So Basically, I'm An Awesome Friend

No big deal, just a picture of someone enjoying an El Farolito quesadilla, right?

Psych! It’s a picture of someone enjoying an El Farolito quesadilla in the East Village, NYC!

You can do it too: On the way to SFO, hop out at 24th St. station. Run into El Farolito and order that quesadilla to go. It’s probably a good idea to avoid the sour cream. Immediately double-ziplock bag it and toss it in your luggage. When you land in NYC 6 hours later, call up your friend and tell her that you’ll be bringing lunch. Don’t worry, as a previous mission resident, the concern of a salmonella infection will be dwarfed by her longing for decent Mexican food*.

Your clothes will smell like carne asada for a week, but the look on her face will be worth it. She’ll give you a big hug and tell you that this was a way better gift than the “Alcatraz Swim Team” T-Shirt you brought last time.

The question is, what can your NYC friend do for you? Imported pizza? Nah, contrary to what they think, we have plenty of good pizza here.

*The “Mexican” food in NYC borders on the terrible. Trust me when I say I wish it were otherwise.

43 Responses to “So Basically, I'm An Awesome Friend”

  1. billy b says:

    hope you got laid

  2. felixincognito says:

    in the 8 or so months that i lived in new york city, i couldn’t find any mexican food that compares to anything in texas or california—but new york doesn’t border mexico, so it’s okay. not too many burrito shops in manhattan seemed to be run by mexicans, rather they are burrito/chinese food joints. some places would even slice the burrito in half. as fans of the mission style burrito know, that’s a bad idea. i had to go to sunset park in brooklyn to find some halfway decent tacos, but even those were a little lacking.

    with that said, one thing that new york has the edge on that san francisco doesn’t is mediterranean food. i still can’t find a kabob or shawerma in the city that compares. i’m not too big on ali baba’s, but old jerusalem comes pretty close.

  3. Visionary says:

    From NYC, I want kati rolls!

  4. Neo Displacer says:

    Do your NY friends a solid and go a block down Mission to La Taqueria — El Farolito is a sad example of food. Just because you were high once and it was the only thing open and you really dug it, doesn’t mean it is good, it only means you were high.

    • I’m not a stoner but enjoy Farolito. What does that mean?

      • brian says:

        It means you have stoner sensibilities without smoking. Which, kind of seems like the wrong way to go.

    • chris says:

      Incorrect. La Taqueria is to SF what pizza is to NYC – so overrated that it’s stopped being funny. Maybe it’s good if you’re high, I wouldn’t know.

    • felixincognito says:

      yeah man. la taqueria isn’t very good. the few times i’ve been there, the burritos have been subpar. the complete lack of rice doesn’t help matters either. now, i hear that their carnitas is totally worth it and i’m willing to give them the benefit of a doubt based on that, but they’ve been nothing but disappointing so far.

      farolito is great. it goes beyond opinion. it is, at this point, scientific fact.

      • M.A.C. says:

        Taqueria San Jose, next to the opposite BART station on 24th is my new favorite. Carnitas tacos are not to be missed. Farolito tacos are a huge disappointment.

  5. olu says:

    NYKERS can bring you a decent pastrami sandwich. But shouldn’t food stay where it’s good?
    local still means something right? so you eat what’s good where ever you are, instead of just flattening and homogenizing everything – so burritos suck outside of SF – eat what’s good in that city which probably sucks here in SF.

  6. yse says:

    bagels, bagels, and more bagels — especially pumpernickel & sesame. that’s what your friend can bring you. sometimes when I go home (to nyc) I buy 3 dozen and freeze them. scallion cream cheese would be nice too.

    • Vic Wong says:

      YES. I can say for sure that a bagel at any corner shop in NYC totally smokes anything in SF I have ever had.

      Not true about pizza, but totally true with bagels.

    • Yes, this. I have a standing deal with several friends: you can have crash space in SF on a moment’s notice, as long as you bring me at least a dozen (preferably more) bagels from H&H, Lenny’s or Murray’s.

    • phlavor says:

      THIS! I bring home at least a dozen (small freezer) but I’ve noticed that as the torch is passed to the new generation of bagel makers that the quality is falling of. I have to hunt for good ones on Staten Island now.

  7. yse says:

    also… for lovers of really good east coast pizza. please go to Emilia’s in Berkeley — it’s worth the trip.

  8. M.A.C. says:

    I bought a “SF Style Burrito” once when drunkenly walking around the East Village. Words cannot describe how laughably bad it was. I asked for it super and they gave me sides of sour cream, guacamole and salsa on the side, in separate containers. It was 3/4 rice and totally lumpy.

    • M.A.C. says:

      Granted I expected it. I had actually just had dinner at Freeman’s and was totally stuffed, but there was no way I wasn’t going to try it.

  9. no.thanks. says:

    thats why………my business plan is to have a for real mission style burrito place in nyc. I would make millions.

  10. johnny0 says:

    A couple of billion dollars and the burrito tunnel is ours. Though sadly only a east-bound trip.

