guessing here, but we picture him in colorful Western wear, a fistful of pancakes in one hand and a pile of Kris Kristofferson records in the other.

Can you similarly stymie our proud, surly mailbag veteran? It's unlikely, but why not take a stab?: Because who knows, you may qualify for Beano's signature parting gift: a side of guac.

Dear Beano: Why did someone at that taco truck near Bryant and 6th just put an egg on my lunch?
Dear Nick: Hmm. Can't really say.

Dear Beano: I resent your periodic chorizo/rockabilly associations. Also, I had chorizo tacos yesterday at El Taco Loco, and I can definitively say that they were in no way loco.
Dear Nick: Very good.

Dear Beano: I'm in Houston and I miss good burritos. Why are there so many damn Texans in Texas?
Dear Nick: I see.

Dear Beano: How come I can't leave comments on your taco site?
Dear Nick: You just did.

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"Bite in, bite out, this burrito sported fierce fire that propelled the already nicely seasoned chicken even further into the mustachosphere."
--> Tacos El Tonayense (Harrison/22nd St.), 3/3/2006

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Wave Your Fist In the Air. Wave It Like You Just Don't Care.

Here at Burritoeater Towers, we could give a toss about your political leanings, your favorite basketball team, or even your middle name. (Unless your middle name is "Chorizo." Then we need to talk at once.) However, we give a number of tosses about your opinions on San Francisco taquerias -- so much that we're willing to reprint them AT NO COST TO YOU in our popular monthly feature, Obstinate Reader Commentary.

Looking to save money this tax season? Send your thoughts on our local taqueria scene to We're as 501 (c) 3 as it gets, people.

(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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"Next time I feel like complaining about my stomach the rest of the night, I'm hitting El Castillito."

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"Ocean Taq. on Divisadero between Pine and Bush: amazing!"

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"Please review La Palma on 24th St. It's my favorite burrito joint in town, and even if you give it a bad rating, it would be nice to have it up there. You guys are effing great!"
La Palma Mexicatessen? Our panelists have made several on-record visits since 2003. It's under 'p' for Palma. As in, You guys are p'ing great! -Ed.

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Yours, in delicious horchata,