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Friday, February 25, 2011

No. 58: Taqueria San Francisco's Regular Carnitas Burrito

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Taqueria San Francisco's regular burrito with carnitas, $5. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • Taqueria San Francisco's regular burrito with carnitas, $5.

SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.


So much can go wrong in the making of a burrito: The rice can be bland or overabundant, vacuuming up all the flavor of the meat and salsa. The beans can be undersalted, the meat dry, the balance of ingredients off or unevenly distributed. The salsa can taste like it's only made of unseasoned tomatoes, or worse yet, raw onions. Most unforgivably, the cylinder can be loosely, disastrously wrapped.

With all due respect to La Alteña, La Taq, El Toro, El Buen Sabor, and Papalote ― xoxoxo, guys, really! ― we've been doing some comparative eating over the past few weeks, and our favorite burrito in town right now is the carnitas burrito from Taqueria San Francisco on 24th St. and York. (Close second: TSF's al pastor burrito.) Coincidentally, in the era of the $8 regular, it's still one of the cheapest, starting at five bucks.

The balance of beans to meat to rice is perfect; there's no need to

keep rotating the burrito, searching for the right angle of attack. A

pleasant smell of toasted lard rises up when you bite

through the tortilla (griddle-warmed, FYI), flanked by the sharper scents

of green chiles and cilantro.

You super-burrito lovers who can't imagine life without heavy doses of grated cheese and sour cream

may take a bite and think, meh, where's the thrill? That's when you slide over those plastic tubs of salsa fresca and TSF's throbbing, spice-drunk salsa roja, and start spooning them over the top. It's not cheating: It's turbo-charging.

Taqueria San Francisco: 2794 24th St. (at York), 641-1770.

Dishes in our series so far:

92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tarts
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup
72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk
71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille
70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery
69: Plow's crispy potatoes
68: Prospect's Catcher in the Rye
67: Pork banh mi from Little Vietnam Cafe
66: Nakaochi at Ippuku
65: Sidekick's chocolate spritzer
64: Farmhouse Culture's horseradish-leek sauerkraut
63: Destination Baking Co.'s challah
62: Cotogna's roasted carrots
61: Hard Knox Cafe's chicken and waffles
60: The Rebel Within from Tell Tale Preserve Co.
59: The Slanted Door's Whiskey Cocktail

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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