Could the Burrito Wars Rage Once More?

Well, after last spring’s vigorous online burrito debate on the merits of So-Cal vs. Nor-Cal burritos, peace has reigned for a while. However, some recent cyber-rumblings suggest that, unless careful diplomacy is exercised, we may be headed for BWII.

A thread on Chowhound seeks LA-Style Mexican food, but served on a plate at a margarita restaurant, not a taqueria. Well, we’re not exactly sure what the OP wants, as the big north-south cuisine divide is over whether to put rice, beans and veggies in burritos. On a side-note, we’re amazed nobody mentioned La Rondalla in the thread. But that’s just us.

But another minor confrontation seems to have made its way into Burritoeater’s newsleter, the Intestinal Apocalypse:

Dear Beano: Hi, I moved up here to San Francisco from San Diego a few years ago. The burritos there are far superior. For one, they don’t put rice or beans in their carne asada burritos. It’s just guacamole and salsa or pico de gallo. It’s delicious that way. And you get way more meat. They also have the “California Burrito” - these are delicious. They mix sour cream, a little bit of cheese, and fries with carne asada.

Now, we’ve had California burritos, and they are a phenomenon worthy of great respect. Southern California Mexican food in general is pretty great. But we also know the glories of a Mission burrito all too well, and it’s going to be very hard to call a winner between these two.

Here’s some of the language that started the first battles, from an interview with San Diego burrito expert Crawford Coates (who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a friend of ours):

…there was an article in the Washington Post three years ago by this guy who owns a burrito shop in D.C. He said he knew a lot about burritos because he’s from the “town of the burrito, San Francisco.” He said the best burritos are from San Francisco and I’ve heard that a dozen times. Having lived there, I know that they’re really good only if you’re drunk, but compared to the San Diego burrito, they’re not even close. They’re wrapped in foil, steamed and they put beans and rice in everything.

Ooooh, snap! Burritophile’s Dan Johnson shot back:

“There are some pretty awesome burritos in San Diego, but it’s kind of like the Triple-A baseball of the burrito world. You can get a really good one every now and then, but you’ll see consistently more boneheaded assembly errors than you will up here in the big leagues.”

Well, the conflict died down but was never really resolved. And after Burritoeater’s “Mr. Beano” response to the reader who couldn’t get off the CA burrito tip, we wonder if it is “on” once more:

I really hate the burritos up here. I do. So much. Can you recommend any taquerias that have any burritos like I mention?Dear Apocalypse reader: Sure, but they’re all 500 miles down the Pacific coast from your current home. Now, I’m just thinking aloud here, but I wonder how a burrito shop named Taq. San Diego would fare in San Francisco? If Giordano Bros. can do a solid business in North Beach with those Pittsburgh-style, fries-inclusive sandwiches, why not a new taqueria that serves fries-inclusive burritos sans all the usual super burrito embellishment? You could decorate the walls with signed photos from Jameson Parker, Tony Gwynn, Pete Wilson, Three Mile Pilot, even the San Diego Chicken. Here’s your challenge: Get your MBA pals on the horn on the double and cobble together a business plan, then find a vacant shopfront here in San Francisco and live the California Burrito Dream. I’ll be there on opening day, scorecard in hand, looking menacing and mustachioed and, as usual, stinking of Old Spice.

Shoot, you going to take that, Mr. or Ms. Apocalypse reader?

The Intestinal Apocalypse [Burritoeater]
Looking for LA style mexican in SF [Chowhound]


Could the Burrito Wars Rage Once More?