The FiveThirtyEight burrito bracket has had its ups and downs, from top-seeded El Farolito's defeat to the sudden rise (and equally sudden fall) of Taqueria Cancun, but throughout it all, La Taqueria has held strong. And today, burrito expert Anna Maria Barry-Jester, along with the site's founder/famed stats guru Nate Silver, have given it the crown as America's Best Burrito.
"I watched Nate take his first bite, and I swear he achieved nirvana before my eyes," said Barry-Jester of the duo's dining experience, in which they plowed through two super carnitas, one super carnitas dorado, and one super chorizo dorado burritos. "It's not necessarily the burrito you'll want to eat every day, but it's a technical marvel with a monumental first bite worthy of a national title."
La Taqueria won its crown over three other worthy contenders in the Final Four: the Bronx's Taqueria Tlaxcalli ("an East Coast godsend, but it isn't in the same league with the other finalists"), L.A.'s Al and Bea's Mexican Food ("a disappointing showing...the ingredients were just too thin to stay inside"), and El Paso's Delicious Mexican Eatery ("simple and elegant").
La Taq has been in business for over 40 years, and this is the most recent in a parade of honors for owner Miguel Jara, whose walls are practically wallpapered in plaques from the Chron, SF Mag, Zagat, SF Weekly, and others. But a prize like this, after a repeated and longstanding competition, will undoubtedly cause fresh lines to form at always-busy La Taq. Meanwhile, we can only imagine the horror that Burritoeater's Charles Hodgkins, as well as a sea of rice-loving burrito partisans, are feeling right now.
· America's Best Burrito [FiveThirtyEight]
· Taqueria Cancun May Be in Danger of Closing [~ ESF ~]
· La Taqueria Makes Final Four in Burrito Bracket [~ ESF ~]