East Bay "Mission Burrito"

Hi, I was planning to acquire 3 x Mission Burritos to carry in my cooler as “backup provisions” for a road trip to a remote area. Any recs in Oakland/Berkeley-area for an El Farolito/Taq San Jose/Taq Vallarta etc style $10 Super Burrito?

i.e. not Picante, not Cancun.
The place on University x Milvia is meh … Donkey Burrito?
Is Taq Talavera on Solano good?

International Ave is a bit far for me, but doable. But I’m not current on what is good there. Banh Mi Ba Le or Nabolom’s limited schedules wont work with mine, but those were non-burrito portable options.

Also interested in Super Quesadilla recs … when not on road trip; I think a burrito will be better cold.

I was mulling over whether 2020 was the first “adult year” of my life when I neither flew on a plane nor had a “mission burrito”, but I did have at least one MB in the first half of Jan 2020.

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Just curious where and how far this remote area is?

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I like Tacos Mi Rancho on 1st Ave, near Lake Merritt. They make a good Mission burrito. The al pastor burrito that compares well with Cancun in SF. I think the super burrito is $12.

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Talavera, La Mission on University, and Casa Latina on San Pablo are all owned by the same company. All of them have excellent carnitas burritos, for around $10 before extras like guac or cheese. I like the barbacoa as well.

A recent addition, also excellent, is El Rulas, the truck in the parking lot at San Pablo and Gilman. Their al pastor is very good.

https://sf.eater.com/2021/2/11/22275500/tacos-el-rulas-truck-berkeley-quesabirria-torta-cubana-handmade-tortillas

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I haven’t been in ages, and it is located on International Blvd which you say is a bit far, but there is an Oakland branch of El Farolito near Fruitvale station.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Taqueria+El+Farolito/@37.776043,-122.76468,10.32z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x808f868ab2467ac9:0x1a76bcf4722c748a!8m2!3d37.7754351!4d-122.2209233

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I haven’t had a Mi Rancho burrito in years but I remember their super burrito is about 1.5-2x the size of a typical Mission burrito, which itself is of course quite large.

Food that stays good or gets better as it cools should be its own topic! I made the mistake of letting a Horn’s bbq brisket sandwich cool down and it went from tasty to bleagh.

For the most part, burritos probably stay better longer because of their thermal mass and foil insulation (I thought foil was a conductor though!)

El Patio on San Pablo isn’t known for their burritos but their asada burritos are my favorite in the area. They’re a bit longer and thinner than mission-style burritos and come with a foil-wrapped side of peppers/onions.

Las Cabanas on MLK is where I get takeout the most, however. They dutifully grill the exterior to get a semi-dorado effect, and their breakfast burritos are available all day. Their chimichanga is the bargain standout, though how crispy a chimichanga will hold up in a cooler is an open question…

But as for burritos that age well, maybe go with a mole burrito, so that the sauce can better penetrate the rice over time? The talavera group has been steadily increasing prices but La Mission is where I used to get the chicken mole (though it now appears at almost all their locations).

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Hi everyone, will follow up in more detail in bit.

Food that stays good or gets better as it cools should be its own topic!

There are at least these related categories:

–Foods which are better cold, like certain pizzas slices.

–Foods which get better after a day or two.
[some Chilis? Some Indian Dishes … I think sometimes it’s a matter of the fat absorbing more flavor?]

–Foods which I thought were just-as-good/better cold, but turned out to be clearly superior hot/room temp, but I was too impatient/greedy to wait for warm :slight_smile: #marshmello_test
[Some BBQ or other items where you want the fat to melt some are in this set (Cheese, prosciutto)].

Thanks for all the great suggestions. More soon.

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They still have the super burrito. Basically it’s a small log in foil.

Hi again, all. Consolidated + Rambling answer …

re: “remote area” …
Well, since you asked: First stop was intended to be Desolation Wilderness – sounds remote, no? – and then TBD, maybe head toward Sierra Buttes. But it looks like my campsite got canceled due to SMUD construction. Placerville was going to be last stop before going “into the woods”. I’ve stopped there for some decent BBQ and took some extras for “camp dinner”. However new plan is a “Southern Strategy” maybe in the Sierra Natl Forest. So will analyze Hwy 99 food options instead … and this is going to be a “less remote” trip.

TACO MI RANCHO: Oh, that looks like an interesting option, and was not on my radar. I see they have the somewhat-hard-to-find GROUND BEEF/MOLIDA option. I also see they are open late. Will try them out at some point for sure. I actually drove to the south side of Lake Merritt intending to work from a cafe and then hit up TMR, but I ended up not being that hungry and went to LEANING TOWER PIZZA for a slice-before-latte and BANH MI BA LE for post-cafe food pickup. I finally tried the BANH MI #12, MEATBALL + EGG … and you know what? I think that may be indeed be the best thing on the menu.

