The 3-minute interview with Charles Hodgkins

In the more than two years that the comprehensive review site www.burritoeater.com has been in existence, its 35-year-old founder and sole reviewer has visited each of San Francisco’s 165 taquerias at least once, most several times. Earlier this month, Hodgkins completed his 500th review.

Conventional knowledge says the Mission consistently provides the best “slabs,” as you call them. Is this the case? And if not, what neighborhood contains your favorite slabbery? Yes and no. But mostly, no. One of the things that’s most fun about Burritoeater is going to so many different neighborhoods around town — the exploratory aspect of it. Back in February, I did a study of taqueria performance by neighborhood using burritoeater.com’s 10-Mustache Scale, and found that the Western Addition, Inner Sunset, Upper Haight, Lower Haight, Castro, Mission Terrace and Glen Park all outperformed the Mission. My findings raised a lot of hackles around town, particularly in the Mission. I’ll be the first to admit that those results reflect my own taste, but the last to admit that La Taqueria makes one of San Francisco’s finest burritos.

Wasn’t there some kind of contest where if somebody guessed where and when you'd go on your 500th review, you’d take them with you? Yes, but nobody guessed correctly. One person said I’d have it in, like, mid-November. This was in late July, when the total was already around 495. That person’s career choice shouldn’t involve any sort of forecasting.

Who won? We all won. A Web site solely devoted to San Francisco taquerias that features over 500 reviews of burritos is a community victory if there's ever been one.


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