The burrito wars come home: At Sunset.com, Jan Newberry peels back the foil on what she reckons to be the West's best burritos. Like a plastic fork probing a Papalote Triple Threat, Newberry digs deep into California's North-South dispute. Newberry:
When Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly's food critic, wrote a column last year calling San Francisco-style burritos "monstrous," claiming that they're filled with things that "neither God nor man ever intended to see the inside of a tortilla," folks in the Bay Area rushed to their keyboards to defend their own, and a bitter fight ensued.Newberry finds herself landing on a southerly point along the I-5 axis, lining up with L.A.'s Gold-dipped purists over S.F.'s heft junkies. Her moment of burrito bliss (after the jump):
Taking a tip from Gold, I drive to Al & Bea's Mexican Food, a 44-year-old brick building with bars on the windows and a line that stretches to the street. In place of foil, my burrito is wrapped in yellow waxed paper and propped in a tray. The supple tortilla is dusted with flour, folded loosely around a ladleful of lard-rich refried beans and a toss of grated orange cheese, and streaked with a bliss-inducing green chile sauce. As I take my first bite, I feel like Proust with his madeleine.
Sure, we were one of those NorCal keyboard rushers Newberry refers to, but carrying water for the mediocre Mission munchies monster is not on our agenda. Still, we think Newberry left a crucial local exemplar off her list of the S.F. must-devour. She likes the burrito al pastor from one of the Tonayense trucks, but she misses ― or tried and didn't like ― what we consider the city's best: the regular carnitas burrito (with guacamole) at La Taqueria. We think it might change even Gold's mind, or at least nudge it a bit.
Jan, if you're reading? Consider this an open invitation to lunch. We'll pay.