TALAVERA: I vaguely remembered TT was “part of an empire” but somehow had associated it with Traci Des Jardins. I guess I must have substituted it for MIJITA. I thought it was supposed to be a fancier place but I guess not really. I was just meeting a friend at Indian Rock + Solano for “trinken/triffen/essen” and we passed by there and went to BOWL’D instead. Had better past experience at BOWL’D than this last time (Seafood pancake, KFC, Potstickers … was getting sharables rather than “personal bowl” … and nothing was that great.).

EL RULAS: I saw that article too and filed it away on my “to do” (“to eat”?) list. Since my original draft of this reply I ended up trying it. I realize this is a minority opinion but I didnt love the AL PASTOR BURRITO … the meat was seasoned ok, but it just tasted a bit dry and “chalky”. I thought the rice in the burrito had a good flavor. Perhaps not fair to compare truck-based production with “real restaurant” but this fell short of the reliable standards like FAROLITO/VALLARTA/GUADALAJARA etc. Although maybe not quite an “apples to apples” compare since I’ve switched my “default burrito” to be one of the CHICKEN options … “pastor to pollo” compare? I did think the BIRRIA in the “QUESO TACO” was quite good, although I didnt eat it till I hot got home ~20min later, so I wasnt sampling the taco at its best … cheese/grease had semi-congealed etc.

I’m glad I didnt drag an out-of-town friend there. We went to WAYSTATION on Dwight instead. They had some kind of a Fresh Fish Popup that afternoon where I had a fantastic FISH CHOWDER (COD). It was better than at least 90-95% of “restaurant soups” … for $8. Wish it were a regular item somewhere. [photo]

ETA: I’ve since learned this dood has a regular popup Sundays at WAYPOINT,
and Thr at HIDDEN CAFE … “COD DAMN POPUP”.
https://www.instagram.com/_cod.damn/?hl=en

I had the chowder again … wasnt quite as amazing this time, but still very good, say and 8.4 rather than a 9.5. It wasnt just “regression to the chowder mean” but was slightly different and “today’s fish” wasnt quite as flavorful as last time. This version had BACON and didnt have the ROE on top … dont recall if the earlier one had BACON as well but it was more noticeable today. And the “bun with flavored butter” you get on the side was had been upgraded to a fancier concept. Will at some point try the canonical “fish and chips” … they looked good going by.

Other Recent EBay foods:
JUNE PIZZA: Wed-Sun $4 MARGARITA SLICE is the real deal. Have not tried their “with toppings” pizza as it is a bit of a production … only whole pie, have to order ahead of time and may not be able to get at convenient time etc. Not knocking the business model … just have to know what you are getting into.

Out-of-town Friend wanted to get some more pizza and I thought ROTTEN CITY would be a reliable option. Was terrible and I was pissed off: no more slices, the minimum is 1/4 pie / double slice … and it was terrible. Totally phoned-in, sitting-on-counter-until-tastes-like-cardboard. I really should have complained, considering it was $13 -> basically a $6 slice. Wish there was a TONY PIZZA branch in the East Bay. At least they are reliable.

RED BAY COFFEE HQ: I didnt get an exotic option, just an iced latte on a hot day. Nothing special. Sure, the high concept inside is quite a contrast from the block it sits on, but whatever. Was underwhelmed based on all the “coffee press” it’s been getting. Not a bad work space although I can see it could get too crowded for comfort for Pandemic End of Days.

ORBITAL COFFEE: Pretty good, although not a great place to linger … only tables, not chairs, on a busy street. Hard to work on laptop due to glare [not knocking the business for any of this].

NABOLOM doesnt seem to get much press but I think their Pizzas/Focacia are really quite good. Bread Pudding/Fritata were ok. Their eclair was really good but I dont know how often they have that. This “solves the problem” of Cheeseboard not doing slices at the moment.

MASALA CUISINE: This improbably located indian to-go restaurant is is on INTERNATIONAL BLVD just south of HEGENBERGER/COLISEUM. I started writing up something about this place but it really is worth it’s own post, or chiming in on an existing thread [I’ve followed up on one of Melanie’s CH threads but I cant recall if it has been discussed on HO. You can mention CH on HO, but cant mention HO on CH, right?]. But strong endorsement.

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North side, I like Gordo on Solano Ave. Admittedly I was addicted to their carnitas / bean / rice and not the full “mission treatment”.

I’ve had awesome burritos on International, but I don’t think they were “mission style” like you say, and I don’t remember the exact names, sorry.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold