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El Burrito Express on Taraval (Ed Jew Edition!)

June 21, 2007

These days, Short Exact can’t get enough of the scandal surrounding Ed Jew, the recently-elected supervisor for San Francisco’s 4th district. This district consists of the Outer Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods, so it’s all the more surprising that this usually quiet, mild-mannered section of the city has been taking the forefront in terms of local politics. If you haven’t been following along, it’s not too late to get started. Local news blog SFist has done a ridiculously thorough coverage of this story, in their series “Oh No, Ed Jew!”, which typically receives a few updates each day.

Ed Jew claims to live in this bungalow on 28th Avenue, just south of Taraval,

tb_28_ave_house.jpg

but neighbors who have been parking in his driveway because it’s always empty are pretty sure that isn’t the case. And of course, it makes perfect sense that very little water is being used in this house, since Ed Jew showers at his Chinatown flower shop!

Even sketchier are the shady business dealings between Ed Jew and Quickly,

tb_taraval_quickly.jpg

a chain of tapioca milk tea shops that generally serve milk tea which is decidedly mediocre, at best, or in the worst case, essentially inedible. In this case of “Bobagate”, SFist-dubbed “Tapioca Ed” required $40,000 in exchange for help solving a problem relating to permits. Now, Quickly is a huge chain of stores, and their tea is often rather poor. Not only that, but their insistence on distinguishing between “large tapioca” (i.e. standard issue tapioca pearls) and “small tapioca” (a horrible perversion of the first order) is completely misguided. Under no circumstances should we have to utter the words “large tapioca” just to get tapioca pearls. Anyway, sorry for the digression; we do not feel especially sorry for Quickly, but, to say the least, Ed Jew probably could’ve handled this more gracefully. Just to be clear, the above picture is of the Quickly store on Taraval Street, which Ed Jew — “living” as he does on 28th Avenue right off Taraval — no doubt visits quite frequently. However, the specific store exploited by “Tapioca Ed” is actually on Irving.

Given the preponderance of evidence against him, it seems pretty clear that Ed Jew’s house on 28th Avenue has been completely unoccupied, and that the supervisor of District Four has been living with his family in Burlingame — a completely different city, and nowhere near District Four. Anyway, you’ve probably been wondering why we’re talking about Ed Jew instead of a restaurant. To be honest, we really just wanted an excuse to check out this mysterious 28th Avenue house, and also to make fun of Quickly (an activity we like to indulge in semi-frequently). A blog post seemed like just the ticket. Still, this post would be incomplete without mentioning a restaurant in “Ed Jew’s neighborhood,” the Parkside district.

Had Ed Jew actually spent any time at “his” 28th Avenue house, he would have certainly run across El Burrito Express,

tb_el_burrito_express_storefront.jpg

a charming little taqueria at 26th and Taraval. This restaurant is mostly a take-out operation, since it only has a few cramped counter seats. There is often a line here, as it is a popular choice for residents in this not particularly burrito-laden neighborhood. The menu is a little cumbersome in terms of the terminology (regular burrito, super burrito, bronco burrito, super bronco burrito, and “expresso burrito” — to say nothing of tacos and the specials), but it all comes down to choosing the combination of ingredients you want. Rather than describe all the details, we figured it’d be easier to just provide a photo of the menu,

tb_el_burrito_express_menu.jpg

and, as usual, you can click the photo for a larger, more readable version. On this Ed Jew-instigated visit to El Burrito Express, we ordered the grilled steak bronco burrito,

tb_el_burrito_express_grilled_steak_bronco.jpg

which included the grilled steak, tomato, cheese, onion, avocado, and pinto beans; the regular bronco burritos do not include rice — making them somewhat more reasonably sized than the monster super burritos, and a good deal at $3.85 for a bronco burrito with meat. The beans and vegetables here were good (with several chunks of fresh avocado), and the steak was quite flavorful, but there was an abundance of excessively chewy pieces. We would have appreciated more uniformly and thoroughly melted cheese, but at least the tortilla was nice and flaky-grilled. The biggest strike was that in spite of our request for heat, this burrito almost completely lacked all spice and heat. All in all, this burrito was certainly not bad, but it lacked punch and a unification of flavors. In an excellent burrito, the combined effect of the interior ingredients is greater than the sum of its parts, but that was just not the case here. Still, you could do worse, and El Burrito Express is a decent choice for the neighborhood. If you come here with high hopes to find Ed Jew, though — well, let’s just say you may want to catch the next train to Burlingame instead.

RATING:

COST:

1601 Taraval Street (at 26th Ave.)
San Francisco, CA 94116
Phone: 415.566.8300
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Closed Sundays.

Credit cards accepted. Takeout available.

Cuisine: Mexican
Neighborhood: Parkside/West Portal

How to get there: Muni lines 66 and L.

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6 comments

  1. I actually live in Ed Jew’s “alleged” neighborhood, so I go to El Burrito Express quite often. I know what you mean about the “heat,” but my biggest beef about the place is that they are really stingy with the salsa. I wouldn’t say that their burritos are dry, but you do need a little salsa in the burrito as well as for your chips.


  2. Ah, nice, you’re in his beat! You wouldn’t happen to be one of the neighbors using his driveway, would you? 😉

    Good point about the salsa.


  3. Glad to know I’m not the only one obsessed with the Tapioca Ed coverage in SFist 😀


  4. Anita, just based on how many comments people write to the Tapioca Ed posts, it looks like that we definitely aren’t the only ones, by far 🙂


  5. Go to La Playa Tacqueria on Noriega and 46th. Order a chicken burrito with mole sauce, or try a taco salad. That place is still a little known secret.


  6. Mmmmburritos, thanks for the tip! I knew that La Playa existed but have never been there, probably due to lack of patience to go all the way to 46th and Noriega 🙂 I’ll have to check out sometime; thanks for the rec.



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