When news broke last week that Point Loma’s Ortiz’s Taco Shop would be part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s bet between San Diego and Denver over Sunday’s NFL playoff game, it was news to the Ortiz family.
“We didn’t even know about the bet,” said Juan Ortiz, who has run the restaurant with his brother and parents since 2004.
Alex Roth, a spokesman for Interim Mayor Gloria’s office, said he did some research on social media to find a worthy restaurant for the bet and even checked out the place himself.
“We just wanted to have food that represented the best Mexican food in San Diego,” he said. “We wanted to make sure it was a product worthy of making a bet. And it was.”
Ortiz said Gloria also came to eat at the place last Tuesday, which sealed the deal.
“The next thing I knew, my mom says we’re on the news.”
He said Gloria came in by himself, sat in the back with a folder full of papers and didn’t really talk to anyone. In fact, he wouldn’t have even recognized the interim mayor if he hadn’t just seen a picture of him in an issue of CityBeat he had been reading. Ortiz just laughed when asked how much the city leader tipped – very diplomatic.
“Honestly, the customers were more excited than we were,” Ortiz said.
Along with burritos from Ortiz’s, Gloria bet carne asada fries from Lolita’s Taco Shop in Kearny Mesa and deep-fried catfish tacos from Mama Testa Taqueria in Hillcrest.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock only put up some of the city’s best green chili in a bet that seemed a bit lopsided. Of course, the Mile High mayor was probably pretty confident in his city’s chances, since the Broncos were a nine-point favorite. They ended up winning, 24-17.
Apparently the mayor didn’t heed the Rag’s advice to bet some of the city’s finest weed against the best buds from Denver, where it’s now legal.
Now comes the hard part:
How to get the burritos to Denver. Roth said they were in the process of finding the best way to transport the food.
“We’re still trying to figure out the most efficient way to ship it,” he said. “One way or another, we’ll make it happen. We might freeze it and stick it in some cooler and then Fed Ex it.”
He said the office has been somewhat sidetracked by tonight’s state of the city address. But this is burritos we’re talking about. Priorities, man!
Gloria already won some goods from Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley after the Chargers upset the Bengals in the playoffs the week before. Cincy is sending food samples from three Queen City-based chains: Gold Star Chili, Graeter’s Ice Cream and Montgomery Inn barbecue.
Roth said he hasn’t heard when the city will collect on that bet. “We’re still waiting. We haven’t heard a peep from them.”
No word if the Rag will get any samples from that, but we’ll be sure to pass them on to our dear readers if we get the call.