To Alberto’s or to Alfredo’s? That is the pregunta …

This is the No. 2 at Alberto’s on Colorado Blvd. in the ‘Dena (relli, help me out).

As soon as I walked in and saw four college-aged girls eating, I knew I was in trouble. Nonetheless, I pressed forward.

The dilemma Tuesday afternoon was that I wanted beef tacos, but I didn’t want to drive all the way from “where I stay at” (relli is that good?) in Pasadena to El Monte where I know Alfredo’s on Santa Anita will take care of me just like it has 10,589 times before.

On Tuesday, I was a victim of the current gas crisis. After having driven by Alberto’s on Colorado (a new locale) hundreds of times now, I thought to myself “Maybe I don’t have to go all the way to Alfredo’s in El Monte”. Big mistake. Stupid thinking.

You see, if there’s anybody out there who knows there’s a HUGE difference between Alberto’s and Alfredo’s, it’s me. The menus look the same. The vibe is sort of the same. But the food is not the same. The hot sauce ISN’T CLOSE TO THE SAME.

Alfredo’s is the kind of Mexican food that your Trendy Green co-worker in the cubicle next to you, you know the one with the banana chips, Fiji water and pics of he and his dog, WILL NEVER TOUCH!

So, I strolled in and knew I was in trouble right away because none of the peeps in there looked like they knew what good Mexican food is. You see, college-aged girls aren’t down with legit, take-a-few-days-off-your-life Mexican food like they have at Alfredo’s. But Alberto’s is different, obviously.

I got my standard No. 2 — two beef tacos w/rice and beans. I loaded up on the red-colored hot sauce. From top to bottom, it was all garbage. Very little lettuce in the tacos. The cheese was a mix and not straight cheddar. No grease dripped out after each bite. The hot sauce was ranchera sauce, not the runny acidic kind I like. The beans had very little melted cheese on them. The rice was the only thing comparable to Alfredo’s. Big deal.

Down in El Monte, there both Alfredo’s and Alberto’s locations. Back in the day, the now Santa Anita Ave. location of Alfredo’s was an Alberto’s. The name changed, the food didn’t. Alfredo’s is legit. If anybody tells you they’re the same, give them a breathalyzer.

Painful lesson learned for me. Now I’m stuffed and I don’t like how I got there. There’s a difference between being stuffed on good stuff like Petrillo’s or The Oinkster or Portillo’s or Alfredo’s and being stuffed on garbage like Alberto’s.

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  • theranch

    Thats why I decided to go strictly King Taco when craving Mexican Food, it never dissapoints…

  • ERAlum

    Okay theranch, I feel you on that one. Alberto’s is two in the morning drunk food and I can’t say that I’ve every had Alberto’s. But if you like King Taco and you’re from the ranch, that means you also have had El Atacor on Telegraph, not the one on Whittier. And Tacos Arandas the place that has the best al pastor around. And if it is in the middle of the day, you can always go to Mario’s on Whittier Blvd. Aram, you want some good mexican food then go to Pico Rivera.

    BTW I’m very happy that we got a HC over at El Rancho. Coach Lopez I will give you the benefit of the doubt and you have my full support. Congratulations and good luck. BLUE PRIDE!!!

  • Frank

    There used to be an Alfredo’s in Duarte, but the city didn’t renew their lease. So they could put that joke of a place sonic burger. Alfredo’s was always good when I had it. A few times i’ve gotten Albero’s I was disapointed. Cold Friojoles, no bueno!

  • New York

    Seeing this food makes me miss home even more…the SGV has some grub.

  • EM local

    Pico is a knock off of El Monte. Mexican food, Mexican seafood, Mexican breakfast, the Mexican culture is in EM. BTW King Taco is white washed Mex taco place. Hit one of the taco trucks on Durfee.

  • Crime Rate Crime Rate Crime Rate

    The city of Duarte got rid of Alfredo’s in order to reduce the crime rate from the gang banging cholos in the area. The higher the crime rate…The lower the federal funds that the city gets! It’s always about the money!

  • El Mexico

    El Monte is a knock off of Mexico. Mexican gangs, Mexican dance clubs, wannabee Mexican menudo. The Mexican culture is in EM (El Mexico).

    Alberto’s super nachos at 2 am after a fade on Friday Nights! Si Senor!


    ARAM, last two articles about El Monte and La Puente were great. Not to many comments, but great reads! Good to see positive stories! Keep them coming ARAM… El Mexico, you forgot to mention the SUPER FRIES,WITH SHREDDED BEEF at ALBERTOS!!! Name a better place who makes fries like that…


    EL MEXICO, EL MONTE was by far a knockoff of Mexico back in the early 70’s. I can remember their was a NAZI HEADQUARTERS,displaying their flags right out the building. Located by the EL MONTE AIRPORT and anybody remember that. El Monte was a great city back in the day.

  • In honor of the peeps from El Rancho and the Whittier area who decided to weigh in, I would feel remiss not mentioning Marquez on Rosecrans in what’s technically Norwalk (always thought it was Santa Fe Springs).

    It’s not like an Alfredo’s or Alberto’s. Not a drive-thru. Kind of a hole in the wall. Absolutely the best Mexican food ever. Those who know what I’m talking about will know exactly what I’m saying.

  • The Master Chef

    I would have to say Alberts is better than Alfredos because the quality is better. Alberts has the best bean and cheese burrito and taquitos around. Albertos is consistent but misses the mark. The best burrito to me is Boca Del Rio! Man you talk about a great combination of flavors. One day I would like to have you on my how Aram and talk about food. Check it out at and we could talk about pregame grub.

