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Urgent: Jessie St. Balazo closed?

Hi, SF folks. I'm from Boston, but I'm in town for the annual AGU conference - we've been widely reported as the worst tipping convention in town! Yay, us!

Our convention is at the Moscone Center - mostly in the West building these days. For years, I've been going to the Jessie St. El Balazo for their carnitas burritos at lunch, and it's actually one of my favorite parts of the trip. I tried to go Monday, only to discover that it's closed!

What are my good burrito options in the immediate vicinity of Moscone? Anything within just a few blocks? The more similar to El B's the better, as far as I'm concerned, so if that helps you to narrow down my options....?

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  1. Well, since you're already all the way over on Jessie near the Mint, you might as well just continue on through the alley to 6th Street, turn right and on the opposite side of the street, just two storefronts down from Tu Lan, is Taqueria Chile Verde. Around the corner from there on Market Street is Can-cun, so you have two great options right there. I prefer the al pastor pork at both spots.

    1. Thanks! Will give one of them a shot tomorrow.

      I found an online review just now that says that the 6th St Cancun is REALLY sketchy. Is that true? Is Chile Verde ... ummm... safer?

      1 Reply
      1. re: zebedee

        I think probably the sketchiness is a reference to the neighborhood, which is, well, sketchy. No difference there between the two. They arevery close together. I have found Chile Verde a little more comfortable inside, if only because there are fewer street people wandering in and standing over you as you eat and it is a little less cramped. Check out burritoeater.com for reviews from people who are not writing for suburban newspaper readers.

      2. Excellent. You're a lifesaver! Sounds like Chile Verde is the destination. I'm not afraid of the 'loin at lunchtime.

        1 Reply
        1. re: zebedee

          Then you'll be fine--I am female and frequently walk there alone from 2nd and Mission, never had a problem.

        2. I just discovered Andale inside the food court of the new Westfield mall. They make a fine chile verde. I have gone twice and am really surprised that I really enjoy the food there. Their salsas can use a little salt sometimes, but it's worth a try if you are here for a few days.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mari

            We've resorted to that food court the last 2 days, and I'm ashamed to admit that I've been really pleased with it. But Andale looked more... Mexican?... than I'm looking for. That is, it didn't look like Mission-style food. Maybe I'll give it a shot anyway - but for a different meal than my burrito hunt.

            1. re: zebedee

              Andale is a small local chain. Better then the big boys but still a bit of a formula.

          2. CanCun is what you're looking for. Personally, I dislike Chile Verde. But
            that's just me. Tu Lan is right there too ... You are absolutely safe in this
            neighborhood. Except if an earthquake hits. That would certainly add a bit
            to the conference, though ...

            Do not go to that food court.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

              Really? I think Andale is one of my best finds in the past few months, especially on weekends when all the other Mexican joints (Maya to go and Mexico Au Park ) are closed. I just moved to the area and it suffers from decent, cheap Mexican. I don't want to walk out to 6th & Mission either and Andale fits the bill. So it's in a food court - oh well.

              1. re: Mari

                It's in a food court and it's a chain. And there's one at the airport. And it's not cheap
                by any means. I agree there's nothing there on weekends, but likewise in the Mission
                I wouldn't recommend getting a burger at McD's when Burger Joint is closed...

                This guy's looking for something great and local while he's in town for a couple
                of weekdays. Why send him to an expensive food-court chain when there's so much
                more chow-worthy stuff around?

            2. I prefer Can Cun to Chile Verde because they grill the torilla on the griddle before putting the taco or burrito together and I like the salsa there. Chile Verde is a-okay but I've been going to the Can Cun at 19th/Mission for a long time. Not quite a good but close enough. The Quesadilla Suiza at the 19th/Mission location are outstanding.

              1. I was a fan of El Balazo too. I would strongly recommend two other mission style burrito joints in the area. Mexico au Parc at 24 S Park Street (between 2nd and 3rd St.) San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 495-0409. Or you can go to Maya at 303 2nd St (cross street is Folsom St.) , San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 543-2928.If you go to Maya, there are two doors and the one on the left is for more taqueria style food, the right is the fancier mexican style sit down. If you grab a cab or bus, by far the best taqueria is La Taqueria on Mission at 25th St. Good luck!

                1. Thanks, all... just got back from Chile Verde. Had the al pastor super burrito. It was good, but not quite the same as those addictive ElB burritos. A bit runnier, and a bit higher in beans/meat ratio? There's talk of trying again tomorrow... Can-Cun or one of these last 2 shmoove suggested?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: zebedee

                    I work in the area and went to Mexico au Parc yesterday. Had the cochinita burrito with cheese, black beans and rice and it was fabulous as always-not runny at all. They do sopes, tacos, quesadillas with everything including shrimp. Trust a local guy that is married to a half-Mexican woman!

                    1. re: shmoove

                      It's not that I don't TRUST you, shmoove. I'm just hoping to build consensus :) But given the reported sketchitude of the local Can-cun, I'm certainly inclined to take your advice.

                      1. re: shmoove

                        I worked in South Park for a long time (before Mexico au Parc and it's predecessor was there) beforeI changed locations. Mexico Au Parc is good but the only reason to eat there is because it's close by. It's more Americanized then Chile Verde and on the bland side that even the salsa can't fix. It's a nice, friendly quaint place however.

                    2. Well, it turns out that I won't have time to go for lunch today before hitting the airport anyway, so I'll have to finish this mission next time I come out. Thanks for all of the input, everyone!