Mission-Style Burritos in Shanghai?

The big, fat culinary legend from San Francisco's Mission District may have successfully crossed the Pacific

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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Mission-Style Burritos in Shanghai?

Rick Audet

Even as burritos expand to conquer the universe, there's trouble in the gooey, spicy center for Mission-style burrito research and development.

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Big news for burrito fans on the other side of the Pacific -- you can get a passable super al pastor in Shanghai, China.

The news comes from a Burritophile reader who'd already sampled burrito attempts in Singapore and Beijing.

The verdict?

The meat was juicy and tender, the rice was flavorful, the beans moist and didn't overwhelm. I skipped the guac and sour cream, but layered on the "medium" and "hot" salsas, which did not disappoint. Integration was a little bit of a problem, and my burrito didn't come snugly wrapped in foil, but at least the tortilla was soft, fluffy, and grilled warm. Burrito itch, scratched.

(Time to start working on the San Francisco-Shanghai tunnel theory of hot burrito transport, a la the fictional one connecting the East Bay to Jersey. Fiber-optic burrito transmission, possibly?)

As the Shanghai burrito scene takes off, its inspiration at home is feeling the pinch -- and not just the one that seals a fresh tortilla around a burrito's tasty filling. Mission taquerias catering to immigrants are seeing their businesses suffer as their customers lose jobs and can't afford to dine out.

So maybe instead of flying to Shanghai, local burrito afficionados might make an effort to add a few restaurants to their neighborhood rotation.

Photo by Rick Audet.

Jackson West wants to know if the restaurant has tortas.

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