Just in time for this week’s News & Review, I’d like to react to last week’s cover piece on burritos written by Ben Russell. Russell really seems to know how to turn a phrase, and the piece is actually incredibly informative. For example it confirmed my preference for Guerrero’s tortillas as the best tortillas at your local supermarket (or your massive soulless food chain, whatever your preference), and it taught me that the word for people from the state of Jalisco in Mexico is Jaliscenes.
However, as one of the area’s most frequent burrito consumers (by anecdotal evidence only–if you include the 2 that come packaged from Trader Joes as 2 burritos, I think I probably eat 5 a week), I was completely let down by the absence of any sort of list. The piece is dripping with of ennui, more a “serche la burrito” tale than a celebration of mankind’s greatest creation involving meat wrapped in flatbread. In fact it mostly seems to be an article about how despite the myriad burrito choices, not only is there no one best burrito in town, there are in many ways no good burritos to be had, as none of them live up to Russell’s ideal of Burrito. We are left watching burrito-shaped images flicker on the cave wall.
But I’m being facetious. I think it’s a great piece, chiefly due to its rhapsodic treatment of the eating of my favorite food item. While I am somewhat of a pushover for burritos, I definitely have a higher standard than I do for hamburgers, probably because the various ingredients of a burrito tend to coalesce due to the wrapping aspect. For example, my wife and I have had to stop going to Pancho’s/Maria’s (or Panchos Marias Panchos as I call it), after a change in kitching staffing–which could have just been a temporary thing, I don’t know–led to a drastic change in the style and quality of the burro. We trek down to La Favorita on Stockton more frequently now.
What say the rest of you, are there good burritos to be had?
P.S. If you are the photographer of the piece, Jeremy Sykes, please email me, as I might have some childhood memory based questions to ask you…