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Tlaloc Sabor Mexicano Financial DistrictOMR: 6.67
525 Commercial
cross street: Sansome
ph. 415/981-7800
Map Visits: 4
With a line snaking well out the door at the lunching hour, Tlaloc Sabor Mexicano is one of the Financial District’s most popular burrito purveyors. The four-story operation’s layout is inviting and inventive with three levels of dining, plenty of outdoor seating on Commercial St., and restrooms cleverly sequestered down in the basement. In other news, the “infierno” option at Tlaloc’s extensive salsa bar is among the most habanero-fueled in town, and our most recent burrito here was pretty much the pits. Breakfast available. Draft beer, margaritas, and sangria available for lunch-hour tipplers. Credit cards accepted, and with these prices, you’re gonna need ‘em. Closed evenings and weekends.

Will My Health Be Violated?

04/15/10Super Carnitas$8.756.67 Mustaches
Swish: burstage abatement (9); vegetables (8)
Shrug: rice (7); cheese (7); spiciness (7); temperature (7); size (6); tortilla (6); meat (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: beans (5); sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)

It’s rare that we experience a burrito with virtually no outstanding elements, but other than some fairly sturdy construction, nothing here even remotely boasted of greatness. Many bites were either too dry or irritatingly drippy, and most ingredients were shyly divided like boys and girls at a sixth grade after-school dance. We appreciated the extra effort brought forth by a couple avocado slices on hand, but it’s kind of hard to hang your burrito-hat on just a couple of avocado slices these days. Dimensions were on the short side, the tortilla was steamed and became shriveled and moist over time, and the sub-mediocre batch of whole beans did little to appease our grumpy panel of refried (or at least black) bean aficionados. $8.75 for soft-serve carnitas and middling intangibility? Next time we’re in the Financial District and a powerful burrito hankering hits, we’re hitting a slabwagon instead.

10/05/07Pollo Adobado$9.457.83 Mustaches
Swish: meat (10); temperature (10); burstage abatement (10); spiciness (9); rice (8); vegetables (8); ingredient mix (8)
Shrug: tortilla (7); sauciness (7); size (6); beans (6)
Clang: cheese (3)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Tlaloc earned much respect from our previously unimpressed panel with this intangibly delicious (and expensive!) effort that hit on several cylinders before succumbing to a blown head cheese gasket prior to crossing the finish line. The biggest winner here, far and away, was the Slabby award-worthy chicken, grilled without flaw and slathered in a ridiculously tasty adobe marinade. There was also a fair amount of it. Spice remained a major factor, and the vegetable contingent was augmented by the surprise inclusion of...scallions. Meanwhile, Tlaloc’s whole black beans were tiny little things that reminded us of de-pasted lentils; at least the rice picked up the beans’ slack. But just as the ingredient mix brought most elements together in seamless fashion, we were glum to discover globs of unmelted cheese at the slab’s hind end: unkind, unnecessary, and unacceptable. Hot bites and impervious construction were on the money, but the spinach tortilla seemed a bit of a needless gimmick, and the burrito’s stunted overall size didn’t impress anyone at our table. For $9.45 (we added guacamole for an extra 95 cents), the customer deserves more than 13 bites, although we sure did get a kick out of the two kinds of onion in almost every bite.

10/19/05Chorizo con Huevos$3.306.33 Mustaches
Rarely does a burrito display the ghostly presence that characterized this kid-sized A.M. foodpiece, but given the barely-there impact it had on our slab-consciousness, we may as well have had a 22 oz. bottle of oxygen for breakfast. Morning burritos in this part of town have a (deserved) reputation for being embarrassingly undersized, and Tlaloc’s was example 1A of this disturbing trend. What kind of stooges do they take us for, thinking we wouldn’t notice the 40 layers of foil they used to enhance the look of the world’s tiniest tortilla? A limp-wristed bulk-up effort, if there’s ever been one. Intangible bonus mustaches here were a total rumor, just as the egg content came off as more an interior decoration than something more integral, more useful. Some diced potatoes and fine refried beans helped the cause, and we’d be remiss to not trumpet their generous, all-melted jack/cheddar combo and well-mixed overall ensemble. Nonetheless, the all-in chorizo/egg mix was drab and unspectacular, and if anything, this one took after a recent La Salsa breakfast burrito for its scathing temperature. Difference is, we enjoyed that burrito. Not here. Chalk up a victory for Team Dull.
10/16/03Super Carne Asada$6.556.00 Mustaches
Even Tlaloc’s fearsomely flammable salsa couldn't counterattack this limp slab’s unfortunate globs of sour cream – a number of requisitely unpleasant cold bites ensued. Humble sizing and a heaping helping of pinto beans didn’t help, either. This was a fundamentally misconstructed burrito, saved from the boiling vat of utter disaster by only a few tasty, defiantly well-mixed bites.