There has been the ongoing debate for my last 10 or so years of living in the Upper Tenderloin as to which of the Tesoro burrito joints is better. They’re essentially the same distance from me, but I preferred the one at O’Farrell & Leavenworth possibly due to the straight walking trajectory from my apartment and the fact that I thought it better on some level.
Then their health rating went down. This was of little concern to me as any burrito place with a rating above 80/100 is suspect of being far too gringo-fied. But, along with the rating, the quality of their sauces and general burrito nuances was in a decline and thus, I started being a regular at the Tesoro inside Mid-City Market on Geary between Hyde & Larkin.
Mid-City Tesoro is most definitely better. For starters, there’s no end of deliciousness in the sauces and meats. Then there’s the staff who project a general “don’t give a fuck” mixed with sipping on a Corona tall boy if they’re within an hour of the end of their shift. Then there’s the scene.
Mid-City Market is generally oriented towards alcohol sales and as such, those wandering in and out are “colorful” to say the least and seemingly oblivious to the fact that there is a Mexican joint within the store. A 20 minute stay in Tesoro would make it appear that you either go to Mid-City for the burritos or the booze but not both.
Positioned as it as on Geary, the window of Tesoro opens up on to any manner of insanity that decides to whirl its way along the street. On warm days, near the first of the month, you can hide out of sight, eating your food and watch the show completely unnoticed. Then, to top it all off, the transvestites in the neighborhood (whether hookers or not) often frequent this Tesoro as you can see in the photo above.
It makes for a 5/5 experience in all regards.