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The Great Burrito Debate

dannyrogue May 4, 2009 12:30 AM

So it's been several years since I've been out of San Francisco and I'm planning on going back in July, and of course interested in nothing more than an onslaught of Mission-style burritos. I'm pretty sure I've got the hits for other Mexican dishes covered (El Farolito for the Super Quesadilla Suiza, Taqueria Cancun for a Carne Asada Torta, Puerto Allegre for margaritas), but I'm curious if there are any new burrito places that I'm missing. So, may the great burrito debate begin. Which restaurant/taqueria serves SF's best burrito? and what is in that tortilla?

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  1. jobostonisafoodie RE: dannyrogue May 4, 2009 11:24 AM

    My ultimate burrito is from Ocean Taqueria - #1 is on Ocean and #2 is on Divisadero. I usually get the super burrito with carne asada - with guac, crema, cheese, rice, salsa (both hot and mild), tomatoes, and refried beans on a spinach tortilla.

    That is my favorite place to get it, but I like any place that cooks the meat to order. I hate it when they scoop the meat out of a dish that has been sitting there. Cook my meat when I get there and everything should be all good. The reason why is that I like it when the burrito is super tasty, juicy, and a mess to eat. That's a real burrito to me.

    You also have a choice of putting two types of meat in the burrito. One time, my Bub got pollo asada and carne asada in their extra large burrito where they use two tortillas instead of just one. I also like their salsas - not the pico de gallo/diced tomatoes. I'm talking about the salsa verde and red sauce. Great stuff.

    My other favorites are La Tapatia - but that's in SSF, and La Corneta, but the last time I went, they didn't cook the meat to order, but the rice is great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jobostonisafoodie
      rworange RE: jobostonisafoodie May 5, 2009 05:26 PM

      Sounds like a nice tip.

      -----
      Ocean Taqueria
      1941 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127

      Ocean Taqueria 2
      1836 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94115

    2. Jumbo_Jack RE: dannyrogue May 4, 2009 10:57 PM

      I love me my meat, but I think the Veggie Burrito at Taqueria Cancun on MARKET St is one of the best burritos anywhere. (although it's technically not vegetarian because the beans are cooked traditional style with meat)

      6 Replies
      1. re: Jumbo_Jack
        dannyrogue RE: Jumbo_Jack May 6, 2009 01:10 AM

        when I lived in SF I would avoid the Market St. location and go to Mission because I found that fewer beggars would interrupt my meal.
        Also, does Cancun put cinnamon in their tortillas? They do something different there I could never quite figure out . . .

        1. re: dannyrogue
          m
          ML8000 RE: dannyrogue May 6, 2009 01:28 AM

          Cancun toasts their tortillas on the griddle just before they make the burrito. It makes a difference in my opinion, enough that it's better to eat there rather then take it to go.

          1. re: ML8000
            t
            tex.s.toast RE: ML8000 May 6, 2009 09:41 AM

            This technique is unquestionably superior, and can be found at many of the places around town, but seemingly not those with the exposed steam-table model. Taq San Francisco I mentioned above does this as does El Taco Loco, whose location out on mission near 29th i can also highly endorse (though i dont think there were any mentions in the linked-to threads). Their carnitas and al pastor are both really good, and the pollo asado is killer (and i hate chicken in burritos).

            1. re: tex.s.toast
              dannyrogue RE: tex.s.toast May 6, 2009 06:43 PM

              I know La Corneta on Mission (near 24th) also does fresh grilled meats, but their rice has bits of carrot and pea in there. But, to their credit, they have great re-fried beans.

          2. re: dannyrogue
            Jumbo_Jack RE: dannyrogue May 6, 2009 04:03 PM

            There's no can of cinnamon for the tortillas, but it is grilled in the same area as meat, so I've noticed that it sometimes picks up some nice toasty flavors from there...

            The beggars comment reminds me of a story some time ago in the Market St. location. I was having lunch at a table near the door by myself, and this young street kid/homeless person walks in the door. She grabs a handful of my chips from my tray, eats one in front of me, turns and walks out.

