Who needs the summer of love when you could have the summer of streaks? The summer of 2014 can be certainly be characterized as a summer of streaks for a diverse set of reasons. A European soccer team won the world cup for a third straight time. Game of Thrones left millions of viewers itching for a new season for the fourth straight year. Clayton Kershaw (the greatest pitcher of my lifetime) had a streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings. All of these streaks will fade away in my memory, but there is one streak that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Eight straight days of Mexican food. This doesn’t mean I survived on a diet of pork, beans and salsa. I actually felt that I was eating a perfectly balanced diet. The rules were quite simple: eat Mexican food at least once a day.
The streak began the day after the fourth of July, more commonly known as July 5th. While on a day trip in San Francisco, I had lunch at Ocean Taqueria. A tortilla is put onto a grill, and while cooking, became the resting place for a pile of carnitas, pinto beans and cheese. Then, this pile of yum was placed on a counter, where guacamole, salsa, onions and cilantro were added. The burrito was then folded impeccably and wrapped in tinfoil.
It has been awhile – two weeks – since I bit into the burrito at Ocean Taqueria, and I can no longer describe how it tasted. I can, however, vouch that is was spectacular. The tortilla, because it was grilled, was crunchy and this contrasted with the juiciness of the carnitas and beans. It was a simple burrito, but packed quite a wallop. It was a burrito that I will remember for awhile, and more importantly, it was a burrito that didn’t fall apart.
I went to Chiplote a lot during the streak. There’s not much to say about that. It’s always a carnitas burrito with no rice and it’s always good but always the same. I had a few too many black bean tostadas at the UCLA cafeteria one day, and I had far too few tacos at Tacos Por Favor one day. The streak will remembered above and beyond by sitting down and bitting into that burrito at Ocean Taqueria. It embodied everything I enjoy about Mexican food. The walls were brightly painted. The chips were free. The mariachi was bopping. The salsa was spicy and the burrito was flawless.
Update, 12/31/15: I still have not had a burrito as good as the one I had a year an a half ago at Ocean Taqueria. Clayton Kershaw remains the best pitcher in baseball and also for the third year a row choked in the playoffs. I also would mention that I my opinion of Chipotle has decreased in this time. This has nothing to do with the E. Coli scare, but simply because I have eaten there too much.