The super-spicy kimchi burrito of death at John's Snack & Deli
CHEAP EATS It's hard to believe that Walt Whitman never ate a kimchi burrito. Maybe this is for the best, from the point of view of American literature, but that's no help to me at 4:30 a.m.
Don't worry, I'm getting a kitten. Not that having a kitten in the house will help me sleep, but it should provide a more cuddly, playful, and cute excuse for not being able to.
This kitten, the kitten that will be my kitten starting tomorrow (hawks and coyotes permitting), was born feral on a farm outside of Petaluma. My blackberry friend NFC and me were there on Sunday, picking blackberries. NFC, she knows the farmers from the farmers market in Berkeley. They are cheese farmers, and they'd said, "Come pick blackberries!"
So we did.
It was beautiful there. I got about three-quarters of a gallon of berries, then made the mistake of showing them to the Chunks de la Cooter next morning. By dinnertime, I didn't have any berries. Just a kitten.
How my kitten came to be named Stoplight ... well, anyone with a name-needing cat and three-year-old friends would be a fool not to ask the latter for help with the former.
So I did, I asked C. Chunk, and with great seriousness, admirable enthusiasm, and some thought, she said, "Um. Um. Um. Um ... Stoplight!"
Bing, a cat was named. A litter box was bought, and the Chunks each picked out a toy for Stoplight, who will join my little hovel of horrors tomorrow. Today, besides cat-proofing the place, I am craving kimchi burritos, naps, and, of course, hot and hopeful sex. Did I mention I have given all the way up on dating?
Yay! Maybe my favorite advantage, besides the Return of Self-esteem, is that I now have more time than ever to organize the wires behind my desk. The tangle back there had gotten downright jungular ever since I started recording music again.
So I needed new glasses, so I went downtown with a buy-one-pair-get-one-free coupon in one pocket and a treasure map for kimchi burritos in the other. The map was courtesy of my new favorite fanmail sender, who had written me a little pick-me-up back in January, then a Welcome Home in March in which he'd mentioned, as Reason No. 1,498,234 for being happy to be back in San Francisco, a little place in the Financial District that was (then) offering their allegedly super-spicy Kimchi Burrito of death (or suicide burrito, or some such scary name) for free, if you could eat it in the store.
It took me two tries to find the place because my fanmailer didn't know the name or exactly even the street, and I was expecting something more interesting sounding than "John's Snack & Deli." It's on Battery Street, not far off Market, way the hell down there.
The Financial District, as you may know, is not my stomping grounds, so you will forgive me please for not headsing you up to the existence of such a thing as a kimchi burrito any sooner than this.
What do you think? It's fan-fucking-tastic. Imagine: Korean-style barbecued beef, or bulgogi, with spicy kimchi, rice, and bits of tomato, onion, cilantro, and lettuce, all rolled up burrito-style in a flour tortilla.
I don't want to start any riots in my own neighborhood, but ... never mind.
Suffice to say, it almost ain't fair how juicy and delicious this kimchi burrito is. If I had been eating over a mug, I could have had a nice cup of kimchi burrito tea to wash down my new favorite burrito with. As it is, I ate on the sidewalk. The real reason they can get away with a promotion like the one mentioned above: it's takeout only, tiny, and not unpopular (not surprisingly) already.
My intention was to take one bite, then bring the rest home. Yeah, right. I finished it in one standing, straddling my bike, which afterward needed repainting. And my clothes too, and my respect for American poetry ... ruined!
JOHN'S SNACK & DELI
Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
40 Battery, SF