            The guys who have been working there over a decade just look at me and shrug.

            I still go back.

          3. re: Jumbo_Jack
            Robert Lauriston RE: Jumbo_Jack May 6, 2009 08:15 AM

            The Cancun / Tlaloc mini-chain has its own organic farm in Sonoma, so it would make sense that their veggie burrito is superior.

          4. Robert Lauriston RE: dannyrogue May 5, 2009 11:07 AM

            A fairly comprehensive topic from a couple of years ago (I don't think much has changed):

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/422377

            Some useful background here:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/41376

            1. t
              tex.s.toast RE: dannyrogue May 5, 2009 11:20 AM

              As an ex-san franciscan like you i tend to stick to old favorites, but one place that was not on my radar formerly but makes a pretty solid burrito is Taqueria San Francisco out at like 24th and York. Im pretty sure it hasnt been around all that long (its not new, but its not decades old either).

              It is mentioned in the first thread Robert linked to, but only once. They make a chile relleno burrito, which is something i associate more with so-cal than the mission, but it is a spicy, cheesy, gut bomb of the first order.

              -----
              Taqueria San Francisco
              2794 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              2 Replies
              1. re: tex.s.toast
                Jumbo_Jack RE: tex.s.toast May 5, 2009 03:57 PM

                I've never been there... is it pretty much a standard deep friend chile relleno in a burrito? Fried fresh to order or has it been sitting and then re-heated?

                1. re: Jumbo_Jack
                  t
                  tex.s.toast RE: Jumbo_Jack May 5, 2009 04:52 PM

                  It is just a standard chile relleno (though a pretty good one). I can't say definitively if its fried to order but i suspect not. This would normally bother me but i havent ever gotten one that was discernibly old, and in the context of all the other things inside the burrito im not sure a fresh-from-the-fryer relleno would make a ton of difference.

                  I would definitely recommend a trip to taq sf, as i think their all-around burritowork is first-rate. Their al pastor may not be as good as San Jose's (though it has been quite good) but they have great salsa and are spot on with their construction.

              2. r
                realspear RE: dannyrogue May 5, 2009 08:02 PM

                It's not new, but Gordo's in the Richmond has some of the best burritos in town. If you follow Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly or the same person's website burritoeater.com, you'll find it consistently at the top and I would agree.

                1. l
                  LaulauKid RE: dannyrogue May 6, 2009 11:33 AM

                  Check out this free site, www.burritoeater.com These guys rate the different taquerias in San Francisco with a mustache rating system that can be hilarious and informative to read. Thanks to them, I learned about Taqueria SF, and my favorite, El Castillito on Church because they grill their tortillas AND put the cheese on first so it melts, making every bite delish. Buen gusto, disfrutar de su comida (Tastes good, enjoy your meal).

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: LaulauKid
                    dannyrogue RE: LaulauKid May 6, 2009 06:49 PM

                    thanks for the burritoeater tip . . . quick question: how did you make the hyperlink in the text?

                    1. re: dannyrogue
                      rworange RE: dannyrogue May 7, 2009 08:25 AM

                      Just copy and past any link into the reply. Nothing else is required.

                    2. re: LaulauKid
                      d
                      Deeg67 RE: LaulauKid May 7, 2009 09:27 AM

                      I too am a big fan of El Castilito on Church. Very, very good carnitas, carne asada, pollo asado... Solid burrito across the board.

                    3. dannyrogue RE: dannyrogue May 6, 2009 06:46 PM

                      side topic: where has the best re-fried beans? not too watery but not too clay-like . . .

                      1. e
                        EdwardAdams RE: dannyrogue May 7, 2009 10:25 AM

                        Speaking of burritos, where is an east bay location to try a "California burrito", one that substitutes potatoes for the rice? My daughter informs me that they are present in the Valley towns and apparently started down south.

                        Inquiring taste buds want to know.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: EdwardAdams
                          s
                          srr RE: EdwardAdams May 7, 2009 10:31 AM

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/477746
                          This a LONG discussion about it

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