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Intestinal Apocalypse Weekly, February 17, 2004back to archive
One Burrito. Two Burrito. Three Burrito. Blargh:

- Semifinals Results: 2/9 - 2/14
- Ongoing Semifinals Schedule / Standings: 2/16 - 2/18
- Preserved Moose Onstage: 2003-04 Gas Face Awards
- ...And What Kind Of Name Is "Beano" Anyway?: Letters To The Apocalypse
- I'm An American, I Therefore Consume: Special Promotional Offers At Local Taquerias

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DELIVERY NOTE: Look for a *special* finals preview edition of the Intestinal Apocalypse Weekly this coming Friday the 20th, including a breakdown of each title contender's strengths and weaknesses, revised odds courtesy of IAW in-house wagering heavy Alex The Lithuanian, and perhaps even a bit of irritating, mookish we're-gonna-beat-their-ass bravado from the actual finals participants. Hopefully it won't be too lame.

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Presidential Hopeful Howard Dean Dines At Papalote, Hollers "YEEEEAAAAHHHAAAARRRRGGGGHHH" Following Final Bite Of Burrito

Right. The second half of the semifinal round spun into gear last week with visits paid to three of the four fortunate semifinal qualifiers. Indeed. Most of the week's attention was focused on Taqueria San Francisco's long-awaited return to form, although equal time should be paid to mild and supreme disappointments spewed forth by, respectively, Taqueria El Castillito and Aguila De Oro. Quite.

¡Carnitas! A total of 14 elements are examined during our time with a burrito. ¡Chorizo! The first 13 elements are rated on a 0-5 mustache scale, while a maximum of two bonus mustaches are allowed for intangibility. ¡Hamon! A burrito's Overall Mustache Rating is determined by dividing the total number of mustaches awarded (variable) by the number of burrito elements (a constant 13). ¡Pollo! The four highest OMRs from the eight-taqueria quarterfinals have advanced to the playoffs' semifinal round, and what's more, the top two OMRs from the semifinals shall gain invitation to the head-to-head finals, slated for the final week of February 2004. ¡Sesos!

Last week's results:

** TAQUERIA SAN FRANCISCO ** (seed: 1 odds to win title: 5-4)
Overall Mustache Rating For This Burrito --> 4.46
Ratings By Category --> size: 5 tortilla: 5 steak: 4 rice: 4 beans: 4 cheese: 5 sour cream: 3.5 vegetables: 5 sauciness: 3 spiciness: 5 ingredient mix: 4 temperature: 4.5 burstage abatement: 5 (intangibles: 1)
24th St. at York (Mission) 2/9/04
$4.75 - super carne asada
--> First semifinal visit
Comments: Possibly the largest burrito ever, seriously; brown rice and refried beans were on-point role players; as at Taq. El Castillito, the grilled-to-the-point-of-flakiness tortilla here was adhered with melted slabs of cheese, the kind Mom used to make down in Sinaloa; lime-tinged pico de gallo and hefty avocado chunks led the top-shelf veggie medley; some slightly unwieldy moments, given its herculian proportions, but thankfully no runs, drips, or ingredient dumps occurred; sour cream was globby at times, but still added a certain something; this burrito's one area of concern was a lack of saucy goodness, but everything else about it was such a sledgehammer that its low sauce content was hardly a high-profile gaffe; fear ye, fear ye -- the sleeping giant hath awoken.

** TAQUERIA EL CASTILLITO ** (seed: 3 odds to win title: 3-2)
Overall Mustache Rating For This Burrito --> 4.04
Ratings By Category --> size: 4.5 tortilla: 4 steak: 3.5 rice: 4 beans: 3.5 cheese: 4.5 sour cream: 2 vegetables: 4.5 sauciness: 4 spiciness: 4 ingredient mix: 4 temperature: 5 burstage abatement: 5 (intangibles: 0)
Church btwn. Duboce/14th St. (Duboce Triangle)
$5.49 - super carne asada
--> Second semifinal visit
Comments: And we thought we'd left behind all those regrettable burritos fouled by an overabundance of sour cream; of course there are still a few semifinal burritos to be judged, but it can't be looking good for this Duboce Triangle three-seed, gazing up the standings at Papalote and Taqueria San Francisco from its third-place window; what happened here? smaller problems like underwhelming refried beans and dull steak were overshadowed by what shall forever be known as the Great Sour Cream Gaffe of the 2004 Burrito Playoffs, in which the globby and overly intrusive supporting ingredient played the role of that one guy at the party who extends the lampshade-on-the-head gag a bit too long (or at all); the burrito's easiest categories to achieve 5s in (temperature, burstage abatement) were indeed perfected here, but it was too little too late.

