SAY BETOS AND MOST LOCALS KNOW WHAT YOURE TALKING
ABOUT. To those outside the circle, Betos Mexican Food is where you
go for an authentic taste of Mexico.
The taquerias healthy following grew through word-of-mouth. Then came
official recognition: Sunset Magazine named it best taqueria in Reno in March
of 2000, and it often wins annual Best of Reno surveys.
The place is busy almost any time of day. The breakfast crowd stops by for
huevos rancheros, chorizo and eggs, menudo or just ham and eggs. Breakfast
business slips briskly into lunch. Owing to its proximity to the university,
students were among the first to discover Betos.
Now everybody comes here even the FBI, says manager Lorena
Hurtado. Like everyone else, the FBIs search here isnt for clues,
but good food. And they find it with a menu as straightforward as a shot of
tequila. (Not to mislead: alcohol drinks sold are beer, pina coladas, and margaritas.)
Some swear by the burritos, but others rave about tacos and sopes (masa dough
holding a filling, cooked on a hot griddle).
Filling choices for the tacos, burritos, and sopes are authentically Mexican,
in particular carne asada (grilled beef), al pastor (spicy pork), lengua (tongue),
and tripas (tripe). Add seafood dishes, such as camarones a la diablo (spicy
shrimp) and oysters on the half shell, or fajitas, carnitas, tostadas, and posole,
plus daily specials, and you face mighty decisions.
The mind and heart behind Betos is owner Rosalba De La
Torre, who opened her restaurant nine years ago. She came to Reno from Los Angeles
in 1996 with her two daughters.
She worked here for two years, all day, 14 to 16 hours, seven days a
week. She was the only cook, daughter Lorena said.
Lorena and her sister also worked with their mother during vacations and after
school. Now look at Betos. It has an eight-person kitchen staff, including
two cooks, two prep cooks, and one person responsible for handling oyster orders.
Rosalba is out of the kitchen and has handed the responsibility of the restaurant
My mom didnt know how to cook when she got married, said
Lorena, who has huge brown eyes and a Hilary Swank smile. Now she says
she knows how to cook more than she should.
BETOS MEXICAN FOOD
575 W. Fifth St., 324-0632
Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Sandra Macias is an incurable foodie and former food editor at the Reno