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El Farolito is a Mexican restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco. Actually, BayInsider claims that there are two, but they say that the second one is in the Excelsior right by my school and if it really were there I surely would have run into it by now, right? So they must be lying. The one I’m talking about, anyway, is right next door to the 24th & Mission BART station.

First thing you’ll notice when you walk in: It’s tiny. El Farolito is certainly not for the claustrophobic. There also tends to be a whole lotta people inside. This is a good thing. People come here for a reason.

Second thing you’ll notice when you walk in: It’s dirty. Get over it. The food tastes really good. A little dirt never hurt anyone. Personally, I think it adds to the flavor.

There’s probably a line, because there’s always a line. The burritos are worth the wait. If you get bored, pop a few quarters in the jukebox and boogie down.

And as for the food? Well, there are two kinds of people in the world: the kind of people whose mouths water at the sound of the words “fried pork” and the kind of people who are disgusted. Vegetarians, those who eat kosher, and health nuts generally fall into the second category. If you do, I would advise you to skip the next paragraph.

If you, like me, are lucky enough to solidly stand your ground in the first category, and you’re looking for a culinary experience that borders on the orgasmic, you’ve got to order the carnitas burrito. Carnitas is a pork dish. It can be made several different ways, using such fancy-shmancy cooking techniques as “boiling”, “roasting”, and “braising”. Not at El Farolito! The folks at El Farolito, bless their souls, took the pig and dipped it in hot oil. It’s described on the menu as “fried pork” and oh mama it’s delicious. I’ve tried carnitas burritos at several other fine San Francisco eateries, including Taqueria Cancun and La Taqueria, and they simply can’t measure up. Another added bonus: El Farolito is open til something like 2 in the morning, perfect if you have a sudden pork craving in the middle of the night. Go on, indulge your inner (or outer) fatty and order one! You’ll enjoy it, I promise.

Ok, enough with the pork talk. After the first 60 or so times I went there and got the carnitas, I decided to branch out. I tried the carne asada burrito, the vegetarian burrito, the chicken burrito, the enchiladas, and the quesadillas before retreating into the more familiar porky territory. The other burritos are also very good, although they can’t hold a candle to the carnitas. The tortillas are grilled in butter, which is heavenly. The quesadillas are good if you’ve got along a picky child or something, but they’re nothing special. Same with the enchiladas. Stick to basics – get a burrito. And skip the chips, they’re always stale. Oh yeah – they sell Coke in a glass bottle, that’s always fun.

I do have to answer the most common complaint about El Farolito. It’s often said that the burritos are greasy. Greasy like a fox, I say! They are greasy, but they’re yummy! The grease just makes it goes down easier. Besides, grease is what this nation is all about! America was founded on grease! The great American melting pot – what do you think it’s filled with? Grease, that’s what! It’s downright unpatriotic to choke down a dry burrito! Support America! Clog your arteries!
Thank you.

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