In California, or more specifically as it relates to my story, in San Francisco, there’s a lot of talk of amazing Mexican food. The word best gets used pretty frequently. The best burrito, the best taqueria, the best this, the best that.
So naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After consulting a few food blogs and other websites, some SF locals, and my handy dandy Lonely Planet guidebook, the name I kept getting was La Taqueria. Other places popped up here and there but none with the same frequency or hardcore following as La Taqueria.
“Best Mexican in the Mission!”
“Their burritos are incredible!”
“Ohmygod my favorite!”
When a friend from New York came into town for the weekend and suggested burritos, La Taqueria was an obvious choice since she’d also heard it was a must on the San Francisco food circuit.
Maybe I had set my expectations too high. Maybe I was awaiting some sort of religious experience via burrito. Maybe I thought I was getting a life altering moment wrapped in a corn tortilla.
Don’t get me wrong, my carne asada burrito was good but it was neither mind-blowing nor the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten in my life. Pretty good yes, but the absolute best? I’m not ready to hand out that kind of accolade.
The meat was juicy and soft, and the whole burrito in fact was a drippy mess (something I don’t mind in a burrito) yet it lacked something. There were red beans, sour cream and chunks of fresh tomato, but I still found myself squirting jalapeño sauce on every few bites to liven things up. I left out the guacamole and cheese because I didn’t want to complicate things or bury the taste of the carne asada but in retrospect, maybe that’s where I went wrong.
Someone we were with ordered chips with guacamole and salsa but even that wasn’t anything spectacular. While the guacamole had nice chunks of creamy avocado, I didn’t taste much of any other ingredients. My friend resorted to sprinkling salt on each mouthful she scooped up. The salsa, a pico de gallo of sorts, had a little more kick but made the chips underneath it soggy and wet.
After everything I heard about La Taqueria and its burritos, I had been ready to gorge myself, so much so that I walked all the way there from where I’m staying which took about an hour at a brisk (i.e. hungry) pace. Like I said, it was good but not the best, and I just don’t know that I’ll make that trek again on foot just for another burrito.