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San Buena, Tacos (Pacific/Sansome) Financial DistrictOMR: 7.55
cross street: Sansome
ph. none
Map Visits: 4
Here we have what's essentially an El Tonayense slabwagon with a different name...but considering the often dire state of Financial District burrito quality, you could do kind of worse. Minimal seating at tiny tables when the weather’s cooperative. Cash only. Absent evenings and weekends.

Will My Health Be Violated?

11/22/11Super Pastor$7.007.33 Mustaches
Swish: spiciness (10); burstage abatement (10); sauciness (9); size (8); ingredient mix (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: rice (7); tortilla (6); meat (6); beans (6)
Clang: cheese (5); vegetables (4)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Adroit spiciness and airtight construction each earned ten-mustache magna cum laudes here, but for every perfectly rated element, this fairly sized slab rang up an accompanying clang. The way undermelted cheese and woefully little veggie action (other than a smattering of chopped onion and cilantro) did little for us — or the burrito’s Overall Mustache Rating, for that matter. Add to the list of downtrodden ingredients some thoroughly unspectacular pork and whole pinto beans, as well as a tortilla that was more pale and sticky than a Canadian who’d just rolled around in glue stick, and you’ve got yourself — wait, we had ourselves — a whole lot of sub-mediocrity to deal with here. Tonayense’s, er, San Buena’s salsa verde was a genuine high point, and the overall ingredient mix wasn’t too worse for wear, but why was everything simply warm rather than hot? Why couldn’t they have infused our lunch with a higher level of intangibility? And how come the guy behind us in line was breathing so heavily down our panel’s necks? What was with that?

07/01/08Super Pollo Asado$7.008.00 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); burstage abatement (10); tortilla (9); size (8); meat (8); rice (8); sauciness (8)
Shrug: cheese (7); spiciness (7); ingredient mix (7); beans (6); vegetables (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

This lengthy slab eked out eight mustaches thanks to its sharp command of the basics (see the twin tens above), its mega-grilled tortilla, and for the way it kindly presented our panel with a dozen roses and a whole flan before bite one. These attributes helped the Tacos Saint Good burrito sidestep a few iffy characteristics – namely, an overabundance of refried beans that played an unusually significant role, as well as an ingredient mix that accentuated the sludgeworthiness of said beans by putting them front and center far too often...until the final set of bites, which were completely bean-free. The mix also didn’t quite nail the concept of proper vertical distribution of the tasty grilled chicken, as it seemed like 75% of the meat was in the slab’s lower half. Hoping for even more commentary on the ingredient mix? You’re in luck: It did a fantastic job desegregating the rice and excellent sauce. Elsewhere, the sans-tomato veggie crew did OK at best. And for our oenophile readers: This burrito had a very serious top-end punt - remarkably deep, indeed. Intangibility was quite high; tannin content remained low. Cheesy finish.

07/06/06Super Carnitas$6.007.67 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); cheese (9); spiciness (9); temperature (9); meat (8); rice (8); ingredient mix (8)
Shrug: vegetables (7); size (6); tortilla (6); beans (6)
Clang: sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Had we attached a needle to its top end, this lengthy, but pathetically slim burrito could have passed for a budget javelin. In spite of its middle-of-the-road overall rating, it came off as a slight overachiever – probably since its wee girth, drab tortilla, and dearth of sauciness overshadowed the higher-scoring elements. Although the carnitas didn’t boast the external crispiness usually associated with top-notch fried pork, it was admirably tasty, and the gentlemen in the truck were wise to include a sensible amount. Cheddar’s never our first choice for cheese in a slab, but it was nicely melted and, as with most everything else other than the carnitas, well-dispersed. Spice was consistently barbaric and construction was infallible, but the refried beans tray could have used an update prior to our lunch-hour arrival.

06/16/05Super Asada$5.007.83 Mustaches
Tacos San Buena's burrito toed the line of quality and order-taking obedience across most categories, with the exception of some large, pale pintos that looked like they’d rather be in a salad around the corner at swank eatery Bacar, and despite the fact that our requested sliced jalapeño arrived in a small, separate Styrofoam container. The burrito’s seven-inch length could have been stretched a bit, but its chunkiness compensated somewhat, and the whole chubby spectacle came sheathed in a very tasty, lightly grilled tortilla. The ingredient mix and overall comportment deserved an honorary doctorate from Heald College’s Burrito Construction post-graduate program, and although they let us down by not splashing the interior slab with their vaunted green sauce, liberal sprinklings of red pepper flecks kicked in a steady undercurrent of enticing spice. The carne asada was marinated (though a bit too diced for its own good), and its cheese made invisible contributions throughout. We recommend they loosen the guac reins next time, though – our slab received but a dabble.