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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, November 2013back to archive

We're taking down San Francisco one burrito at a time, then rebuilding it better than before with our own ridiculous brand of food-writing-as-abstract-expressionism. For proof, why not check Bite. Chew. Mull. below?

Dear Beano answers the tough questions. Such as -- and this is just for starters -- "How can you even wedge a burrito into your mouth with a 30-weight walrustache like that?"

The third entry in a series of four, this edition's Burritoeater Hall of Fame Inductees swears in another triumvirate of mustachioed legends. No secret handshakes, no silly frat-rush humiliation -- just effusive gratitude.

And if it weren't for our squadron of attorneys, we wouldn't bother foisting (epilogue) upon you.

Pull up a food. Alright.

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"You know how a Papalote burrito usually saunters into the room and takes over the party, its magnetic personality (and perhaps also its long red cape) drawing an admiring crowd in no time? This one showed up in business-casual wear, hung out on the periphery, made small talk about work with a couple of equally bored onlookers, then went home to San Ramon and fell asleep watching ESPN with its shoes on."
--> Papalote (Western Addition), 10/31/2013

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Our Farewell Tour Slogs Forth / Presses Onward Gracefully

(Follow our panel's final on-record taqueria visits this autumn in the Burritoeater Blargh.)

As we near the drop-dead plateau of our 1000th burrito review, the touching tributes continue to pour in:

"Ten years, long time. Going to miss your hilarious and very useful reviews. Thank you for doing San Franciscans such a great service. Your writing makes me laugh to the point that it hurts."

"I already miss you. And you're not even gone. Thanks for all the years of fun reading about my main source of food in this overpriced small-town city."

"Wishing you well and congratulations for making such a unique and memorable contribution to the fabric of our city. You'll be missed."

"The Laundromat dryer ate my Burritoeater T!! Are you really and truly out of them?"

As our final go-around of San Francisco taquerias has continued, we've enjoyed a triumphant nine-mustacher at El Burrito Express, paltry disappointment at Papalote, run-of-the-grill radness at Taq. El Farolito and Gordo Taq. (times two), and total trash at La Taqueria. So, yeah, it's been anything but dull.

Only five more taqueria hold-ups to go before we scamper off to Central America with embezzled millions. Who said carne asada racketeering and refried beans laundering doesn't have its benefits?

Gordo Taq. (Inner Sunset), 10/13/2013, Super Chile Verde Pork: 8.50 mustaches
Consistency is thy name, mustaches are thy game. This floppy-yet-formidable slab held our panel's attention in all the right ways.

El Burrito Express (Western Addition), 10/18/2013, Super Bronco Chile Colorado Beef: 9.00 mustaches
Champ saucing. The smoothest refried beans in captivity. Off-the-charts intangible charm. Hot bites! The Burrito Train had the situation under control all along.

La Taqueria, 10/22/2013, Carne Asada: 6.08 mustaches
Advantages included all-melted cheese, robust vegetable involvement, and mostly airtight construction; disadvantages included pretty much everything else that had anything to do with this farce of a foiled lunch.

Papalote (Western Addition), 10/31/2013, Super Marinated Tofu: 7.67 mustaches
The little taqueria's stranglehold on greatness loosened up a bit too much on this, our final on-record visit.

Taq. El Farolito (Mission St.), 11/6/2013, Super Chile Relleno: 8.09 mustaches
Like cheese? You'll love El Farolito's super chile relleno burrito, which apparently contains more cheese than this fall's entire Disney Channel lineup.

Gordo Taq. (Clement), 11/9/2013, Super Grilled Chicken: 8.67 mustaches
And here was yet another quintessential Gordo slab — all minor flaws (slight undersaucing, merely capable poultry) and major successes (so many successes).

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"It was one of those carne asada burritos that reinforces why there are so many vegetarians in the world."
--> El Tonayense (Harrison/14th St.), 6/28/2011

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Don't Let This Moment Pass (Hold onto the Night!)

Picture yourself grimly in 2014. You've had a decade or so of chances to toss any question at San Francisco's finest taqueria sage...and you've blown it. Now the old guy's gone the way of the pager, and you'll never get the chance to pose the truly crucial queries:

- "Where's the best horchata in town?"

