No jukebox screaming banda. No salsa, fries or beer. Just pure Carne Asada Burrito . In a blind taste test – analyzing everything from the circumference and doneness of the beef to the distribution and harmony of the ingredients – five experts dig into six of the city’s most popular super carne asada burritos, with a ringtone for fun (ahem, Chipotle). After serious consideration and proof that even the best burritos can be faulty, conclusions have been reached.
From a gourmet point of view, how do you judge the best carne asada burrito?
Tortilla – should be properly toasted but not too crispy, should hold the burrito together until the very last bite.
Pico de gallo – should taste fresh but not overwhelm the flavor of the meat, should act as a counterpoint to richer ingredients such as cheese, sour cream or guacamole.
Meat – cooked to order, lightly charred and evenly sized. Must be very tender because of the marinade.
Cheese – Should be melted and barely noticeable, mainly there to provide a soft texture. Goes well with beans
Carb optional – If the tortilla isn’t enough, beans, rice, and fries are great burrito options. My personal preference is the fries, if done right they should stay crispy even with all the pico de gallo and salsa.
Condiments – Does the restaurant offer a variety of salsas? Red? Green? Chipotle? Free pickled carrots and peppers?
Best Carne Asada Burrito in London-
1. El Farolito
Consistently ranked as one of the best burritos in town, the Mission District’s classic 3 a.m. booze stop came in first without too much difficulty. “What a miracle,” said Sunset magazine’s Margo True. “A fusion Carne Asada Burrito with a neat arrangement of beans, rice, meat and gravy. A caring cook arranged it.
Carne asada is “wonderfully rustic,” said Burritoeater’s Charles Hodgkins. burrito Prisca Chen disagreed. “Beef is like ground beef,” she laments, scribbling a scowling face on her scorecard.
“Where is the pico de gallo? Chen concluded that the burrito topping is not made up of real friends “although they tolerate each other”. But SPQR chef Matthew Accarrino gave it its highest rating, citing the beans as “mild but with texture”, the beef as having the “best flavor”. of all”.
WHERE? – 2779 Mission St.
PHONE – 415-824-7877
Last February, this Mission District taqueria won Bobby Flay’s famous burrito-off on the Food Network. The size of the meat in this burrito was noted by all: “Now it’s a steak,” Chen said. “An attention grabber,” Hodgkins said. “Good but under-seasoned,” True said.
“But I can finally taste the grill!” Hodgkins loved the “wonderfully toasted tortilla” and said, “I hardly ever think about it, but this one has too much cheese in it.” Is such a thing possible?
WHERE? – 3409 24th St.
PHONE – 415-970-8815
3. Taqueria Cancún
A longtime SF favorite, this was selected by Chen as his top pick. She called it “juicy” and best for the “uninitiated tourist who has never had an SF burrito”. Hodgkins felt that the tortilla was steamed (although Cancun tortillas are actually reheated on the griddle) and “sticky to the palate” and lamented the amount of sour cream. Carne Asada Burrito Farr was happy with the “right amount of heat, fresh cilantro and avocado”.
WHERE? – 2288 Mission St.
PHONE – 415-252-9560
4. El Tonayense
There are three El Tonayense trucks in SF, but this burrito, which has the addition of jalapeños (not green peppers as some judges guessed), came from the one parked at Harrison and 14th Street. “Good crispy cooking on the meat,” Farr said.
“And adding bean juice helps keep it moist.” True found the beef “forgettable – too sprayed”. But Chen enjoyed his messy side of street food. “What this burrito lacks in girth, it makes up for in fat and flavor.”
WHERE? – At Harrison and 14th streets,
PHONE – 415-559-0404
The heat was on, True said, for this string’s take on a burrito. Their version was “full of rice, guac and fire. Hot!” But there was too much starch for most of it. “Where are the beans?” Hodgkins said. “Oh, here hidden behind that damn rice.” Farr called the meat “tender” but wished it had there’s more char.
Hodgkins said the guac was “top of the line” but the cheese seemed lacking. Accarrino considered the burrito “right in the middle of the pack.”
WHERE? – 232 O’Farrell St.
PHONE – 415-765-9043
6. Gordo Taqueria
Representing the burritos of the Richmond neighborhood, this one received very different reviews. True loved guac and the balance of ingredients, as did Farr. But Chen asked “WTF?” regarding what she considered “white rice”, which made her “want to cry”.
(Gordo says their rice is actually made with tomatoes.) Hodgkins compared sour cream or cream to “cream cheese – an abomination.” Accarrino described it as “not so bad but not so interesting either”.
WHERE? – 5450 Geary Blvd.
