Sunday, August 2, 2009

San Francisco Tacos


1239 9th Ave
2252 Clement St
450 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA

While visiting my friend, Chase, in the Bay Area, I knew it was crucial to get a taste of West coast tacos. Unwilling to settle for just any taco, we crossed the Golden Gate bridge returning from our adventure in Marin and back in the city of San Francisco we ventured to Gordo Taqueria, a little taco shop nestled on a block of banks, Japanese restaurants and, of course, Starbucks.

Walking into Gordo you get the feeling of authenticity. The smell of beans, cheese, and deliciously cooked meat is overwhelming and your mouth starts watering. We waited on line for about 5 minutes observing the behind counter expertise of crafting a burrito for the patrons in front of us. Then our turn! Chase was more adventurous than I and ordered (in Spanish) un taco de carnitas tacos (pulled pork). For consistency purposes I went with pollo (chicken).

Then I learned what keeps people coming back to Gordo. On top of two warmed corn tortillas went black beans (or red, or refried depending on your preference), pico de gallo, a mound of meat, and sour cream. The tacos were muy gordos. As many taco lover know, eating such a full and fabulous taco can be quite messy; the team at Gordo has developed a great solution. The taco is wrapped in paper to its mid-point giving you adequate holding space and a little more control over the taco overflow. Although some chicken, beans and sour cream did escape my taco I could not complain (and personally, I think the runaway ingredients somehow taste better.)--the tortillas were soft, yet not soggy from the beans of pico de gallo, the chicken was succulent, and by the end I was full.

As my only San Francisco taco experience this argument is not well researched, however in comparison with the East coast tacos, the West coast knows what's up.

Although not a taqueria or Mexican restaurant by any means, we did also dine at Mission Beach Cafe at 198 Guerrero Street, and it is worth mentioning. If they had one in New York I'd eat there daily. While in the Bay Area try and grab a meal at Mission Beach Cafe and order the truffle fries -- an unforgettable experience.