the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, July 2010back to archive

Well it's one for the Bite. Chew. Mull.

Two for the Dear Beano.

Three for the Obstinate Reader Commentary.

Now go (epilogue) go.

Pull up a food!

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"Lifeless, all-blah chicken and overly sludgy guacamole fought to a draw, each taking home a game-worn dunce cap. Worse yet, temperature issues stood up and got in our way early, and wouldn't sit back down."
--> Taq. White Orchid (since closed), 8/25/2006

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Half the Calories, All the Flavor

Things are looking a little thin here this time around, aren't they? Four burritos for our panel over the course of two months?

No, we aren't losing interest in San Francisco's ever-vibrant taqueria scene. Yes, we were incarcerated in Sweden during most of our time away. No, we didn't subsist on saucy meatballs and fermented herring during our entire stay. Yes, the kind Swedish jury found us not guilty of illegally importing Papalote's salsa into the country under the auspicious cover of a Stockholm porridge factory. Yes, we are making this silly story up, and yes, it's much more interesting that the truth, which has something to do with poutine and Thunder Bay. Never mind.

EL TESORO (O'Farrell) (Civic Center / Tenderloin), 5/3/2010, Super Pollo Asado: 6.58 mustaches
A ruefully disappointing burrito full of bland chicken, minimal spice, and the kind of guacamole that makes a person hate guacamole.

TAQ. EL CASTILLITO (Golden Gate / Larkin) (Civic Center / Tenderloin), 5/5/2010, Super Carne Asada: 8.33 mustaches
Inside the perfectly crafted tortilla, spice hovered luridly throughout, and in typical Castillito fashion, avocado played a major role. Ten-mustache carne asada also made a lot of good things happen. Slab of the (Two) Month(s), May-June 2010.

LA CORNETA TAQ. (Glen Park), 6/28/2010, Super Carne Asada: 7.67 mustaches
Major temperature dips and scads -- scads! -- of unmelted Jack cheese grates hamstrung this burly Glen Park slab early and often.

ESTRELLA TAQ. (Lower Haight), 6/30/2010, Super Carnitas: 7.75 mustaches
New ownership wrested this unassuming shopfront away from La Carreta's six-mustache regime earlier this year, offering instant respectability along with something called a "Star Meat Wet Burrito" on its take-out menu.

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"Our last time in, we were presented with a Chinatown-like slab -- suspenseful in all the right ways, with tight construction and top performances all around. This time, it was The Two Jakes."
--> Taq. Vallarta (Mission), 5/21/2008

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Pure Twaddle

You've got questions, you've got comments, you've got ideas; we've got a grouchy older guy who needs something to do when he's not haranguing the staff at La Taqueria for charging him a dollar to leave the beans off his taco.

So, we toss him our mailbag each month. After that, we assume no responsibility.

Good evening!:

Dear Beano: You know you could cover ground much more nimbly and quickly if you didn't eat full burritos at every taqueria in town. Instead of visiting only 100 or so taquerias each year, you could hit three times that if you just sampled a few bites, got the gist, made a few notes, and moved on; you could probably even hit multiple places in one night.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Congratulations! Of all the ideas our readers have offered over the years, this may be the most boneheaded of all. Let me see if I can park sometime soon.

Dear Beano: I wish Budweiser manufactured horchata just to hear the tagline, This horchata's for you.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Budweiser: The King of Horchatas. You could have the Clydesdales clomping through snowy fields of rice and cinnamon. Could be great...unless Budweiser-branded horchata turns out to taste like Head and Shoulders.

Dear Beano: I live in DC now, but I grew up in San Francisco. I hate the burritos out east and I think the main problem is the lousy tortillas.
Dear Apocalypse reader: I'm thinking of particularly fussy eaters I used to hear about who'd bring their own rice into Gordo Taq. in the Richmond. So: Have some tortillas shipped to you, then bring one with you next time you order a burrito at a DC taqueria; you can even go the extra-irritating mile by asking them to grill it instead of steam it. This stunt should endear you to the taqueria's kitchen staff for life.

Dear Beano: Just want to say thanks for the Apocalypse. I've been living in India for the past few months and will be here for a few more. The paneer kathi rolls here -- the closest thing in India to a burrito -- are delicious street food, but my mouth still waters every time I eat vicariously through your reviews.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Who's to say one person's paneer kathi roll can't be another person's super chile verde pork burrito?

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"When we heard someone behind the counter greet a customer with a hearty 'buon giorno' late in our visit, it indicated a true low for this erstwhile heavy-hitting taqueria."
--> Tonayense Taq., 5/28/2005

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Have It Out!

We still get stray e-mails here and there asking why doesn't yet have a commenting feature. Sometimes we indicate in our replies that we've never heard of such a thing: "Does the technology for this really exist? Wow. We'll get our developers on it." Other times, we just trot out our old "You want community? Go the the park" line.

But as much as we'd like to say we don't care what our readers think about San Francisco burrito retailers, it's simply not true. Not entirely, anyway. Why else would we offer this monthly feature? Lucrative advertising revenue?

By all means, send your thoughts to If we send them up the flagpole and our editorial board salutes, sit back and watch them appear in a future edition. Just don't expect to become eligible for "Elite" status around here anytime soon.

(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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"Have you tried the pastor at La Taq. Menudo? I patronize both Taq. Guadalajara in the Excelsior and La Menudo with regularity, and La Menudo's pastor is as uniquely flavorful as any I've had in San Francisco."

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"Turns out the burritos at Tacobar, which recently replaced La Salsa at California and Fillmore, aren't bad at all. I'm just glad the owners didn't call it Burritobar. Not only does it sound dumb, but there's a place with that name down in Big Sur, and it's an abomination no smart business should be associated with."
Agreed on Tacobar's burritos, at least after our first visit. More on this in the August Apocalypse. No comment on Big Sur's taqueria scene. -Ed.

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"You could not be more right about Casa Sanchez. Lovely people, possibly the best chips ever, great patio, a neighborhood staple, absolutely horrible burritos."

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Now for this month's hidden bonus track.

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Yours, in delicious horchata,