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Alex Gourmet Burrito Financial DistrictOMR: 7.25
545 Sansome
cross street: Washington/Clay
ph. 415/362-1384
Map Visits: 2
Once upon a time, this shopfront housed a second Bur-Eat-Os location. Then friendly new management arrived in 2005, spruced up the name, and got down to the business of creating mediocre and not particularly gourmet burritos. Six tables are available, all of which slightly larger than the plates off which customers eat. Outdoor dining available. Cash only. Breakfast available. Closed evenings and weekends.

Will My Health Be Violated?

03/06/09Super Chicken al Pastor$7.147.25 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (10); rice (9); size (8); spiciness (8); ingredient mix (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); meat (7); beans (7); vegetables (6); sauciness (6); temperature (6)
Clang: cheese (4)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Echoing a burrito we had at El Cachanilla awhile back, this hefty slab leaned heavily on red chile salsa-paste – the sort of stuff that permanently stains light-colored clothing - for spice, flavor, color, and halftime entertainment. The deeply reddened, diced chicken was workmanlike, user-friendly, and really not very notable at all – your signature seven-mustache meat, basically. Outstanding elements here were minimal, although everything was mixed fairly well and built to last, and those delicious rice grains sure were plump and moist. Alex’s gourmet refried beans were thicker than Paris Hilton’s head, but the real problems here stemmed from some substandard temperatures and a whole bunch of unmelted Jack cheese grates (never a good look in a burrito). Intangibility suffered as a result, and so did this dull shop’s mustache-fortunes.

12/29/05Super Chicken Molé$6.506.75 Mustaches
Other than ten mustaches earned for peerless construction, there was nothing here worth climbing a pointy skyscraper and shouting about. For starters, the chicken and its attendant, extra-dark molé lacked any character-defining taste – we’ve had rice cakes as flavorful, and that’s no lie. This stubby fireplug’s interior displayed a distinctly dark hue, what with all the molé, refried beans, and generally brownness clogging our panel’s arterial corridors. Fortunately, the relatively sharp pico de gallo delivered some much-needed flavor and greenery, as the guacamole also appeared to have been buried in the internal brown-out. Some notably al dente rice only further mucked up the mix in its crashing overabundance, while the grated jack cheese – even when melted – failed to add much presence. We appreciated how this burrito’s spice skirmished with our taste buds after many bites, although it was unfortunate how the jalapeño slices were so ill-distributed. The biggest letdown, however, wasn’t the minor temperature fluctuations or the perfectly ordinary steamed tortilla, but rather the remarkably bland lumps of meat-food slathered in an equally blasé sauce. Spend a few days lunching around Financial District taquerias such as this and you’d be excused for thinking San Francisco’s reputation as a global burrito trendsetter is a total sham.