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Gordo Taq. (Geary) Outer RichmondOMR: 8.17
5450 Geary
cross street: 19th Ave.
ph. 415/668-8226
Map Visits: 4
Certain taquerias swathe their burritowork in layers upon layers of foil, thereby forcing hungry customers to expend as much effort unraveling slab-outerwear as they should on the hurly-burly of biting and chewing. Not Gordo! One layer of foil. Bonus community event bulletin board-browsing available with every purchase. Credit cards accepted. Slow-moving line inevitable.

Will My Health Be Violated?

01/24/12Super Carnitas$6.358.25 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); tortilla (9); beans (9); spiciness (9); temperature (9); size (8); rice (8); cheese (8)
Shrug: vegetables (7); sauciness (7); ingredient mix (7); meat (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

It was a tale of two burritos at our traditionally least favorite Gordo location. Whereas the first half of our burly slab was less than impressive (its iffy ingredient mix highlighting one too many pockets of cool guac), the second half brought most everything together in all the right ways: The spicy salsa verde kicked into high gear, the guac quit standing out on its own so much, and the refried beans won large. Gordo’s carnitas came in on the soft and mushy side, but that was the sole element here that lagged. Everything else, from the strongly grilled tortilla to the nicely melted cheese, helped this shop — banished to the sizable shadows of its two sibling shops elsewhere in the Avenues for years — advance up our Mustache Chart some.

05/24/09Super Grilled Chicken$6.158.00 Mustaches
Swish: tortilla (10); temperature (9); burstage abatement (9); size (8); cheese (8); vegetables (8); sauciness (8); spiciness (8)
Shrug: rice (7); beans (7); ingredient mix (7); meat (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Imagine — or if you’d rather not, don’t imagine — our panel’s mild bafflement when this slab came up eight hairy ones at math time. Clearly short on intangible charm, chock full of flavor-deficient poultry, and built upon one of the more dull rice/beans foundations of recent vintage, this foiled lunch from San Francisco’s comparatively laggard Gordo shop nonetheless wormed its way to our critical promised land, somehow. The courageously grilled tortilla (always by request at Gordo; always garnering a weird look from behind the counter) certainly led the mustachioed charge, all fragrant and flaky like that; other well-behaved elements included all-melted slices of Jack cheese, bold spiciness, and unusually thick salsa verde that seemed to involve itself in damn near every bite. The whole show was stubby yet girthsome, yielding a harmless guac bleed at times and a beyond-warm-but-not-quite-hot temperature. The dude behind the counter seemed to be sort of new in his line of work, but even that doesn’t entirely explain the way this burrito added up to less than the sum of its parts.

01/08/07Super Beef$5.207.58 Mustaches
Swish: meat (9); burstage abatement (9); tortilla (8); rice (8); cheese (8); vegetables (8); temperature (8)
Shrug: size (7); spiciness (7); beans (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Not quite all the chunky jalapeño slices made it inside the tortilla, and this burrito as a whole wasn’t nearly in the same league as those slung forth at the Gordo location across the park on 9th Ave., but we’ve endured much more troubling foiled dinners. The finest ingredient here was Gordo’s juicy, slightly-on-the-rare-side cuts of steak, which were surprisingly ingratiating despite not being grilled-to-order. Aside from the just-there guacamole (which sported a distinctly minty-fresh shade), the veggie ensemble came off fine and good, while we made friends with the bloated rice grains early on. Rumors are afoot that this Gordo shop has plans to package and sell its vaguely adequate refried beans under the product name UltraSludge – stay tuned. The overall temperature could have been hotter, but we dealt. As for that disappointing sauciness rating, we’re unsure as to what happened to all that salsa verde the fella spritzed atop the mound of ingredients. Neither the spice nor the rice were particularly well-distributed, but the whole affair retained an intangible deliciousness rewarded with two bonus mustaches by slab’s end.

02/18/05Super Chile Verde (Pork)$4.837.83 Mustaches
Keeping with Gordo tradition, this was a chubby, yet somewhat flat specimen, and awfully squishy for a non-vegetarian burrito. Expectations were low given past experiences at other Gordos, but to this burrito's credit, it performed as well as one so pinto bean-laden possibly could. For one thing, all those beans were admirably drained for a change, so no soppy hind end caused a fatal rupture – in fact, this burrito held up perfectly throughout. Expertly melted cheese and lots of fiery green salsa tried to compensate for the overbearing beans and second-rate ingredient mix. Sauciness was laudable, between the aforementioned salsa and the chile sauce from which the piecey pork was lifted, and the cold bites we kept anticipating never reared up due to burrito contents shifting in flight. All told, it was as good as Gordo gets – and yet, look at that final rating.