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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TACO TUESDAY: Roll Over, Roberto, and Tell Aliberto's the News

THE VIBE:  Very friendly service, clean, lots of families, lots of Mexicans enjoying the food
THE PRICE:  Cheap, cheap, cheap - $6 combo's

I've been told by my wife to never, ever use the word "foodie" again to describe myself, but is there a better way to describe my love affair with good food?  And while friends know I love a rare ribeye from Fleming's or gourmet at George's at the Cove, my better friends know I can't resist Roberto's Taco Shop.

I never understood the backlash against Roberto's.  Maybe it's because it's so popular it's become fodder for the food snobs, but can you seriously find a better $4.25 breakfast than the omelette plate?  Filled with gooey cheese, topped with a nice ranchero sauce, rice and beans, some chips, and a giant fresh flour tortilla (you can get corn but why, oh why?).  You don't need a hangover to enjoy this breakfast, but if you have one it's a solid cure.  Proven and approved.

Of course, you're in San Diego, California and that means you must have a California Burrito.  This photo doesn't do it justice (sorry, I ate so much of it before I remembered to take the photo, a huge problem I have).  Carne asada with guac and french fries, it is so delicious that you would slap your doctor right then and there if he were sitting next to you and telling you to put the burrito down because your cholesterol is too high.  WHACK BAM BOOM, the doc is out of the house!  The spicy tangy meat with the goodness of fresh fries, the creaminess of the guac, the soft fresh tortilla, there is no better burrito combination.  Chipotle?  Make me laugh!

The $6 combos are a good deal.  This one is my surf and turf, a beef taco with a fish taco.  Now to prove that I don't own part of Roberto's I will tell you that you can get a better fish taco elsewhere and that the beef taco, while respectable, is just good.  I do love their rice and beans, however. 

The guac looks fake in this photo but that's because I took this with my phone.  It's the real deal.

And now the big test.  The rolled tacos.  I've been searching for the best rolled tacos in San Diego and while I'm not ready to say it's Roberto's, they're certainly the best I've tasted so far.  With just a handful of ingredients, everything must be perfect to create a good rolled taco.  Fresh oil, zesty toppings, seasoned meat, it all comes together at Roberto's.  The perfect crunch - not too crunchy, but not soft and chewy like some.  The meat rings out with the proper flavor.  Yes, you can actually taste the meat.  And the toppings of Mexican cheese and real guacamole finish it off.  Delicious?  You bet.

And look, no iceberg lettuce!  No diced tomatos!  No cheddar cheese!  

I'm going to keep looking for better rolled tacos but for now the bar is set pretty high with Roberto's.  You know a place for me to try? Email me at and I'll check it out.

Wally is back from vacation and ready to eat and explore San Diego!  Read more at Local Wally's Guide to San Diego!

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