the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, June 2008back to archive

Bite. Chew. Mull. went to eight taquerias.

Dear Beano stayed home.

Obstinate Reader Commentary had carnitas.

(epilogue) had none.

Club Slab is open. Pull up a food.

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Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Though hardly one of the most mustachioed months on record here at Burritoeater Towers, May did have a few strong slabs going for it. Winning burritos were had at El Metate, El Norteño, and Taq. El Taco Loco, while on the less successful side of the ledger, the latest burrito from one of our longtime favorites, Taq. Vallarta, couldn't have been more intangibly vacant. Elsewhere, we made first visits to the diametrically opposed environs of Mexico DF and Don Chuy's Mexi-Mercado within three days of one another -- imagine changing out of an Armani suit and into a pair of Zubaz pants, and you're getting close.

EL METATE (Mission), 5/1/2008, Super al Pastor: 8.33 mustaches
There was much to appreciate here, from melted cheese and sharp sauciness on through the subtly buoyant vegetable ensemble. Also: deliciously roasty pork. Burrito of the Month, May 2008.

CINCO DE MAYO TAQ. (Portola), 5/5/2008, Super Carnitas: 7.50 mustaches
Performance anxiety was clearly an issue in the Cinco de Mayo kitchen on the taqueria's namesake holiday.

MEXICO DF (South of Market), 5/9/2008, Super Leg of Lamb: 7.83 mustaches
Nine-dollar leg of lamb burritos. Valet parking. Hostesses! Sophistication at every turn.

DON CHUY'S MEXI-MERCADO (Excelsior), 5/12/2008, Jumbo Carnitas: 7.42 mustaches
Construction was impressive, considering the thing weighed more than Roseanne Barr. But Don, what’s with the four slices of American cheese on the jumbo burrito? Don’t do that.

JASMIN'S (Union Square), 5/17/2008, Super Chicken: 7.67 mustaches
Another quietly effective burrito we still wouldn’t go out of our way for.

TAQ. VALLARTA (Mission), 5/21/2008, Super Carne Asada: 7.25 mustaches
Our last time at Vallarta, we were presented with a masterful, Chinatown-like slab; this time, we were stuck with The Two Jakes. Clunk.

EL NORTEÑO (South of Market), 5/23/2008, Super Carnitas: 8.25 mustaches
And again, we were given no choice but to end a review by rhyming paucity with saucity.

TAQ. EL TACO LOCO (Mission), 5/29/2008, Super Breakfast (al Pastor): 8.08 mustaches
A sharply mixed burrito that somehow fell prey to the scourge of temperature inequity.

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...And Out Comes The Red "Beano Phone"

The rumpled, incorrigible old man sharing a cubicle with three summer interns down in the basement here at Burritoeater Towers? None other than our legendary (read: way past his prime) taqueria sage, Beano Cook. In his day, burritos were 35 cents and people drank horchata from large communal buckets. That day was September 19, 1927.

If you're lucky, you may catch him in a reminiscing mood: Wear your thickest-skinned suit.

Dear Beano: Have you heard about the burrito grunt?
Dear Apocalypse reader: I've in fact just returned from a week-long burrito grunt expedition in the Galapagos! They were practically jumping onboard our vessel at certain point -- so much so that it was gruntlettes and gruntcakes at breakfast, gruntwiches and gruntburgers at lunch, and pan-steamed grunt with fava beans atop a bed of frisee and fresh spring greens at dinner. Grunt-tastic. Next year, we're on for an orange roughy expedition in the North Atlantic.

Dear Beano: Please explain why there is egg in my chorizo burrito from El Norteño.
Dear Apocalypse reader: How would I know? I'm chained to this desk in a bomb shelter underneath a downtown high-rise, sharing workspace with a couple of giggly college kids our turkey of a CFO put on the summer payroll. Worst of all, one of them is eating some sort of silly "gourmet wrap," and thanks to you, I think I may smell egg in it.

Dear Beano: I love when you write “beany seepage.” Nobody else writes things like that these days.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Thanks, perv.

Dear Beano: Just got back from Florida, where I ate some crap burritos. We got a new Mexican restaurant in the town where I live in Maine, but I haven't brought myself to try it yet. I was also in San Diego recently and tried that place there you (sort of) recommended, Lucy's Taco Shop. It wasn't the Mission, but considering where I live now, anytime I can get a burrito of reasonable authenticity, I'm happy.
Dear Apocalypse reader: You're onto something here, and you may not even realize it: If you can get yourself to Bellingham, Wash., and track down a taqueria there, you'll have had a burrito in each of the four corners of the continental U.S. in the same calendar year. But they're not going to let you on the plane unless you unwedge those bits of lobster from between your teeth.

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Includes Free Trial Subscriptions To American Trucker And Hay & Forage Grower

Following a brief, but acute absence, obstinance makes a thumping return this month. And just in time, as our editorial staff was beginning to hem and haw about changing this feature's name to Limp-Wristed Reader Commentary, or simply That's Nice. Also considered: Kittens.

Web commenters! Exercise your First Amendment obstinance, but only if it related to San Francisco taquerias:

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

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"I finally made it to Fillmore Mexican Grill. It was so bland, I'm surprised I even have a memory of eating anything."

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"Seems as if The Little Chihuahua suffers from poorly branded signage and logo. Taqueria or wannabe Union Street hair salon / baby clothes boutique?"

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"I never thought to order avocado and pico de gallo with my burrito at Maya (Next Door), though I've seen it on the menu. Frankly, I'd be afraid to add that level of complexity to my order, as the counter staff have rarely wavered from fierce incompetence over the three years I've been eating there out of desperation. Also, have you noticed the manager bears a striking resemblance to Nick Nolte's DUI mug shot?"

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Yours, in delicious horchata,