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Papalote Mexican Grill, SF - go or avoid?

I didn't see the show, but there was a Bobby Flay Throwdown at Papalote Mexican Grill in SF shown in TV last night about their burritos.

Is Papalote Mexican Grill any good? They have 2 locations: 1777 Fulton St & 3409 24th St. Which is better?

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  1. I go to the one on 24th Street at least once a week. It's good and the salsa is fantastic. The things I like about it is that the meat seems to be a little higher quality than the average taqueria, and they make everything to order - no hotel pans of precooked meat. Because of this it does take a little longer to get your food than other places. It has its detractors, but I truly don't see why.

    1. Opinions about Papalote tend to be very polarized. Many regulars love it. I don't -- although I admit I've only been there a few times. Life it too short to waste my burrito calories on ones that just do not appeal. (Their salsa is excellent, FWIW.) With their TV exposure I imagine it will get even more crowded - another reason to go elsewhere.

      1. I like Papalote, but you'll find plenty who do not. For me, it's about decent quality meat which appears to be grilled to order (carne asada), and very good salsa. Too bad they don't offer carnitas, though.

        1. Salsa was very good, but the burrito was just ok. Nicely toasted tortilla, but the beans were kind of blah. Meat not particularly memorable.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sfbing

            Exactly. It's a little too healthy to achieve the flavor to match the quality and care in preparation. The beans are vegan (no lard), the meats are lean (white meat chicken), and the rice is probably vegan too. All of that adds up to a delicious burrito when covered in their salsa, but not something that is as good as it would be with lard and dark meat chicken or carnitas. That said, you can actually eat one for dinner and not feel like you consumed a major gut bomb just before dinner.

            1. re: SteveG

              I'm usually a dark meat guy, too, but I love the juicy and well marinated chicken at Papalote. Good point, though, about them not being a gut bomb. It's actually a perfect lunch burrito in that respect.

          2. I eat at Papalote once in a while, when I feel like eating a burrito and being healthy at the same time. I think the main draw is the fact that have several vegan options, while most other taquerias have only one, if that.

            As people have mentioned, the best thing about this place is the salsa. I also like the fish tacos here. Everything else is average to me. Clean, but average. Sort of like La Corneta.