  11. Craig says:

    I did this…. but with friends in London.

  12. Edward says:

    I’ve worked out a pretty effective system for transporting burritos from the Bay to Berlin. Now if only I had a proper burrito with which to demonstrate this…

    The trick is to keep the burrito upright and protected throughout your journey. So you need a tupperware that is half a super burrito tall and just wide enough to accommodate two burrito halves side by side. Great too if there’s room on top for salsa packs (3 oz or less). Line the tupperware with napkins and remove the foil, but not the paper from the burrito. Cut it in half and set the halves ends-down in the tupperware, then stow it upright in your carry-on, or underpants.

    Even if you’re muling a saucy burrito, like La Calaca Loca’s super carnitas, it won’t turn soggy or slimy if you follow this method. Be sure to eat a burrito before leaving California, or it might not last the flight. When you arrive at your destination, crack a Tecate tall boy with your loved one, look at pictures of Dolores park on MM, and enjoy.

    • johnny0 says:

      I’m always wary to remove the foil — is that a vapor-lock or x-ray security issue?

      How many ounces in a salsa container?

      Over at Chowhound a guy travelling through LA reported:

      A couple months ago I was coming back to LA from Oakland with food I picked up on my way to the airport. As I walked through the metal detector I saw a couple TSA folks peering in the paper bag holding my dinner.

      The one in charge looked at me with a straight face and said, “You can keep the chips, you can keep the burrito, but I have to take the salsa.”

      • Edward says:

        The foil is about vapor lock. Otherwise the tortilla will go gelatinous despite the vertical drainage. As for the salsa, I think most containers are right around three ounces, which should be fine. But depending on which country you’re traveling to, some salsas might be considered weaponized lachrymatory agents.

        Half the Germans in Berlin call tortilla chips “tacos”.

  13. Lisa says:

    yeah, you are a good friend! but if she got sick from eating it….she might have another opinion!

  14. Bryan says:

    Vic, now that you’re officially advertising your burrito courier services on the web, does this mean you’re taking orders? FYI there’s a new taqueria called Dos Toros near NY’s Union Square started by a couple of white dudes from the east bay inspired by Gordo. Not the best burritos in the world, but a big step up for NYC. Oh, and for the record: fuck La Taqueria!

  15. Highkix says:

    On my way to NYC 5 years ago I asked my friend Shelley if there was anything she wanted from home. The answer – a super vegetarian burrito from Taqueria Cancun. With burrito (double wrapped in foil) in my carry-on luggage, I arrived at Shelley’s around 9am. She opened her apartment door, said a cursory hello, asked where the burrito was, and proceeded to grab the burrito from my hand and cut it in half. She inhaled one half and rewrapped the other half and put it in the freezer “for later.” The burrito held up remarkably well, without any fancy transport techniques. I wish someone visiting from New York would bring me bagels and pizza…

    • Bob Dole says:

      Vegetarian burrito, the first sign that someone should jump out the window for mentioning such a thing.

    • Nick Pal says:

      There’s no such thing as a super vegetarian burrito from Cancun, because their regular vegetarian burrito is super by default. That’s one of the things I like most about Cancun, because it makes me feel like Cancun is putting me, the customer, first.

  16. dave says:

    If that’s a Mission burrito, what’s it doing in a bowl and what’s she doing with a fork?

    I cry a little more each day when I see what the IT boom has done to San Francisco.

  17. jennie says:

    I take burritos to my brother in NJ every year. I buy them the night before and freeze them until they are solid bricks. Then I put them in one of those soft lunch cooler things. I’ve put it in checked luggage and carried it on. I got stopped when it was in my carry on, seeing as it was a large foil brick, but I explained what it was and the bag-checker chuckled a little and let me go.

  18. pete says:

    well if you’re trying to get a mission burrito in berlin why not just swing by dolores, the sf mission themed burrito joint? When I was traveling europe last summer with 5 california natives we rolled into berlin with the single goal of tracking it down. Its pretty damn good for being ‘northern california style mexican food in germany’ It comes complete with a huge scale map of the mission on the wall (dude look there’s my house!), imported mexican beer, and fixie riding hipsters working behind the counter.

  19. Frosty says:

    I’ve been meaning to try Dolores (it’s down by Alex, fellow Berliners) but they close at 10pm, which is a few hours before burrito time. How can you save me from Döner if you don’t stay open until at least half past Lahmacun?

    • simoom says:

      Oh man, DONER! Now that’s what the mission needs NOW! Anyone know where u can find doner in the bay area??? Please tell me there’s a secret spot I can find the elusive and tasty doner…

  20. liberty says:

    What can NYC bring to SF?

    Egg & Cheese on a Roll!

  21. bramo says:

    or for the love of god, a reasonable WINGS PLACE!

    at least 20 flavors (including 4 levels of buffalo), boneless and veggie/vegan options mandatory.

    i used to work at this joint in boston, someone please open something like it here:

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