"[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, May 14, 2013

Taqueria Cancun-Sabor Mexicano, 2134 Allston Way, Berkeley

Written by Sal Savirdy

Not having had a personal recommendation for Taqueria Cancun-Sabor Mexicano, I invest in some pre-date online background checks (it's what a girl needs to do nowadays to avoid the creepy guys, right?). My investigation reveals quite the prospective profile.  Not only do the burritos promise to be tasty and original, the sourced ingredients dig deeper than the average Joe; this taqueria uses vegetables from their very own Saldana farm and the extra refined and well- thought out burrito accoutrements include access to a 17 piece salsa bar. 

First date, I want to know where I stand with the basics, and opt for a super chicken and a super veggie burrito (of course I'm going to finish them both).  My food is with me almost immediately, so, add to the already numerically blessed scoreboard the remarkable speed of service and cancun sabor mexicano looks like a sure fire bet to take home to meet the folks. 

The size of the burrito is a little more modest than average but I'm OK with that, sometimes size really doesn't matter and it's what you do with it that counts. Tasting, however, reveals an unexpectedly mediocre burrito on both super chicken and veggie accounts. The chicken has some texturally interesting (if not initially slightly alarming), crunchy elements, but the aspect of super in both burrito cases seems to evade me somewhat (at least give me girth)- there seems to be a marked lack of sour cream or guacamole in either.

What almost salvages the entire experience is the raw indulgence of navigating the salsa bar's 17 varieties. Although the Pumpkin seed salsa, just seems to be nothing other than just revolting, unfortunately, the strawberry is just, fine.

The other way my date tries to distract from his lesser advantages is to get me drunk first. And you can do this quite easily at cancun sabor because marvelously, they have beer on tap. I really mean the marvelously element of this; draft beer is pretty important. 

Perhaps I'll give Cancun Sabor a second chance. Given the beautiful interior, farmed vegetables and extensive menu possibilities, it could have just been that there are some ends needed tying up (please not literally) or a bad mix of personalities, but in the world of dating (particularly when dating taquerias) it's hard to find the excuse to give second chances, especially after such a disappointment, when quite frankly, hay muchos peces en el mer.

(And most especially when it's so damned difficult to park nearby).

Salsa rating: potentially the strawberry one.

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