Following a national summer-long quest to find America’s best burrito, ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight’s burrito correspondent Anna Maria Barry-Jester has unveiled the winner of the FiveThirtyEight Burrito Bracket, which reviewed and ranked 64 restaurants.
The champion is the carnitas burrito at La Taqueria in San Francisco’s Mission District, graded at 98 out of 100 in the bracket’s scoring system The 41-year-old establishment, owned by chef Miguel Jara, serves Jara’s beloved Tijuanan food. In addition to a surprising lack of rice, the famed burrito features “melt-in-your-mouth qualities and sweet, smoky, rich flavor.”
Editor-in-Chief and burrito enthusiast Nate Silver, who previously created a burrito bracketto assess the taquerias in his former neighborhood in Chicago, Ill., brought his search to a national level this year, using data from review site Yelp.com and enlisting Barry-Jester to travel across the country dissecting and tasting all sorts of burritos.
Barry-Jester and Silver also worked with a Burrito Selection Committee, which included: Bill Addison, restaurant editor at Eater.com and board member of the Southern Foodways A
lliance, Gustavo Arellano, author of “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America” and editor at the OC Weekly, David Chang, founder and owner of Momofuku Restaurant Group and winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award and Jeffrey Pilcher, professor of History at the University of Minnesota and author “Que Vivan Los Tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity.”
FiveThirtyEight, which launched as an ESPN entity in 2014, is a data journalism organization delivering compelling stories across the verticals of politics, economy, science, life and sports. The site, founded by award-winning author and statistician Nate Silver, first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when it correctly predicted the results of the presidential election in 49 of 50 states, along with all 35 U.S. Senate races. Since its debut at ESPN, FiveThirtyEight has built a team with a broad set of skills and experiences in order to apply statistical analysis, data visualization, and data-literate reporting to topics in the news and in everyday life.