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And another thing! Tortillas…

June 13, 2007

I could kick myself for forgetting my camera the afternoon my aunt Maggie and I walked down to Sombrero’s to get the only burrito I ate during my San Diego adventure. How I managed to get out of there with only one burrito in my belly I will never know, but I did realize one major thing that is wrong with all these Boston taquerias. It’s not just that they put rice in their burritos. It’s not the lettuce (although I have major issues with that), or the lack of tortilla steaming. It’s the dang tortillas themselves!

Burritos in San Diego come wrapped in the most perfect Platonic ideal of tortillas I’ve ever seen. They are so floury your hands are coated in a thin powder of fine white flour dust when you’re done. They are super soft and almost buttery, but they still have some bite, some heft to them. They are a dream. A dream, I tell you! I’m not sure how it’s done, really. My homemade tortillas don’t even come close. Sometimes I suspect there’s a little abuelita in the back of every taqueria, making those things by hand. But I doubt it. However, they make me want a little abuelita in my kitchen, making them for me, because they are unparalleled in their wonderfulness. Sigh.

My Sombrero’s burrito? Even though Sombrero’s isn’t really the best of the best, and I would have preferred El Indio, or Roberto’s, or Alberto’s, or any one of the ‘bertos’, that carne asada still far surpassed anything I’ve had outside the city limits. I could weep for its memory.

(Another weird aside: We never called them taquerias in San Diego when I was growing up. I never even heard that word until I moved to Santa Cruz. I don’t remember what we called them, except maybe taco stands.)

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