Go to Allerto's if you're in the area, and you're craving Mexican and/or Indian food. Some might feel like they're making a pit stop on a road trip when entering the 24-hour restaurant. It's probably because it doubles up, with no barrier, to a gas station store. There are about a dozen small tables and a tiny kitchen from which all the food that comes out is halal--halal turkey bacon, halal beef chorizo, halal everything.
Allerto's opened up two months ago near Disneyland thanks to a Pakistani man who previously worked at Bismillah down the street. The long list of menu items features the regulars: enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, nachos, tostadas and combination plates replete with orangey rice and refried beans. There is an "Indian Menu" as well which offers chicken biryani, naan, paratha, dal (lentil) and mango lassi among other South Asian treats. I asked for recommendations, and here are my reports.
First, the owner complemented our orders with a side of chicken nuggets and vegetable rolls filled with peas, corn and potato. The chicken nuggets make Jack in the Box's chicken strips a sorry scene. They're not so much nuggets as they are chicken wings, served tender, plump, and crispy but not overly fried.
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SHOW ME HOW
I first tried the San Diego-based creation a few years ago, and I have yet to find a match up to par in Orange County. Allerto's version runs like this: a bulk of chewy, carne asada bits atop a goopy heap of refried beans, guacamole and sour cream in separate sections plopped onto a bed of soft, cheesy fries. It needs the sweetness of tomato salsa and the freshness of cilantro to offset the saltiness of it all. Two bites, and I was done. Just enough room for a few sips of sweetened, crimson-colored Hibiscus flower tea and cinnamon-infused, milky Horchata.
Allerto's doesn't offer up gourmet Mexican food, but if you don't want Del Taco, then stop by, on an empty stomach por favor.