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Aug 19, 2006 08:37 PM

Looking for Best Mission Burrito in SF.

My Significant Other The very Mexican "Dommy!" of the LA board does not like the mission style steamed Burrito as is evidence from this Post about us aquiring a Fresh-o-matic Steamer for a friend:

As luck would have it we are going up there for Labor Day Weekend, Yeah it will suck with the bay bridge closed. Though I would like to give Her an example of a great Mission Burrito in the City. To me the steaming creates a solid mass which becomes better than the sum of its parts. My local one for lunch when I worked out of KQED was on Bryant at 18th street, Torrtilla Flats but I am not sure that will pass muster with her.

Any Suggestions?

Also on the trip we will be going to some Old haunts for Me
The Taco Truck On Harrison.
King Of Thai Noodles
Good Luck Dim Sum
The Tamale Lady [Virginia, I hope you are where I think you are going to be
]Frjtz Fries

And something which wasn't around while I was there and I can't wait to try on the drive up Old Port Lobster Shack

We also might try and get in a fancy dinner or two somewhere.

Take Care

- P.

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  1. I'm confused. I've seen the tortilla heated in a steamer before rolling (with or without a pad of cheese applied), but are you saying that some places steam the entire burrito after construction? That seems very strange to me, as though their steam table isn't hot enough to keep the ingredients at the proper temperature.

    I personally prefer the places that smear a bit of fat (melted lard?) around the griddle and heat the tortillas that way. In Mountain View, Taqueria La Bamba does that. I haven't been for a long time, but the Taqueria Cancun on Mission near 19th used to do that.

    1. El Farolito and Can-Cun are both tortillas-on-the-griddle shops, so you
      might find shared domestic bliss at either of those.

      After all the years, remodels, and price changes, I still rank La Cumbre
      up at the top: Regular steak, black beans, plus cheese. In 20 years I
      don't think I've ever eaten anything else there.

      The most reliable way to find the Tamle Lady is to to be hungry and
      drunk in a Mission bar. She will come.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

        Actually, the carnitas I had at La Cumbre last year were pretty good. Try a taco along with your steak.

      2. La AlteƱa warms their tortillas on the griddle instead of a steamer. Excellent al pastor. The one on Mission @ about 30th is a bit better (mainly the salsa is better), but the one on Mission @ 22nd is also very good. I think La Cumbre's time has come and gone; if you really want good carne asada just forgoe the burrito and get a combo plate of it at La Corneta. Speaking of La Corneta, if you want a pollo asado or carnitas buritto, I like their's the best. Plus they have oustanding guac and chips. They steam, but if you ask nicely (especially in Spanish), they'll throw it on the griddle for you. I speak of the Mission branch, not Glen Park which isn't as reliable.


        1. Gosh, you leave your SO and laptop alone for a few hours and you see what happens... ;)

          Anyway, I just wanted to make clear that SO meant the Steamed Tortilla style, not an actually steamed burrito, to which I would TOTALLY have to put my foot down...

          Anyway, thanks for the recs, please keep them coming! I'll be sure to report back on our vacation, I really can't wait for it! :)


          1. The steaming method, from what I understand, makes the tortilla easier to work with. Old time burrito places like La Cumbre in S.F. have been using the steam method since the early 70s and they've done fine. Yes there definately was a dip in quality at LaCumbre for many years but I was back a couple of times in the past 6 months and it was a good as it use to be. The Carne Asada was as good as back in the day.

            If you're looking for non-steamed, Taqueria Cancun (La Parilla Suiza way back when), 19th/Mission.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ML8000

              Way back in the day there was no carne asada! Nor any black beans, either.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                > Way back in the day there was no carne asada!
                La Parilla Suiza had carne asada when it first opened, as it was an integral element of their Quesadilla Suiza. If I recall correctly, their chorizo burrito, my usual order, cost $1.80 back then, and chips with a salsa verde were on the house. With an order of salty grilled scallions (cebollitas), it was an amazing combo.

                > Nor any black beans, either.
                Most definitely a recent innovation.

                1. re: Jefferson

                  Back in the day at La Cumbre, I mean. I'd been eating there for years before they added the carne asada station.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    A close friend grew up in the Mission, a few blocks from La Cumbre. He would have been 10 in the early '70s and they had carne asada then. I guess you must have been eating there in the '60s.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      When La Cumbre reopened as a taqueria in 1972, there were only steam-table meats. I'd been eating there for some years before they added the grill station at the back. At that time they also added whole pinto beans to the menu, before that it was refried only.