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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, March 2009back to archive

Bite. Chew. Mull. recalls 28 days of extreme taqueria-visiting around San Francisco.

Have you noticed? Ratings for Dear Beano have gone through the roof since his recent appearance on Top Chef.

Obstinate Reader Commentary. Hmm.

And it's high time we dedicate another (epilogue) to Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, and Quinn Martin.

Kindly pull up a food.

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Burrito Bonanza!!

Our burrito-eating February was strong at each end, but soft in the middle with three disappointing slabs in a row mid month. While we'd never be lunkheaded enough to expect good things from La Corneta's Mission shop or any 360° Gourmet location, we were fairly bummed by El Castillito's sub-tepid effort on Mission St. Prior to that, Caramba's meat and potatoes burrito came through big, as did L'Avenida way out west, en route to earning Slab of the Month honors. Best of all, nobody held a gun to our panel's heads and forced them into a bathtub full of piping hot refried beans.

CARAMBA (South of Market), 2/4/2009, Super Ground Beef: 8.17 mustaches
This burrito included ground beef and fries. And it kind of ruled. OK.

L'AVENIDA (Inner Sunset), 2/8/2009, Super Grilled Chicken: 8.33 mustaches
L’avenida’s poultry did not love us tender, although the overall effort certainly loved our 10-Mustache Scale™ true. Slab of the Month, February 2009.

TAQ. EL CASTILLITO (Mission), 2/12/2009, Super Pastor: 7.17 mustaches
We forgave the bone-in barbecue pork and ingrown tortilla. But when it came to this burrito’s atrocious ingredient mix, we had to draw the line.

LA CORNETA TAQ. (Mission), 2/15/2009, Super Chicken Fajitas: 6.67 mustaches
Pretty tiled floors and terrific pico de gallo can take a taqueria only so far in this town.

360° GOURMET (Financial District), 2/19/2009, Super Flame Broiled Steak: 6.67 mustaches
The sour cream inclusion was our panel’s fault, but the fact that it took on the consistency of tahini sauce when it ran into the pico de gallo sure wasn’t.

TACOS EL TONAYENSE (Harrison / 22nd St.) (Mission), 2/22/2009, Super al Pastor: 7.42 mustaches
Major grease bleeds through the tortilla’s hind end. Neon-orange pork grease every which way. Also, some grease occurred.

TAQ. EL SOL (Civic Center / Tenderloin), 2/26/2009, Super Spicy Chicken: 8.08 mustaches
This taqueria is so cramped, the “Order here” and “Pick up here” signs hang less than two feet away from one another. Small shop, BIG MUSTACHE.

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It's the Total Beano Experience

Included in this month's issue: tummy trouble on thrill rides; same-day delivery; business consultation at 1-976/YO-BEANO; misplaced pickles; more rude questions from readers, followed by more rude responses from our host, taqueria sage Beano Cook; and of course, graft.


Dear Beano: Did you catch wind of this promotion at the Sahara in Vegas? Basically, if you can eat a six-pound burrito in one sitting, you win a pair of roller coaster tickets.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Las Vegas once again demonstrates its zany, what-happens-here-stays-here marketing push. This should serve it well yet again, since this Sahara shenanigan is likely to result in nothing but stunt-eaters, pink shirts, and hurl.

Dear Beano: I grew up in the Sunset in San Francisco and was raised on Gordo goodness until my family moved to Marin in 1987. Now I live and work in San Diego, and I recently had six Gordo burritos FedEx'd here to show people how a great burrito differs from the crap we've got. I am currently looking at some vacant spots around San Diego that would suit a Gordo-style taqueria.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Hey, if La Taqueria's San Diego-style burritos can impress so many people here in San Francisco, I don't see why the same thing can't occur in reverse down there. Sure, San Diego's probably lousy with Chipotle and its would-be Mission-style slabs, but if you can figure out how to have burritos shipped 500 miles to you in a FedEx box, you can surely build a product that's superior to those Chipotle monstrosities. Make it happen.

Dear Beano: Just wondering — when exactly did you have your taste buds removed?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Pretty sure it was four years ago this June. Thanks for your concern there, friend-o.

Dear Beano: I was eating at one of my favorite burrito places, having a chicken mole burrito, when I was shocked to taste pickles. Have you ever had this experience? It ruined the burrito for me, and now when I think of going back to the place, I remember this revolting experience and cannot return.
Dear Apocalypse reader: That's your baggage now, pal. How many times must I tell you? Under no circumstances should you ever order the super burrito at Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop.

Dear Beano: I have to tell you (again) how awesome Burritoeater is. The level of dedication and humor on the site is astounding. I just laughed out loud twice in a three-minute span.
Dear Tim: I hope you got our last payment. If we could get little testimonials like this from you every few months for the Apocalypse, I'll be sure to keep making it worth your while. Morale here at Burritoeater Towers has been in the toilet ever since that accounting scandal here last fiscal year — those guys came over to our side from Enron in '04, so we probably should have seen that storm coming. Anyway, maybe next time say something nice about our logo? Or just use "rad" once or twice so you sound more California. I'll cut you in for 20% on shirt sales, how's that sound? Hope the dogs are paying out for you this winter down at Hialeah.

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Another Half-Assed Attempt at Community Outreach

OK. Let's go to "the people."

(Hit us here:

(Comments may be edited for spelling, clarity, and/or brevity at our editorial staff's discretion. In fact, count on it.)

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"Got a darkhorse for you down in the 'Loin: Taq. La Paz. You could probably fit 15 of these places inside one Taq. Pancho Villa, but its burritos take all comers as far as I'm concerned. The added bonus comes when the dude tosses your slab back on the grill after wrapping it up. That's looking out for your customer, killing cold bites like that."

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"I can only pray for your lost mortal soul, hoping against hope that you someday see the light and join our holy La Taqueria burrito flock."

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"Los Socios in the Financial District may make the best burrito in SF. I am a supporter of Papalote and Gordo, but you really should try Los Socios. The beef burrito there is the real deal."
(Fair enough. Kindly note, however, that Los Socios is a sit-down joint, and as a result falls out of our jurisdiction. Much like Chevy's. -Ed.)

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Yours, in delicious horchata,