Filed under: Burritos | Tags: justin bieber, statistical analysis, taqueria review, time-centaurs, using googledocs for justice
Editor’s Note: This is the second in our series of reviews of local Mission taquerias. This taqueria review will feature content written by “Rob” our “Guest Taqueria Analyst.”
Erik: Methodology – Five relatively physically healthy men, not-quite young, served as subjects in the following study of taqueria tastitude™. The burrito and the taqueria were objectively measured using a variety of variables. These variables were conveniently recorded in a googledoc and are summarized at the end of this review.
Rob: Analysis – La Taqueria, or “La Taq” as it is known to local denizens, is one of the more well-known taquerias in the City. Located conveniently near the Mission & 24th St. BART stop, La Taq provides a spartan menu of burritos and tacos, with meats ranging from stewed chicken to lengua (no seafood). Our visit to La Taq presented an interesting conundrum: the taqueria’s tacos are arguably more renowned than their burritos, therefore largely responsible for La Taq’s popularity and reputation, but for the purposes of this blog we would be focusing on the burrito only.
Erik: What Rob means is “Any idiot can make a good taco.” One time, I made a taco with a hotdog, a piece of wheat bread, and ketchup. It ain’t rocket science. The burrito, on the other hand, is a science. It has a glorious history. If a San Francisco taqueria tells you it is notable for its tacos, it is simply trying to deflect criticism for suckage.
Rob: Upon entering, I was immediately struck by the colorful mural spanning the length of two adjoining walls, as well as the cheeriness of the staff. Because of the concentrated nature of the menu offerings and having had the carnitas during my previous visit, I quickly decided on a chicken burrito with cheese and avocado. The menu does not offer a “super” burrito; only one size burrito, with your choice of meat and then any sides that you wish to add. The service was prompt and courteous, without an overwhelming sense of friendliness but at a very comfortable level for an SF taqueria.
Erik: This place was fast. They read your thoughts as you enter. Ordering is just a formality to give the illusion of control in a world dominated by powerful puppet masters. The people who make the burritos (btw, what do you call someone who makes a burrito, you know, behind the counter. Are they burritistas? Like a barista but for burritos?) are like Top Gun fighter pilots: they fucking hopped up on speed like woah. No word on whether they are awesome at volley ball.
Rob: La Taqueria has a reputation for excellent meat, and the stewed chicken was no exception. Rather than having a grilled chicken like most taquerias, which has the tendency to become dry after sitting out for an extended period of time, the chicken at La Taq was stewed in a broth-based liquid, keeping the meat moist and juicy. In fact, the only minus about the meat was that it was too juicy; within the confines of the burrito, the juice from the stewed chicken began to seep outside of the wrapper, which began to cause a mess.
Erik: The meat was amazing. This is possibly because it is stewed in giant vat of meat juice. They should offer the meat juice as a drink. More on my theories of possible side-effects of excessive meat juice consumption below.
Rob: La Taq is also (in)famously known for not using any rice in their burritos, which is a rarity in the world of SF taquerias. Rice is generally an appreciated item for me, but the meat and accompaniments in La Taq are good enough to have the burrito stand on its own. However for this trip, rice would have helped the excess liquid situation, so in that sense the burrito would have been improved with some additional starch.
Erik: This place has a badass mural on the wall. It is like that old cover of “A Wrinkle in Time.” Did you get sort of uncomfortable in your pants when you saw the weird winged horse dude back in elementary school? He had such a beautiful body… ANYWAY, I really encourage them to add meat juice as a concoction for purchase. Drinking a flagon of meat juice and staring at the wall would be like listening to King Crimson with Dennis Hopper while riding a giant winged Time-Centaur while contemplating the works of Storm Thorgerson.
Rob: La Taq is unfortunately not a cheap establishment; you will find better deals at Buen Sabor, or Cancun. Any additions, such as cheese, cost extra, and with the purchase of an oat soda, the price will automatically jump in excess of $10. La Taq does not provide any chips with the burrito, like with other taquerias, and it remains to be seen whether this indicates that the establishment would prefer you to judge the burrito on its own merits, or whether they have sought to capitalize on their patrons’ fondness for tortilla chips. In conclusion, while the burrito itself was of good quality, the value was not.
Erik: This place totally robs you with the extra charges for stuff on your burrito. First, they nickel and dime you by not including rice. Then, they have the nerve to charge for every little thing. It would be one thing if their burrito was head and shoulders above a place like Taqueria Cancun which includes all kinds of goodies in a cheap burrito. Unfortunately, La Taq doesn’t even have the sense of courtesy to make their burrito taste better than every burrito. Not even a psychedelic mural can make up for that hubris!
Jeremiah’s “Hello, How are you?” Friendliness Index: 5.33/11
Overall Mouthsplosive Feel: 6/11
TOTAL SCORE: 5.93/11
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