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Aug 6, 2004 04:48 PM

SD? Eric's ribs? Roberto's?

  • s

Used to live in PB 20+ years ago and making a return trip with our daughter from the East Coast later this month.......wondering if Eric's Ribs in Old Town is still there? and just as good? How about Roberto's taco stands? Don't know if the old gut can handle it anymore but would love to give it a shot.

Also wondering SD Hounds recs for best Mexican restaurants?



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  1. I was also a fan of Eric's Ribs, but alas it's long gone. Eric, IIRC, went to the slammer for a while, and the restaurant has since gone through several identities (including, when it was "Bugles," the best fish and chips I've ever had in SD). Hell, I can't even remember what it is these days.

    As for Roberto's, they (and there are quite a few of them) are still around, but with success and growth, they've become pretty homogenized. Still an okay place to get a quick burrito, though.

    I don't have a current favorite sit-down Mexican restaurant. I love Chilangos in Hillcrest, but that's Mexico City style, and may not be what you're looking for as a prodigal returning from the East. The good news is that there are hardly any Mexican joints that I would recommend against. Some are better than others, but if the place is small, redolent of fresh corn tortillas, and has a Cerveza Pacifico sign in the window, you'll probably do okay. Buen provecho!
    . . jim strain in san diego.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jim Strain
      Sam Rothstein

      Appreciate the information. That is really unfortunate about Eric's......we have lived around the country and they had some of the best ribs we have experienced. Do you have a recommendation for best Roberto locations? does Mexico City style differ from other Mexican food?

      Thanks again.


      1. re: Sam Rothstein

        The only Roberto's I've tried recently has been the one in Sorrento Valley. It caters to the nearby industrial parks, and does a huge lunch-time business on weekdays. It's tasty stuff, but I can't say that I'd recommend it over any of the others.

        As for Chilango's (Chilango is a slang, slightly derrogatory term for a Mexico City resident) it isn't haute cuisine by any means, but it's complex cookery and doesn't have many of the things you see in most norteƱo style Mexican restaurants. No beef enchiladas, no tacos, no chile rellenos, but meals do come with rice and beans and your choice of tortillas. There's also delicious guacamole. Main courses (seafood, chicken, some beef and pork) are typically dressed up with complex spices -- some mole, some chile based, some less fiery stuff based on garlic. You'll also see ingredients and spices that would be unknown at the local El Torito (bit on snobbery on my part). The last time we were there, Chilango's had their own version of chile en nogado, in which a big poblano chile is stuffed with fruits, nuts, and savory rice, and roasted. Sabrosisimo! Welcome back!
        . . jim strain in san diego.

        1. re: Jim Strain
          Sam Rothstein

          Jim, thanks again for the helpful information. We look forward to trying Chilango's. As you can in Boston it is pretty tough to find good or authentic Mexican food. My wife and I loved our time in SD and are very excited to visit again. We were disappointed that the Padres will be out of town though. We wanted to check out the new ballpark.

      2. re: Jim Strain

        I agree with Gayla. I enjoy Roberto's off Mission Gorge and we like Salsa Bravo off El Cajon Blvd. Not a dine in kind of place but they have a great bean and cheese burrito and we enjoy the nachos w/no meat.


        1. re: Jim Strain

          An update: Chilango's went out of business. Another restaurant now occupies their space. RIP.

        2. Friday before last my staff and I did a burrito taste test. We tasted carne asada burritos from 5 different vendors, chicken and bean/cheese burritos from 3 different vendors.

          Roberto's won the carne asada burrito tasting hands down. They were tasted against Sombrero, JV's, Bronco and La Pasadita. It wasn't the biggest burrito and it wasn't the heaviest, but it was by far the best carne asada of the lot. The flavor on their carne asada was outstanding. The Roberto's chicken burrito left a lot to be desired (very little chicken, lots of bells and onions). Sombrero won the chicken burrito tasting which surprised everyone. Sombreros were the most uniform of all the burritos - every single one of them weighed 15 oz., but the chicken burrito was packed with shredded white meat and almost no dark meat and no added veggies. It was, however, far too dry.

          I agree with Jim about Chilango's in Hillcrest. Very nice Mexican food in the style of Mexico City. There have been quit a few posts about Mexican in Old Town, you might want to check those out.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Gayla

            My experience is that the quality varies greatly from branch to branch at the various Roberto's. So I must ask, where did you buy your burrito for the competition?

            1. re: Bob Foster

              The Roberto's on Mission Gorge Rd., next to Rose Toyota. And I agree that it varies from location to location.

              1. re: Gayla

                Thanks for the results of the your taste test. It may also explain why others like Roberto's and I don't. I'm just not a carne asada eater (I don't hate c.a.--I just prefer other Mexican foods). I worked for a year at Mission Beach and thought the Roberto's there served some of the worst Mexican food I'd ever eaten (outside of the Mexican food that I had in Ohio in the 1970's). I would have cheered if it had been replaced with a Taco Bell. I suspect that perhaps the Mission Beach Roberto's is not their best location.

            2. re: Gayla
              Sam Rothstein

              Thanks Gayla.....I could go for a Roberto's carne asada burrito right now and it is only 7am.

            3. Thinking about Roberto's. . .actually, the whole Roberto's concept kinda blew up. Now there are taco shops literally everywhere in San Diego. Generally, they focus on lunch-time/post-drinking eating. And generally speaking, they're pretty good. Not great, but good.

              1. Go to Los Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan (Cesar Chavez parkway right off of I-5). I have taken so many people there for the first time, I've lost count. The latest one was a chef and he loved it! The tacos and chorizo beans with rice are the ticket!

                Santana's in Pt. Loma and also on Broadway in El Cajon are known for their Carne Asada Burritos. The tortillas they use are very fresh tasting.

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