Reliving the past at La Cumbre

Ever since I moved to New Orleans, I have needed for nothing in the realm of incredible cuisine. From gumbo to pho, the Crescent City has a lot to choose from, but there is one item it lacks: an delectable, yet affordable burrito. Whenever I come back to visit my family in the Bay Area, I have to go to one of my favorite “hole-in-the-wall” taquerias, La Cumbre.

La Cumbre has actually been around a lot longer than I thought.  Back in 1967, La Cumbre  got its start on Valencia Street in San Francisco, setting a standard for “Mission-style” burritos in Northern California. I was surprised when my sister informed me that she actually went to high school with the owner’s son and it was he, as well as other friendly recommendations, who got my sister (and thus my whole family) hooked on the excellent burritos at La Cumbre.

Whenever I go, I can’t help but order a Super Chicken Burrito featuring their delicious “BBQ” chicken, black beans, jack cheese, Mexican rice, guacamole and sour cream.  They are HUGE and can easily feed two people for only $7.95.  Plus, you can go to the salsa bar and load up on pickled jalapenos, pickled carrots, salsas and chips…for free!  La Cumbre’s salsa verde is far and away one of the best taqueria salsas ever and I love to pour little blobs on my burrito before each bite.

The Bay Area is definitely not lacking in great burrito spots.  In San Mateo alone I used to frequent Three Amigos and Las Palamos among others on a regular basis, but I will never pass up a burrito from La Cumbre.  I think soon New Orleans will have more choices for cheap, delicious burritos, but until then I will just have to reminisce about the place I grew up with.

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