PHONE – 415-668-8226
7. El Castillito
“Raw onion, pasty rice, jerky,” Accarrino said of this Castro favorite. “An unattractive hodgepodge,” True said. “The meat is pale and definitely not asada.” Hodgkins said the beans might be “appropriate for minestrone but not for a Carne Asada Burrito .”
Only one person really liked this burrito, and that was Farr. “Good meat, good char flavor, nice chunky salsa,” giving it its highest rating, showing that burrito tasting is nothing if not personal.
What’s the best place in San Diego to eat tacos? How about the best Californian burrito? And finally, what about the best Carne Asada Burrito ?
90% of San Diego’s myriad taco shops do just fine in all of these categories, with a few to avoid and probably a few that stand out… But there’s no right answer to that , and it all depends on your personal preferences.
When I lived near College, I had no less than nine taco shops within a 5 block radius of my apartment complex. But they were all great, and what I liked best about each was usually outweighed by whichever was the most convenient on the way home to grab something. Just start exploring and see for yourself.
For the record though, my personal favorites:
Tacos – Cotijas in Lemon Grove, California Burrito – Carne Asada from Vaquero to Encanto (69th and Imperial) , Carne Asada Fries – Alanbertos/Molcasalsa on College and University, Breakfast Burritos (non-Kono) – Taco Fiesta on Mission Gorge
You could describe one of a thousand such Mexican restaurants in Central California. Mexican restaurants in California go bankrupt pretty quickly for a variety of reasons: poor management, employee issues, competition from other similar restaurants, failing health inspections Carne Asada Burrito .
Carne asada is a good example of a style of cooking that varies so much from restaurant to restaurant that it’s impossible to identify it if you had it in the restaurant “down the street” from the one you you are dating. Thinly sliced marinated cuts of beef are the main starters of the dish. After being marinated, many restaurants put the meat in the freezer, to be removed on demand days or even weeks later, with the taste of the freshly thawed being immediately recognizable.
In my recollection, the only similarities of Mexican dishes are in the chain of pseudo-Mexican places whose franchise names are prominent in most California cities.
If this sounds like a “bad mouth” of Mexican-style restaurants (in California), I’m just saying it as I’ve experienced it. My first wife, a Mexican national, worked at almost every Mexican restaurant in Sacramento (about 10 at last count) during our marriage and told me all the “secrets” of the places she worked.
To be fair to the company, however, good management, experience, and skilled cooks are the best test of a Mexican restaurant’s quality, and these qualities are not uncommon in the business. I know it was located southeast of the city near the airport and was an old 50’s style cafe. BEST Carne Asada ever.
Which tastes better, a wet Carne Asada Burrito or a California Carne Asada Burrito ?
California Carne Asada Burrito :
The so-called California burrito is an abomination invented in San Diego when a stoned high school student tripped over his surfboard and dropped an order of fries into a “regular” carne asada burrito someone had left on a bench. after the pigeons have chosen all the rice and beans. It’s two budget-friendly comfort foods mashed together, a starch wrapped in starch, making it super dry and mushy.
A Californian burrito, desperately out of sauce. The dish is logically flawed, inherently limited – far from perfect, but there is no good way to improve it.
To make it edible, the meat must be super tender and chewy and the fries extra crispy. This gives it a short shelf life as the fries will soon be cold and soggy. Or you have to mask it with other ingredients like avocado cream, sour cream, soft cheese, and/or salsa, which at best will make the inside a tasty glop. The burrito wrapper should be freshly grilled on a griddle so it’s not a batter bomb.
A burrito mojado is a style, not a specific dish. It’s a normal burrito covered with enchilada sauce and melted cheese. So it’s like enchiladas, but there’s only one on the plate and there’s a flour tortilla instead of corn.
In case you didn’t know, enchilada sauce is a cousin of mole, or maybe, one of the best sauces in the world. It is slowly reduced chicken broth, fresh or smoked mild green or red chillies, tomato paste, garlic, cumin and a number of other herbs and spices like coriander, oregano Mexican and even unsweetened chocolate. Like pozole rojo or menudo, body and flavor come from highly concentrated chili peppers. Because the flavor is so intense and complex that it doesn’t need to be dressed to finish the dish, just a little cheese on top.
It makes a good alternative to a “super” burrito, also known as a BFB (one with added cheese, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes and other expensive additions) because a good enchilada sauce and cheese are the complete garnish and dressing. No more needed.
Carne asada isn’t the best meat for a moist burrito because the texture and taste don’t complement the sauce. Shredded or ground meat is a better choice, and my favorite would be the carnitas.
A good alternative to both would be a chimichanga, another dish invented by accident when a restaurant worker dropped a burrito into a tub of frying oil. This made a fried burrito, which could also be served San Diego style with fries and carne asada inside, or drizzled with gravy on top.