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Feb 16, 2010 04:40 PM

Gallego's Mexican Food Moves

My favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint has moved to more hospitable digs. Although I always enjoyed telling people it was next door to Tito's Machine Shop, Gallego's old location (also nextdoor to a discount liquor store) made it seem not so safe after dark and I believe was the motivation for closing early.

They have now moved to the SW corner of Allston and San Pablo in the spot formally occupied by a Peruvian restaurant. I visited the new location for the 1st time yesterday and Gallegos is every bit as good as before.

I decided to forego my favorite, complex mole for a big bowl of albondigas: 4 large meatballs bound with rice and chunks of carrot, potato and cabbage. Condiments were chopped onion and cilantro and their watery but fiery red salsa. As I worked my way through the bowl, the muddling of the meat, vegetables and condiments made the broth that much better. A very satisifying lunch and I didn't regret my decision to forego the mole.

Hours have been extended from late morning (10?) to 8 PM Monday thru Saturday. There is a small parking lot and it is walkable from University Avenue.

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  1. I'm looking forward to trying it - it looked like they had just moved in. I stopped at the other location only once, and may have more often, but accidentally drove by it at least a few times when thinking about it. Hopefully it will bring stability to that other corner (which was salvadoreƱo last, if I recall).

    1 Reply
    1. re: lmnopm

      You're right, it was Salvadoran and specialized in pupusas.

      1. re: sydthekyd

        6.99 and I was very full afterwards. Most of the meat platos (including pork or chicken mole) are 9.50 or so. Soft tacos are 1.68? Burrito prices seem reasonable, although I usually get a plato. Albondigas are only served on Monday, some other soup Tuesday, Caldo de Res Wednesday.

      2. Ah! good to know. I used to go to gallegos regularly when in the area -- tho a bit salty for my taste, the tacos were great, and it's a lovely family-run business.

        Thanks for letting us know of the new location and expanded hours.

        2 Replies
        1. re: escargot3

          Went last night. The pork mole is a pleasant dish. It is definitely better than any "Berkeley-style" mole I've had at more popular places, and I enjoyed it very much. The family seems very nice. I've only gotten take out from the other location. I hope they do well here. I'd agree on the salt comment above.

          1. re: lmnopm

            Glad you liked the mole. Where have you had any comparable locally?

            I never noticed the food being too salty.

        2. I like Gallego's. It is good, solid Mexican food that is made to order by the family who owns the restuarant.

          The current location is so much easier to find and much nicer. They still have their outdoor dining area and parking. I have wanted to try their mole which the menus says is made from 7 dried chiles. Chocolatetartguy has a nice description here.

          However I wasn't hungry enough for the mole so I got a super chile verde taco ($3.49). This came with a bag of good chips and a nice salsa. The super taco comes on two regular size tortillas rather than the usual mini-size. There are a few whole beans, tender pieces of pork in green sauce topped with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro and iceberg lettuce. This was good, but I'd rather get two of the smaller tacos ($1.60) to have a choice of more than one meat.

          I find the food good for the neighborhood rather than a destination ... then again, I haven't tried the mole.

          This is a nicer location and it seems their long time customers have followed them. At four in the afternoon they had customers at some tables in addtion to take-out business. This might be a business that finally suceeds at that location.

          Gallegos Mexican Food
          2200 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710

          8 Replies
          1. re: rworange

            Finally, hopefully, a worthy successor to Pepito's!

            1. re: sydthekyd

              yeah i really liked Pepitos, funky as it was.

              1. re: escargot3

                I went back for the first time in over a month. More mole, and it was tasty. I got the order to go, and was the only one there during the whole time I was there. C'mon folks! Is it because the Taco Bell in Albany just reopened? :o

                N.B. - if you are getting an order to go, the amount of salsa put in the bag was woefully insubstantial.

                1. re: lmnopm

                  I tried this place last week and wanted to like it, but it really wasn't too good. Maybe al pastor burrito was the wrong thing to order? I was given no choice of beans, just really old school creamy refried beans with tiny, tiny little bits of meat. It was a big tube of mooosh, and not spicy at all. The restaurant's interior is fairly nice, though. I'll say that.

                  1. re: Glencora

                    pork al pastor isn't really very good in too many places around here. I rarely order it, and am usually disappointed, no matter where ordered. The best you can hope for is steam table bits that hopefully a place will fry up again prior to eating.

                  2. re: lmnopm

                    What time of day were you there?
                    It used to be a lively scene at lunch time -- lottsa folks who work in the area -- especially to sit outside in the back on a sunny day.

                    1. re: lmnopm

                      You can ask for more. I really like that thin, fiery red sauce. They used to close around 6 so I think people must not know that they have extended their hours.

                      I have never had a burrito there, but the tacos seem to have enough meat. I usually get a plato or a bowl of soup and no complaints on the amount of food/meat.