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Burrito Tectonics

SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 06:05 PM

Let's break it down, Hounds. What does make a good San Diego burrito? Some musings:

I teach a lot of music, and one mnemonic I use to have bass-clef players remember the names of the lines of the staff is Good Burritos Don't Fall Apart. This got me to thinking: is this actually true? because I've eaten a few good ones that for sure fell apart. As in a mass of sextuple-folds-of-tortilla-in-salsa-fresca-water-with-congealed-cheese-and-chunks-of-carne-asada-fall-apart-but-I'm-gona-down-it-anyway kinda fall apart. But then, there are those that have goodness+structural integrity that blow me away.

I've been to a handful of places that do something wonderful to the burrito: another turn on the plancha after being rolled for Sublime Exterior Toastiness. A secondary result: no sump of agua de salsa polluting my last five bites. I ask for it every time now. Heresy?

No rice.

No veggies, unless it's a veg deal, about which I know nothing.

These don't always do their part to offer integrity to the whole in my experience.

Salsa poured from the cups on the rack at the ensaladera, or inside de burrito?

Breakfast burritos are exempt. They hold their own, and in my opinion are like pumpkin pie: the worst slice is not much worse than the best. I love them. But no potatoes, please. Heresy?

Structural integrity. That is to be discussed. Who does it best?

Provecho!

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  1. Fake Name RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 07:16 PM

    Well, part of it is in the eating technique.

    If one chooses to unwrap the burrito entirely before dining, one deserves the unavoidable structural disaster. A properly stuffed burrito will unfold at the bottom, spilling its precious contents. And the diner is left to suffer the indignity of using a tenedor off the small styrofoam plate on which these are sometimes (and incorrectly) served- unacceptable. A amateur's mistake.

    A seasoned burrito eater should be able to consume it in the car without staining interior or clothing. Not a drop, not an errant crumb. This is advanced-level technique, and not for the timid.

    Pockets of agua de salsa are one of the hallmarks of a pooly made burrito. However, guacamole pockets are entirely acceptable, as are pockets (veins) of sour cream. In fact, advanced burrito consumers can detect the end of the burrito that has the lowest temperature, indicative of the guacamole or sour cream, and choose to begin eating from that end to assure safety of the delicate tissues of the tongue and upper palate.

    The tortilla must be made structurally stronger on the plancha, but too much time there makes it more of a egg roll, and is contraindicated in all cases. The proper ratio of blackened bits to white flour (always!) tortilla must be maintained to specification.

    Most important is the humidity of the contents. Too much precious liquid and the diner is unable to meet the eat-in-car goals, and the contents lack the harmony of flavor- fundamental in the creation of this important food group. Too little liquid has the opposite result- tastes of the components, not the synergy.

    In our next chapter, we can discuss proper conduct in the drive thru lane, communication skills, and proximity of vehicle to the pickup window.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fake Name
      SaltyRaisins RE: Fake Name Oct 29, 2012 07:35 PM

      Not an errant crumb.

      You sir, are a professional.

      I salute you.

      "When a burrito weeps from the bottom, all is lost. When a burrito weeps from it's event horizon, Viva Mexico! "
      -Winston Churchill

      ...so that is, if a single seared morsel of carne asada falls, dances 'pon styrofoamen platter, I presume that you, like me, calmly place it upon the top back within it's milieu, and respect it for it's pluckiness. No?

      1. re: Fake Name
        Beach Chick RE: Fake Name Oct 30, 2012 05:40 AM

        'In our next chapter, we can discuss proper conduct in the drive thru lane, communication skills, and proximity of vehicle to the pickup window.'

        Last year, we went to a unnamed taco shop that serves whole fried fish..took 45 minutes and we were wedged between 5 cars and the taco shop didn't have the car pull off and wait while we all could get our food and move on..

        Still reliving that moment...rat frigging bastards!

      2. ipsedixit RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 07:47 PM

        I don't know if they fit all of your criteria, but I like the burritos at Las Cuatro Milpas.

        Why? Because they meet my one and only criteria. They taste good. Damn good.

        A close second would be La Fachada (and they make an awesome plate of carne asada fries)

        19 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit
          SaltyRaisins RE: ipsedixit Oct 29, 2012 07:56 PM

          Aha! A sensualist! I thought so...

          I love LCM. I need no more in fine dining.

          I recently had the $1.99 brecko burro at the place off Cristianitos near Old Man's in Onofre. Get this:

          eggs, scrambled too hard, wet beans (skins present in bean matrix), soft tortilla, salsa verde inside de burrito, yet...as a whole...it worked. Violating all my integrity rules. A bit on the humid side, but what the hell?!

          And I was fed for the day...or at least four hours. You would like this burrito. It "tasted good," and I'd get it again, but it lacked structure, which is something I love, unaccountably, in a burrito. What gives?

          Balls!

          1. re: SaltyRaisins
            ipsedixit RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 07:59 PM

            Yeah, I guess I'm a sensualist.

            Sometimes if you overthink food you lose what is most important (and really the reason we eat food) -- the taste.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              SaltyRaisins RE: ipsedixit Oct 29, 2012 08:06 PM

              Well said. Well said.

              I've had all kinds of burritos. Don't even get me started on the enchiladas. And the totopes. Carne secas, desert cured off the winds of Dzil Ligiai's flanks in Tucson, re-stewed with acidic tomatoes off the desert floor 'round the Tohono O'odham res. Those were good. But the burrito...I guess I'd filed it away under Honkamann's "fuel" category...

              I want to know more. Where, how, why you eat it...Do people really order the Chile Relleno Burrito (CRB)?

              And it's structure...Fake's 'Guac Pockets, Veins of Crema"...vivid. Are they a proxy for cannaballism? I think so...therefore I search for bony integrity, yet I know not why.

              1. re: SaltyRaisins
                Josh RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 09:48 PM

                I used to love a good chile relleno burrito.

                1. re: Josh
                  SaltyRaisins RE: Josh Oct 29, 2012 10:26 PM

                  ...and now, Mr. Josh?

                  1. re: SaltyRaisins
                    Josh RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 10:31 PM

                    I now live in San Francisco, and have learned I am lactose intolerant. For the most part I've been eating a vegan diet, but am now going to try 30 days of paleo eating (which means no more burritos for a month).

                    Since moving here, though, I've eaten a lot of Mission-style burritos and have come to prefer them to the San Diego taco shop burrito. Actually, let me emphasize that it depends on the Mission burrito. Most of them are not that good. When they are done well, though, they are fantastic. A spot near my office makes a nopales burrito that was one of my go-to lunch options.

                    1. re: SaltyRaisins
                      r
                      RB Hound RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 29, 2012 10:31 PM

                      He's a mission style burrito traitor, Salty.

                      I don't know why he lowers himself to even visit the San Diego board any longer, unless it is to thumb his nose at us.

                      1. re: RB Hound
                        Josh RE: RB Hound Oct 29, 2012 10:53 PM

                        I still visit SD from time-to-time. Have to keep up on the latest Cheesecake Factory locations. (I have yet to see one of those up here, at least in the city.)

                        1. re: Josh
                          Fake Name RE: Josh Oct 30, 2012 05:12 AM

                          Fear not!

                          251 Geary Street San Francisco, CA 94102

                          1. re: Fake Name
                            r
                            RB Hound RE: Fake Name Oct 30, 2012 01:25 PM

                            Google says that is the only one, though. They need something for the non adventurous tourists. :)

                            1. re: Fake Name
                              Josh RE: Fake Name Oct 30, 2012 09:58 PM

                              That's the tourist area of downtown. Unsurprising that's where it'd be. Don't know how I never noticed it, though.

                            2. re: Josh
                              Beach Chick RE: Josh Oct 30, 2012 05:17 AM

                              Ha ha ha

                      2. re: SaltyRaisins
                        e
                        eatemup RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 30, 2012 07:36 AM

                        I confess to regularly ordering chile relleno burritos. A little tough on the road because the stem is usually crammed in there. The quality of this treat is widely vaiable as are the accompanying ingredients. Best with beans, guac, sour cream, salsa.

                        As for burrito consumption technique generally, I often cut the monster in half. Helps with application of salsa and salt, where needed. It is heretical, I know, but I cut my burgers in half too. Forgive me.

                        1. re: eatemup
                          Fake Name RE: eatemup Oct 30, 2012 08:25 AM

                          <facepalm>

                          Cut a burrito in half?

                          Burger, sure at a fine dining establishment.

                          This hurts just to read.

                          Wait- longitudinally? Like a vivisection? Say it's not so.

                          1. re: eatemup
                            Beach Chick RE: eatemup Oct 30, 2012 08:36 AM

                            I got your back eatemup...
                            I cut my burrito in half too.
                            I like to ooze that super hot sauce and salt for every bite..like to look at that sour cream, cheese, guac and refried beans staring at me..

                            I cut my veggie burger in half too...yeah, I said it..flame away Sir Fakey, flame away!

                            1. re: Beach Chick
                              e
                              eatemup RE: Beach Chick Oct 30, 2012 09:50 AM

                              Glad to know I'm not alone. I usually do this when I take it back to my desk and close my door. Can't abide the scorn and derision (at least not any more than I am typically subjected to).

                            2. re: eatemup
                              RhonelyInsanediego RE: eatemup Oct 30, 2012 03:37 PM

                              Sinner! Burrito Apostate!!! Never, ever, ever cut a burrito in half or suffer the scorn of the righteous chowhounders. The salt and salsa can be applied after the initial judicious bite. The only time it is ever permissible, and even this is questionable, is when sharing with another, and the person you are sharing with has a cold. More acceptable, and safe, to just buy two burritos!

                              May the salsa be with you . . . Via Con Burritos!

                            3. re: SaltyRaisins
                              DiningDiva RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 30, 2012 08:40 AM

                              Do Chile Relleno Tacos count too???

                              Rather a distant cousin of your CR Burrito, both are a modern invention

                               
                              1. re: DiningDiva
                                SaltyRaisins RE: DiningDiva Oct 30, 2012 04:52 PM

                                Wow. Excellent field work. Never seen this species before. Kinda like filling a taco with, well, a taco or something.

                                Cheers!

                      3. Beach Chick RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 30, 2012 05:15 AM

                        Salty!!
                        I don't eat meat but love me a rice, beans, gobbs of cheese with veins of guac, sour, grilled chiles cut up with super hot salsa..
                        Las Cuatro Milpas makes me me a killer bean/cheese/guac burrito and love their salsa and flour tortillas.
                        Grilled scallops, shrimp or lobster work for this drummer chica.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Beach Chick
                          Fake Name RE: Beach Chick Oct 30, 2012 07:22 AM

                          Ok, I gotta try LCM burrito. I have a weekly breakfast there and never tried it.

                        2. jmtreg RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 30, 2012 02:51 PM

                          Well, technically, there are always veggies in a San Diego burrito, as tomatoes are legally vegetables (at least for tariff purposes). Additionally, the occasional inclusion of iceberg lettuce to a carne asada burrito can be a welcome thing - at La Posta at 3 a.m., for instance. It is also common to have onions and peppers in a machaca burrito - though my favorite machaca burrito, from a now-defunct taco shop, did not have onions and peppers.

                          As far as wetness goes, it depends on the filling. Carne asada, carnitas, pollo asado, and adobada, should be moist, of course, but not create any structural issues. Chorizo and machaca (my go-to breakfast favorites) have a tendency to have too much mosture, leading to the bottom of the burrito being soggy, and usually discarded. In so doing, the eater can assure himself/herself of not being a huge glutton.

                          Lastly, the application of salsa CANNOT be made by unwrapping the burrito. This is key for two reasons: 1) it messes with the integrity of the burrito; and 2) it dilutes the flavor of the salsa (which I term hot sauce, for some reason). As the salsa is used to season the burrito's ingredients - providing heat, garlic, salt and some acidity - diluting the flavor is poor form. For that reason, taco shops with watery salsa should be shunned, even if that means (*gasp*) you have to walk an additional two blocks to fill your burrito fix.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jmtreg
                            t
                            The Office Goat RE: jmtreg Oct 30, 2012 03:34 PM

                            Having just downed a machaca burrito from Fiesta (on India) for lunch, I will say that it was blissfully free of the excess agua de salsa/tomatojuice/eggwater that can sometimes accumulate in the bottom.

                            As to a chorizo one, what accumulates in the burrito's bilge is not so much water as grease and juices from the lymph nodes and salivary glands. Often too much to do as a shot (unless you have a couple Lipitors to chew, after), but if you can find a place to safely pour this out, the remaining tortilla hull and folds will have sopped up much deliciousity, just as a few hunks of bread allow you to savor the dregs of a fine stew or a Duckett's Bucket from Fish Market..

                          2. m
                            MrKrispy RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 30, 2012 05:45 PM

                            A while back I started requesting NO PICO DE GALLO in any of my burritos that are meat based. Takes the burrito to a whole new (outstanding) level. Helps with those sloppier burritos, and doesn't muddy up other similar ingredients. Frankly, I find pico de gallo completely useless in burritos. I expect it from somewhere in the midwest or a chain restaurant (just like rice in seafood burritos).

                            25 Replies
                            1. re: MrKrispy
                              p
                              pickypicky RE: MrKrispy Oct 30, 2012 09:10 PM

                              So what is a San Diego burrito exactly?

                              And why can't I ever get a bean burrito that has just enough beans and not a big ol' blob?

                              1. re: pickypicky
                                DiningDiva RE: pickypicky Oct 30, 2012 10:51 PM

                                A San Diego style burrito has no rice, no lettuce,beans, no gussied up fancy salsas, no extraneous vegetables and in some cases no cheese. The burrito most often associated with our city is the CAB...carne asada burrito. Tortilla, carne asada, pico and guac = your basic San Diego burrito. With only 4 basic ingredients, if you screw one of them up, or the proportions of each are off the whole burrito just isn't right.

                                As for bean burritos, I'd just like one in which the beans are good from scratch and not rehydrated out of a bag. And you get a big ol' blob because the beans are portioned onto the tortilla with a scoop (for portion control you know)

                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                  foodiechick RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 12:31 AM

                                  Controversial question...what do you think of sour cream in a burrito? ;D

                                  1. re: foodiechick
                                    Beach Chick RE: foodiechick Oct 31, 2012 06:46 AM

                                    hee hee hee...beans or carne asada?

                                    ; - )

                                    1. re: foodiechick
                                      DiningDiva RE: foodiechick Oct 31, 2012 07:15 AM

                                      I adore sour cream. I can eat it with a spoon sttaight out of a container. On a carnitas burrito, no. But on a CAB or chicken burrito, as long as the person prepping it doesn't get carried away, why not. It's a strong ingredient. It can really add some rich, cool dimension. Too much and then you don't taste anything except the sour cream :-(

                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                        p
                                        pickypicky RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 09:08 AM

                                        thumbs up for crema! thumbs down for sour cream.

                                        1. re: DiningDiva
                                          t
                                          The Office Goat RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 11:46 AM

                                          Yeah, I don't have a problem with sour cream on top a burrito, but for whatever reason, I simply cannot abide [gobs of] sour cream inside a burrito. It throws off the critical ratios of the other ingredients, and turns carne asada into faux beef stroganoff.

                                          1. re: The Office Goat
                                            foodiechick RE: The Office Goat Oct 31, 2012 12:27 PM

                                            Great description "turns carne asada into faux beef stroganoff."

                                      2. re: DiningDiva
                                        Beach Chick RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 06:46 AM

                                        ' gussied up'...you said my fave word!

                                        Don't you love when you go by a taco shop and you can smell the beans cooking a block away..

                                        1. re: Beach Chick
                                          DiningDiva RE: Beach Chick Oct 31, 2012 07:17 AM

                                          Yep. My favorite burrito is actually a plain ol' bean & cheeze with some really fine salsa verde. . .and maybe a bit of sour cream.

                                          1. re: DiningDiva
                                            m
                                            MrKrispy RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 09:28 AM

                                            bean and cheese and sour cream...I can't think of a better late night burrito.

                                            1. re: DiningDiva
                                              a
                                              aloha925 RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 02:02 PM

                                              Totally agree, DD. I'm always looking to the best version of the bean 'n cheezer, as they're called in my house. Other than making it yourself, where do you find your favorite version?

                                              1. re: aloha925
                                                DiningDiva RE: aloha925 Oct 31, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                Still lookin' Aloha.

                                                There is a Los Primos close to my house and their B&C is decent. The beans, however, are too loose and the burrito gets too hard to eat by the end of it, but their salsa verde provides a nice tart contrast.

                                                The gals in the Cafe at City College make a pretty decent one. The beans are dehydrated but they're using the Del Real Salsa Verde which for a commercial product is pretty killer. And at $1.50 it's a pretty good deal.

                                                At home I really like to take black beans and turn them into pretty chunky refrieds and pile them onto the tortilla, top with a bunch of shredded cheese (jack or cheddar), add some well drained pico and a couple of squiggles of sour cream, roll and eat. The other thing that's really great is to take charro beans (i.e. they've got pork <bacon works spectacularly here> in them) and mush them up, then add the pico, cheese and crema. I know this is heresay, but shredded iceberg lettuce works surprisingly well in a B&C burrito.

                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                  ipsedixit RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                  Have you tried the b&c at Mi Rancho Taco Shop Numero Uno?

                                                  I'm not a big fan of b&c but my colleague -- who is -- swears by theirs.

                                                  I think it's the generous -- but judicious -- use of lard.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    p
                                                    pickypicky RE: ipsedixit Oct 31, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                    Yummmmmmmmmm. Lard. Where is this place?

                                                    1. re: pickypicky
                                                      ipsedixit RE: pickypicky Oct 31, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                      In Barrio Logan, corner of Main and 32nd.

                                                      Good horchatas too. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875663

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        p
                                                        pickypicky RE: ipsedixit Oct 31, 2012 04:20 PM

                                                        Thanks. Daughter coming for Thanksgiving. Need to be prepared for bean burrito stops.

                                                        1. re: pickypicky
                                                          Josh RE: pickypicky Oct 31, 2012 06:56 PM

                                                          El Cuervo in Hillcrest has awesome bean burritos. That was my go-to for months while living there. Their chile de arbol and chipotle salsas are both excellent.

                                                          1. re: Josh
                                                            SaltyRaisins RE: Josh Nov 1, 2012 09:02 AM

                                                            +1

                                                            I appreciate El Cuervo for many things, but mainly the family-run vibe. And the puerco en chile verde. Just superb.

                                                            Their birria's not to shabby, but their "bean slap" as we call the bean burrito is second-to-none. Requires a good application of hand pressure ("slap") before consuming to temper the distribution of the beans.

                                                            Roll on.

                                                            1. re: SaltyRaisins
                                                              DiningDiva RE: SaltyRaisins Nov 1, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                              I used to love the carnitas burrito at El Cuervo. I can't remember trying their B/C before. Sounds like an excuse to go eat one this weekend :-)

                                                  2. re: DiningDiva
                                                    a
                                                    aloha925 RE: DiningDiva Nov 1, 2012 05:29 PM

                                                    Thanks for the recs and recipe inspiration DD and others. Looks like I'm making burritos for dinner! Happy to have some more spots to try. I'll have to give El Cuervo another try. I've had one bean 'n cheezer there, but couldn't tell you much about it. Will have to try Mi Rancho too. I don't eat pork, but I give myself a hall pass for beans cooked in lard. Definitely my weakness! I do have a certain affinity for the b 'n c at the original Santana's (or MXN) on Rosecrans. The best I'm sure it's not, but a sentimental favorite - Santana's was the taco shop of my youth.

                                            2. re: DiningDiva
                                              j
                                              jayporter RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 10:39 AM

                                              Also, and I think this is the most distinctive quality of a San Diego burrito, it comes in a big flour tortilla which is heated on greasy plancha (flattop grill) as opposed to steamed (Mission style).

                                              Gustavo Arellano's new book "Taco USA" (title approximate) does a great job, in a brief section, of exploring the history of the San Diego taco shop. It's also a really compelling, inspiring book on the whole (and I was quite skeptical, as I wasn't engaged at all by Arellano's prior food writing).

                                              1. re: jayporter
                                                DiningDiva RE: jayporter Oct 31, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                I've only gotten about 60% of the way through Taco USA, I've found him to be a bit full of himself in parts of it and had a hard time finishing the book. Try Planet Taco by Jeffery Pilcher. I liked it better.

                                                Actually, I think the tortilla itself is a key component to a good burrito. It needs to be slightly stretchy and slightly leathery in order to hold up to all the wet ingredients going into it. I think the pit stop on the plancha helps product this type of "skin". I actually like burritos made with this type of tortilla better than some that have a flour tortilla that's too thick, too "fluffy" and too soft.

                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                  j
                                                  jayporter RE: DiningDiva Oct 31, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                  Interesting, that's what I've generally thought of his writing persona before, in spades (also that it is narrow-minded/provincial). But I got less of that in this book, which is why I enjoyed it. That said, I'm going to check out Planet Taco now, too.

                                                  1. re: jayporter
                                                    DiningDiva RE: jayporter Oct 31, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                    I think Taco USA is very narrow in many respects, especially to some of the historical difference. I did find the opening material pretty interesting, but he could have used a good editor for some of the chapter on Chili Queens and Tamale vendors. Interesting but far longer than needed to establish the historical significance of them.

                                        2. p
                                          pickypicky RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 31, 2012 09:07 AM

                                          My daughter is a bean burrito fanatic (which is hard living in Brooklyn.) She has always judged a Mex restaurant-- no matter where-- by the caliber of their beans. If the beans are homemade good, she says, it's all good.

                                          Thanks DD for the SD burrito lecture. Now I understand. I didn't realize Carne Asada was THE one. I always thought it was carnitas. Time for some sampling.

                                          1. t
                                            Tikitamra RE: SaltyRaisins Oct 31, 2012 02:14 PM

                                            Okay. This is the funniest string I have read in a long time! Thanks for the entertainment. (Native San Diegan, but will always love SF Mission style the best!)

                                            1. Tripeler RE: SaltyRaisins Nov 2, 2012 06:53 AM

                                              I love the title of this post. It sounds like the name of an alternative rock band with Chicano influences.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: Tripeler
                                                Fake Name RE: Tripeler Nov 2, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                Ranchera music played on a Theremin.

                                                1. re: Fake Name
                                                  Tripeler RE: Fake Name Nov 2, 2012 07:26 AM

                                                  Sounds as interesting as a CD I have with Eight Miles High played on a steel guitar, CW style. Hey, it works!

                                                2. re: Tripeler
                                                  Beach Chick RE: Tripeler Nov 2, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                  With Sheila E on percussion, playing on the San Andreas fault line..

                                                  1. re: Beach Chick
                                                    ipsedixit RE: Beach Chick Nov 2, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                    ... with a downpour of Purple Rain.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      Beach Chick RE: ipsedixit Nov 2, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                      yes!!!...cranked really loud!

                                                    2. re: Beach Chick
                                                      DiningDiva RE: Beach Chick Nov 2, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                      "LIKE" button.

                                                      (Actually I LOVE Sheila E...but that's another post for another forum <g>. That girl can certainly rock it)

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                                        Beach Chick RE: DiningDiva Nov 2, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                        Chick drummers certainly rock it...
                                                        ; )

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva
                                                          m
                                                          MrKrispy RE: DiningDiva Nov 2, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                          Yes, a LIKE button is a must needed upgrade for Chowhound.

                                                    3. Fake Name RE: SaltyRaisins Nov 5, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                      Tried the LCM burrito today- it's bad form to yuk other people's yum.

                                                      So I'll continue to enjoy the Chorizo con Huevo there.

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: Fake Name
                                                        SaltyRaisins RE: Fake Name Nov 5, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                        It wouldn't necessarily be yukking to tell us about the form and physical integrity of your meal, from a burrigeotechtonic standpoint. Any impact on your overall experience based on the physics of that particular burrito-ingredient matrix? Or did it just suck?

                                                        1. re: SaltyRaisins
                                                          Fake Name RE: SaltyRaisins Nov 5, 2012 03:28 PM

                                                          Without yuking the yum of others:

                                                          I found it bland, dry and chewy. It was in no danger of falling apart- the sawdust-like pork filling had so little moisture (and flavor) the entire wad stuck together like a lump of pizza dough. Or maybe a core sample of a sofa cushion.

                                                          And there was shredded lettuce.

                                                          Wasted my calorie budget.

                                                          1. re: Fake Name
                                                            r
                                                            RB Hound RE: Fake Name Nov 5, 2012 03:34 PM

                                                            If you ever write this sort of message about a meal at Hacienda de Vega, I'll have the police send out the search dogs.

                                                            1. re: RB Hound
                                                              Fake Name RE: RB Hound Nov 5, 2012 03:48 PM

                                                              again?

                                                              1. re: RB Hound
                                                                Beach Chick RE: RB Hound Nov 5, 2012 05:17 PM

                                                                He shoots he scores!
                                                                Solid

                                                              2. re: Fake Name
                                                                Josh RE: Fake Name Nov 5, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                FWIW the people I know who know Mexican food best have never had anything good to say about LCM.

                                                                Next time spend your calories at El Cuervo.

                                                                1. re: Josh
                                                                  Fake Name RE: Josh Nov 5, 2012 05:24 PM

                                                                  Yeah, yeah.

                                                                  I have a regular Monday breakfast at LCM- I'm not in any way endorsing it, heaven forbid, other than to say I like the Chorizo con Huevo, even if it tastes little like chorizo.

                                                                  Authentic or not, I enjoy eating it.

                                                                  But someone above posted a favorable view of the LCM burrito, and I self-chastised, as if I were a Franciscan friar, that I had not tried it.

                                                                  And now, like the friar, I shall punish myself for the sin of trying it.

                                                                  And josh, I'm so suprised everytime you post here. One would think you'd be too busy in that nirvana of The North to trouble yourself with San Diego and our petty squabbles.

                                                                  1. re: Fake Name
                                                                    Josh RE: Fake Name Nov 5, 2012 05:35 PM

                                                                    I still visit SD. I like to keep tabs on what's going on down there food-wise.

                                                                2. re: Fake Name
                                                                  SaltyRaisins RE: Fake Name Nov 5, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                  Aha! A rare case of oceanic crustal ruck (dense) overlaying the continental (less dense), thereby making your burrito too unit-ish, if you know what I mean and I don't mean *that.* Burrito brick- not unlike one I had from a bakery in Tucson. Dense as dark matter.

                                                                  "Meat chunks need room to move around in."
                                                                  -William S. Burroughs

                                                                  As for the lettuce...why? why? Josh? What part of a story does it tell?

                                                                  Thank you.

