The Netscape-friendly hunt for the perfect urban food log.

Monday, February 04, 2002

I've been thinking recently about the Platonic Burrito Ideal -- once glimpsed when eating a chile verde burrito off a truck from Taco Joe's in Riverbank. The near-Platonic Burrito was sloppy, full of garlic and meat, and contained a surprise ingredient, shredded raw cabbage, which added both coolness and bite. They definitely have that elusive fifth flavor, umami.

Some good regional burritos I've eaten include those from Sierra Taqueria in East Sonora. (Are they still there? Haven't been up to the mountains in about four years.) El Faro in Concord makes a shrimp burrito on Fridays that's pretty yummy, and you can occasionally get pupusas there. (Pupusas should have their own blog!)

Mostly, I eat burritos from my local taqueria, Los Comales. They aren't inspired -- not spicy enough, no surprises, and not a perfect balance of ingredients. But I've really gotten to know the ladies behind the counter, and my regular (chicken with red sauce, frijoles de olla, rice, no extras) has become kind of a mom's-pot-roast type experience. The Burrito Test Site says that my usual choice "shows trepidation, an unwillingness to truly express yourself. Why not choose a few more toppings and live a little?"