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Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, January 2006back to archive

Bite. Chew. Mull. drops the curtain on the final lot of 2005’s 157 burritos in typically repetitive fashion.

Our taqueria sage didn’t pledge any real New Year’s resolutions. But Mr. Cook did mention something about wanting to incorporate the bygone term “Schweppervescence” into his Dear Beano replies as often as possible, an idea that was steamhammered post-haste by this august publication’s editor-in-chief.

We hear people wonder on occasion why doesn’t accept user comments. It’s simple, really: We don’t want them. We always enjoy receiving e-mail, and we’re happy to reprint our favorites in Obstinate User Commentary each month. Looking for community? Go to the park.

This Month In Berlin Slabhouses takes a look at the German capital’s pioneering burrito shop. Berlin now has more taquerias than San Francisco has Nena cover bands.

The petition got the required number of signatures, so we finally inserted an external link into the (epilogue).

Pull up a food.

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December’s Burritos (and Everybody’s)

As we wound down another year of handstands and other silly stunts on the San Francisco taqueria pommel horse, it became clear that our 2005 itinerary was inordinately backloaded with duds. Any month that demands visits to such clangers as Rubio’s, Carmen Taq. Express, Taq. Maná, Alex Gourmet Burrito, and the infamous La Placita has something sinister up its sleeve, even if a few burrito shops managed to keep the eight-mustache faith. What kind of morons drew up this schedule, anyway?

RUBIO’S (Downtown), 12/1/05, Especial White Meat Chicken: 6.42 Mustaches
If burritos were spots on a color chart, Rubio’s concoction would fall...right around off-white.

LA CASONA (Fisherman's Wharf), 12/4/05, Super Roast Pork: 7.17 Mustaches
La Casona boasts the most trophy date-like burrito in town - hot, well-built, and dead-boring.

LOS COMPADRES (Financial Dist. / Embarcadero), 12/6/05, Super Carnitas: 7.33 Mustaches
An even less mustachioed effort that what their Civic Center truck kicked down a few weeks prior.

TAQ. LA PAZ (Tenderloin), 12/8/05, Super Chile Colorado Beef: 8.17 Mustaches
The good news is that no part of this burrito had us cracking the thesaurus in search of new synonyms for “sucky.” There really isn’t any bad news. Slab of the month, December 2005.

CARMELINA’S TAQ. (UCSF), 12/12/05, El Cabo Chicken Molé: 7.33 Mustaches
Their extraordinary chicken molé may have taken home a 2005 Slabby, but even it couldn’t pull this burrito’s train out of Mediocrity Flats’ station.

CARMEN TAQ. EXPRESS (Downtown / Financial Dist.), 12/14/05, Super Carnitas: 6.67 Mustaches
This Market St. shoebox uses ingredients that sometimes taste as if they’ve been stored in an actual shoebox.

LA PLACITA (Portola), 12/17/05, Super Chile Verde Pork: 7.25 Mustaches
To their credit, La Placita didn’t present another two-mustache travesty-in-a-tray. But a post-construction trip to the microwave is never a good look.

TAQ. MANÁ (Union Square / Downtown), 12/19/05, Super Chicken Fajita: 6.75 Mustaches
Step inside for a bland burrito. Step outside for Stockton Tunnel exhaust fumes. You really can’t win.

FOUNTAIN CAFÉ (Downtown / Financial Dist.), 12/21/05, Breakfast (Bacon): 8.00 Mustaches
Fluffy eggs. Chunky grilled potatoes. Rad bacon. Our morning cup of slabbish satire overfloweth.

TAQ. EXPRESS (Tenderloin), 12/23/05, Super Chicken Molé: 7.83 Mustaches
Will the real Taq. Express please come forward? We’re even more confused than usual.

LA SALSA (Financial Dist.), 12/27/05, Three Pepper Fajita (Pork Carnitas): 8.08 Mustaches
Clearly a cut above all the other nationwide purveyors of cylindri-food.

