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The battling 'Bertos

Hey Matt:

I used to live in San Diego and ate at Aliberto’s, Rigoberto’s, and all the other iterations of ’Berto’s I could find. I just saw your article from March 16, 2000, and I hope this email gets to you. 12 years is a long time. My two grown sons who live in Dallas love the ’Berto’s, and I have to take them to San Diego from Orange County whenever they come to town. I remember an article called “The Battle of the ’Berto’s” that I think was published a number of years ago in the San Diego Union Tribune. It might have been the Reader, but I think it was the Tribune. I am trying to find out if all of these ’Berto’s are centrally owned or connected in some way. I think I also read somewhere that there are a total of over 100 locations in about 5 states. Trying to find out if any of them are in Dallas. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

— Bob

We did publish a ’Berto’s rundown back in 2000. As far as I know, our list is still the most complete. It’s even growing, as Phil Salome still sends us the occasional update. Thanks, Phil! We’re not the only people who’ve looked at the ’Berto’s connection, as a little rifling through the archives shows. There are lots of ’Berto’s in Arizona and the Republic there printed an article to enlighten the ’Zonis about their origins, namely that their beginnings are here in San Diego with Roberto’s back in the ’70s. There’s even an “Uncle Berto’s” in far-off South Carolina, but the burritos they’re wrapping up in the kitchen bear little resemblance to the carne asada masterpieces that come from any of the ’Berto’s hereabouts.

There is no central ownership or anything to all the ’Berto’s. Roberto’s are all owned by the same family. Filiberto’s has a different owner. Gualberto’s is different too. At one point, Alberto’s tried to sue some other taco shops, claiming brand infringement. I suppose that’s fitting, since Alberto’s was originally called “Roberto’s” until the real Roberto’s sued. It’s really quite a tangled web of ’Berto’s out there.

As for Dallas, I checked with Scott Reitz, restaurant critic at the Dallas Observer, and he doesn’t think there are any ’Berto’s in Dallas. Looks like you’ll be airmailing burritos to Texas for the foreseeable future. Maybe your boys can send back some beef ribs and brisket in return. We’ll surely accept a platter at the Alice Ranch.

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Note to hungry Readers: the Roberto's in Ocean Beach offers a $3 Breakfast Burrito--either with ham or bacon on Monday-Friday from 8 - 11 a.m. So good!

May 18, 2013

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Roberto's in Ocean Beach - Image by Gail Powell
Roberto's in Ocean Beach

Hey Matt:

I used to live in San Diego and ate at Aliberto’s, Rigoberto’s, and all the other iterations of ’Berto’s I could find. I just saw your article from March 16, 2000, and I hope this email gets to you. 12 years is a long time. My two grown sons who live in Dallas love the ’Berto’s, and I have to take them to San Diego from Orange County whenever they come to town. I remember an article called “The Battle of the ’Berto’s” that I think was published a number of years ago in the San Diego Union Tribune. It might have been the Reader, but I think it was the Tribune. I am trying to find out if all of these ’Berto’s are centrally owned or connected in some way. I think I also read somewhere that there are a total of over 100 locations in about 5 states. Trying to find out if any of them are in Dallas. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

— Bob

We did publish a ’Berto’s rundown back in 2000. As far as I know, our list is still the most complete. It’s even growing, as Phil Salome still sends us the occasional update. Thanks, Phil! We’re not the only people who’ve looked at the ’Berto’s connection, as a little rifling through the archives shows. There are lots of ’Berto’s in Arizona and the Republic there printed an article to enlighten the ’Zonis about their origins, namely that their beginnings are here in San Diego with Roberto’s back in the ’70s. There’s even an “Uncle Berto’s” in far-off South Carolina, but the burritos they’re wrapping up in the kitchen bear little resemblance to the carne asada masterpieces that come from any of the ’Berto’s hereabouts.

There is no central ownership or anything to all the ’Berto’s. Roberto’s are all owned by the same family. Filiberto’s has a different owner. Gualberto’s is different too. At one point, Alberto’s tried to sue some other taco shops, claiming brand infringement. I suppose that’s fitting, since Alberto’s was originally called “Roberto’s” until the real Roberto’s sued. It’s really quite a tangled web of ’Berto’s out there.

As for Dallas, I checked with Scott Reitz, restaurant critic at the Dallas Observer, and he doesn’t think there are any ’Berto’s in Dallas. Looks like you’ll be airmailing burritos to Texas for the foreseeable future. Maybe your boys can send back some beef ribs and brisket in return. We’ll surely accept a platter at the Alice Ranch.

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Tijuana tangos with corona

City shut down, sort of
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Comments
1

Note to hungry Readers: the Roberto's in Ocean Beach offers a $3 Breakfast Burrito--either with ham or bacon on Monday-Friday from 8 - 11 a.m. So good!

May 18, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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