"[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
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Taqueria El Buen Sabor, The Mission, San Francisco
Written By Casey Deeha
I must concede from the outset of this review that my partner (in crime - Sal Savirdy) and I came upon Taqueria El Buen Sabor one crazy night as outcasts, pseudo criminals that had red hot alcohol searing through their veins at midnight - so I apologize in advance for rude language. We had just come from the Elbo Room after having drunk one of their rather large cocktails rather too quickly. And despite our attempts to douse our fiery bosom with repetitive strain syndrome on Galaga, we left as imminent hazards to society. Yes - this is the context for this review - and perhaps a disclaimer.
Upon leaving, Sal and I came upon a woman outside the door of the Elbo Room with a very small dog, one of those dogs that have become a clear fashion symbol - perhaps derived from those folk in the Chelsea's of the New Yorks of the world where affluence is punctuated with a living organism in your handbag - and here in the trendy Mission of overly gentrified San Francisco, it would seem that the organism-gone-fashion-item-in-a-handbag had been retro-fitted in an ironic almost postmodern way. The woman, in her 1950s retro-fitted outfit, dressed in tattoos and blushing red lipstick clearly was sequestered by this rather cynical picture that I paint of the fashion industry's rather bland attempts to create something new by rehashing old styles. All of this passed through the mind of my partner in a flash.
And she stepped on the dog (unintentionally, but I like to pretend it wasn't).
Regardless of her apology which was cloaked in a cocktail driven cynicism, the woman was not impressed. Neither was the doorman and we were subsequently 86ed, which was a bit ironic as we weren't actually in the bar. Oh well - it was burrito time for us! A Bonnie and Clyde escaping to Mexico - or the closest to Mexico that we were going to get - Taqueria El Buen Sabor. And 'El Buen' it was...
Now... as you could imagine, as two drunken pseudo criminals in a cocktail driven cynical haze, the picture I can paint isn't going to be entirely accurate, but it went something like this:
'Oh man - I'm so fuckin hungry..' says I.
'Shit, so am I,' says Sal.
'Oh my God - I'm totally going to have a big fat veggie burrito,' says I.
'Oh shit man - so am I,' says Sal.
'I love this place,' says I.
'I fuckin love this place too,' says Sal.
'Fuck,' says I.
'Fuck,' says Sal.
We choose our ingredients int the old Mission way for we are in Old Mexico and are lapping up our freedom. We both saunter to the bar stools that line the window which stares out to Valencia St. with our prize booty burrito in hands - I can't tell you honestly what was in them because I can't remember, but upon biting into them, it went something like this:
'Oh shit fuck this is good...' says I.
'OhmyGod, this is fuckin good' says Sal.
'Mmmmm - oh man,' says I.
'MmHmm' says Sal.
'Shit,' says I.
'Shit,' says Sal.
It was clear that the retro-fitted woman with her retro-fitted dog-accessory had precipitated an ironic seismic shift in our taste buds. El Buen Sabor delivered the freedom that was so badly needed by two outlaws looking to sap up the taste of victory against a system that suppresses. (And for the record, I went back when I was sober - the burrito was good, but certainly made better by our drunken haze.)
Hooray for crime.
Salsa Rating: Drunkenly, but 'mildly' warm, with a potential for sober hotness.