If you had only one hour in the mission where would you go?
Unfortunately, I asked that question of all of you too late. I'm in town for a few days. I had an open 1.5 hours at lunch so I bolted down to the mission district for food.
Problem was, it was my first time and I forgot my chowhound notes. Oh well, I tried to make the most of it. I got off the BART at 24th and just started walking back north.
I noticed a ton of promising looking places (in particular, how is the Nicaraguan place on Mission near 23rd? I don't know that I've ever had Nicaraguan). Anyhow, here's where I ended up. I know there are better options. And I've read a few since. But I figured I'd give a report on what I got and, if I can squeeze some time tomorrow, hope to go back.
1. Pupusas from Antojitos Aminta (2590 Mission)
This is a little pupuseria in an arcade sort of place off the West side of Mission. I had two pupusas, one with beans and cheese and another with zucchini and cheese. Both were excellent. The masa was light, moist, nicely golden and crisp without being hard. The zucchini one was the best. Excellent. Worth a return visit to sample their whole menu (as well as more pupusas too.
2. Tacos from La Pinata Tortas y Jugos, 2471 Mission
Since I'd just eaten two large pupusas, I opted for tacos since the Tortas were huge there. I got pollo al pastor (didn't have pork) and carnitas. The pollo al pastor was pretty good, but definitely lacking in flavor and spice. The moistness of the chicken made up for it. the Carnitas taco wasn't very good at all. The place really pushes their Torta De Cubana "la madre de todas las tortas". It's $9. Pretty steep, but probably good, but didn't try it. Don't go here for tacos though.
3. Yucatasia 2164 Mission
I was pretty full at this point, but when I saw a Yucatecan place, I couldn't help myself (something we are sorely lacking in the North East). I could only bear to get one taco, so I ordered (what else) cochinita pibil taco. Ok, this was really good. The cochinita was moist, a little greasy, but that's to be expected, and very tender. It could have used a bit more flavor, but with the pickled onions and habanera salsa, it was great. But what made it so good were the tortillas. Very good hand made tortillas. I was really, really impressed. I've since read more reviews on this place. Sounds like it's good they shed the Vietnamese part of the menu (where on earth did that come from??). But I really want to go back. Everyone else in there was clearly enjoying delicious food. Must go back. But it also sounds like there's even better mayan food in these parts (chichen itza?). so maybe I'll go somewhere else?
So, overall, still a very positive experience. But I know there's so much more (and quite likely, much better) options. So, if you had just one hour in the mission district, where would you spend it?