True Burrito Tales 'gets' the emotional connection of returning to the place you are from, as opposed to your office, or to Napa, Disneyland or Cincinnati for your next visit. Japanese is perhaps the best way to explain this. The Japanese language has a specific verb for returning to the place you are from (帰る, かえる, kaeru). There are other completely distinct emotion-neutral verbs for returning to the office or returning library books.
With all due respect to San Francisco’s celebrated Mission burrito, let me be frank: it is not a real burrito. Real burritos are not packed full of rice like a Chinese freighter. Real burritos contain neither sour cream nor guacamole. They are made with lard-infused refritos, not whole beans and certainly not black beans. And under no circumstances are they wrapped in anything other than a large white flour tortilla. If it’s some weird color, like red or green, it is most certainly not a burrito.
The king of Manny’s menu is and always has been the El Loco Burrito: beans, cheese, a chile relleno, steak picado, and salsa. It’s big, it’s messy, and it’s God-knows-how-many-calories. This is the burrito against which all others must be judged.
Don’t get me wrong: there are some other great places nearby. El Tepeyac, for instance, is another classic joint, with an even bigger and gnarlier burrito called the Manuel’s Special. But El Loco remains my personal favorite, and the one I think of every time I settle for a riced-up, foil-wrapped Mission “burrito.”
Manny’s is located just off Atlantic Blvd on Pomona Street, a block south of the 60. Si mon!