the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly Apparel Bazaar

Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly, January 2007back to archive

While all the kids were doing pretty well in December with their tree-shaped gingerbread cookies and candy-coated menorahs, our judges panel ended up with a lump of refried coal in their stockings. Details available in Bite. Chew. Mull.

Word came down of an imminent moratorium on online advice-column lampoonery, so we're maxing out our account at Satire and Co. with this month's Dear Beano.

It may be a new year, but it's the same old grouch-all down the way in Obstinate User Commentary.

This Month in Maryland School Lunch Menus contains a crucial bit of news you won't want to overlook.

And (epilogue) now includes hatchet-brandishing goons. Fun for all ages.

Pull up a food.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

That's No Way to End the Year

So much for the Scrum-fired glories of the autumn months. December saw one great burrito emerge from eight taqueria visits, and in a town as littered with highly regarded burrito shops as San Francisco, that's more than a little fishy. Enduring a flurry of lame slabs that resulted in a measly Overall Mustache Rating of 7.08 throughout 2006's final month, our panel remains convinced that some backroom graft-jockey had a 31-day laugh at Burritoeater's expense. Some heads are gonna roll in '07.

GREEN CHILE KITCHEN & MARKET (Western Addition), 12/2/06, Breakfast (Bacon): 8.64 mustaches
Great enough to take home the "Favorite Breakfast Burrito" plaque at our 2006 Slabbys.

TAQ. PEPE'S (South of Market), 12/5/06, Grande Chile Colorado (Beef): 7.17 mustaches
Red pepper flecks and a fiery salsa roja lent fierce spice all burrito long, and we couldn’t find much to quibble about with all the sauce on hand. That doesn't mean we liked the burrito, though.

TAQ. MIRALOMA (Mira Loma), 12/8/06, Super Spicy Chicken: 7.17 mustaches
Miraloma's temperature roller coaster was thrilling in all the wrong ways – too many chilly areas, not enough hot ones.

LA PLAYA TAQ. (Outer Sunset), 12/12/06, Steak Fajitas: 7.58 mustaches
La Playa’s eight-mustache ambitions were botched by an ingredient mix that made little design sense.

EL TACONAZO (Excelsior), 12/16/06, Super Pollo Picante: 7.00 mustaches
This foiled torpedo's capable veggie contingent gave us no choice but to turn to that old good dancer / firm handshake comparison we lean on in desperate times of metaphor-searching.

TAQ. CAN-CÚN (South of Market), 12/26/06, Super Pollo Asado: 6.58 mustaches
Even the spectacularly grilled tortilla let us down late, as the final pair of bites displayed a consistency more in line with a leather belt than a soft flour wrap.

LA CORNETA TAQ. (Mission), 12/28/06, Super Chicken Molé: 5.42 mustaches
Well, that sure sucked a whole bunch. We waited 362 days for the year's lowest-rated burrito to reveal itself. Special congratulations to La Corneta's completely molé-less chicken molé.

TAQ. LOS COYOTES (Crocker-Amazon), 12/31/06, Super Spicy Chicken: 7.08 mustaches
This burrito was to spice what a stone pillow is to comfort.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Beyond the Pale Refried Beans

Did you know our famed taqueria sage, Beano Cook, actually smells like sage? It's true. The old scrooge with the grey mustache and flippant social mores maintains a championship-caliber herb garden in his San Francisco back yard. When the fragrance of grilled cabeza and tripitas at the taqueria becomes too much, Beano retreats to his urban oasis of grown herbs and spices, where he chats up his bountiful coriander, mint, and paprika foliage and listens to Simon & Garfunkel records softly on the patio hi-fi.

Once he's had enough of "Scarborough Fair" and plants that never have any interesting replies, he comes back inside and checks his e-mail at

Dear Beano: I did a Google search for “lunkheaded stooge,” and the only result was your most recent review of La Corneta on Mission.
Dear Apocalypse reader: That surprises me. I would have thought by now that it would be making the journalistic rounds - particularly in political or sports coverage. I could have sworn that some college football coach called one of his noseguards a lunkheaded stooge in a recent postgame press conference for missing a block. Or maybe it was something Barbara Boxer or Condi Rice called each other recently on Meet the Press. Ah well, La Corneta deserved it first.

Dear Beano: My colleague and I were pondering trucks and burritos, and we stumped ourselves. How do they determine where to put the trucks? Do they have to get licenses or permits? Do they hover around, waiting for that perfect parking spot every morning?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Before Team Slabwagon turns the key in the ignition of its mobile taqueria and hits the open road, before anyone gets in the van and fires up the grill, most cities (including San Francisco) have an institutionalized permit process that demands compliance. As for the parking issue, each burrito truck worth its payload retains a small army of fearsome land-piranhas to occupy the truck's parking spot during the hours the truck spends elsewhere. These mythical beasts ward off potential parking rivals, while also acting as virtual street-cleaners due to their eat-anything agenda. It's magical!

