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Berta's Latin American Restaurant

3928 Twiggs Street, San Diego, CA 92110

Berta's gets you beyond Mexico to the rest of South America. Dishes from as far south as Chile (where Berta is from), Peru, Cuba, and as close as Costa Rica. Berta covers most of the "other" American continent.

Additional Info

Hours

Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Restaurants details

Cuisine
Price range of entrées $12 - $17
Delivery No
Outdoor seating Yes
Party room Yes
Reservations accepted Yes
Kids menu Yes
Occasional live music Yes
Vegetarian friendly Yes
Vegan friendly Yes
Payment options Accepts credit cards

Restaurant Menu

Comments
3

A friend and I visited this restaurant on a whim; we were in Old Town and we just did not want another round of Combo #3 or Carne Ansada fries. It's an unassuming place, and we weren't expecting much, just some place different; a quick look at the outside menu certainly proved that. All entrees have detailed descriptions (useful, as the fare here is NOT mexican), and are served and plated home-style. Latin American fare has a twist to it that I fear many locals aren't used to. You should learn though, because the food and dining experience here was sensational. If this restaurant was located in La Jolla it would be a secret no more. Berta's delivers better value and better food than some of the more higher profile eateries on San Diego Ave. Do you want other choices then the mexican food you can get EVERYWHERE? Do you want to impress a date? Do you want to talk to your date without yelling? Eat at Berta's.

Nov. 6, 2008

Let me tell you, I have reservations about telling you this, because this place has been my secret (and that of a few close friends and fellow-travelers) for so many years I've forgotten my first feast there.

Tucked away on a back street (Twiggs) in Old Town, behind most of the tourist restaurants, is one of those little places one dreams will cure the plastic-chicken syndrome that plagues the nation and, increasingly, the world. It is owned and operated by a real mother, but most mothers would die for her cooking talent. And those driven to the brink of deafness by the din of diners in the other, more expensive places in our favorite tourist-trap would sacrifice anything, come what might, for a place where one can speak without shouting, hear without aid.

This is no "fusion" place, but it is "foreign," without pandering to the Norteamerican addiction for oversalted everything but still tasting like the best gol-durned home-cookin' you ever had if it had been outstanding. Berta is her name, and she serves up genuine dishes from all over South America (she hails from Chile, but has been in San Diego--previously Oregon--for almost twenty years). Most of her “staff,” including her daughter and sister, have been there for years. It’s no slogan, but you really do feel at home there.

There are all-vegetable dishes, but genuine to their country of origin, and there are most kinds of meats—fish, beef, lamb, chicken, but all cooked with just the right balance of seasoning and served right off the stove (no heat lamps and teeny-boppers doing their nails). Ok, so the place is a little square, but there’s a hoppin’ joint next door and Old Town Avenue is just a block away.

There are beers from all over South America, and well-selected and well-priced wines that are better than their “price-points.” And delicious Margaritas that are low-alcohol but amazingly good—I don’t drink them m’self, but I have tasted them, and they are distinctly superior to those I’ve had in the past.

The deserts are simple and traditional—yes, flan, but flan extraordinaire, and a little special-family-recipe (truly, not menu-hype) dessert that will put the perfect, non-cloying cap on a wonderful experience without busting your diet, with a wine sauce sans-alcohol that goes perfectly with the rich coffee.

Berta’s Restaurant is one of those true “finds” that I have come back to for years and years. The prices are right, not low, not high, but I’ve never had a bad meal in the countless times I’ve been there. The lunches are a real bargain (eight or nine dollars mostly), and the dinners are mostly in the low- to mid-teens. It’s a great place to take friends—civilized but not pretentious. Pleasant in every way. And the taste is just sooo satisfying, with something everyone will like. It couldn’t be better, and it’s a cut or more above many places rated "excellent" without the honest soul of Berta’s.

March 11, 2009

Berta's is a cozy gem hidden in the back streets of Old Town. Berta, the smartly-dressed and charming owner, apprised us of the evening's specials and their prices (a very helpful touch). Mother ordered the Tortilla Espanola, a savory potato and feta cheese sauce pie--so delicious she didn't want to share. My partner ordered the Spanish Lemon Saffron Chicken Stew, a complex, spicy, aromatic dish with flavors reminiscent of the Caribbean. I ordered one of the evening's specials, the seafood soup. Before continuing, I feel compelled to mention that seafood soups have always disappointed me; they were either too salty, the seafood was overcooked, or there was more broth than seafood. Finally, I'm able to report that Berta's served me the best seafood soup I've ever had! It was overflowing with clams, mussels, and fish, and the surprising and wonderful addition of pieces of sweet plantain, bathing in a luxurious spicy tomato-base and coconut milk broth to create a complex soup that was tangy with a hint of sweetness and a perfect complement to the seafood. Berta's is highly recommended for its welcoming ambiance, moderate prices and excellent food.

April 4, 2009

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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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