The ‘best burrito in the city’ is facing eviction

Three years ago, Mission Mission’s Andrew Sarkarati proclaimed the plantain burrito at Cuco’s the best burrito in SF. (It was controversial both because any blog post involving burritos is controversial and because Cuco’s is located not in the Mission but in the Lower Haight.) It’s a really excellent burrito.

Cuco’s has been threatened with eviction before, but this time it looks like the landlord really means business. Hoodline reports:

Two months ago, we reported that tenants of a building at Haight and Fillmore had received a letter from their landlord outlining strict criteria for living at the address, including a minimum annual salary of $100,000 and credit score of at least 725. That story ignited a firestorm of attention, and the landlord, who was soon identified by various media outlets as Robert Shelton, quickly retracted his letter.

Now it seems he’s turning his attention to the ground floor tenants at Cuco’s.

In a letter postmarked June 24th, an attorney for Shelton informed Cuco’s owners Domingo and Carmen Campos that the restaurant had to shut down within thirty days.

Read on for more info and photos of the letters from the landlord.

Boogaloos vs. St. Francis Fountain

My pal Nattles and I have a beef. We both like both places, but she prefers Boogaloo’s, and I prefer St. Francis, and sometimes it’s a problem. We decided to enumerate what we like about each place. First, Nattles and Boogaloo’s:

  • The people watching: Omer at the steps of that government building across the street (when he was around), the sidewalk sales on those steps… The bike lane & increased traffic in general on Valencia means you’re liable to run into more friends (and enemies) and see more strange sights.
  • The Boogaloos Classic: vegetarian biscuits and gravy. BOOM.
  • Desayuno Tipico: plantain cake!
  • I like flipping my coffee cup to indicate that Yes, I would love coffee like at an old school diner.
  • Corner shop – All the light!
  • Friendly people!
  • Coffee to-go at the front is serve yourself.
  • Nice to go alone to.
  • Straight up I’ve never found a dish at St. Francis that I *really* like, and I have two at Boogaloos that I haven’t strayed from in over 5 years.

Fair enough. Now me and St. Francis:

  • St. Francis has FRIES
  • It’s on 24th Street
  • There’s always a spot at the counter (unbeatable for solo dining)
  • It’s not on Valencia
  • The mimosas are better
  • The people watching is also great (24th Street!)
  • It’s not so bright! When you’re hungover, sometimes you don’t want it so bright!
  • I almost always order a grilled cheese sandwich with avocado and tomato and an egg over easy on the side, which I then plop on the sandwich. I’ve gotten this at both places and St. Francis just does it better. And it’s way better with fries, doy.
  • You get to watch sundaes and floats being made
  • Three’s Company trading cards for sale
  • On the rare occasion you have to wait for a table, the little bench out front is pretty clutch
  • Overflow dining room on the weekends, super-clutch
  • I just love the staff so much
  • You get to listen to the Clash or Talking Heads almost every single time

I love both places though. (FRIES!) Anyone else have any thoughts?

(Thanks, Nattles!)

[Photos by Google Maps]

Save Cuco’s!

Good news and bad news: the good news is that I’d heard Cuco’s was set to close forever at the end of February, yet it’s still open for business (and still churning out the best burrito in the city) — the bad news is that they’re still under threat. Our pal Lizzy reports:

The Cuco’s people have been there for +/- 20 years; as such they’ve been on a month to month arrangement rather than a lease for quite a while. Recently the landlord said that in order to negotiate a new lease and stay there, they would need to make a ton of remodels to the storefront, including turning it into two floors. They’re meeting with the landlord and city reps to figure out whether the landlords requests are legal and if they will have to fulfill them in order to stay in the space.

So they’re collecting signatures. Get over there and eat a super plantain burrito and sign the petition!

Anthony Myint’s Mission Burger makes its triumphant return this weekend at American Tripps!

Noise Pop and American Tripps this weekend present a two-night Berlin-style ping pong extravaganza featuring THE RETURN OF THE MISSION BURGER. Chef Anthony is taking this opportunity to preview some of the fare he’ll eventually be cooking up at the forthcoming Mission Bowling Club.

