it's a delicate thing to confront one of your childhood's/adolescence's adored and treasured foods. in this case, it is a simple carnitas super burrito from good's taqueria. i always laud the superiority of this particular meal over all others. part nostalgia and memory, part synapses firing due to present and delicious stimuli.
my gripes are always the same with all other burritos: tortilla too cold or hard or thick, cheese not melted and usually thrashed in cold and grated (destined never to melt due also in part because of), uneven distribution of low quality ingredients. it's a burrito. how hard is it to make this properly? the newer is very hard for all other places.
this is not to say i haven't had delicious, well-made burritos elsewhere, but on the whole, cali has it down, with my bias leaning towards normal, and within that gamut, my heart set upon this spot in albany. it sounds crazy, but this is one of my truths, and i'll stand by it.
you enter the front and there is always a line. there is never not a line, and it is usually out the door. things to notice when you first walk in: the waft of deliciously cooked meats, ever-present radio or tv playing in the background, chatter and laughter from the employees, the sounds of steamers both the making the tortillas soft and supple with steam while melting slices of cheese down within its folds, the collective growl of bellies seeking satisfaction en masse, a ridiculously long and well-used cork board filled across the span with local businesses, flyers of all demeanor, and the occasional safety poster.
it's a lot to take it, and the onslaught is both intense and laid back; it's over in a second, and you're forever entranced. when the order is placed, you go through the motions of what meat, tomato & salsa, cheese, guacamole sour cream and then not one but two different types of hot sauce. an expert distribution, followed by a minimalist gentle folding. there are no extraneous steps, no flair, no fanfare or cause for celebration other than the fact that this tasty cylinder has wrapped up in it a promise to make all of your dreams come true.
and it delivers each time.
people say they left their heart in san francisco, but i believe i've left part of mine in this place.
i would like anyone who is near this place to try out the fare, then let me know if i'm wrong in any way.