I don't feature Mexican fast-food places in this space that much, chiefly because there are so damn many good ones around here. I figured it out the other day amid the copious free time my three jobs afford me: If I were to review each of those restaurants starting now, I'd have material to last me through the next Detroit Lions Super Bowl championship or the formal commencement of World War III, whichever comes first.
But there's one place I felt I had to hip you to in the face of these recessionary times. On first glance at its unremarkable Rolando-area perch, Albertaco's Mexican Food looks like any number of dusty truck-stop knock-offs. And like those eateries, it carries some surprisingly tantalizing fare, especially when it's time to pay the piper. I had two gigrundous fish tacos, loopy with rice, beans and lettuce—as delicious as they were, they almost pale against their pocket-change price ($5.85). If tacos aren't your thing, you're even better off. Check out the California burrito for $4.90. Or the ham torta for an unbelievable $3.10. Or the sides and extra condiments for mere pennies. These are some of the rock-bottomest prices I've seen in the 63 years I've been writing this column, and the fact that this place is open 24 hours doesn't exactly disenfranchise its customer base. If the bare-bones façade is of no consequence to you, there's no way you can possibly go wrong here.
At these prices, Albertaco's can't be making much of a profit at all. Then again, nobody is these days, least of all the Lions' pitiable front office. A visit to 6685 El Cajon Blvd. (phone 619-469-4615) will change all that for you, if only for the moment.