** AGUILA DE ORO TAQUERIA ** (seed: 4 odds to win title: 3-1)
Overall Mustache Rating --> 3.92
Ratings By Category --> size: 4 tortilla: 3.5 steak: 4 rice: 4 beans: 4 cheese: 4 sour cream: 3.5 vegetables: 4 sauciness: 3.5 spiciness: 4.5 ingredient mix: 3.5 temperature: 4 burstage abatement: 4.5 (intangibles: 0)
3rd St. at Thomas (Bayview) 2/14/04
$4.99 - super carne asada
--> Second semifinal visit
Comments: What makes a man prepare a burrito and, in a disgusting sacrificial act which surely compromises his own epicurean integrity, then chop that same burrito in half, foil and all?; whatever the reasoning for this bizarre ritual, it underscored the graceless playoff bow-out for this previously much-respected Bayview taqueria; the tortilla was placed upon the grill...the tortilla spent sufficient time on the grill...the tortilla did not taste as if it had ever been near a grill...was the grill turned on?; steak showed improvement on the marination front, and the spice was heady throughout; still, too segregated an ingredient mix on hand here, and the runny guacamole wasn't doing anyone any favors; basically, eating this burrito was the dining equivalent of watching a late-season Brewers/Rockies game.

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Committee Derisively Called "Bunch Of Poncey Hairdressers" By Embittered La Taqueria Supporters

Semifinals wind up later this week. Finals begin Monday the 23rd. Tickets still available.

M 2/16: Taqueria San Francisco (Mission: 24th St. at York)
W 2/18 or Th 2/19: Papalote Mexican Grill (Mission: 24th St. nr. Valencia)

** Semifinals Results (Through 2/14) **
1 Taqueria San Francisco: 4.46 (1 visit)
1 Papalote Mexican Grill: 4.46 (1 visit)
3 Taqueria El Castillito: 4.19 (2 visits)
4 Aguila De Oro Taqueria: 3.96 (2 visits)

Each taqueria shall receive two visits during the semifinal round. Each burrito's pair of OMRs will then be averaged out via a complex equation known in math circles as "dividing by two."

Semifinals: Tu 2/3 - Th 2/19
Finals: M 2/23 - Su 2/29
Champion crowned!: Su 2/29
Colonostomy: M 3/1

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Overheard backstage at rehearsals:

"I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have been...that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object."

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Letters To The Apocalypse

We used to be so close. Now you never call. You don't come by. You never even write. Was it that gallon jug of steaming-hot black beans we poured down your shorts last summer? Was that it? We're so sorry. Please write:

Dear Committee: You should be a burrito this year for Hallowe'en.
The Committee seems agreeable: Um, okay. The original plan was to go as a plate of chimichangas, but that's been shelved due to our irrational fear of the deep-fryer. If we're feeling completely stupid, perhaps we'll just get all gussied up as a wrap. Or a gyro.

Dear Committee: Have you ever had one of those gyros? Those are pretty good.
The Committee grimaces: Yes, Jon. Yes we have. Sophisticated eating. Those ones with eel inside are particularly delicious.

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Every week in this space we announce our dear appreciation for our readers. This week we'd like to take things way over the line of respectable thanks and into the realm of personal violation by offering a few special discounts at select local burrito retailers, good through the end of this month.

Visit any Taqueria El Farolito in San Francisco, mention you've been sent by "Cousin Beano," and receive a 5% discount on any small order of lengua/cabeza/sesos nachos. This discount is also valid on items ordered from the Disappointing Value / Everything Contains Lettuce! menu at any local 360 Degree Gourmet Burrito location, as well as on the Bland Burrito for the Professional White Male at Baja Fresh (downtown), the Comically Overpriced Enchilada Plate at Palapas Taco Bar (also downtown), the Stupid Person's Taco at Andalé (Marina), and the Nachos Plate for the Complete Dumb-Ass at Taqueria La Alteña (Excelsior location only).

Further product tie-ins forthcoming, including "My Intestines Apocalypse Weekly, How About Yours?" buttons, stickers, and roach clips.

Questions, comments, anecdotes, list addition/removal requests always welcome and encouraged:

yours, in lard,