La Costeña, Mountain View, California
This was an unplanned visit. It was only when I was stuck in traffic on the way to the airport that I realized that I hadn't eaten breakfast. I figured that La Costeña was probably open (2078 Old Middlefield Way, 967-0507), and that I could grab a quick burrito before getting back on the road. Besides, there's just something so cool about this little Mexican grocery store with the beat-up burrito counter in the back and patio furniture hugging the street outside.
Actually, I was never really that big on burritos, as the local San Francisco variety were usually too much of a boring and unnecessarily gigantic clump of beans and rice. Yet sometime ago, I discovered the right combination of ingredients that made it work for me, and my choices in this morning's chico-sized burrito made it one of the most satisfying ones that I've had in a long time. The carnitas and guacamole fueled its savory and rich taste, while the generous spread of fresh jalapeño peppers provided a critically spicy yet refreshing kick that brought it all together.
I seem to remember liking La Costeña's neighbor La Bamba better in the past, but now I'm having second thoughts. Either way, I've become a bigger fan of these Mission-style burritos and definitely plan to get more next time I'm back in the Bay Area.