cross street: 23rd St.
Map Visits: 5
Shrug: rice (7); beans (7); cheese (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: sauciness (5)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)
Starring a heaping helping of brilliantly crispy carnitas, one hell of a grilled tortilla, and mighty lengthy length, our foiled lunch from this stalwart Mission burrito truck had enough going for it to crawl up and over our true-quality eight-mustache waterline. Indeed, its fried pork would have gone for a perfect ten mustaches had each single bite not contained three bites’ worth of meat. (Note to El Gallo Giro’s kitchen: Sharpen your cutlery.) Flawlessly tight construction and major avocado involvement also brought forth cheers from our crusty panel. A few elements acted as unwanted anvils to this burrito’s hot-air balloon aspirations, though, and we’re not necessarily referring to the ordinary-as-ordinary gets rice and beans combo. Sauciness operated at a blah minimum throughout the first 80-90% of the burrito, with the small pocket of delicious salsa verde that belatedly arrived down around the hind end hinting at what could have been; elsewhere, those vaguely melted grates of cheddar were also a drag. But this burrito’s intangible charms were strong top to bottom, and its carnitas really did a number on our taste buds in all the right ways.
Shrug: meat (7); rice (7); beans (6); vegetables (6); sauciness (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: burstage abatement (5)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
Hotter than the Hindenburg, yet boasting more hind end grease than an aging Retriever who sleeps on the floor of a Volkswagen repair shop every night, our lunch at El Gallo Giro started off well before degenerating into a misconstructed mess. The meat was essentially ground pork, and though it wasn’t short on flavor, it was short on mass – next time you need a chorizo stunt-double for your low budget film, head to El Gallo Giro. We adored the grilled-to-flaky tortilla before it turned into a grease sponge in the latter stages, while the ingredient mix got rice-heavy and veggie-deficient more often than it should have; refried beans suffered a fate similar to the veggies. Most shocking was the moment we spotted the wide-open tortilla in one corner of the low end, at which point full burstage became an inevitability. Kudos to the gutsy spice and generous amount of melted cheddar, though.
Shrug: size (7); beans (7); rice (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: vegetables (5); meat (4); spiciness (4)
Intangibility bonus: 1 (of 2)
Surprisingly sub-mediocre burritowork from this previously reliable Mission slabwagon. Things started off well enough, with early bites into the lightly grilled tortilla introducing prominent jalapeño, well-melted cheese, and a seemingly solid rice/refrieds foundation. Flavorful chicken was sure to follow, no? That’s what we expected. Instead, by the end we were left with memories of utterly punchless pollo (and not much of it, at that), cheddar we wished had been jack all along, a disappointing dearth of veggies, and really not much spice to speak of at all. The ingredient mix mockingly showcased its all-rice side, and the complete absence of anything having to do with an avocado sure didn’t help matters. Most alarmingly, a number of mid/late bites were unwittingly conscripted into the army of blah. Three clang ratings? Hrumph.