There are few foods more iconically San Francisco than the burrito, and San Franciscan’s are most definitely shrill about what makes a good one and/or who serves the ultimate version. Of course the Mission district is known for housing the city’s best taqueria and taco shops, but that’s not to say you can’t find a great burrito in other parts of the Bay Area. They are everywhere.
Our neighborhood spot is Taqueria El Sol.
It’s a tiny little hole in the wall, with limited seating inside. There is a step in the front, so beware, it is not wheelchair accessible.
The offerings are typical taqueria; tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, plus the super version of each. For those who don’t know, super tacos, super burritos, super nachos…the super means that guacamole, sour cream, and cheese are added. If you don’t go super, you’re ordering meat/salsa/lettuce if it’s a taco, meat/beans/rice if it’s a burrito, cheese and salsa if it’s a quesadilla, and so on.
The menu also includes entrée selections such as enchiladas, chille relleno, fajitas and flautas, (plus combination plates that include two of those items) that come dished up with sides of rice, beans, salsa and guacamole.
There are vegetarian options as well, such as the mixed grilled vegetable and cactus with goat cheese burritos.
We mostly go there for burritos (often to take with us to a Giant’s game, it’s the perfect, self-contained, portable dinner for that) so each visit begins with indecision as we review the nine meat choices, three types of beans, and five salsas.
Their pastor and carnitas are pretty great, and I have a hard time passing over either, but I am an absolute sucker for saucy braised meat, and I often get pulled in by one of their three braise options. This time I went with a beef ranchero (spicy beef) baby super burrito. They are good about special requests, i.e. mixing items, which some places aren’t. I went with half refried beans, half pinto, all of the super fixings (guac, sour cream, cheese) and spicy salsa.
The baby super burrito is just a smaller version of the super. It basically just forces me to have portion control, because I will totally take down a whole regular super, which is about a 1700 calorie load, and let’s be real, nobody needs that in one sitting. This super baby was kind of a monster and didn’t look much smaller than Jake’s regular super when side by side. And yes, I ate all of it.
Jake got the al pastor, a drier and less sweet version than most, which is not to say that it’s bad at all, we get it all the time. They have a secret super spicy habanero hot sauce that they keep in a squeeze bottle in the cooler under the counter, so if you know it’s there, you can request its presence on your burrito, as Jake did.
The burritos come with chips and your choice of salsa. We added a couple of Mexican cokes and the whole draw was $19.50. This stuff so hits the spot on a lazy, tired, hungover Sunday night.
Taqeria El Sol http://www.elsoltaqueria.com/
595 Geary St.
San Francisco, Ca 94102