And looky here, Eater SF just published an exclusive look at this weekend’s menu:

Menu for Friday (2/10)
Mission Burger (granulated patty, caramelized onion, monterey jack, caper aioli)
CA Spring Roll (fresh peas, radishes, cocoa butter, rice, nori)
Sopaipilla (roasted cauliflower, pickled apple, edamame, eggplant)
Buttermilk Pannacotta (chamomile brittle, spring herbs, mint oil)

Menu for Saturday (2/11)
Spring CA Roll (fresh peas, radishes, cocoa butter, rice, nori)
Jerk Pork Shoulder (smoked, with black beans, sour cream, plantain flatbread)
Vegan Sandwich (chickpea, kale & shitake fritter, topped with fennel and spicy avocado)
Babamisu (mascarpone stuffed baba with espresso bubbles)

Omg! Must… formulate… plan… for not… getting so stuffed… I can’t… play ping pong.

Anyway, as if that weren’t enough, this party will also feature two ping pong tables, one foosball table, TWO FULL BARS by Stoli and Trumer and Hudson Whiskey and Fernet, DJ sets by DJ Wesley Frazee and DJ PJ, party photography by Allison Donlevy, bacon-wrapped chicken and waffle sandwiches by Soul Groove — and it all takes place at the brand-new Bold Italic headquarters, which was expertly designed and furnished by Kelly Malone. Phewf! Don’t miss out! (21+ only, sorry.)

RSVP and invite your friends (Friday) !

RSVP and invite your friends (Saturday) !

Haitian lunch menu weekdays at Bissap Baobab

Eater SF reports:

Madam Fofo, Djenane St. Juste and their family, who are part of the Afoutayi Haitian Dance and Drum Company, are now cooking up traditional Haitian food at the Senegalese restaurant Bissap Baobab in the Mission from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A taste of Friday’s menu includes pumpkin soup (also known as Haitian independence soup), crunchy fried plantain, fried pork (griyo), and coconut fish (Pwason Nan Sòs Kokoye). Vegetarian options are available daily and proceeds are donated to Afoutayi.

Read on.

The best burrito in the city is not in the Mission

UPDATE!!!  CUCO’S is now open on Saturdays!  Get thee there now!

There’s always a ton of bluster on the internet over the quest to crown the best burrito in the city, but somehow lost in the discussion among the heavyweights such as El Farolito, Papalote, and Cancun stands the family-owned and operated CUCO’S in the Lower Haight.  Here, you can find the greatest veggie burrito ever imagined, a fried plantain masterpiece that’s so good it’s even been known to force renowned carnivores to rethink their status.  Despite being one of the aforementioned meat-eaters myself (although my Okcupid profile might read “mostly vegetarian”), I have no qualms with stating that this burrito rivals a super al pastor from Farolito or mole-what-have-you from Papalote solely based on its own merit.  But don’t just take my word for it; check out what the experts at Burritophile have to say:

In no uncertain terms, Cuco’s plantain burrito is the best vegetarian burrito in the city. Maybe the world . . . If you’re really lucky, Mrs. Cuco will cook the fruit long enough for the edges to get carmelized — chewy, sweet goodness . . . The fruit lends an element of flavor and texture to the mix that you just don’t find in most grilled veggie burritos. The sweet, earthy taste of the plantains is a perfect match for the rest of the ingredients.

He’s also not kidding about the Mrs. Cuco part.  This is a real family-owned venture, with the Mrs. Cuco handling the plantains while her daughters help with the other stuff.  I believe I’ve even caught a glimpse of Mr. Cuco back there too.  The orders are always taken with a smile, and they take the time to make sure you get all the options right.  Mrs. Cuco will usually even offer a playful verbal jab if elect to go with the non-spicy salsa!  She’ll usually remember you as well, and will often inquire about the well-being of your friends or family if you come in alone when she’s used to seeing you with a specific group.  This might sound rather banal, but it really goes a long way to contribute to the family atmosphere of the place.

The price is also splendidly cheap, which brings us to the one drawback: the limited hours of operation.  Owing to the family-run nature of the place, you can only get a CUCO’S burrito from 12pm-9pm Monday through Friday, as the taquerestaurant is closed late night and on weekends.  Nonetheless, you’d be doing yourself a severe disservice to live in this city without trying the plantain burrito at least once.  I know what you’re thinking: “The best burrito in the city is a veggie burrito from Lower Haight?”

Well, yes, it is.  Now do it to it.

[Burrito photo by dapperdanj]

[Exterior Photo]