BURRITO WISDOM – a vegetarian burrito quest www.burritowisdom.com

DOUGLAS ARMOUR

Posted in Interviews by burritowizard on June 21, 2009

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The Burrito Wizard interviewed singer/ songwriter Douglas Armour through a series of emails between May 17th and May 26th 2009 :

BW: When I was in D.C. last week I went down to the Union Station food court, and found that the last remaining “original” recipe Burrito Brothers has closed.  As one of the original “Burrito Brothers” what are your thoughts?

DA: Yeah, that’s a bummer.  But I kind of feel like Burrito Brothers died awhile ago.  Once they were run out of Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan, it was over.  They were kind of too simple for their own good.  Looking back I feel like half the time I went there they were inexplicably closed or the person working there was nowhere to be found… this was the Adams Morgan spot specifically.  The only one that’s left in D.C. is the one on Capitol Hill, right?  There is one out by Tyson’s Corner in Northern Virginia, which is my old stomping grounds, but I’ve never been there… (Whoa, just felt an earthquake!)  Not sure if it’s the original recipe there or not. I left D.C. in 1996.

BW: I think the Virginia location is closed as well, I tried calling them and the number has been disconnected (next time I’m in the area I will try to stop by in person).
In 1996 you moved from D.C. and Burrito Brothers to S.F. what was your first impression of S.F. burritos?

 DA: When I moved to S.F. I moved into the Mission District (into an art-school and punk rawk group house on Mission Street called “the Mission House”.)  I think the first place I went to was Taqueria Cancun. Glorious.  I was in burrito Mecca.  Cancun is still my “old standby” place in S.F. … if I’m only there for a day and want to get a burrito I’ll go there.  Pancho Villa’s probably makes a better burrito but the vibe at Cancun is much better.  I mean, you could go there and just have a beer and it wouldn’t feel strange.  I think we can agree that S.F. has the best packaging of burritos out there.  Tin-foil rolled super-tight.

BW: In S.F. you lived lived away from burritos but near former “Burrito Brother” and inventor of the Hardflip Dan Gallagher ( according to Rodney Mullen )

You moved to L.A. in the late 1990’s, what are your thoughts about Los Angeles burritos???

DA: Yeah, the last year I was in S.F. I lived out in the Sunset District on 42nd Avenue a few blocks from the beach.  It was pretty bleak out there.  Not much in the burrito department but I do remember ordering vanilla and being sold Durian flavored ice cream at a Chinese ice cream place in the Sunset… yikes.  I moved to LA (the first time) in the summer of 1998.  I really think of LA as being a taco (and bacon-wrapped hot-dogs) town.  I love the taco trucks (El Taco Movil is my local truck) and the newer, higher-end specialty kind of places… like the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, Loteria or Malo (Oaxacan cuisine, etc…)  It seems that your typical “historic” family-style Mexican place in LA like Castitas del Campo, Lucy’s El Adobe, or that place down on Western and 9th (who also run El Coyote) are really nice to hang out and have a margarita or four, but the food is kind of gnarly and expensive for what you get… a big, hot plate with refried beans, overcooked, over-seasoned rice, and melted velveeta cheese.

My favorite burrito when I first moved to LA was the vegetarian chile relleno burrito at Tacos Delta in Silverlake.  Nowadays, it’s the bean, rice and cheese burrito at Mariela’s Tacos on 3rd Street in Koreatown.  But on a whole I’m still shocked that no one in LA has come close to making a solid Mission-style burrito.

Last Spring (2008), the Burrito Wizard and Douglas Armour met up for a burrito at Washington’s Union Station for what they didn’t realize was their “Last Burrito” at Burrito Brothers, sacrificed, hopefully to rise again.

If you Haven’t seen Douglas Armour’s Headbanger video for the song Flushed and Flamelike Themselves click on this link: VIDEO

 

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