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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, April 2010back to archive

This month's Bite. Chew. Mull. is brought to you by the Negra Modelo family of fine beverages.

Popular satirical feature Dear Beano is presented by the Pacifico Trust.

Obstinate Reader Commentary is underwritten by a generous grant from the Dos Equis Foundation.

And (epilogue) is proudly sponsored by Corona -- a few of them.

Kindly pull up a food (and drink).

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Got an iPhone? Really, who doesn't have an iPhone these days? We've contributed crucial San Francisco taqueria intelligence to a clever new location browser for iPhone from our pals at flook. Get yours today -- it's free! Totally swamped today? Tomorrow's OK too, then.

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"They pulled off that all-hot bite trick. That's one of our favorite tricks."
--> Tacos El Tonayense (Harrison/14th St.), 5/28/2006

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Final Score: Quality 1, Quantity 0

Despite having only half the usual number of taqueria visits to work with, March outdid its immediate predecessor February with style and ease, boasting three eight-mustache efforts -- one of which (from longtime bore Taq. El Buen Sabor) was truly outstanding by any measure.

Following March's close-out slab, a mostly forgettable meal at La Mexicana on Sutter, our panel disappeared for nearly three weeks, finally resurfacing last weekend after binging on hellacious machaca tortas and carnitas plates down the coast about 500 miles. Their San Francisco visas were only honored for re-entry once they confessed to not having eaten any fries-inclusive burritos while away.

GOZA-GOZA TACO (South of Market), 3/3/2010, Super Carne Asada: 8.25 mustaches
We'd have awarded five bonus mustaches for intangibility, but our regulatory agency would never allow such a stunt.

TAQ. EL BUEN SABOR (Mission), 3/6/2010, Breakfast (Chorizo): 8.75 mustaches
This egg-laden slab's cavalcade of nine-mustache element ratings sent Taq. Good Flavor's long run of misflavor packing. Pretty much a complaint-free meal. Thus it is conferred: Slab of the Month, March 2010.

LA FONDA (Inner Sunset), 3/11/2010, Super Cochinita Pibil (Pork): 8.42 mustaches
Burly chunks of tender, achiote-swabbed pork punctuated most every bite. And take a look at all them nine-mustache apples.

LA MEXICANA (Civic Center / Tenderloin), 3/16/2010, Super Spicy Beef: 7.50 mustaches
The friendly burritotista behind the counter clearly went a bit overboard staining every inch of this burrito's innards with La Mexicana's fearsome house red (salsa).

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"Many bites of El Toro's fearlessly grilled beef and long-cut onion brought back memories of endless strings of spaghetti we sucked up back in the days of"
--> El Toro, 5/15/2006

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Side of Guac 50 Cents Extra

What can we say? At our taqueria sage's advanced age, he's bound to mishear certain things. Like that one time when a Long Island-born colleague asked Mr. Cook if he'd ever fought in Korea, and Mr. Cook cantankerously replied that he'd never had much of a boxing career at all.

Speak clearly! Enunciate! Project from your diaphragm!:

Dear Beano: I was having lunch last week with my boss, who was in town visiting from the San Francisco office. (I live in Hoboken, New Jersey.) We were arguing about burritos -- I think they're for hippies -- and he told me about an "awesome site" in San Francisco with an "awesome mustache rating system." Then he told me I was a jerk for not liking burritos. Actually, I think I'm anti-burrito because I like tacos so much. Liking both in equal measure would make me feel like I was cheating.
Dear Apocalypse reader: I like the cut of your jabs. Let's debate over horchata sometime.

Dear Beano: I live in Marin, where I've yet to find anything remotely close in quality to, say, Gordo. Even in San Rafael's Canal neighborhood, where many Latinos reside, the slabs are cold and unappetizing. Maybe they keep the good stuff away from people-of-pallor?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Marin? What does a person have to do to get a decent plate of brisket in that town? Used to be you couldn't swing a good-size German shepherd without hitting a nine-mustache roadside barbecue in those parts. Sometimes I don't want to drive all the way down to Fort Worth or even just Denton for my brisket fix. Mmm-mmm mmm-mmm-mmm: brisket. Yes, I sure do miss that old Marin brisket.

Dear Beano: Wheat tortillas: ever?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Very rarely. In fact, only when the sole alternative is a beet-infused sandpaper tortilla. Either that or one of those "burrito bowls."

Dear Beano: So, Food Channel star-chef Bobby Flay comes to town to issue a burrito throwdown at Papalote, and you aren't invited to judge? The show even billed the place as the "birthplace of the Mission-style burrito." What gives?
Dear Apocalypse reader: The long version of the story involves stipulations in our performance rider the network deemed "unreasonable" -- a Four Seasons suite with a bathtub poured full of (you guessed it) horchata, no blue M&Ms in my trailer's snack bowl, some fine print about hookers and blow, that sort of thing. The short version of the story is that I never do TV. It makes my mustache look crooked.

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"Sadly, all the warm smiles behind La Tortilla's counter couldn't save the Castro St. burrito shop's latest bowling ball-sized slab from bouncing in and out (and back into) our critical gutter."
--> La Tortilla, 4/26/2007

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Don't Abstain, Obstain

Kindly send your tales of taqueria sojourns or bright ideas for better sub-headlines to Selected entries will win a valuable collection of used napkins and discarded foil (circa 2004-2005) originally earmarked for display in the lobby at Burritoeater Towers before they were determined to be Superfund-level toxic hazards.

(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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"I'm a carnitas aficionado, and I don't buy into the La Taqueria hype. Try the carnitas at El Farolito just up the street."

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"I've never had a good burrito at El Toro -- never. They're bland, the salsa tastes like the previous day's leftovers from Pancho Villa, and I've actually gotten rubber avocado there. After taking a slice out of the burrito, you could whack it against the wall and it would bounce back to you. No joke."
But you have to be joking. Avocados don't bounce off walls. -Ed.

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"I suggest the super chorizo burrito at Chunky's in the Tenderloin. The way the sour cream interacts with the deliciously crispy, yet somehow still-juicy chorizo is a great thing. Get it with black beans and hot salsa, and you're stoked."

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Yours, in delicious horchata,