By Margaret Evans
It was a gorgeous day in early spring when the Lunch Bunch headed to Habersham to check out Berto’s Tex-Mex Grill.
Owner Norberto Lopez told us they’d just celebrated their 10th anniversary at that location, an impressive milestone for any restaurant. Spirits were high as we settled into the cozy establishment, with its beautiful Equipale furniture, hand-crafted in Mexico.
Outside, a shady courtyard beckoned, but it was still a bit chilly, so we took a rain check.
Before we’d even glanced at our menus, Betty had ordered guacamole for the table. Norberto made it for us right there on the spot.
Hope said it was the best she’d ever tasted. Nobody disagreed, and with the zesty salsa and crispy chips we’d already been served, our feast was off to a fabulous start.
Several in our group lamented that this was Lunch Bunch, not Supper Club, as the house margaritas were calling our name. But we all had to work later, so we behaved as professionals.
Betty ordered the Grand Burrito, then changed her mind and went with the Vegetarian Quesadilla on a whim.
“I never order quesadillas,” she said. “But I’m so glad I did. This is absolutely delicious!”
Hope chose the Taco Salad with Chicken and was equally happy with her selection.
“This taco salad is different,” she raved. “It’s not standard. Not basic.”
She cited the black beans, particularly flavorful, and the chicken, seasoned to perfection.
“And it’s grilled, not shredded!” she added with delight.
When Hope finished her salad, we all took turns nibbling on the crunchy bowl. Yum!
I had the Tacos Mexicanos and after pondering a long list of choices, I decided on the fish. Oh, how I love fish tacos, and these did not disappoint.
Berto’s makes its soft corn tortillas by hand, and you can taste the difference. Wrapped up with cilantro, onions, tomatillo salsa, and flaky white fish, these are some of the tastiest tacos you’ll find in the Lowcountry.
Next we come to Jeff. A native Californian and avid traveler, he considers himself a Mexican food aficionado. In short, it’s his favorite and he’s tried it almost everywhere. Jeff ordered the No. 3 Lunch Combo, which included a taco, an enchilada, and rice. We watched him dig in with baited breath. Would the No. 3 pass the Jeff Test?
With flying colors.
Jeff was especially emotional about his “al pastor tacos,” which are tacos with spit-grilled pork. He enthusiastically cleaned his whole plate and in the end, proclaimed his lunch “as good as any Mexican food I’ve had anywhere. Including Mexico.”
We all agreed if we had to choose one word to represent Berto’s, that word would be “fresh.”
Over and over we were struck by the freshness of the ingredients – something you just can’t fake.
As we finished our meal, we browsed the menu’s list of House Specialties and vowed to come back soon at a more festive hour, still thinking wistfully of those margaritas.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention our server, the lovely Aurora Lopez, daughter of Norberto. She was bright and cheerful, informative and competent – everything you want in a server and nothing you don’t. Together with her father, she made us feel welcome and eager to return.
Thank you. Here’s to another 10 years!
Berto’s Tex-Mex Grill
9 Market Street, Habersham
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.