ALEX GOURMET BURRITO (Financial Dist.), 12/29/05, Super Chicken Molé: 6.75 Mustaches
Someone in this taqueria’s kitchen obviously got a new flavor-removal machine for Christmas.

LUNA AZUL (Downtown / South of Market), 12/31/05, Super Carnitas: 7.58 Mustaches
Sadly, our final burrito of the year was no champ.

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Because In This Business, “Not Compliant” Is Not an Option

The codgerly-looking fellow at the end of the counter mumbling “Well, shiver me timbers” after each bite of his sesos burrito? That’s Beano Orenthal James Cook, and he’s one of ours. We prop him up in front of his old Apple II once a month to field any taqueria-related inquiries he receives at When he’s not cantankerously castigating the counter staff at 360° Gourmet Burritos for mistakenly serving him a lentil-and-jicama wrap, he’s actually kind of an approachable. The grey mustache lends credibility.

Dear Beano: "Workmanlike refried beans." Sounds like an outtake from The Beans of Wrath.
Dear Apocalypse reader: The real connection is that Steinbeck’s stories often took place down in the Salinas Valley, an area historians almost universally identify as ground zero for what would later become our beloved, oversized food-blimp. (More on all that here.) And even after all these years, it’s still happening in Soledad.

Dear Beano: I met an old friend for dinner at Chez Hammy Sagar (a.k.a. Tres Agaves) last night, and the Marina girls next to us were talkin’ They were particularly fond of the 10-Mustache Scale. Maybe those polar fleece vests with The Mustache Logo aren’t such a bad idea after all. Or the hats with a hole for pony tails out the back?
Dear Apocalypse reader: College sweatshirt-style pullovers would go gangbusters as well. It’s a gold mine on tap up there.

Dear Beano: As an avid fan of the San Francisco burrito, I was wondering if there is a taqueria that delivers? I've been searching for one and, alas, I've not been able to find one.
Dear Apocalypse reader: A few around town seem to. Depending on where you are, there’s Si Señor! near Downtown, Loco Taco Taq. on Divisadero near Page, and Taq. La Trompeta out Oceanview way. It’s unfortunate the former owners of Botana (our favorite burrito shop in the Lower Haight until it closed in 2003) aren’t doing more with

Dear Beano: Any idea how I got this rash on my arm?
Dear Apocalypse reader: No, but rub some of Mariachi’s magical refried pinto beans on it twice daily, and refrain from forearm-bashing with your “bros.” Schedule a follow-up visit with us in three weeks.

Dear Beano: You guys need a chorizo correspondent?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Not as much as we need Taq. El Gran Taco to quit hiding lima beans in their rice.

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Don’t Abstain, Obstain

Kindly send your tales of taqueria sojourns or bright ideas for better sub-headlines to Selected entries will win a valuable collection of used napkins and discarded foil (circa 2003) originally earmarked for display in the lobby at Burritoeater Corporate HQ.

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

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“I find it incredible that so many people would bother discussing / arguing about Chipotle, considering that place blows large, sweaty donkey balls. When I was working in LA not far from LAX, some of my co-workers dragged me to a nearby Chipotle. I was horrified, especially by the shitty rice, which I am glad you pointed out. I never returned. I’d rather have a Taco Bell chalupa.”

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“We read your review of our taqueria, and are a little disappointed. We only hear great things from our customers, who have all embraced the new taqueria. Maybe you can come in again and try another. Until then, if you could please remove the review.”

(Of course we’ll return at some point. That review's not going anywhere. -Ed.)

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Gordo, fool. Learn about it.”

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“Dude, eating a veggie burrito at Taq. Can-cún is wrong. Very, very wrong. The first time I went there, I ordered the super burrito with pork. It was so good, so sublime, I have never ordered anything else in all the times I’ve been there since. You can't improve on perfect, so why try?”

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Hey Look, It’s an Umlaut

Spend enough time in Berlin and you’ll get tired of currywurst before you know it. Two sharp guys spotted a gaping chasm in German restaurant options and platzed down a San Francisco-inspired burrito shop on the corner of Rosa Luxemburg and Münz. Can be far behind?

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Yours, in delicious horchata,