the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, December 2006back to archive

The climactic rounds of our 2006 Slab Scrum assume front and center in this month's Bite. Chew. Mull.

Our guy absorbs the verbal hit of the year in Dear Beano with typical class and decorum.

Obstinate User Commentary is just as advertised. Anyone hoping for Exultant User Commentary may be better served elsewhere.

This publication's monthly ballast, (epilogue), is as weighty as ever.

Pull up a food.

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An Entire City: Captivated!

Although the final results were tallied mid-month, our 2006 Slab Scrum dominated San Francisco headlines and wormed its way into local conversations throughout November. And what a skirmish it was. In much the same way Papalote knocked off 2004 big fella Taq. San Francisco, it was Gordo Taq. filling Slaberella's glass slippers this time by defeating whom? Papalote, this year's heavy favorite. Riveting theater, first bite to last.

Scrum certifications shall be delivered to all eight participating taquerias shortly.

TAQ. EL CASTILLITO (Castro), 11/3/06, Super Carne Asada: 8.25 mustaches
Though hamstrung by a number of mildly irritating defects, this hefty and hulky slab still trucked through our crucial eight-mustache barrier, and then some.

PAPALOTE (Mission), 11/6/06, Super Chile Verde (Pork): 8.42 mustaches
One vaguely kinetic ingredient mix and one bean washout later, we were left with several blinding shards of foil, a scoresheet with a bunch of ratings that added up to an 8.42 OMR, and a feeling of what-might-have-been.

GORDO TAQ. (Inner Sunset), 11/9/06, Super Beef: 8.83 mustaches
Nine nine-mustache element ratings saw to it that unwavering consistency was the star of this extraordinary slab's show.

GORDO TAQ. (Inner Sunset), 11/13/06, Super Grilled Chicken: 8.75 mustaches
Gordo’s final 2006 Slab Scrum entry was every bit the blimp its semifinal forerunner was four days prior. This one earned them the crown.

PAPALOTE (Mission), 11/15/06, Super Carne Asada: 8.58 mustaches
Even when they're the runner-up, Papalote never sucks.

ANDALÉ (Union Square), 11/20/06, Super Molé de Olla: 8.33 mustaches
Kudos to Andalé for producing a burrito that transcended all the shopping mall silliness - although we were surprised our foiled lunch was paired with some chips and a side salad, and not a free cosmetics bag. Nine dollars! And seventy-five cents!

CASA MEXICANA (Castro), 11/24/06, Super Spicy Chicken: 8.08 mustaches
Portion amounts of certain ingredients could have been more equalized, and the whole thing could have lasted longer...but, hey look, eight-mustache burrito.

TAQ. EL FAROLITO (Excelsior), 11/28/06, Super Carnitas: 8.42 mustaches
This was Farolito's most-mustachioed effort to date, and it didn't even come from one of their vaunted Mission locations. Not much to grouse about here.

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Our Beloved Taqueria Sage Gets Called A Mean Name

Beano's been collared with a lot of pejoratives in his day, but never that one.

Salt his wounds and tell him you're really "P.O.'d" at him. He can take it:

Dear Beano: You call yourself "Burritoeaters"? What the hell? Gordo blows, and I ate at Papalote today because of your mustache ratings. It sucked, too. BS. You need to have your taste buds checked. Dot-com a-hole.
Dear Apocalypse reader: I'll be sure to contact my physician shortly re: the taste buds issue, right after I inquire about how I can dislodge my head from my ass for liking Gordo and Papalote's burritos so much. Thanks for the diagnosis!

Dear Beano: Great map. Love the map.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Our GIS staff appreciates the kind words. Have you interacted with our taqueria map on It wants you to interact with it.

Dear Beano: I am in San Luis Obispo today, and am wanting a burrito. Please tell me Tio Alberto's at 1131 Broad St. is the place.
Dear Apocalypse reader: TA's? It most certainly is, especially if your calendar reads "1992." Give my regards to Broad St.

