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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, December 2005back to archive

The way it generally works is that we’ll drop into a burrito shop, order up, eat, jot down a few notes, leave a 175% tip, maybe kick over a few chairs, then take off. So on its own, a Burritoeater night on the town doesn’t sound real thrilling. But 14 taqueria visits in a row in Bite. Chew. Mull.? Now we’ve got fireworks.

Two e-mails from Olde Blighty this time around in Dear Beano. By all local accounts, our taqueria sage is apparently huge in the London suburbs.

We find this month’s Obstinate User Commentary to be narrow-minded, inaccurate, obtuse, and - frankly - offensive.

Everyone knows that no monthly publication tugs the heartstrings quite like the Apocalypse. December’s double shot of depresso comes courtesy of our newest feature, This Month On the Forum.

There are a couple of new quips in this month’s (epilogue), but they’re kind of tired and probably not worth digging around for, if you don’t feel like it.

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November Taqueria Jihad Captures Another 14 Burritos; Each Slab Shipped to Burritoeater Hoosegow

In between all the Slimfast shakes and watercress sandwiches prescribed by our nutritionist, we found time to schedule well over a dozen food-blimps into our month’s eating regimen. We fired our nutritionist on Thanksgiving Day.

COCINA POBLANA (Western Addition), 11/1/05, Pollo Asado: 7.58 Mustaches
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, etc. etc. Cocina Poblana is the Cassius Clay of San Francisco taquerias...except that Cassius Clay always backed it up.

LATTE EXPRESS (South of Market / Mission Bay), 11/3/05, Breakfast (Sausage): 7.45 Mustaches
Salsa? What salsa? There’s no salsa. But, of course: it’s a coffee/doughnut shop with a breakfast burrito on the menu.

TAYLOR’S TAQ. (Diamond Heights), 11/6/05, Super Grilled Steak: 7.00 Mustaches
You may or may not recall once having had it your way at the Burger King which previously occupied this storefront. Probably not.

GORDO TAQ. (Inner Sunset), 11/8/05, Super Grilled Chicken: 8.75 Mustaches
After all this time, we’ve officially boarded the Gordo fan-bus. Slab of the month, November 2005.

LA PALMA MEXICATESSEN (Mission), 11/10/05, Super Pollo: 8.08 Mustaches
Had La Palma’s production staff fulfilled our demand for a “real spicy” burrito, this would have been one of the most-mustachioed foodpieces of the year. But even without much fire in its belly, it was still pretty rad.

EL BEACH BURRITO (Outer Sunset), 11/12/05, Special Asada Chicken: 6.33 Mustaches
Even the Liberty Bell didn’t clang this hard in its heyday.

MEXICO AU PARC (South of Market), 11/14/05, Super Green Chicken Molé: 7.92 Mustaches
An eight-mustache burrito in every way but the final rating.

MAYA (NEXT DOOR) (South of Market), 11/16/05, Pork Carnitas: 7.25 Mustaches
“Fusillade”...“salvo”...“paucity.” We called in the stunt-noun task force for this one.

CHIPOTLE (Downtown / South of Market), 11/18/05, Barbacoa Fajita: 6.75 Mustaches
Chipotle’s Kool-Aid may be delicious to many and sweeping the nation, but the fact of the matter is that it’s poorly mixed and contains white, cilantro-lime rice.

EL TESORO (Tenderloin), 11/21/05, Super al Pastor: 8.33 Mustaches
Eight-and-a-third hairy ones, and an even greater number of shoulder shrugs.

LOS COMPADRES (Civic Center), 11/23/05, Super Pastor: 7.58 Mustaches
Kids love red burrito trucks. We only sort of do, though.

AGUILA DE ORO (Bayview / Silver Terrace), 11/25/05, Super Carnitas: 7.83 Mustaches
Our latest visit to Aguila de Oro coincided with their first attempt at cooking/serving carnitas; we recognized this ground-floor opportunity and ponied up for the pork.

TAQ. PANCHO VILLA (Mission), 11/27/05, Super al Pastor: 6.92 Mustaches
Limp-wristed mediocrity like this can’t continue at San Francisco’s highest-profile taqueria.

TAQ. EL PELON (South of Market), 11/29/05, Super Carne Asada: 7.00 Mustaches
We had lunch at a burrito wagon one rainy afternoon. And we didn’t get wet.

