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Super Burrito, El Civic Center / TenderloinOMR: 6.42
1200 Polk
cross street: Sutter
ph. 415/771-9700
Map Visits: 4
Has your Spanish has grown a bit rusty? A visit to remarkably unphotogenic El Super (Lousy) Burrito could be an ideal re-entry point. Start with the taqueria’s name and go from there. And if you’ve been itching to ride the Tea Cups at Disneyland, but can’t be bothered with the 400-mile slog down to Anaheim, a swivel-attached seat at one of this burritoteria's shocking-yellow tables could be your local antidote. Keep in mind that all this fun and education can’t mask that the burritos here these days taste anything but super. Cash only. Bottled beer and breakfast available. Open late.

Will My Health Be Violated?

02/22/10Super Chile Verde Pork$5.506.42 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (9); size (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); meat (7); rice (7); vegetables (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: beans (5); burstage abatement (5); cheese (4); sauciness (4)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Between its horribly floppy construction, enormous (and barely melted) clumps of cheese, and less-than-delicious salsa roja — as well as the hundreds of napkins it required — this drippy drag of a meal didn’t give itself much of a chance at respectability, did it? No, it really didn’t. The refried beans would have fared better had they not been mostly washed out by the sauce attack, and while the ingredient mix had a few moments in the sun, it was also responsible for some significant gaffes (those cheese clumps, for example). The chunks of pork were unremarkable and a little on the tough side, and we sure didn’t appreciate the temperature dip down at the hind end. It somehow clawed out one mustache for intangibility, although we’re not entirely certain how. But hey, it was spicy, and that’s all that matters, right? Sure.

04/16/07Super al Pastor$5.506.58 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (9); temperature (9); burstage abatement (9)
Shrug: size (7); tortilla (7); meat (7); rice (6); beans (6); vegetables (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: cheese (3); sauciness (3)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

We’ll never know what sort of sauce fouled this slab beyond reproach, but it’s sufficient to say that the unfortunate, all too sharp tanginess it brought with it was this burrito’s ultimate undoing on our mustache charts. (The sorry showing by all those unmelted grates of jack cheese didn’t do the final product any favors, either.) Spice may have been regularly combustible, and we certainly found all the hot bites and – apart from the ingrown tortilla – neatly followed construction practices highly admirable. Other than that, there wasn’t much to cheer here – not the pale rice, not the heavily underrepresented refried beans, not the dull vegetable add-ins, and certainly not the fair-to-midlin ingredient mix. Pork-inclusive moments were fine enough, but were instantly overshadowed by the inexcusably lame salsa, every time.

07/17/05Super BBQ Chicken$4.757.58 Mustaches
Adequately consistent, and consistently adequate – the burritowork here at Polk and Sutter couldn’t be any more facelessly effective. The most disappointing element inside this politely grilled tortilla – some oversized chunks of tough, unimpressive, “BBQ” chicken – couldn’t drag the rest of the slab down with it, although other than a perfect ten for airtight construction, nothing else here was even remotely worth phoning the neighbors or waking the kids over. A set of mostly melted jack cheese shreds...a slightly over-generous helping of rice...sizing that could have used just a little more in every get the picture. Even some post-construction time in the Fresh-O-Matic steamer couldn’t help this burrito fully maintain its heat. Remember that kid on second trombone in the school band who could play scales and basic chords alright, but couldn’t improv his way out of a box of foil? He’s been reincarnated as a super burrito in the Tenderloin.
10/13/03Super Carne Asada$4.758.00 Mustaches
Squishy, saucy, and cheesy – the Charo burrito, if you will. A brief post-construction stay in the Fresh-O-Matic steamer ensured a clean sweep of hot bites for this lengthy piece of work, just as the burrito’s pureed elements (guacamole and sour cream) accentuated without dominating, courtesy of the stellar ingredient mix. A strong, jalapeño-laden set of final bites sealed the deal.