I’ve come to realize that some readers of this blog won’t ever step foot into some restaurants I highlight. It’s a shame because one of the points of this thing is to encourage people to venture out of their community and explore the rest of San Antonio — all in the name of tacos.
I don’t mean to sound critical. Well, part of me does. I think most of it has to do with routine. When it comes to tacos, we definitely all have our routines.
For me, Bertha’s on the West Side will likely become part of my routine when I’m not on official taco business and just want to enjoy them without trying to describe what they taste like while taking copious pictures of them.
Though it lacked seasoning, Bertha’s homemade beans inside a handmade corn tortilla was excellent. I liked the fact that the cheese in this taco was an accessory and not the focal point. But back to the tortilla: This is easily one of the best corn tortillas I’ve had. It was soft and kind of the right thickness with excellent corn flavor. The beans were more coarse and watery — a style straight out of most abuelita’s kitchens.
I would put money that Bertha’s is adjacent to many abuelita’s kitchens. It’s located on West Martin Street closer to downtown — where it’s mostly rows of worn-down neighborhood and not a lot of retail.
The corn tortilla was the highlight, but the flour were serviceable. Great flavor. OK texture. More of a conduit for what’s inside them rather than a major player.
The other tacos were all slightly above average. The carne guisada was tender and well seasoned and had a deliciousness that sneaked up on me. The egg and ham was average. The machacado was brilliant-looking with its sharp colors of dark dried meat and colorful diced veggies; it tasted fine, but needed salt.
The green sauce is worth noting. It seemed a blend of roasted serrano peppers and tomatillos? Or, perhaps jalapenos. It was very coarse and very good.
What kind of sold me on this place was its vibe. Cozy. Like being in a grandma’s home. I do my best to avoid such cliches, but Bertha’s really is like that. Maybe it was the painting of The Last Supper I could see from my seat. Or the waitress who was one of the warmest and friendliest — she practically called me mijo. Or the cost: their daily lunch specials are $3.99. Or that it’s a West Side hole in the wall. I’m pretty sure it was all of that combined.
Why wouldn’t you want to traverse town for an experience like that?
Berth’s, 2629 W. Martin St., (210) 860-6143
Worth traveling across town for
Average S.A. taqueria. Some hits, some misses
— Benjamin Olivo
What do you think? Is there a taco I should have ordered, but didn’t? Have any taco news, issues or concerns? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.