"[C]ritics Casey Deeha, Chipp Oatlay, Sal Savirdy and 'El Presidente Mole' promise to provide 'not merely a description of burritos, but a more writerly experience that gives the attention to burritos that they deserve.' Yep. You heard it here, folks. - Jay Barmann, SF Grubfest
"[Casey Deeha] also thinks it could be a matter of cultural heritage and sense of place why a Mission-style burrito is thought to taste the best in San Francisco." - Tamara Palmer, Zagat
"Bay Area Review of Burritos -a must read for anyone remotely interested in foil-wrapped tube food" - Kevin Montgomery, Up Town Almanac
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
El Super Burrito, El Camino Real, Millbrae
Written by Casey Deeha
In a sheer act of brilliance, when one Juan Mendez in the Bella Vista neighborhood of Ciudad Juárez, while arriving at his taco stand during the Mexican revolution in 1910, said to himself, 'my food is cold by the time I arrive at my taco stand, I will wrap my food in these tortillas to keep it warm' - history was made and 'Taco de Harinas' manifested in a physical reality, much like Edison's light bulb. But a different kind of light.
Fifty or so years later, Taquerias like El Faro and Taqueria Cancun in the Mission provided a Californian twist to the Taco de Harina - mixed with the pending 'Summer of Love,' and boom - you have the burrito. Little did Juan know that his donkey would take all the honors in what has become a cultural culinary icon of the Bay Area, if not a staple culinary item to the nation. Why not... they're 'little donkeys' after all.
But not at El Super Burrito.
Unlike 'The Burrito Shop' in Oakland, El Super Burrito is aptly named - a semantic bliss. And what exactly is 'Super'? Well... deep in Millbrae, far from the beaten path of the Mission in 'The City' (I still find pretension in saying this), lives a burrito called 'The Bay Area Burrito'. Curious, I ventured to a place adjacent to the airport to find the emblematic burrito of the Bay Area as if the power source to the bay was sneakily tucked away much like Gandalf's decision to give Frodo the ring - would Sauron suspect an unsuspecting hobbit? Hmm... Would you suspect Millbrae to house a burrito that would reveal a seductive power of invisibiliy that would give you unnatural long life? Well... the latter part remains to be seen, but 'unnatural' may be more accurate than you think.
Given that El Super Burrito looks like an IHOP and a Wienerschnitzel had a small Mexican child, I was expecting a ring-of-sauron-like burrito with my choice of the 'Bay Area Burrito' - a pure feast, almost a la Southen California, meaning the 'Bay Area Burrito' was, for all intents and purposes, a departure from the Mission Style burrito characterized by El Faro in 1961 having: whole (very large) pinto beans, 'double' melted cheese, grilled chicken, and avocado; not necessarily the typical arrangement of 1961, but one that certainly delivered; it was very good. And where there was certainly an immediate and almost dark, pure enjoyment of this mass of a 'super burrito', there was a downfall in its own lust - like Frodo, I almost took it too far and was cast into a deep burrito coma following this burrito adventure.
El Super Burrito certainly punctuated how far the 'Taco de Harina' has come since Juan's day - a certain delicious feast, but perhaps also how Frodo-like and corrupting human nature has become in order to ingest such feast - great for the one with a big appetite and the resolve to take the fall out.
Salsa Rating: Hot with a mild come down...