Welcome to a new feature on our blog called 100 Favorite Dishes,
where we countdown, um, our 100 favorite dishes at local restaurants.
We'll be sharing these with you every weekday until our annual Best Of
Issue comes out. Enjoy!
#97. Flying Saucer at Alberto's
Just like real flying saucers, it's origins are unknown, its authenticity dubious. Every Alberto's, Alerto's and other Clone-ertos has one. Most follow the formula: a crispy, fried flour tortilla formed into a bowl, soupy refried beans at the bottom, stringy stewed beef on top of that, and then a mess of other toppings which can include sauteed onions and pepper, lettuce, and cheese.
Time is of the essence when you get one. The crispiness is as fleeting as a real UFO sighting. Wait too long and its gone, usurped by the wetness. Don't get me wrong, it's still good when it gets all soggy like a limp noodle, but it's so much better when every forkful you get has a little bit of crunch to go with the slop.
Something about the dish also lends itself to great past-midnight eating. Maybe it's the warmth, maybe it's the messiness, or maybe it's the fact that you can eat it in privacy, without the guilt or prying eyes of witnesses.
Alberto's Mexican Food, 1425 E, Edinger Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
The List so far: