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Jun 6, 2014 08:41 AM

ISO of the Best Burrito

So some idiot got the idea to try and determine the best burrito in the USA by using brackets March Madness style.

The first of what promises to be many articles.

SD, by the by, has 4 contenders in the 64.

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  1. Value over replacement burrito. Nice to see Nate Silver putting his nerd cred towards something worthwhile.

    Not that I care, but I'd like to be the first to complain about Lucha Libre being included on this list - Blah blah blah blah blah Lucha Libre blah blah blah blah damn you, Adam Richman blah blah blah.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Stiflers_Mom

      Was it Guy? I think it was Adam Richman.

      1. re: DiningDiva

        u must be hallucinating....i said Adam Richman ;)

      2. re: Stiflers_Mom

        True, Dos Brasas around the corner makes a better burrito (though the salsa at Lucha Libre is far superior).

        1. re: jmtreg

          PLUS ONE. I don't think their beef is very good but their breakfast burrito (I get mine with eggs, fries, beans, bacon and cheese) is top of the line. Their tortillas are perfect. If I wanted a cali burrito though I would maybe go to LL.

          Best salsa is at El Zarape, hands down, but their tortillas are lame.

          Honorable mention to Chili Peppers and JV's always enjoyed these places. I like getting the california burrito made as a quesadilla as JVs.

        2. re: Stiflers_Mom

          I'm on the same page. They had to use Yelp as part of their methodology, and unfortunately mediocre taco shops featured on mediocre food network shows will have a lot more reviews from tourists than any local place. That's one of the problems with using Yelp. If you go to Lucha Libre on Yelp, you'll find that a substantial proportion of reviews say something like: "My SoCal buddy said I have to eat a burrito here," or "after seeing this place on..." or "since I only had one day to try real Mexican food..." A lot of these reviews are high for this place because the reviewers have almost no experience eating this kind of food. They're not necessarily wrong in saying that the food is good, but it's likely that the reviews are inflated due to the fact that it's not very hard to successfully grill meat/seafood and put it in a tortilla/

          1. re: Jottle

            I wouldn't be so harsh on LL. I remember the place pre-Man v. Food days, and it was always a good taco shop. The burritos at Dos Brasas were better, but LL was always nicer, and had better tacos than Dos Brasas.

        3. Actually, the four listed were in the "number cruncher's" top 16. Whoopie do.

          I usually yawn at "best of" lists, this "high tech" one included. El Zarape does make good burritos, and so does JV's, but are they among the very best in the country? Who knows, who cares.

          1. On to Parte Dos

            They've "seeded" the California establishments. Seeds 1 and 2 are from San Francisco (so already this whole thing is suspect), but the #3 seed is Lolitas in Clairmont.

            JVs, Lucha LIbrea and El Zarape are unseeded.


            This whole thing is so flawed, and they certainly didn't find the best burritos in SD, but we'll follow along, tongue firmly planted in cheek, and see what happens.

            Oh, and if anyone is interested here's the bracket for the "West"


            15 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva

              Curious, Diva, who you would save has the best burritos in San Diego. I realize you've covered this ground many times before, but I'm too lazy to search and maybe you've updated your opinion.

              1. re: RB Hound

                RB, I'm not much of a burrito person.

                I like the CAB at La Posta #8 on Washington in Hillcrest, partly because it's not the size of a washing machine, but mostly because the carne asada is pretty decent.

                A bean/cheese burrito is my lunch of last resort or my "I'm too tired to cook tonight" choice. If it's lunch then the B/C is from El Patron in the H-Mart shopping center. If it's dinner then it's from the Los Primos which is up the street from my house.

                On an annual basis you can probably count the number of burritos I eat on the fingers of one hand...and some years you'd probably have a few fingers left over.

                If I'm doing Mexican street food it's more likely to be tacos or tacos dorado.

                I am, however, fascinated for some strange reason, by the whole burrito phenomenon

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  I love burritos, but as I age I'm less and less able to eat them, and I hate that reheated half that I have later on. Tacos are a good solution - still get that flavor but with a lot less bulk.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    That Los Primos has one of the best carnitas burritos I've ever had in my 20 years here. Definitely a good spot for solid choices.

                2. re: DiningDiva

                  The whole stance and methodology of this Burrito search gives me the impression that it will end in a giant train wreck.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    Ding, ding, ding...winner, winner chicken dinner.

                    Although Nate Silver's claim to fame is his geeky ability to analyze massive amounts of data and make reasonably accurate predictions from it.

                    But his past stuff has been based in objective numbers and such. How do you quantify something as subjective and personal as taste?

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        Nate's acumen is best applied to politics, food is far too subjective.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          Totally agree, DD. This is one food article that has been created with little concern for the food itself. It has been put together to gain attention, for more mag sales or higher click rates. I guess train wrecks draw their fair share of gawkers.

                          1. re: DiningDiva

                            Nate's innovation was to rate the sources of his information based on historical accuracy and sample size, then apply the synthetically weighed poll numbers to generate more statistically accurate results.

                            But the problem with this poll results from not applying the same innovation--using *multiple* polls and weighting their numbers with their historical accuracy rates ("+ or - x%") and their sample sizes. Here he uses a single source of ratings (Yelp) rather than a wide spectrum of sources, and further he has no way to assign an accuracy rating as there is no way to determine incorrect "votes."

                            In short, the burrito competition suffers from the statistician's constant problem with data: garbage in, garbage out. Without a way to discern good data from bad, you have to treat all data as least common denominator garbage data.

                            1. re: nileg

                              Only way I passed Statistics and Quantitative Analysis was because I could give a live presentation of certain theorems.

                              Without those speeches, I'd still be in college.

                              1. re: nileg

                                Thank you nileg!!

                                So garbage in, garbage out = garbage burrito, no? ;-)
                                (Some would call that a Mission burrito)

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  I believe I have called Mission burritos garbage burritos in several of our burrito threads in this very forum. ;)

                                  1. re: oerdin

                                    When I was in San Francisco and craved a burrito I'd head over to La Taqueria on Mission and order a carnitas burrito with explicit instruction to serve any beans or rice on the side, not in the burrito. The resulting burrito was quite good.

                        2. If Lolita's is on the list and Rudy's isn't, then dude's doing a best of Yelp contest, not a best burrito contest.

                          Why bother having a "best burrito" thing if you start by filtering all burritos through a website whose business model is user generated content by hipsters and attention whores?

                          "Analyze the Yelp data to create an overall....." An overall list of least common denominator drivel. Congratulations on your Yelp contest Nate. It's still Yelp, no matter who wins. Just what everyone needs, a Best Of Yelp contest.

                          The best burritos in San Diego aren't even in the running. And I'll bet real money the same is true for SF Bay Area, LA, etc. Regurgitating a Yelp search is not journalism, science, or good eats. So please stop it.

                          Seriously. Please. Stop it.

                          1. More wasted space on our precious and overly active SD board. Oh, the best by Nate, I'm really impressed, like most voted best lists, total BS! We may now continue living our daily lives.