Wednesday, February 01, 2012

California 23, or, Culinary Investigation Three of Three

Sorry we accidentally took some time off in the middle of January so our California posts are leaking into February and therefore ruining the nice monthly theme thing we had going for a few months there. C'est la vie.

So then, the A-number-one food item that is awesome in San Francisco and is crap in DC? The Burrito. DC has Chipotle, which I guess is mostly better than nothing. Mostly. But San Francisco has an embarrassment of burrito riches. That said, no matter how much we love Mission burritos (and I assure you, we like them a lot), unlike our Ice Cream Day and Muni-n-Sushi Day adventures we would probably die if we tried to eat three or more burritos in a day. Evolution just didn't prepare the human digestive tract for that kind of punishment. Maybe a hippo could do it. But a person? No. I beg you, do not try it. Please. For us.

So, we decided the next best thing was to have a double-blind Pepsi Challenge Mission burrito taste test. But we didn't want to put that much effort into it, so we did a not-even-really single-blind Mission burrito taste test.

The competitors, selected for their history in both winning "Best of San Francisco" Awards from the weekly alternative newspapers or for their history of being the burrito shop closest to where we used to live, were: Tacqueria Can-Cun, which won the Best of the Bay like twenty times; El Papalote, a relative newcomer that has usurped Can-Cun's weekly alternative rag title reign; and El Farolito, which has never won anything but has two convenient locations more or less on 24th Street.

We assembled a crack team of five taste-testers, and due to the particular tastes of some of the team, ordered a chicken burrito and a veggie burrito from each location. Chips were included as usual, but were not given any weight in the voting.

In the end, the clear winner with four votes of five was El Papalote, which is I suppose an indicator that if you get a bunch of yuppies in a room they're going to vote for the yuppie burrito place with the "fresh ingredients" and the fancy website with a statement of purpose that claims their taqueria is "based on memories of sunny Sunday afternoons spent in Chapultpec, in Mexico City." Bah. Your correspondent, not unlike that one dentist who does not prefer Trident gum, voted for El Farolito, which features "everything cooked in a vat of lard" and just barely has a website at all.

In any case, we hope that this information will help guide you to the right Mission Burrito for you should you ever visit the neighborhood.

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