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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Alerto's on Brookhurst

Here we have something like a double review, which is really a reprint (with permission) of ElmoMonster's review of Alerto's in Westminster, then my thoughts on the one in Fountain Valley. These locations are both on Brookhurst, perhaps two miles apart from each other so they should each be the same but apparently one is a good bit better than the other (as borne out by numerous comments in ElmoMonster's original post).

Alerto's Mexican Food
15681 Brookhurst St
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 775-9550

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Just say: "half order carne asada nachos" and for $4.68, you get the quintessential fuel for all-nighters, food for the nocturnal munchies, the harbinger of heart-burns, the anti-Lipitor, and my favorite item at Alerto's, a Mexican food pit-stop famous for enormous burritos stuffed with nothing but meat.

There are two Alerto's outposts on Brookhurst Street, and although they are a few blocks from each other, each are technically in different cities. One is in Fountain Valley, while the other, Westminster. The Westminster branch is cleaner, more consistent, with a dining room that's open until 12:30 a.m. on most nights and a drive-thru that never closes.

But at either one, when ordering the nachos, always specify "Half Order", because since the quantity served is the same, the only difference between the full order and the half is two bucks.

In any case, by the time your styrofoam container of food is ready, you should probably have done fifty sit-ups to offset what you're about to consume: a pile of freshly fried and greaseless tortilla chips smothered with the culprits of an unhealthy diet, including:

  • Refried Beans
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Sour Cream
  • Grated Cheese
  • Cubes of Carne Asada
The first bite is always the best, simply because guilt hasn't set in. You revel in the hearty corn crunch of real tortilla chips; the pleasant mushiness of refried beans; the chewy/tender morsels of seasoned steak; the slobbery green goo of the guacamole; the tang of cheese; the coolness of sour cream; and the oniony bite of the pico de gallo. It all makes sense and feels so right, especially when it's way past your bedtime.

Remorse always follows the last chip, not because of all the fat and calories, but because you want another one.

Thanks, Elmo.

Now as a postscript I have to admit that in the comments on his blog I mentioned not really liking the Fountain Valley location, or at least having had a bad experience there. I'm willing to give any place a second chance and when I went back with a group of people, my one visit since my bad experience, the food was better. Comments left by other people there clarify that the Westminster location is still definitely the better of the two, with no dissenting or contrary opinions. It goes against the credo of my blog (which is to have an overall positive tone) to tell people to not go to a certain restaurant but hopefully the FV Alerto's can put a little effort into catching up with the Westminster location.

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