Sunday, August 8, 2021

The Various Berto's Mexican Restaurants

Carne Asada Tacos with refried beans and rice from Ralberto's on Woodlands Village Blvd in Flagstaff. The meal also came with three small salsa containers. These seemed to be salsa verde, green chili salsa, and red chili salsa. The first two were mild to medium but the red sauce set my face on fire.


Throughout America's desert southwest region, there are a bunch of Mexican restaurants that have a similar heritage and business format and only slightly different names, usually ending in -berto's. This is unusual and it has an unusual explanation. It seems the original restaurant was called Roberto's, but then the owner and some of his relatives and friends from Mexico branched out, copying the format and the food style, but didn't bother with formal franchising. This led to variations like Riliberto's,  Los Bertos, Ralberto's, Riloberto's, Poliberto's, etc.

Here is a story that explains it (the website is kind of spammy though).

https://tucson.com/news/local/tim-stellers-opinion-multiplying-mexican-restaurants-with-berto-names-derive-from-common-ancestor/article_c6663c4d-a460-5024-a731-47e272cc3668.html

Today I tried out Ralberto's, about a mile and half from my house. It's a takeout format. The restaurant has a small dining area but is really a place where you call or walk up to the counter to order, then wait for them to announce that your order is ready. I decided to try it after I read the Google reviews. Some of the white people had issues with it but there were multiple reviews from people with Spanish names that could be summarized as saying it was basic but excellent. They were right. That is exactly how I would describe it. Also, I've been to at least one other -berto's so I thought I knew what to expect.

I will be back.

[Update August 28, 2021: I went back and ordered a combination beef burrito with a cheese enchilada, rice, and refried beans. Not as good but still acceptable for takeout. My main issue with it is the enchilada sauce is plain. The burrito was good though.]

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