It saddens me to have to drop the dime on La Palma Mexicatessen(24th. st.) because I love that place. But when you are insulted by being forced to bite down on FOUR half inch square pieces of gristle in one steak burrito, the time has come to call a halt, or call ghostbusters, or something. Call Jim Leff for God's sake. He loves that place. I think he wrote an article about it. Mucho, mucho cartilago in mi burrito! Ayudame, por favor!
Not only that, but that meat did not have the beefy sabroso one normally associates with skirt steak. Skirt steak is a cheap but flavorful cut of beef that's why they use it in carne asada burritos. But no, this meat was something else, something more questionable. Mystery meat! Not beefy...but rubbery, dry...nasty!
All I can do is stop eating their burritos. And I'll tell you why: we had 3 burritos - they ALL contained mucho cartilago. This was no fluke. Whoever lied their way into the job of meat cutter at La Palma is passive agressive. We'll never know why. But this was no accident. I cut meat, on a regular basis, for home use. Not every day, but often enough to know that if you're cutting up raw meat into small pieces, it is certainly easy enough to spot half inch square solid chunks of gristle and remove them from the meat before it gets cooked and served to innocent customers.
I was tempted to call La Palma and tell the manager about the mucho cartilago (gristle), in my broken spanish, if necessary. But I've got a bad cold. I do take these things to heart. As a chowhound, I feel I have a responsibility to speak up politely but firmly when I see a San Francisco institution, like La Palma Mexicatessen, seriously slacking off. Let's face it, if loyal customers take the time to tell them about a serious problem, that is the only chance they are going to have to remedy the situation before their customer base starts to decline. Like the vicious circle at La Cumbre when they started serving dry meat and less people ate there, and consequently the meat had to sit around waiting longer and getting dryer. Rot has got to be nipped in the bud!
Just as soon as I feel better, La Palma is going to hear about the mucho carilago problemo - pronto.
Question: what taquerias near La Palma make really good steak burritos - carne asada?