Dear Beano: I wrote a haiku about your site.
Dear Apocalypse reader:
Thank you very much
I don't know much Japanese
Thank you very much

Dear Beano: Ratings aside, if you were to open a burrito place, which one would want to copy, and why?
Dear Apocalypse reader: I'd pull ideas from a number of different places. Papalote always seems to have the best possible ingredients (meats and salsa, in particular). El Castillito knows no peer when it comes to constructing a huge slab featuring a mega-grilled tortilla and loads of melted jack slices. I love the rice and the chile rellenos at La Corneta. Taq. San Francisco has the homespun cred. And if I were opening a taqueria, I'd make an effort to rip off Mariachi's refried beans recipe as much as possible. In terms of the setting itself, I'd aim for what Mexico au Parc's got. Papalote always displays compelling artwork at their two locations, which is a nice touch. On the other hand, the beer posters at Cuco's are pretty rad. I'd hire the friendly counter help away from either El Azteca or La Fonda, and I'd emulate Gordo's counter efficiency. Or perhaps Pancho Villa's. And El Farolito's agua frescas. And Cinco de Mayo's horchata. And La Cumbre's sparkly-clean restroom. These are a few of my favorite things at San Francisco taquerias.

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"You're Wrong"

Who was it who said, "Opinions are the opiate of society"? Might've been Brent Musberger. Anyway, it doesn't matter.

Send your views to, but only if they concern San Francisco taquerias. Save your thoughts on barbecue joints, noodle houses, and cupboards full of instant oatmeal for other forums.

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"Green Chile Kitchen & Market deserves another visit. I spoke with the proprietor, who said they've changed things since early on when you last visited. Breakfast burrito has potatoes, no beans, but I'm sure you can make it however you want. Good, good stuff there. Give it a shot. I know it's tough to stay away from Papalote on Fulton when you're that close, but trust me, it's worth it."
(Right you were. Thanks for the tip-off. - Ed.)

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"It's very rare that I finish a large burrito, unless it is so freaking good I just can't stop. This happened to me at Loco Taco Taq., where I didn't even pause to wipe my mouth between bites. It was so good, it made me forget my manners, like all great burritos should."

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"I'm surprised I actually agree with most of your ratings. I'm very impressed with the work you've done. I've lived in San Francisco for 18 years, and I don't think I've been to as many taquerias as you. I'd have to say that I only have two complaints out of the 167 taquerias on your site. I personally think Gordo is way overrated - not only by you, but by everybody on the west side of the city. I think their burritos are better than any west of Twin Peaks, but the only appeal in going to Gordo is if you're stuck in the Sunset or Richmond. I haven't yet been to the one on 9th Ave. next to the park, but the last time I went to Gordo in the Richmond, the burrito was, at best, mediocre. My other complaint is that El Tepa on Folsom is underrated and unknown. They deserve at least an 8.50 on your Burrichter scale, or whatever you call it. I've gone there for a long time. Most of my baby pictures are from inside there when it was still called Tepa Titlan. It's where I learned how to order a burrito in Spanish. My mother used to stand me up on the counter (the glass was still between me and the food) and walk me down while they would pile in my hands cheese and meat and beans and rice. 7.89 is good, but hardly does justice to such a wonderful taqueria. And the only reason they're closed Saturday evenings and Sundays is because their only business seems to be from my family and PG&E, and PG&E is only open on weekdays. The family that runs it lives in Alameda and has to commute early in the morning and late at night to slave day in and day out to serve us. I'm telling you, sentimental attachment aside, El Tepa serves the best burrito I've ever had in town; it's because they serve it with a slice of love."

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Please forward freely, yet responsibly.

Newsletter subscription addition/removal requests, questions, comments, and/or anecdotes always welcome:

Julie! There's a hunk of carnitas stuck in your teeth. Do something about it before that cute guy over there notices.

Kindly direct news of taqueria openings, closures, or name-changes here:

The "Give my regards to Broad St." wisecrack was directly pilfered from Ryin Kobza.

The Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly,, and The Great Mustache logo are exclusive properties of The Exploding Head Trick Publishing Co. © 2003-2006. They're ours and you can't have them, unless perhaps you ask our legal team politely. And even then, those hammerheads will probably hit you with a six-figure licensing fee that will have you seeing stars and us seeking telephone numbers for any number of offshore banks. Or perhaps we'll just send a bunch of Wiffle Bat-wielding nimrods your way.

Yours, in delicious horchata, and season's greetings to ya,