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Why do so many taco joints have "berto" in their name?

aynrandgirl Jul 6, 2011 03:33 AM

It's like some secret code.

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  1. Dmnkly RE: aynrandgirl Jul 6, 2011 03:55 AM

    If we slog through title deeds, public financials and shell corporation after shell corporation, will we discover that they're all owned by the same clandestine conglomerate? A citywide monopoly on greasy late-night eats?


    This is why our late night restaurant options are so lousy! Everybody's been muscled out by the shadowy Berto cartel in a bid for dominance of the midnight to 4:00 AM dining scene!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dmnkly
      Dmnkly RE: Dmnkly Jul 6, 2011 03:57 AM

      Actually, if any of the Bertos are open at 4:00 AM, a friend would like to know.

      1. re: Dmnkly
        dombey RE: Dmnkly Jul 10, 2011 04:53 PM

        well, I'll too old to be out at 4:00 am anymore, but I was out at like maybe a quarter to 2:00 on a monday morning a few weeks back and they were open with several cars in line at the drive thru. (Juliobertos, 7th St & Glendale). I was under the assumption they were 24 hrs, but maybe just open late.

        1. re: Dmnkly
          JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: Dmnkly Aug 21, 2011 11:48 PM

          The vast majority operate 24/7; I can think of only one that closes at night, and it's likely because the proprietors were stupid enough to open about 200 yards from a very well-established 24-hour Mexican place. Some will close the dining room at a certain hour and open it back up for breakfast.

          By the by, your friend may wish to know that Super Burrito on Scottsdale Road a little south of Indian School is pretty decent.

          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
            johnseberg RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Aug 22, 2011 06:28 AM

            Most of the signs say "Drive Thru Open 24 Hours".

        2. re: Dmnkly
          Bill Hunt RE: Dmnkly Jul 6, 2011 10:00 PM

          As stated, many/most/all? have the same ownership way down deep. The decision was made to add that 'berto" to make them memorable, and apparently that plan has worked.

          Now, I do not believe that I have ever dined at any, so cannot comment there.


          1. re: Dmnkly
            JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: Dmnkly Aug 21, 2011 11:52 PM

            Quite possibly the opposite. You'll notice a number of (Blank)berto's restaurants have a sign that was altered. A good number of the non-Fili's ones started out as a Fili's, but then (from what I can tell) they dropped the franchising, changed the name on the sign just a little bit, and kept right on going.

          2. azhotdish RE: aynrandgirl Jul 6, 2011 11:35 AM

            I think this is akin to asking why there are so many iterations of Ray's Pizza in NYC....

            1 Reply
            1. re: azhotdish
              aynrandgirl RE: azhotdish Jul 6, 2011 10:59 PM

              Food Network did a story on that. Restaurant owners copied the name because they thought customers associated quality with the name. I'm not sure "quality" is the intended association with "Berto". I've eaten at a Julioberto, which was fine for what it was but "quality" isn't what I'd take from the experience.

            2. a
              aricat RE: aynrandgirl Jul 10, 2011 08:04 PM

              Here's a link to a 2008 Arizona Republic article, "The '-berto's' bonanza". In it, all your questions will be answered:


              3 Replies
              1. re: aricat
                aynrandgirl RE: aricat Jul 10, 2011 08:58 PM

                So it is pretty much like Ray's in NYC

                1. re: aricat
                  deeznuts RE: aricat Aug 21, 2011 11:39 AM

                  As a San Diegan, I found that article quite enlightening! Growing up in the 80's in San Diego is when I remember the "berto" explosion. Robertos was first. Then Albertos which dominated the scene for a while. Then you had rambertos, alibertos, alertos even. But now the "berto" restaurants have fell out of favor. They all really let their food go.

                  A chain called Santanas (now MXN) exploded, but their food is terrible. El Cotixan has been my favorite for years (at least 15 or so) in one location, now they are expanding. There are also restaurants kicking up the concept one notch, so it's slightly nicer than a drive through taco shop, but still fairly cheap, and a little better tasting.

                  My question is, how do these shops make their food? San Diego style cal-mex? Even going to LA you get Mexican take out that tastes much different. Is say, a carne asada burrito just tortilla, meat, pico and guacamole? That's all I want in my burrito, no rice, no beans etc.

                  1. re: deeznuts
                    Mytah RE: deeznuts Aug 22, 2011 08:14 AM

                    "That's all I want in my burrito, no rice, no beans etc."

                    Amen to that!

                2. r
                  Random987 RE: aynrandgirl Jul 14, 2011 08:36 AM

                  This is purely my perspective, but growing up in So Cal, the "original" chain cheap taco shop was Roberto's. After the success of Roberto's, the other "berto's" soon exploded on the market. Seemingly to take advantage of the success of Roberto's.

                  1. a
                    anothabertos RE: aynrandgirl Apr 5, 2014 02:04 AM

                    The only thing I hate about moving to LA from PHX is the fact that there is no 'bertos'. Almost no 24 hour Mexican on the westside and the ones that are open until 2 or 3 put rice in their burritos. It's bullshit. My co workers from San Diego have the same frustration. With the overall lack of bang for the buck Mexican and 24 hour options you would think that there would be someone taking advantage of this. SMH, FML...#imisscarneasada

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: anothabertos
                      chewbacca RE: anothabertos May 16, 2014 06:32 PM

                      Anothabertos, you must come over the hill to Van Nuys where there is an original Alberto's and so many taco joints you will go nuts.... About a 20 minute drive if it's not rush hour.

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