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Feb 7, 2002 11:56 AM

Calvin Trillin @ La Cumbre Sunday night

  • j

Calvin Trillin's daughter lives in SF. He was here visiting (and promoting his new book "Tepper Isn't Going Out"). According to Leah Garchik @ SF Chronicle he ate burritos at La Cumbre Sunday night and dim sum in Richmond District Sunday morning. After his dinner at La Cumbre he said "My father had a theory that you couldn't gain any more weight than the food weighed. So if you ate a pound of really rich chocolate, you wouldn't gain more than a pound. I gained a lot of weight last night because those things are really heavy."

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  1. We all read the paper too, ya know

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chron

      Actually there are those of us who take pains to avoid reading the comical. I appreciated the post, but was surprised that Trillin would eat one of those dreadful burritos.

      1. re: augiespal

        And you would prefer burritos from where?

        1. re: Tom Hilton

          The only Bay Area burritos I've been able to eat are the ones from La Taqueria for the simple reason that they don't include rice. To my mind, biting into a burrito and discovering that it's filled with rice is like reaching for your date's crotch and finding that it's stuffed with socks¬óboth useless fiber meant to distract from a scanty portion of meat. The first time I was faced with a rice-filled burrito was ironically in New York where it was billed as a "California" burrito. I've since converted to tacos and never looked back.

          1. re: augiespal

            I've been eating at La Taqueria since I was a kid, and the burritos have been consistently amazing (and rice-free) for the past 20+ years. It's nice that some things in this city never change -- even if that means that the seats are still uncomfortable. I once asked why their salsa is so yummy, and the guy told me it's made with "tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a lot of love."

            1. re: augiespal

              As I've said before, the rice is a relatively recent addition (or subtraction) at La Cumbre. (And I first went there 20+ years ago, so 'relatively recent' could be 10 years ago--I'm not sure.) If you ask for it without rice, you can still get what is in my opinion a damn good burrito.

              1. re: Tom Hilton

                I've never been a burrito fan, but last fall I was on my way to a baseball game and we parked right next to a taco truck that was closing up. I begged a burrito from them -- she said they were out of rice was that okay. It was dinner time and I decided I'd rather pay a couple of bucks for a burrito -- even if it turned out less than stellar -- than overpriced concession food.

                I'm now a convert to rice-free burritos. And she charged me less -- because there was no rice -- for a tastier burrito!

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I don't have any ideological objection to rice. I like two basic styles of burritos: the basic bean 'n meat type (only I have to have cheese too because, well, it's cheese), which used to be the default at La Cumbre (and even after it wasn't you could still get it if you wanted); and the super-gigante-burrito-con-todo-meatacheesasourcreamabeanariceaguacaganza. I love the simplicity of the former (of course the meat and beans both have to be really good), and I love the latter because, well, it has lots of stuff. And it's huge, which, given the choice between eating something huge and eating something enormous, I will always choose freakishly gigantic instead. Anyway, if pressed I would say the simpler style is better...but I will always have a soft spot for the other as well.

            2. re: Tom Hilton

              I personally like Tres Amigos on Hwy 1 in Half Moon Bay for burritos. Maybe because by the time I get down there I'm hungry! Anyway, theirs does the job nicely. Around here I go to Picante in San Rafael and get tacos or a flour quesadilla, which they make better than anyone.

              1. re: sharuf
                Jackie Avery

                What exactly IS it about 3 Amigos? It has cult status. I had friends who would drive the two hours from Santa Cruz just to eat there. I thought it was fine, but honestly...

                Oh, and how about Calvin Trillan's Boudin article in the New Yorker a couple of weeks ago? Mmm. Anyone ever have a boudin burrito?

              2. re: Tom Hilton

                Try an Al Pastor burrito from El Farolito, just great.

            3. re: Chron

              In addition to the fact that not everyone in the Bay Area reads the Chronicle, some people read this board who [gasp] don't live in the Bay Area.

              Don't be so provincial.

            4. I didn't read the paper that day, and was interested by the report. Thanks for posting it.

              1. Thanks for posting--I'd have posted it if you hadn't (so then I'd have taken the [unjustified] heat). ;-)

                It also mentioned that he had dim sum in the Richmond district, but didn't name the place. I'm willing to bet it was Ton Kiang.

                1. There's a La Cumbre in San Mateo. May I assume you don't mean that one?
                  A friend of mine who's fond of burritos thinks theirs are the best. I've never liked burritos much -- don't like flour tortillas. I like rice though! (To me rice has more flavor than white flour. How 'bout you?)