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Friday, August 1, 2008

Al’s Backstreet Patio Grill - Introduces New Chef – Berthy Perea


Article & Photo by Kathy Preppernau

How do you find a great new chef? You steal her and according to Al, owner of Al’s Back Street Cantina and Patio Grill, that’s exactly what he did. Al found Berthy at Tijuana’s Famous Los Arcos Restaurant where she had been working for 22 years. He brought her to San Felipe to be his new Chef. She is a single mom with 3 boys and has been a chef for 23 years. She really likes the tranquility of San Felipe but says she has to get used to the heat.

She was born in Sinaloa, Mexico and started learning to cook when she was just 8 years old. A good friend had a restaurant there and she began to learn from him. First, learning how to make cakes and flans, she started as the cook’s helper and progressed to Pastry Chef and by his side learned to cook all the different Mexican dishes.

Twenty-two years ago, Berthy helped open the Tijuana Las Arcos Restaurant and has since expanded her talents to Italian, Mediterranean and Spanish dishes as well as Mexican Food. She specializes in seafood and steaks, but her Mexican dishes seem to be the most popular right now. My first treat was the Diablitos “Little Devils” which are yellow chili’s stuffed with Marlin. Just a little hot and oh so tasty. I’ve since enjoyed the Taco Gobernador and Taco de Marlin and most recently her ceviche and the Faitas de Pollo with fresh made guacamole - yummy!

Everything is made fresh daily from the salsa and guacamole to the fresh salads, ceviche and hamburgers. She is very particular with the quality of her meals. She even filets the fish at the time of your order before cooking. Now that’s fresh!

Al’s Back Street Cantina and Patio Grill is open Thursday through Sunday from 6 PM to 2 AM during the month of August but after Labor Day will be open Thursday through Monday again and be opening at 4 pm instead of 6 pm.

Al’s Back Street Cantina was awarded BEST BAR TO TAKE OUT OF TOWN GUESTS by popular vote of the people in the Best of San Felipe reader’s poll.