Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Little Chihuahua

Photo stolen from haighteration.com
VeganMoFo founder Isa Moskowitz once told me that she preferred the taste of burritos from some joint in my 'hood named "The Little Chihuahua," over those from world-famous Papalote.  I was skeptical.  I couldn't believe that this respected and prolific cookbook author had such poor taste in burritos.  Papalote smacked-down that insolent Bobby Flay, for chrissakes.  Their roasted tomato salsa is so popular that it has its own Web site! How could some poorly-named hole-in-the-wall compete with perfection? I concluded that it wasn't fair of me to judge Isa so harshly, especially when I had never stepped foot inside The Little Chihuahua myself*. So tonight I went to check it out.

I skipped burrito photography class.
I was immediately surprised by the large number of happily chattering customers stuffed into the tiny restaurant.  The interior was warm and welcoming on a gray, drizzling San Francisco night.  I ordered a regular chile verde tofu burrito with black beans and guacamole on a tomato-chile tortilla, to go.  I then spent 10 minutes bobbing and weaving my way around the salsa bar until they called my name.  I remained skeptical that this burrito was going to be anything special, right up until I got it home and stuffed it into my mouth.  Holy shit.  It was good.  The tortilla was toasted.  There was delicious pickled cabbage inside.  The tofu was tangy. The beans were flavorful. Two bites, three bites... It was really good.  But was it better than Papalote? I can't believe I'm saying it, but... maybe. I'll have to do some more research to be certain.  For now, I'm relived that Isa does indeed have excellent taste in burritos.

* I had eaten several burritos from the previous taqueria at 292 Divisadero St., and they were all poor to mediocre.  Does anyone know what it was called?

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