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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, July 2005back to archive

Dude, it’s up. Alright.

A smattering of post-launch responses from longtime Apocalypse readers:

“You've ruined me.”

“Congratulations on this awesome, hulking endeavor.”

“You should see someone about that OCD.”

“My word, it's like the Library of Congress.”

“Bright lights. City lights.”

“Very legible.”

“I’ve soiled myself.”

“Scrumptious site. It really has a lot of pizzazz!”

“Every time I feel like having a burrito, out comes the red Beano phone.”

“There are no words for this truly momentous occasion. Except for, of course: CAT JUGGLING.”

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Shorn down to the quick due to Burritoeater’s long-awaited Web arrival, Bite. Chew. Mull. still digs into the hurly-burly of last month’s taqueria visits, only in shorter order.

Dear Beano finds our resident taqueria sage on the short end of the taco stick, two tacos to one.

It’s always fun to hear what others think of various burritoterias around town. Obstinate User Commentary collects the most incisive missives to hit our inbox over the last month. It’s sort of a point/counterpoint exercise, only without the point part.

And pretty much the same old (epilogue).

Pull up a food!

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Always In That Order

June was an interesting month spent out on the taqueria tiles. Our overall number of visits was down from the norm, mainly because we were swamped getting the site ready for public consumption. But we had some swishers (La Fonda, Taq. La Fortuna, Cinco de Mayo), we had some clangers (Taq. El Not-So-Buen Sabor, 360 Degree Lunkheaded Burritos), and we even had one that included approximately six metric tons of rice (La Loma Taq.). We also had some soup on off-days.

TAQ. LA FORTUNA (Ingleside), 6/3/05, Super Grilled Chicken: 8.25 Mustaches
Seems as if some girth loss may have done the trick for this CCSF-adjacent taqueria.

CINCO DE MAYO (Portola), 6/7/05, Super al Pastor: 8.08 Mustaches
An armament of subdivided, but undeniably delicious ingredients suggested that a non-unified burrito can still succeed.

360 DEGREE GOURMET BURRITOS (Downtown / Financial Dist.), 6/10/05, Flame Broiled Steak: 6.17 Mustaches
Another opportunity for 360 Degree to set the record straight and prove that its burritowork isn’t an overpriced ruse. Another opportunity wasted. Somebody shut these places down.

TAQ. LA TROMPETA (Oceanview), 6/12/05, Supremo al Pastor: 7.67 Mustaches
A steady, thoroughly respectable slab that neither flubbed nor outstood.

LA TORTILLA (Castro), 6/14/05, Super Spicy Chicken: 7.42 Mustaches
Serviceable cylindri-food for those who enjoy a good burrito slurp every now and again.

TACOS SAN BUENA (South of Market / Mission Bay), 6/16/05, Super Asada: 7.83 Mustaches
Before taking in that next Giants home loss, stop by this slabwagon. A burrito runs about half the price of a Cha-Cha Bowl inside the brick ballyard, you know.

TAQ. CASTILLO (Civic Center / Tenderloin), 6/22/05, Super Pastor: 7.42 Mustaches
This burrito’s self-mutilation was traced to its outer layer, as its well-grilled tortilla turned into a sauce-sodden wreck by closing time.

LA FONDA (Inner Sunset), 6/24/05, Super Conchita Pibil: 8.50 Mustaches
For those wondering, 1) What cochinita pibil is, and 2) If it's some sort of lethal Paraguayan influenza - you must chill. La Fonda brings some much-needed taqueria respectability west of the Haight.

TAQ. EL BUEN SABOR (Mission), 6/26/05, Special al Pastor: 6.00 Mustaches
If this is El Buen Sabor’s idea of special, their regular burrito must be a real treat. We’ve had popsicles that were warmer. Good grief.

TAQ LA LOMA TAQ. (Portola), 6/28/05, Super Pollo Asado: 7.33 Mustaches
Just wondering if the surname of La Loma’s proprietor is “Rice.”

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Out-Gag the Host, Win a Taco

Pepper the old bean with questions at

However, do not under any circumstances salt him.

Dear Beano: How come burritos aren’t available in corn tortillas?
Dear Apocalypse reader: We looked into this. Turns out that when 19th century Mexican émigrés arrived in California, nearly every type of vegetable was available – except corn. In the wake of the Gold Rush, some of the more inventive cooks around the region hit upon an entirely different kind of pay dirt with the proletariat advent of the flour tortilla, a tasty wrap-device that includes an elastic substance called gluten. This brilliant invention enabled culinary professionals of the era to stuff more and more ingredients into these bulging proto-slabs. Corn tortillas, for all their charm, would have surely crumbled under the strain. Since the maize tortilla remains a staple of Mexican cuisine to this day, this does much to explain why burritos are so uncommon south of the border.

