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Casa Sanchez MissionOMR: 7.08
2778 24th St.
cross street: Hampshire/York
ph. 415/282-2400
Map Visits: 4
It’s run by a friendly family that's been in the neighborhood for years. The sunny rear patio doubles as a backyard art-garden. The joyous sounds of Saturday afternoon birthday parties in the dining room often carry out onto the 24th St. sidewalk. The longtime owners once offered free lunch in perpetuity to anyone who got an image of the taqueria's plucky little mascot, Jimmy the Corn Man, tattooed on his/her person. The thick, homemade tortilla chips are second to none. And yet: Casa Sanchez’s burritos are often so disappointing. Breakfast and bottled beer available. Cash only. Closed Sundays.

Will My Health Be Violated?

03/18/11Super Chile Colorado Beef$6.507.08 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); burstage abatement (10); tortilla (8); cheese (8); ingredient mix (8)
Shrug: size (7); meat (6); rice (6); vegetables (6); sauciness (6)
Clang: beans (5); spiciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

Alright — it didn’t suh-huck. Yes, the sauce tasted distinctly off...although not as much as the refried beans tasted distinctly off. The dull, moisture-deficient meat was too fatty at times, spiciness was as tame as an urban housecat, and the rice was damn dry. But there were a handful of swish-level elements to enjoy: stooge-proof construction; hot bites (every one of them); a lightly grilled tortilla; very capably melted cheese; and, a solid ingredient mix. Casa Sanchez won’t be topping our Mustache Chart anytime soon, but this one sure beat the hell out of its shameful 2003-2007 deliverables.

05/07/07Super Carnitas$5.506.75 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (9); burstage abatement (9); spiciness (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); cheese (7); sauciness (7); rice (6); beans (6); vegetables (6)
Clang: size (5); meat (5); ingredient mix (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

The fact that this kid-sized burrito even flirted with our seven-mustache barrier was, no doubt, a step in the right direction for this much-maligned, if pleasant 24th St. mainstay. But there was still much to bellyache about here, from the far too ambitiously applied rice and clueless ingredient mix on through the de-flavored piles of lumpy meat-product - posing as fried pork - that were sprinkled throughout. So, no, we weren’t real impressed with Casa Sanchez’s carnitas. Spice certainly upped the fire ante halfway in, once the rice-domination phase passed, but such bunchiness only showcased the lousy integration we mentioned two sentences back. At least the kitchen staff had the good sense to include beans this time, unlike on our previous visit exactly two years prior. Grates of jack cheese were much more melted than not, and we were happy to dole out nine-mustache ratings for the toasty temperature and smart burstage abatement. But we’re still wondering how the grilled tortilla ended up so limp, although perhaps that’s a mystery better left unsolved.

05/07/05Super Chile Verde Pork$5.255.83 Mustaches
How? How could they just forget to include beans? But even with a spoonful of the greatest beans in the history of epicurean culture, this burrito wouldn’t have sidestepped its own de-beaned clumsiness – an unheated tortilla, some un-melted cheese, and a distressing number of un-hot bites wouldn’t have it any other way. A heaping serving of small-grain, couscous-like rice only furthered all the usual weirdness associated with a suspect ingredient mix. Meanwhile, a set of large pork chunks weren’t breaking any continental records for deliciousness, but they were comfortable in their adequacy. There was a bright side to this slab, and not just in the form of its tasty chile verde sauce and well-heeled construction. It proved yet again that an underperforming burrito can still be a perfectly satisfying lunch, because believe it or not, it wasn’t as gnarly as its sub-respectable rating suggests.
05/01/03Super Carne Asada$5.254.00 Mustaches
Big and floppy, like a drunken lineman or queen-sized futon mattress. Rarely have the right ingredients had such a wrong taste. Tough steak, pasty sauce. Verdict: ick. On the bright side, some bitchin horchata was had.