Chipotle experimenting more with Garden Blend burritos; meaty-meat chef Nate Appleman is all OMG VEGGIE BURRITO »
What’s your usual order? I’m not joking when I say that I eat a Chipotle vegetarian burrito every single day. It’s rice, black beans, peppers, onions, and guacamole. I’m thinking a lot about vegetarian food these days, which is kind of funny when you consider what I’m known for. Right now I’m experimenting with something called Garden Blend for Chipotle, which is a soy and protein combo. I’m going for vegetarian food more often and now it’s my goal to only eat very good meat, which means eating it much more rarely than I used to. I’m treating meat as something special.
That’s pretty cool because he’s one of those celebrity chefs who is usually all OMG MEAT and now he’s all OMG VEGETARIAN BURRITO. So, you know, Go on Nate Appleman, and Go on, Chipotle. Rock out that Garden Blend (made with Gardein!) and make that shit even more delicious and then put it in all of your “restaurants” and finally make us vegans happy for once in our miserable lives. Sheeeeit.
Garden blend burrito photo from quarrygirl, who also has the update on them stopping Garden blend sales! But perhaps this Nate Appleman character can change all that!
Review: El Metate! »
El Metate is a solid choice for a vegan burrito or taco. They don’t make me walk into light poles so hard I’m knocked nearly unconscious because I’m so preoccupied with their deliciousness (like an El Farolito burrito MAY or MAY have made me do once) but they’re very good. One thing they have going for them is the best Mexican rice in town. It’s just magical deliciousness…tomatoes and bay leaves and onions—perfect. The veggie burrito has actual pan-fried broccoli, carrots, and zucchini in it. It’s kinda like a Chinese stir-fry burrito. If Amy Tan had a baby with Juan Valdez, this is what it would taste like.* It’s really good but you have to be in the mood to eat a whole community garden worth of roughage. Which, to you, might sound either amazing or kinda gross. For me, it’s a place I have to be in the mood for. See, El Farolito, like with sex/drugs/rockn’roll/whining/bitching/eatingcookies/complaining/blamingmyparentsforallofthemisfortunesofmyexistence, I’m always in the mood for it.
Some things to note: El Metate is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. The watermelon fresca is fucking delicious, refreshing and light! Stay away from the corn chips and go with the flour ones instead. The owner couldn’t be more friendly and adorable. He’ll most likely tell you that you look like some ridiculous celebrity. Depending on the day, it might be Lindsay Lohan or Danny Devito. Whatevs, I’ll take it!
*like Amy Tan would do it with a dude who wasn’t white?! If there’s one thing I learned from The Joy Luck Club it’s that Chinese women be marrying white men. And that Chinese men are mean and/or weak. And also, the importance of understanding one’s heritage. That’s why I’m taking a trip to HomeTown Buffet today. It’s important to remember your roots.
[photo via yelp]
Review: Papalote! »
Most burrito places have only one vegetarian option (helpfully labeled “vegetarian”). Papalote has a staggering six (count em! six!) veggie options, and all are also available as tacos (why would you order a taco? Why?): rice and beans; potato carrot mushroom; grilled eggplant and zucchini; grilled tofu; soyrizo; and molé tofu! The correct answer is molé! Order this, I will not steer you wrong! Seriously, where else can you get vegan molé anything? Somebody tell me. Refreshingly, all of these are vegan by default—you actually have to opt in for cheese and sour cream, and pay extra. This is called the “idiot tax.”
Also, they have the best, most unique and delicious-tasting salsa in the city. I have heard that the secret ingredient is pumpkin seeds, and I am willing to believe, because pumpkins make everything better. You can ask for extra salsa, but they will charge you, because they know how valuable it is. This is called the “precious commodities tax.”
Pro tip! Ask for a punch card when you get your burrito. They probably won’t offer you one! Buying ten burritos equals one free one, and you’ll probably blaze through that in a week, right?
There are two Papalote locations, one in the Mission and one in Western Addition. They also have vegan nachos, fajitas and a molé tofu entree on the menu. But again, why? None of these count towards your punch card! Prioritize!
Do yourself a favor and call ahead with your burrito order and then pick it up in 15 minutes. They have a second cashier line dedicated to pick up orders, and you will happily skip the always-out-the-door line, and jockeying with the crowd for free tables. This means, additionally, that Papalote is not a great date spot. You’ve been advised.
*A charming mental image!
[photo via yelp]
Review: El Farolito! »
I believe this is the best burrito in San Francisco. This is, of course, a hotly debated topic and honestly, I don’t care what anyone else has to say, they’re all a bunch of fucking morons. El Farolito is the best, even if it comes with a side of hep C. And it does. Seriously, this place is not the cleanest. AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT USE THE BATHROOM. I can’t say anything more but I’ve seen things. Things no man should have to see. I was in the shit, if you will. And I mean that. Also, watch them when they make your burrito to make sure everything is prepared away from and free of meat and cheese products—these fools already think you’re insane for not ordering a taco with a TONGUE in it so you know, do not trust them. In fact, that is a good lesson in life. Trust no one. Except me. Trust me. I would never steal your identity and sleep with your man. By the way, this is you writing from in bed with my man. Hi!!!!
Anyway, El Farolito is the rare place where the food is just as good when you’re sober as it is when you’re drunk. That being said, I would never dine in. I’m a lady and this is no place for a lady. That being said, I’m the drunk redhead in the back most Thursday nights.
DIETER WARNING: one $4.95 super vegetarian burrito (the rice, the black beans, and the whole pinto beans are vegan!) sans cheese and sour cream add extra avocado is your entire day’s caloric intake. This means for the rest of the day, you will be forced to eat celery (THIS IS THE RARE FOOD THAT BURNS CALORIES WHEN YOU ARE EATING IT OR SO I’VE BEEN TOLD I HAVE NEVER REALLY DONE ANY RESEARCH I JUST BLINDLY CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT!) and your own fingernails. Delicious. Please note, it is entirely worth it.
Three taqueria locations in the Mission: one on Mission Street at 24th Street; one on 24th Street between Alabama and Harrison Streets; and one further out on Mission Street at France Street, in an area called “Mission Terrace.” There is also one in South San Francisco and one in Oakland! Most locations are open crazy-good hours too, from like 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. everyday. Actually, some locations might be until 2 a.m. but I think that’s right. In a city where late-night dining options are harder to find than Bruce Vilanch in a woman’s vagina, that’s pretty awesome. Actually, I guess it’s hard to find Bruce Vilanch doing it with a dude either. I mean, fool be lookin’ like 15 Fraggles stapled together! I love this guy but I worry about his love life.