Dear Beano: I hit Taq. Reina’s/Raina’s/Reyna’s before picking up the car from being serviced yesterday. Pretty good. They actually tossed my meat back on the grill for a quick reheat. So it was twice asada’d. I hadn’t seen that move before. You?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Typically, the Dear Beano feature adheres to a formulaic ploy in which inquiring readers obediently assume the role of straight men/women, thus allowing our surly old character Beano to free-form his way toward punch line after crafty punch line. However, you’ve skirted this established pattern by posing a question that, in its immediacy, is way more witty than any clever response we could come up with. Nice work. You win a taco.

Dear Beano: During your lackluster days on the Peninsula, did you ever find a burrito that made you shout, "Rah!"? Signed, Beanless in Belmont.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Although we’ll state up front that your area is out of our jurisdiction, we know of a reputable La Cumbre satellite location in downtown San Mateo. We’ve heard good things about La Morena in SSF, as well as a place in Millbrae whose name we’ve misplaced at the moment. How about In-N-Out Burger in Daly City? They’re pretty good. As for Belmont – what’s the opposite of “Rah!”?

Dear Beano: So, I was checking out your very nice site. Very nice. But in looking up my fave, La Corneta, I clicked on the "Violating My Health" link. And there, in the list of no-nos, was a violation entitled "wiping rage." I kid you not. Personally, I've never found myself in the midst of a "wiping rage" after a nice La Corneta visit. A few squares of bathroom tissue have usually done the trick.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Again, our hands are tied here. Another taco.

Dear Beano: Bravo, and congratulations for the triumphant birth of Highest congratulations for your artful use of the moustache fruit iconography. In these dark days, too many forget the importance of such matters, or hide their feelings for fear of official repercussions. I hereby invite you and the entire Burritoeater family to join the Moustache Fruit Awareness Coalition. We have important work to do. ¬°Salud y bienvenidos, compañeros!
Dear Apocalypse reader: You owe us a taco.

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Talk Back All You Want, We Won’t Ground You

With neck veins a-bulgin’ and clenched fists set squarely on the hips, users and Apocalypse readers exercise their First Amendment rights and tell us what they think of various burrito shops about town. We totally encourage it. Ours may not be a user comment-driven site, but that doesn’t disallow John or Jane Q. Slab-Breath from speaking their mind, spilling their guts, and spittling their way through some sort of guac-fueled rant or rave.

Send us the ol’ what-for at

(Comments may be edited for spelling and brevity at our discretion. We’re just “that way.”)

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“At El Farolito, you need to order their al pastor, and also try their green tomatillo/avocado salsa. Then you can review this place!”

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“Your review of El Beach Burrito was true, but I thought I'd point out that while it's generally a mediocre situation there, their tofu burritos are consistently the best I've ever eaten. Whenever I order one, they pull out a block of tofu, cut it up, fry it, and then add it to the burrito. (This is not a fast burrito.) Other places have steamer trays full of pre-cooked tofu in some kind of sauce. But at El Beach, when you bite through the tortilla, the tofu is still crispy on the outside, soft on the inside...yum!!”

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“I was compelled by your good reviews of Taq. San Francisco to try it out today. I wasn't expecting the world's best burrito, especially since I don't eat meat and wouldn't be having either burrito that you’d reviewed. But I hoped to get an edible and reasonably spicy veggie burrito.

“I am very sorry to report that it was the worst burrito I've had in my entire life. Even the burritos in North Carolina were better. Now, even if we have completely different taste in burritos, that doesn’t explain why the burrito I received seemed so unrelated to the ones you have eaten.

“I asked for spicy; it was not even remotely spicy. The rice tasted oddly sweet. The beans were watery. There was, like, a pint of sour cream in the damn thing (my fault, I forgot to ask for no sour cream). There was none of the avocado I requested. The cheese was disgusting - don't even ask. About 1/4 of the way through the thing I felt nauseated, and I gave the rest to the seagulls along with the crappy chips that probably came from Costco. The salsa on the side was good, though. And the pico de gallo had jalapeños in it. But still!”

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“I used to get in arguments when I worked at Wired/Lycos because people would talk about how much they loved Victor’s. I almost got violent.”

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Yours, in delicious horchata,