Papalote! Oh yeah. The home of the Triple Threat Burrito! Quite a delicious burrito it was as well.
One giant burrito (that we requested to be cut into 4 pieces), three meaty additions: shrimp, carne asada, and chicken. Despite the intimidating immensity, the combo made for a highly tasty meat mixture, taqueria especial.
And of course I’m not ignoring the salsa, which is Papalote’s claim to fame. Yes, it was uniquely compelling and made everything it touched bettergood. Certainly a reason unto itself to make the trek to Papalote.
All in all, Papalote will be in the top runnings for the ‘playoffs’ for best San Francisco Taqueria.
Burrito rating Mick: 8. Rally: 8.
Special (salsa): Mick: 8. Rally: 8.
Watch out for the giant bird!
Off the Grid - Taco Guys
Ft. Mason Center
San Francisco, CA
Date visited: 19 November 2010
(post by, R.)
Today’s tacomyhead adventure brings us to, “Off the Grid.” Their website describes themselves as, “… a roaming mobile food extravaganza that travels to different locations daily to serve delicious food, with a free side of amazing music, craft and soul.” In other words, a whole bunch food trucks in a big parking lot giving you a veritable smorgasbord of quick food goodness. Awesome. Off the Grid moves around town and this time was located over in Ft. Mason, literally, the other side of town for me. That made for a long bus ride through all the juicy parts of town which was made even more flavorful by a steady rain which instead of making the locals cleaner, added to the overall pungency of the bus ride. And what bus ride through the city wouldn’t be complete without a screaming confrontation between the bus driver and a local homeless attempting to ride the bus without paying? In a fortuitous bit of fancy logistics, Mick picked up the same bus I was on at the Market St. stop. His first comment - why are you sitting in the back with all the crazy people? I looked around and thought to myself, hmmm, good point. After a pretty long ride, we disembarked somewhere near Ft. Mason and proceeded to trudge through waterlogged lawns and uninhabited pathways. I was assured that we were headed in the right direction. Maybe. A this point, I was soaking wet enough to not be bothered and just assumed that at some point tonight, we might be eating. Or not. And then finally… the sound of a portable generator, and then slowly appearing, the dim glow of localized lights and we saw it, the parking lot full of food trucks. Food!! We found it! The sheer number of food trucks in one place, along with the band playing underneath a canopy while it steadily rained kind of blew my mind.
My first thought, I have to come back here again, many times.
My second thought, why are there all these filipino themed things here - Senor Sisig?? Adobo Hobo??? Confusion!
Luckily, Mick got me back on track and we made a bee line to the “Taco Guys” truck. There was a big crowd of people there which must be a good sign, although it portended to a long wait. Well, it turned out that almost none of those people were there for tacos, they were hiding from the rain :P. WEAK.
Mick checks out the menu/taco guys scene. Decisions need to be made.
Well, the decisions turned out to be pretty easy, we ordered one of every taco they had, except the fish one. Here’s a pic of the menu:
Tacos - 9
Well… one word can sum it all up, “outstanding.”
Thai Yellow Curry Chicken Taco - that was pretty damn good, fresh bean sprouts, shredded chicken, a nice tasty combo…
Beef Colorado - that was very good
Pork Achiote - very tasty, a lot of tasty flavourful fatty meat in here, pretty spicy too, a nice suprise with that kick
Moroccan Veal Tongue - really good, outstanding
Chanterelle and Pepper - this was a vegetarian one, mushrooms - yum! a pretty damn good taco.
You know, all these damn tacos were outstanding.
How is it that I only got a picture of ONE of these amazing tacos?
We must also give a shout out to the guys working in the Taco Truck - super friendly, lots of good advice when it came to which tacos to choose (funny how we chose all of them though). They even gave us a little sample of their vanilla-infused lemonade, very tasty. Their friendly attitudes made the experience even better.
Bottom line, we need to get back here and check out the other food truck places and I would definitely hit the Taco Guys again. Made this nasty, chilly, rainy experience quite worth it.
Tables and chairs. Tables and chairs. Gotta love them tables and chairs. If I was a songwriter, I’d definitely sing about tables and chairs. If you join our tour, you’ll also love tables and chairs.
Yes, the sane and stable one of us has joined the blog. Taqueria Tour 2010/2011!!!
I’m already quite loving this tour, despite all the vacations and holidays. Unlike the Calgary pizza tour (and booing the Flames at the Saddledome), this adventure has no deadline. I’m not moving (that I know of)(well, that is, not moving out of SF). No plans to stop eating. No plans to stop eating tasty food. As far as I can tell, the foreseeable future has me eating a lot of Triple Threat Burritos, margaritas, spicy carrot “nacho chips”… and praying like hell to not get food poisoning! (Yes, sketchy east bay taco trucks will be part of the tour; all due respect to east bay taco trucks — I’ve made one visit already, and mmmm, damn tasty… altho pretty sketchy!)
So there. There’s my first Taqueria Tour blog entry. Bring on the burritos! Bring on the salsas! Bring on the tables and chairs!
- The Mick
Taqueria El Buen Sabor
699 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Date visited: 15 November 2010
(post by R.)
This is the first stop on our taqueria tour and, therefore, the first to be reviewed! I’ll state this upfront, this review has to be considered crap ‘cause I have no real reference point with which to compare. Remember, my history of burritos and tacos is from the Northeast, mostly Taco Bell, so anytime I eat anything remotely Mexican out here, it just tastes great. I figure, after time and a many more samples, I’ll start developing a finer palette and figuring out what I prefer.
Ok, since this is my review, I’m going to fill it up with all kinds of irrelevant information, such as the fact that I took the 67 bus down to 24th St and Mission, and then walked over to Valencia and up to this place. This made me feel oh-so-local, and also oh-so-late. When I arrived, my review partner and a friend were already seated and waiting. I took a seat, looked around, and settled in. After about 5 minutes of small talk and non-eating, it suddenly hit me. I’d been here before! Before I even moved here, the last time I came out for work, I visited a friend who lives in the Mission and she took me here! My relevant memories about that visit were that it tasted good and a crazy dude came in and started singing, and then left.
Anyway, onto the food. We ordered:
Burrito - 6.5
Tacos - 5
Special - 6
When we ordered something special, we decided to go with the beef tongue and then we noticed this suspicious menu item labeled only as “CORN”. Being the adventurous types we are, we ordered “CORN” and that turned out simply mean, corn tortilla. <Sigh>. So disappointing. But on to the beef tongue quesadilla. Pretty good, but I have had better beef tongue, not necessarily in a burrito or a quesadilla, but in other stuff.
The special quesadilla:
The counter area
Cool tree/painting/fan illusion
Before we get into the actual taqueria reviews, we should layout our basic rules:
We encourage guest tasters.
Standard order should include:
Once upon a time, in a land far far away (also known as Calgary, Alberta, Canada), two intrepid young heroes embarked on a mission. That mission was to go to every pizza producing place in Calgary that contained a geographic reference in its name and then report on the quality of that experience. We scoured the phone book, made a list, and then embarked on a journey of pizza eating that ranged from awful, to mediocre, to kind of ok (let’s face it, Calgary is not known for amazing pizza). Now, more than 15 years later, we plan to recreate that experience with taquerias in the Bay Area. Except this time, with the aid of this thing called the interwebs, we will share this journey with whoever wants to follow.