Dear Beano: Settle an argument for us. I know you personally don't like sour cream in your burritos, but are you opposed to it across the board? My buddy thinks it's a travesty; he claims that putting sour cream in a hot burrito is essentially like pouring half-and-half in it. I don't have that much of a problem with it. Can you give us an unbiased opinion?
Dear Apocalypse reader: Much like tall tales of rogue fish patrolling Mission and South of Market curbs in the wee hours, a truly unbiased opinion is often more fiction than fact. Having established that, my aversion to sour cream in a burrito is more of a safety measure than anything else. There are rare instances when a taqueria employs the dairy enigma smartly; at these times, when it accents rather than overpowers its fellow ingredients, it's a success. Too often, however, sour cream in a burrito is ill-distributed, globby, and just makes for shockingly cold bites. I find that it tends to be less potentially offensive when it's involved in more linear-distributed meals - your carne asada nachos, your veggie enchiladas, your sesos tortas. It also helps make a great dip served at cocktail or game-night parties.

Dear Beano: I love the smell of horchata in the morning. Or in the evening. Whenever, really.
Dear Apocalypse reader: Very good, yes. Very nice. We all enjoy the horchata here.

Dear Beano: I enjoyed your short essay on El Farolito in the December Blargh. Although I think your underappreciation of their burritos is unfortunate, you had the good sense to recognize the place for having flourished all these years. A trip to El Farolito on Mission and 24th has always been the best taqueria experience in the city, for my money.
Dear Apocalypse reader: What about with someone else’s money? Consider this scenario: You’ve just robbed some fool on the Capp St. sidewalk near 23rd St., and now you’re hungry! It's time to eat. Which direction to go? The swirl of taqueria action at 24th and Mission is just around the corner, but that area's lousy with the fuzz day and night. Perhaps you head east down 24th, but you’re wearing a red shirt that may get you in trouble with the turf warriors just “hanging out” around Casa Sanchez. If you make your way over toward the row of Tonayense slabwagons along Harrison, you may get accosted by a stumbling escapee from SF General's mental ward who isn’t wearing any pants under that gown. And have you even considered what kind of beans you want? You're an unprepared hack.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Go Let It Out

Want to join our San Francisco taqueria share circle? It's completely anonymous, it's free, and you'll never have to listen to anyone prattle on about how great Whole Foods Market's self-service burrito bar is, mainly because it's a total catastrophe.

Send your taqueria-related views to Who knows - by participating in our forum, maybe you'll feel the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders. Of course, there's always a good chance that, with enough taqueria visits and an inadequate exercise regimen, that weight will just migrate down to your belly.

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

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

"Taq. San Jose is the underdog of 24th and Mission. I hit up El Farolito, too, but I ride for San Jose. The chips are those generic lame joints you find all over the city, but if you're going to a taqueria for nachos, then you need to take your ass back to Taco Bell. When San Jose steps up, they got the game on lock. One late morning, I showed up and got some al pastor that killed anything I'd eaten anywhere else. The carnitas are dope, too. I usually get the plate for those, or I grab a couple of tacos. Stick to the pork, 'cause they know how to rock it, although the lengua is tasty also. It's way better than overrated La Taqueria, which is for people who think salsa is exotic."

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

"The whole pintos used by default at Taq. Can-cún on Mission are a bit unfortunate, but they have nice sauces and the best plastic cups for water."

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

"Listen, El Balazo is weak. Bland and warm-ish, with poorly mixed contents. I ate there tonight and can still taste the pinto beans - pasty, undercooked. On the other hand, Chino's deserves at least a high seven-mustache rating. The guys there are the real deal, but it's a shame they got rid of the artwork. That pastel mirror SF skyline was stunning."
(Thank you for your input. Step away from the crack pipe. -Ed.)

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Cheese Zombies Available Next Tuesday!

In a significant development this past week, public school students throughout Arundel County in the Old Line State had the option of enjoying a burrito for lunch on Thursday. Other options were sub sandwiches, or turkey with gravy and a roll. All lunch packages included mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and a fruit cup.

An unconfirmed report indicated that 52% of lunch-eligible students chose the turkey, while 27% tried the sub sandwich and a mere 21% opted for burritos. Fourth-grader Anthony Talerico unenthusiastically characterized his lunch slab as "hecka weak," and blamed its shortcomings on the burrito's overall "mild soap taste." Talerico's classmate Eric Billingham was also disappointed with his entree decision, the turkey with gravy, which he said looked like "rubber with a bunch of mud poured all over it."

It was also reported that nobody in the entire county ate their cole slaw.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>


Please forward freely, yet responsibly.

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

So, this guy walks into a taqueria with a parrot on his shoulder. The guy behind the counter says to him, Hey, we don't serve...oh, to hell with it, that joke's not funny.

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

The Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly,, and The Great Mustache logo are exclusive properties of The Exploding Head Trick Publishing Co. © 2003-2007. 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 hatchet-brandishing goons your way.

Yours, in delicious horchata,