Mario’s La Fiesta (Berkeley, CA)

The taco's look great, but I'd rather eat two burritos!

In 1999, I moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, where I discovered the world of Mission-style burritos. At first I was dazzled by the baby blanket-sized tortillas stuffed with whole beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, pico, crema, guacamole… so big, so filling! But it wasn’t long before I grew weary of these overpriced behemoths pouring out of every taqueria in San Francisco (for a time, you could find me at Taqueria el Buen Sabor every weekend). That’s when I met Mario’s.

Hello old neighbor, freind, confidant... lover...

There’s no foil exoskeleton or superfluous greenery needed for Mario’s hand-held bean, cheese and rice burrito. What’s more, this isn’t your garden variety bean and cheese—it’s pan fried! Let me repeat myself: IT’S PAN FRIED!!! Now, I realize this may not seem revelatory, but when velvety refried beans and a vein of bright orange cheese are sealed into a crispy-on-the-outside/chewy-on-the-inside flour tortilla, it’s sinfully scrumptious!

New location, same paper flag flair!

I returned after a 7-year furlough in New York to discover the location had changed, but the faces remained the same… including my own. Lo and behold, my favorite waiter recognized me! I think that makes me family!

Mario’s La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
2506 Haste St
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 848-2588

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s