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98% Improvisation, 2% Perspiration, 100% Hogwash

Beano’s been muttering a lot lately about opening his own slabhouse in San Francisco next year. The “d.b.a.” line on his business permit application reads “Mustache,” but we’re trying to steer him away from such an austere handle.

Questions? Comments? Naming suggestions? Hit him upside the e-noggin at Don’t forget to give him hell for dating Ann Landers back in his mid-20s.

Dear Beano: I visited San Francisco in 2003, and I still have the burrito taste in my mouth. Now I’m a U.K. resident and I am at a loss, as I cannot swallow a burger the way I used to. Please put me in contact with a San Francisco burrito specialist so that I can get some advice and hopefully make myself a burrito at home.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Shepherds pie burritos - make ‘em happen. Skip the foil and just use yesterday’s newspaper. Cheers.

Dear Beano: Could you ask Burritoeater Corporate HQ if San Francisco is indeed the “burrito vortex”? I've been searching for the burrito vortex for some time. Where is that confounded burrito vortex?
Dear Apocalypse reader: OK, so that quote in The New York Times signaled our long, slow descent into punditry. Would you have preferred we describe our town as a “black food-blimp hole”? Or a “whirlpool o’ slab-doom?” Go eat some wings, you wingnut.

Dear Beano: Beans, rice, cheese, and other intrusions have place only in burritos for girlie men.
Dear Apocalypse reader: The Governator weighs in, everyone. Thanks, Slim.

Dear Beano: Given your previous life as a college football commentator for both ABC and ESPN, any thoughts on how the BCS playoffs will shake out?
Dear Apocalypse reader: No, but growing up in my homeland of Tastyslabastan, the nation’s attention routinely turned to our Burrito Olympiad every fourth autumn. A panel of sagacious, mustachioed elders would crown what they collectively deemed the top burrito in the country. Feasting, dancing, and indigestion were rampant during that joyful week. Sadly, the elite judging system was replaced in the ‘90s by a reader’s poll format, and these days the whole rigmarole has completely lost its prestige and credibility: Jim’s Crunchy Tacos is currently a three-time defending burrito master. San Francisco is now my own private Tastyslabastan.

Dear Beano: This could be a different Beano Cook I’m thinking of...but did you used to play in a skiffle duo with Mick Shrimpton? I saw you guys play at the Scarlet Pumpernickel on Leatherhead Road many years back. Top gig.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Sorry, wrong Beano. I was the guy tossing back brandy alexanders with refried bean chasers at the Troubadour back in ’74 with Lennon and Nilsson.

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Nine Fingers On the Computer Keyboard, One Finger Right In Our Face

Fervent counterpoint offerings on a pair of Mission stand-bys. Stunt vegetables in the burritoplace. Exceptional diction. It’s all here.

You, too, can participate in the mud-flinging:

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

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“I find your review of La Taqueria to be narrow-minded, inaccurate, obtuse, and - frankly - offensive. That you would prefer, for example, the bland meat, aging vegetables, and undifferentiated beans in the El Farolito burrito to the superlative offerings (that you yourselves note) in the La Taqueria burrito simply because of some additional starchy grain is, frankly, outrageous.

I insist that you try it again. Apply the salsa liberally, and try not to be so mired in your rice-centric view of the burrito. It's the best in the city, bar none.”

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“I've never had a good burrito at El Toro, never. They're bland, their salsa tastes like the previous day’s leftovers from Pancho Villa, and I've actually gotten rubber avocado there. After taking a slice out of the burrito, you could whack it against the wall and it would bounce back to you. No joke.”

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“You've been to a lot of taquerias, but it looks like you haven't visited Orale Orale - a lunchtime staple for the Financial District crowd. It's on Sacramento, just across from Embarcadero 3. I'd be interested to know how you rate it.”

(Since it’s a sit-down place, Orale Orale falls outside Burritoeater jurisdiction. Visit our FAQ for further information on our rigorous site-inclusion standards. –Ed.)

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Trouble Brewing at Portion Control

There are many innovative ideas on today’s Internet. A forum hosting a remedial discussion of Chipotle portion amounts isn’t one of them.

Cue the chase scene music when “Chipotle Employee” enters the fray (10th post down).


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Yours, in delicious horchata,