"[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, December 7, 2013
Taqueria Talavera, Solano Ave., Albany
Recently, my son - for his birthday - requested some rather expensive basketball shoes associated in some spurious way to Lebron James. While, at eleven years old, his skills as a young player are developing very well, I find justifying such an expense very difficult - I should think that Lebron himself might concede that he would play close to his current form wearing some Air Jordans from the good ol' '80s... I explain to my son that those shoes were most likely crafted by an eleven year old - very unlike himself - somewhere in Indonesia in the eleventh hour of this boy's arduous shift. And that perhaps shortly after he helped weave that final stitch of the L in Lebron's name across the heal of the shoe, that he most likely finished the Rebok shoe for some other overly paid sporting star - that, indeed, these shoes are mostly made in similar if not the same factory. "Appearance is not everything," I said as a responsible father as I curl my toes within my Campers.
Is it everything? I'd like to think that I adopt the function-is-aesthetic philosophy from the lovely modernists. However, it's not necessarily that easy is it...
Regardless, when one walks into Taqueria Talavera, one is confronted by a rather pleasing aesthetic - I was excited for the salsa bar looked well groomed... For anyone who puts this much effort into the aesthetic must equal the amount of effort put into the taste of their burritos.
I confess - I have been here twice. On the first occasion, I ordered the veggie; on the second the fish burrito. In both instances, I was very excited given the atmosphere - thinking that I would sit to have a feast that would rival taquerias in the likes of El Faro or La Cumbre tucked away on Solano ave., buried within the depths on Albany. In both instances, unfortunately, I was disappointed. The burritos were much like a packed buffet of a burrito ingredients, in the hopes that the size would compensate for the lack of originality which I hoped would equal the decor. I still had a modest enjoyment of these burritos, but in the first instance, the veggie was bland and the fish, like many fish burritos, was sequestered amidst a sea of rice, beans and veggies.
I left slightly unsatisfied but not upset. I peered down at my shoes and thought, 'I should just buy those damn shoes for my son'.
Salsa Rating: Disappointingly Mild