                                                                  A late edit:

                                                                  In Taiwan, lettuce is treated as a regular vegetable and is therefore fit for cooking. Of it I have eaten well. We here in the United States of Amurricah tend to see it as a condiment/textural element/cold green/fundament for "toppers", which, while patriotic, does tend to lend short shrift to the possibilities of iceberg cookery. Perhaps the molten heat of Hot Burrito Interior (HBI index) conflicts with my jingoistic notions of lettuceness. The once-yearly grilled romaine wedge the only exception I can think of.

                                                              3. re: Fake Name
                                                                ipsedixit RE: Fake Name Nov 5, 2012 02:42 PM

                                                                That's too bad. More for me!

                                                              4. DiningDiva RE: SaltyRaisins Nov 6, 2012 02:29 PM

                                                                So in need of an almost instanteous lunch close my office I wound up at Patron's in the shopping center at Mira Mesa Blvd & Westview Parkway.

                                                                I usually get their Bean & Cheese, which is in the C+/B- range but I was in the mood for something more substantial. CAB it was...

                                                                Here's the report and the verdict...
                                                                * Hefty...in a good way. Good portion of meat, perfect amount of pico, a smidge too much guac, but not enough to overpower the meat or make it too messy to eat

                                                                * Tortilla...slightly griddled, enough to give it the leathery stoutness to hold together through the entire meal, but not so much as to make it hard and too tough to eat.

                                                                * Carne Asada...lots of little crispy bits, but mostly thinly sliced beef (of undetermined origin) that was tender and beefy. Only 2 bites with some resistence...not gristle

                                                                * Pico...the weak point of the burrito. Not a fan of pico in which the tomatoes are underripe. Good distribution on it tho'

                                                                * Guac...most likely comes frozen, a little on the loose side, distributed down the length of the burrito. No pockets of green gold, just smooth and creamy avo goodness throughout.

                                                                * No cheese, no beans, no rice, no lettuce, just the appropriate amounts of meat, pico and guac...a burrito for a purist.

                                                                Using the usual consumption technique, I unwrapped one end and proceeded down the length of the burrito. No spils, no drips, no mess. By the end of the burrito I had to unwrap the last 2-3 inches entirely and there was no pico pocket of excess liquid, and the carne asada and tortilla both hung on until the last bite.

                                                                All in all, a surprisingly decent rendition of a CAB...and all for only $5.32 including tax, plus they had it out to me in less than 5 mintues. To be honest, I haven't been the biggest fan of Patron's, the haze is starting to clear...I was simply ordering the wrong thing. The CAB is worth every penny

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                  t
                                                                  TeeBeeinSD RE: DiningDiva Nov 11, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                                  Thank you for the review! It may save me some time as I live in the area and had previously been venturing elsewhere for my CAB (points north and south, and further away). It's too bad about their B&C - I've been having a yen for that of late, but now I also know to avoid it for fear of disappointment.

                                                                  1. re: TeeBeeinSD
                                                                    DiningDiva RE: TeeBeeinSD Nov 11, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                    Their B/C isn't not bad, and for the price it's decent. It's just not my fav. The B/C down the street at Robertos (corner of Black Mountain) is better

                                                                    I believe that Patron is actually owned by Cotija, it's definitely better than that. I'd be a little cautious with ordering, all items on their menu are not created equal.

                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                      t
                                                                      TeeBeeinSD RE: DiningDiva Nov 11, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                      Thanks, I'll check out Roberto's as well. Unfortunately, I've learned my lesson about willy-nilly ordering in the Mexican joints around here, which is completely counter to my usual behavior.

                                                                      Cotija? Really? I just had a reflexive ewww...

                                                                      1. re: TeeBeeinSD
                                                                        DiningDiva RE: TeeBeeinSD Nov 11, 2012 10:10 PM

                                                                        Cotijas is vile

                                                                  2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                    p
                                                                    pickypicky RE: DiningDiva Nov 11, 2012 08:38 AM

                                                                    now that's Burrito Tectronics! Thanks DD.

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