- "Is the guy with the mustache or the guy with the goatee behind the counter at El Castillito on Church more generous with the avocado?"

- "Vutkindabeens?"

You're drowning in a sea of hopeless regret. You may as well move to El Paso and become part of the Tex-Mex problem.

Don't be the sad sack on your block! Get off your ass and get on the stick:

Dear Beano: Do you have big plans for the 1000th burrito? Seems like an excuse to make an event out of it and scare up some media coverage.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Oh, the media circus has already kicked into high gear -- did you catch this week's most-read article on EaterSF? As for numero one thousand next month, you can probably count on something goofy. We'll be in touch.

Dear Beano: I wholeheartedly agree that La Taqueria's burritos are a bad joke. I almost got into a fistfight there over the beans: I ordered refried, but they neglected to tell me they only have whole pintos. El Castillito is amazing and seriously slept-on, thought I still love El Farolito best.
Dear Apocalypse reader: A fistfight! Over beans! Who says San Francisco's so laid-back?

Dear Beano: What will happen to Burritoeater Towers when your staff vacates all the offices, cubicles, and game rooms? Will it be leased out by some "tech company"? Will the rent be reasonable? What about the Tamale Lady? Could she maybe rent there at an affordable rate?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Affordable? You're kidding, right? The Gold Rush is so on -- it's like 1849/1999 all over again. We're converting the tired old Towers into six-grand-per-month luxury condos: BMW-only parking, $22 craft cocktails at the rooftop bar, dog therapists, swimming pools, movie stars, "farm eggs," the works. This town's all about amenities, friendo...until the next downturn, anyway.

Dear Beano: I gotta ask: How much of your long-chronicled burrito obsession has to do with the actual food...and how much is attributable to some sort of Peter Pan-like flight from responsibility? Why can't you just abuse alcohol and drugs like the rest of us?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Well, for one thing, I've usually got a ton of shit to do the next day. But I do hear there's something to this trendy theory of burritos-as-escapism. No less a respected health publication than the Onion has even reported so.

Dear Beano: Do you find yourself getting emotional over all this hubbub about Burritoeater's coming retirement?
Dear Apocalypse reader: No! I am not becoming emotional! I am NOT! Now leave me ALONE!

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"Why? Why must La Taqueria front?"
--> La Taqueria, 2/11/2008

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Where There Is Burritoeater Glory, There Is a Mustachioed Bronze Bust

Over the last decade, we've been the beneficiaries of all sorts of kind and admirable help from friends, Web designers, press folks, arms dealers, you name it. As we approach lights-out time here at Burritoeater Towers, a small handful (ie. ten) of these individuals deserve special shout-outs for their support in the growth, domination, downfall, and subsequent ruination of the proud Burritoeater brand.

Today, we highlight a trio of individuals from whom we openly pilfered fine ideas back in our nascent era of biting, chewing, and mulling. The royalty checks are in the mail, gentlemen.

At one inspired point in 2003, Tyler Reed predicted that our judges panel, in the wake of our attempt to visit each and every San Francisco taqueria that year, would suffer from something akin to an "intestinal apocalypse." Little did this man of humor (if not medicine) realize that he'd accidentally named our (weekly, then monthly, and ultimately periodic) newsletter with his thankfully inaccurate prognosis. Tyler Reed, alright.

Ryin Kobza, who accompanied our panel on our very first on-record taqueria visit (Chino's Taq., 1/1/2003, Super Carne Asada, 4.00 stinkin mustaches), was the genius who first hatched the nutty idea of rating burritos in neither stars nor points nor beards, but rather, mustaches. Hats off that brilliant deed -- and don't even begin to blame him for the hypersaturation of mustache-infused design work the world has endured in all the years since.

And finally, we have Christian Frantz, who reacted to our rookie panel's ambitious plan to become an encyclopedic resource of San Francisco's sprawling taqueria scene by prophetically intoning in his inimitable Frenchman's voice: "You are the burrito eater." The rest is historical. Mais oui, ami.

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"Also, should you land in a booth near the rear of the restaurant, don't miss your chance to absorb the beauty of the borderline-cubist artwork on the nearby wall depicting...a vertical pork rotisserie."
--> Taq. El Farolito (Mission St.), 11/6/2013

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Yours, in delicious horchata,