As we mentioned last week, the final installment of Vice TV’s Fresh off the Boat: Bay Area series involves burritos. Vice TV’s Eddie Huang concludes his Bay Area tour by sampling several of our unofficial official local dish, comparing them to Asian food, and crowning a favorite. I wish he would have sampled more burritos, but let’s be real, burritos are huge, how many could one possibly eat in a day?
Looks like Daly City’s Koi Palace has caught on to this whole burrito fusion thing. Check out the “Shredded Duck Burrito”:
Its “tortilla” is a pan-fried scallion pancake, and its insides are peking duck-style shredded duck and cucumber slivers. There’s plum sauce for dipping.
It tasted great, though calling it a “burrito” might be a stretch. Where are the closed-off ends? It’s more of a wrap, I’d say. Still, I haven’t seen a duck burrito since Mission Chinese’s Chinito (RIP) which brought back some fond memories.
And before you go complaining, “waaaah don’t tell people about my favorite ‘secret’ dim sum spot” ’cause it’s too late. The lines have been crazy long there for years.
UPDATE: Mission Chinese Food insider Chris Ying weighs in…
— Chris Ying (@chrisyingz) September 5, 2012
Earlier today, Andrew stuck his nose up at a Korean rendition of our official neighborhood dish. Fortunately, that burrito is not representative of all burrito offerings in Korea.
This is a burrito from the Taco Habanero truck in Hongdae, and it was one of my favorite things in Seoul (and there are a lot of good things in Seoul). This wonderful grilled tortilla pocket is filled with seasoned rice, kimchi, Korean BBQ, and the tastiest habanero salsa.
Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s not a burrito. It doesn’t look like a burrito, at least not in the cylindrical form we all know and love. And yeah, there’s no beans. And there’s all that Korean stuff. Fine. Geometry, semantics, and content aside though, this “burrito” was so freakin’ delicious.
Here’s the truck, in case you’re ever in Hongdae and happen to work up an appetite.
I’m probably (hopefully) not the first person to have thought of this, but it turns out that a teacup or mug of an appropriate circumference makes the perfect burrito stand, for those of you who like to multitask while you lunch.
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.
Everyone thinks that the secret to our excellent burritos is the ingredients. New theories indicate that it’s all in the upper body strength of the maker.
The recently NYC transplanted sexpigeon has more to say on the matter.
…the pierced and tatt’ed young lady who wrapped my burrito really didn’t know what she was doing. Her end folds were way too big pushing all the contents to the middle. She tried to cover things up with an exaggerated triangle fold to bring the edges in, but this just resulted in burrito contents shooting out of the tip at a higher velocity after the second roll. The whole structural integrity of the burrito was therefore compromised, as you can see from the cracking of the overloaded bottom half…
Yeah we get it, snow is a magical gift of nature that looks pretty, makes passable forts, and can be sledded upon. Then you live in it and within days you realize it’s a pain in the ass. It’s cold. It gets slushy. Your face hurts and you start ducking into random stores on the street just so you can warm up enough to walk further.
Need further convincing? Check out these luxuries we get to enjoy in our temperate neighborhood microclimate.
I don’t care how “connected to the road” you feel on a fixed gear ride, nothing is “connecting” you to a thick layer of ice. Check out what those less fortunate cyclists in Seattle have to do:
Yup, those are zip tie tire chains. The innovator Fritz Rice says:
I can accelerate, brake, and corner with aplomb, even on the vile snowpack/sheet ice mix the plows leave in the bike lanes. The zip ties dig nicely into the hardest packed surfaces, but they’re thin enough not to bounce the bike around at low speed or on short pavement sections.
Bragging about being able to accelerate, brake, and corner in the winter? And here we are complaining that our butts get wet because of some puddles. By the way, if you don’t have a fender, we have our own little innovation. Bungee a folded up copy of the Examiner to your rear rack. Works great.
If we want a burrito, the process is simple: walk a block (or two if you want the better one), buy a burrito, and enjoy.
Apparently, this is not so easy in ski towns like Mammoth Mountain. Burritos must be imported to you on monstrosities such as this:
Think of the carbon footprint on that sucker. I feel like if I don’t comply with a valid order within 20 seconds, a machine gun turret will open up on the side and lay me to waste. I’ll bet the burritos stink, too.