We've been following FiveThirtyEight's nationwide Burrito Bracket with great interest, particularly as the possibility loomed that Mission District giants El Farolito and Taqueria Cancun might very well go head-to-head in the championship. But as burrito expert Anna Maria Barry-Jester went about her rounds to determine the last entrant in the final four (in which La Taq already has a berth), she discovered something unnerving: Taqueria Cancun may be in danger of disappearing. Co-owner Gerardo Rico says that Cancun's flagship 19th and Mission location has been without a lease for more than a year after the death of their longtime landlord, and is currently going month-to-month until the landlord's family decides what to do with the space. Asked what would happen to Cancun, he responded, "Who knows?"
As if the stress of potentially losing his space wasn't enough, Rico told Barry-Jester that the restaurant has been turned upside down by the simultaneous arrival of Barry-Jester's earlier Burrito Bracket rave (in which Cancun upset top seed El Farolito) and an endorsement from 400,000-follower-strong comedian Marc Maron on Twitter. He told Barry-Jester his employees were overworked, and he was concerned that the quality of the food had gone down. Barry-Jester indeed found the "greasy yet dry" burrito to be a little less awesome than her previous visit, though she still dubbed it a food "fit for kings" and gave it only a two-point dock, dropping its score to 92/100. However, it seems that Rico's plea for relief, the slight quality decrease, and Barry-Jester's aversion to a La Taq vs. Cancun finale that would be a "referendum on the inclusion of rice in Mission-style burritos" all combined to work against Taqueria Cancun in the bracket. It won't be moving forward, and La Taqueria will be the lone SF entrant fighting for the crown against El Paso's Delicious Mexican Eatery, the Bronx's Taqueria Tlaxcalli, and L.A.'s Al & Bea's Mexican Food.