Here is an abbreviated version of our collective "reporting" from our most recent expedition (see Burritos in SF thread below). We are touring again on Monday, 27 August. All burrito-lovers welcome. GreatSFBurritoTour@yahoo.com
Explorer Tour Reports Summary for the 20 de August 2001 Expedition
Burritoria: La Taqueria 2889 Mission Street b/t 24th & 25th
" â¦ This week we went to La Taqueria. Apparently it's famous or somethingâ¦"
" â¦ The art work on the wall was lovely I really appreciated the southern flavor, the spirit totems with the jaguar stalking and the native south american culture shining clearly, without having to cut through the mundane tijuana style hype."
" â¦ Crowded place, long line that moves fast. Latinos throughout -always a good sign."
" â¦ La Tacqueria has a menu that reflects their name: no-nonsense. It's The Tacqueria, and here's The Food: burrito, taco, quesadilla. No tofu ranchero. No tequila prawn plato with mango salsa. No bullshit. No kidding."
" â¦ The mural was somewhat surreal with a tiger or leopard or cheetah or whatever in profile with two eyes on one side of its head and an unknown number of eyes on the "dark side" of the head."
" â¦ The accommodations were what one should expect from a Mission taqueria. Tile floors, wooden benches."
" â¦ The can in La Tacqueria is like a horse stall. It's got a big wooden door followed by a toilet enclosed within another big wooden door. You've got to lock THE FIRST DOOR, if you don't want the next patron to see your winkle. The second door has no latch. It's like my apartment with the broken bathroom door. Hold it closed with one leg. It felt authentic to pee in a stable, for some reason. It's weird, because I'm not, really. Stable. Maybe it was reassuring."
" â¦ The jukebox seemed to have a fine selection of music â¦"
" â¦ There was a Spanish language movie poster for A Toda Machina (ATM) signed by the two stars hanging over the 21st century ATM machine."
" â¦ there was a huge line. La Taqueria has a nice system where you stand in line and a woman comes to take your order. Then you bring the order to the register and pay."
" â¦ the burrito procurement process at La Taqueria was reasonably efficient. The line was long but it moved. I ordered a burrito vegetariano, a horchata and a corona from order-taker and thatâs what I got."
" â¦ La Taqueria was bright and bustling. I like the bench-picnic-table-style seating â¦ picnic-table-style eating makes it feel like weâre all burrito family."
" â¦ The mural on the wall seemed to have a lot going on - but I had my back to it most of the time so
I canât offer an in depth analysis here."
" â¦ the burritos were fresh and clean and good, like a sentence from Hemingway. The beers were cold and crisp, same as above. The mural on the wall was a mess of eagles and shaman and a leopard-lizard with both eyes on the same side of his face and a slithery snake and a feathered headdress and various multicolored orbs along the ground in a pastel and sand frenzy of misplaced mythopoetic mishmashed iconography. It broke the streak."
BURRITOS! And associated other consumables:
" â¦ La Taqueria is a proud and traditional establishment that serves no rice in its burritos. I honor and respect such homages to one's traditions. In tribute to what a true burrito must be there is a $0.50 charge for no beans on one's burrito. La Taqueria draws a line in the sand and yields to no man or woman on this front. They are true defenders of the burrito and its long and proud history of feeding the hungry but on its own terms. â¦ While I was not overly impressed with my meal I still salute La Taqueria."
" â¦ I must admit that when I sat down to my burrito, a carne with cheese, sourcream and avocado it was with some trepidation. As I began to unwrap its sagging form the first thing to cross my mind was that I would soon discover if size really mattered. I was very gratified to learn that it did not. While I am still a dyed in the wool El Castillitto fan, this would have to run a very close second in taste. The meat was yummy, and managed to do this without quite as much grease as my usual fare includes. The filler was tasty and who needs rice anyhow. The avocado was not in whole chunks, but upon inspection I found that the
guacamole they used passed muster, looking like it was fresh made and fairly avocado intensive."
" â¦ Lastly and firstly, my burrito. I don't consider that shredded chicken is chicken any more than I consider ground beef a steak. I sorely missed the grilled chicken choice. The rice was absent and not terribly missed, except by [Explorer] Jenny who's burrito flooded. [The theory being that had there been rice, it would have absorbed the liquid (is that good?!)]. Maybe because of the absence of rice, this was the smallest super burrito I've ever had. Overall, a decent burrito but not worth passing up all of the taquerias along the way to get to this one."
" â¦ My vegetariano burrito was pretty tasty, definite high points for flavor, but my burrito experience was tainted somewhat by the soggy limp-ness of my burrito. If the burrito were my boyfriend, I would be worried that he had lost that loving feeling. It probably needed rice to balance its internal ecosystem. It was a messy burrito, I probably used one whole napkin for each burrito bite. Size-wize it was a medium-small (like if it was 100% cotton and going to shrink at all it would definitely be a small, if it was some 50/50 blend it could possibly pass as a medium.)"
" â¦ The first thing I noticed was the low low burrito prices. That made me happy. Then I noticed the fairly low beer prices. That made me really happy. With prices like this, one can afford to splurge. So I ordered my standard veggie burrito with AVOCADO. â¦ Jenny loves avocado. â¦ I got my burrito and was a little apprehensive at first. It was floppy. There was no way it was going to stand on its own. Everyone assured me that it was okay, since the burrito was sure to be excellent. I found that my burrito was not tightly wrapped in foil. It simply had a flimsy-one-layer-of-foil sorta negligie on. â¦ Once I brought my burrito to upright position, leakage started. And it lasted all night. Wow. My burrito leaked bean juice until there was a large pool of yellowish water in my burrito basket. The liquid and leakage itself was gross-looking, but the greatness of the burrito overpowered the gross factor. â¦ I liked my burrito a lot. La Taqueria doesn't put rice in, which explains the leakage, and I'm not sure I miss it. My avocado was fresh and yummy. I explained to Chip my watered-down guac vs. fresh avocado slices theory, and he agreed. He said, "Yes. They can cut it with baby powder." â¦"
" â¦ I had the Carne Asada burrito. It was very non intimidating in size. And like an infant it would topple over if not held up. I feared it not. Even though I was not terribly hungry I knew I would be its better. The carne lacked the smoky grilled quality I yearn for in my burrito meat. I like the crunchiness that comes from the exterior being charred. Alas, my carne had none of these qualities."
" â¦ They were riceless burritos, which meant that anyone with guac or sour cream was doomed to a mini-repeat of the crazy food at El Taco Loco. The difference was that this liquid burrito was damned tasty. It was the perfect liquid burrito â¦ "
" â¦ One thing you have to look out for at La Tacqueria is the hidden cost of "everything." When I go to a sandwich place, and they say, "you want everything?", I say, "Am I an American?" I can't think of a single place where I wouldn't say yes to that question. Except maybe if my cellmate asked. Then I'd probably politely decline. It's really a stupid question to ask, outside of The Pen. Pretty much everywhere else, I'm taking the whole thing. That's why they called the whole thing an enchilada, right? Chicanos should know. "Whole enchilada?" "Si, bueno. Gracias." â¦ At La Tacqueria, everything means extra cost. There were some hidden $.70 and $.50s on the register. The cashier just rung them up, as if I was supposed to know what they were for. There weren't any $.50s on the menu. It wasn't false advertising. It was no advertising. Hidden fees. Feh. I felt like I was ordering a burrito from the phone company. â¦ Even then, the burrito was around $3.50, and it wasn't like they were saving on rice. Rice costs nothing, really. I eat a lot of rice. It's a lower-middle class thing. So it's cheap, and it's like a mission statement (No pun intended). We're different. No rice. Our burritos are runny. We want it that way. We're from the lost Mexican city of Atlantis and we enjoy aquaritos. We make them best."
" â¦ They make them best. And they only have one condiment: spicy green. Spicy green is perfectly spicy and kermit green. And it's good. I uberliquified my food roll and sucked it down like a Hoover Deluxe. I ate like the wind. I didn't stop until there was nothing but a puddle in my food basket where the chips SHOULD HAVE BEEN."
" â¦ Explorer Kelly had a Super Carne Asada, which he said had "poor ingredient distribution." The meat, he said, had "good flavor" but the burrito was "the wimpiest Iâve ever seen for a super" and "the woosy-est as far as stand-up-ability." â¦"
" â¦ As far as liquid refreshment â¦ I tried my first aqua fresca - pineapple flavored. It seemed someone had crushed up a bucket of pineapple flavored smarties and added maybe 4 or so cups of water to it. This is what it reminded me of in consistency and sugar content. However, after my tongue got over the initial sugar shock I found it quite good and contentedly sipped it all the way back to work that evening."
" â¦ My horchata was somewhat watery with too much ice to add insult to injury. Explorer Abby liked this as it complemented her Corona beer. I on the other hand like my horchata with body, like my decaf coffee."
" â¦ The horchata was watery by any objective standard, but I liked it that way, maybe because I was alternating between my horchata and corona, and the un-aggressiveness of the watery horchata made the beer-horchata-beer-horchata transitions less jarring."
" â¦ I've decided to become a horchata connoisseur on the SF Burrito Tour when it's available. Having long been an agua frescas fan, I feel I am a Qualified Horchata Taster. La Taqueria's horchata was watery and had shaved ice chips, which quickly added further to the watery flavor. When finished, there was a glob of mix, sugar, cinnamon goop at the bottom of my large cup. As this is my first horchata report, I'll just say: La Taqueria could have done better than this stuff."
" â¦ [Explorer] Kelly had the horchata, and said it was "watery." â¦"
" â¦ No chips. Those bastards had no chips. I was kinda pissed. What are they saving, three cents a meal? It's a huge bag. It's almost always stale. Hand over the chips. I need the chips. When the chips are not down, I am not down. No chips. I'm not really down with that."
" â¦ Good burrito. Pretty good cost, with all the amenities. Beer: $2. $2 is perfect. $6 for a burrito and a beer and a tip. I'm good with that."
" â¦ I shall sample both the burritos and the fresca again."
" â¦ La Tacqueria, one of the best so far."
The GSFBT has been "touring" San Francisco for burritos for a few months now - sampling different uncharted and charted burrito-serving establishments each week (give or take). We usually meet Monday eves and we discuss & review the burritos and compile a summary of our "reports" each expedition. If you'd like to join our burrito exploration crew write to: GreatSFBurritoTour@yahoo.com Muchas Gracias!