Had Five-Thirty-Eight's burrito bracket done what it was expected to do and crowned Taqueria Cancun the winner, no one would object, but as I said earlier this week, this whole business with La Taqueria making the best burrito in town, and now in the nation, is just insane.
The final, ultimate winner was just announced in the sports-style contest, after this poor journalist traipsed all around the country and back again for this story, and it's La Taqueria. On the one hand: Good for her for recognizing that Mission-style burritos are king. But on the other: Really? La Taqueria? I can think of at least four other taquerias in the Mission alone that make better burritos and have better meat than that place which, I'll say it again, is really only good for their "Mission-style" tacos. And two of them, El Farolito and Taqueria Cancun, were eliminated in this race in favor of spots in other parts of the country.
But couldn't this just be a case of burrito fatigue on the part of critic Anna Maria Barry-Jester? Like, by the time she made it back to San Francisco for the second round, didn't all the burritos everywhere start to look and and taste exactly the same? Five-Thirty-Eight founder and burrito fan Nate Silver joined Barry-Jester on this final round, and he, too, was in "nirvana" over the La Taqueria burrito.
Here's what she wrote about her final, imperfect tasting at Cancun:
The burrito scored lower this round because of abundant rice and oil. Though still a food fit for kings, this was a greasy yet dry burrito — a problem I have encountered occasionally in the past.
And these were her words for the carnitas super burrito at La Taqueria, where she discovered that they do burritos "dorados" if you ask, which means they're griddled and sealed shut:
The bombardment of liquid and flavor from a La Taqueria burrito are enough to stop any woman in her tracks, even one who’d been eating burritos daily for two months straight... Like many Mission Street burritos, it’s prepared assembly line-style; the sour cream is added liberally from a squirt bottle, guacamole comes by the spoonful from an enormous metal bowl, pico de gallo and all its juices are added at the end. But unlike at other taquerias, each ingredient keeps its juices, making this burrito saucy in form and personality (the absence of rice also makes it noteworthy among its neighbors).
Anyway, fine. San Francisco won. At least this won't make the lines at Cancun any longer. And suffice it to say you can trust a Virginian with a contest this important.
Here's the video where she makes sure to pronounce "carnitas" with the proper inflection.
Update: Eater reached out to former Burritoeater scribe (and therefore local burrito expert) Charles Hodgkins, who says, "I've more than said my piece on La Taqueria over the years... America can do better."