  • Back on Football

    Noodles or Dillman….what do you think Aram? I just ran across this article.

  • Aaron

    Special All-Meat burrito at Taco Del Rio in LP is pretty darn good. El Merendero in La Verne is solid. I’m a Tolteca guy…they got Horchata and good chips although I wish I could get some super hot salsa…love the flavor but want sweat down the brow every couple of visits. Also La Paloma on Duarte.



    The Alberto’s on Arrow and Glendora isnt too shabby either. There are only 4 things I have ordered from Albertos the breakfast burrito with ham, carne asada burrito, super nachos carne asada and the Horchata.

    I dont stray away from those four items.

    Aram, you mentioned The Oinkster, did you get the pastrami or the pulled pork sandwich?

  • At the Oink, I’m all about the pulled pork. This may stun everybody here, but I’m not a big pastrami guy. I’ve tried the house pastrami at Oinkster, and it was cute with the cheese and cabbage and mustard, but ultimately I find their pastrami to be way too salty. I prefer the Hat’s pastrami.

  • Don

    If you are talking Pastrami, you have to eat at Langer’s Deli, across the street from MacArthur Park. Yeah, I know, nice neighborhood, but still handy for all of those things so hard to find east of Grand Avenue.

    As for the Alberto’s vs. Alfredo’s, it is all about the location. Alfredo’s has a new outpost on San Bernardino and Second in Covina that can’t hold a churro to the location on Santa Anita. The Alberto’s in Charter Oak is better than the one across from Northview but sometimes the grub there is a little weak too. Nearby, I also like the Boca Del Rio places for carne asada and pastor with the one in La Puente being ahead of the Covina place by the width of a pair of rolled tacos.

  • Manny’s El Loco Anyone?

    As a gringo that loves MExican food, I am a fan of Manny’s El Loco in this type of place. I have yet to have a favorable eating experience at Alberto’s.

    Good chips and salsa/hot sauce is a must, to be sure. I would love to try the hole in the wall in Norwalk!

    Can anyone offer up the best sit down Mexican restaurants in West Covina South and East to Chino Hills which is where I spend time watching my kids and nieces and nephews play sports?

  • patrick

    Aram, you aint right for posting this! LOL Being that im now in Texas, which has GREAT food! but now i dont have access to my west coast favorites….Alberto’s being one of them! My favorite i think(if memory is good) was the #7 Carne Asada burrito combo w/ rice and beans(with cheese) OMG!!

  • patrick

    All in all! i would rather go to El Tepeyac in E.Los !

  • AMAT 73

    Finally a voice of reason and from Texas no less. El Tepeyac on Evergreen in Boyle Heights is the best for Mexican food. From top to bottom you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Forget the one off the 60 frwy as the service and quality is nowhere near as good as the original . Maybe Aram can set up a betting line on whether he can knock off a Manuel’s Special .

  • Jefe

    Original Tepeyac in East Los rules. New one in City of Industry is mediocre.

    For some good sit-down Mexi grub I like La Costa in Montebello.

  • Manuelson Evergreen is good, but Ciros across the street is better

  • Taco Fan

    Pepe’s in Covina is Hands down the Best Mexican Food. Manny’s El Loco is second followed by Alberto’s 3rd. The best Hard Shell Beef Tacos Manny’s El Loco in ELA on Pomona Blvd. near the 60 Fwy off Atlantic. Across the street from Pep boys.

  • Joe Amat

    Apparently Amat’s demise (demotion) has been greatly exaggerated. All those predicting (wishing) the Serra League would be moved down to the Western Division have been derailed once again.

    The proposed playoff groupings are out without much movement at all.

    Aram will post his ***BREAKING*** article on this when he returns from lunch…or dinner…or snack.

    I enjoyed this Albertos/Alfredos discussion, but would also like to know the best sit-down Mexican Food in the SGV … East of the 605. discuss

    As you were.

  • Don

    OK Joe, I’ll play.

    Fonda Don Chon (Covina)- Anything from the grill and for Aram, hard shell tacos.

    Gloria’s Cocina (Downey) – Best tortilleria in town. (And yeah, I know it’s west of the 605, but not much west.)

  • Joe Amat

    Don, is that the place on Shoppers Lane? Never been…but I trust you impeccabley. Now on the list! I’ll report back

  • joho

    Lupes #2 on 3rd st. in East Los Angeles– been eating there since 1975 — NEVER a bad meal!!!
    RIP Tuchi

  • joho

    Lupe’s #2 on 3rd st. in E.L.A. been eating there since 1975!!!! NEVER a bad meal!!!!

    RIP Tuchie

  • joho,

    The green chile looks epic at Lupe’s. I’m gonna have to hit that place up. Aram is a sucker for green chile/chile verde.

  • Dan

    For lunch try the wet chile verde burrito at Durangos on Amar and Aileron, best ch.v. burrito in the area that I know of.[It’s on Amar about 3 or 4 blocks east of Hacienda, North side of street]. For breakfast they have a great huevos rancheros plate with coffee and tortillas along with chips and salsa for 4.99, its on your weekly specials plaque on each table, the 4.99 price is only during the week. Get there after 9 am.

    Good call on Fonda Don Chons.

    Yes it’s on shoppers lane in Covina, a couple of doors down from Pennys Cafe.

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