Just like mom’s

With all the Mexican restaurants in town, it seems this cuisine and the establishments that offer it deserve close inspection. Some of Reno’s Mexican restaurants are good; a few are great. Others are just not worth the time.

Bertha Miranda’s Mexican Restaurant in Reno has been serving authentic Mexican food to the delight of its diners for more than a decade. The restaurant has a reputation for consistently good food and service. Until I dined there last week, I wondered if all the buzz spread around the local restaurant community was right.

When my mom and I entered the restaurant, only a few tables remained empty. It was 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday, and the place was packed. The hostess seated us at one of the tables on the second level of the dining room. The restaurant is split into a three-level dining area, along with a lounge and full bar.

We indulged in warm chips and mild salsa as we waited for our waiter. Glancing at the stone walls, I noticed religious figurines set on stones protruding from the wall. The music and these statues made me feel like I was in a cantina in a small town in Mexico. The decor’s arrangement worked, taking us out of Reno and into a foreign land.

The menu is extensive. We ordered the sampler plate ($6.95) for an appetizer. One quesadilla, a taquito (chicken or beef) and a chimichanga (chicken or beef) served with nachos, sour cream and guacamole make up this starter.

Bertha’s opens at 10 a.m., serving breakfast until noon. I’ve heard their omelets are the best around. They offer vegetarian, cheese, seafood and even a chorizo omelet ($6.95-$8.95). Bertha’s special breakfast ($6.95) includes two eggs over easy or scrambled on two open-faced green or red enchiladas served either hot or mild.

For dinner, I decided on the fajitas ($9.95). My mom, since she wasn’t very hungry, settled on a side enchilada ($3.50).

Our appetizer arrived right after we ordered. The quesadilla, taquito and chimichanga were delicious, with plenty of guacamole and sour cream. My mom also thought they were great.

After devouring the appetizer, a man dressed in Mexican attire and equipped with a guitar began playing Mariachi music. He strolled from table to table, enticing couples with his romantic charm. This was a nice touch.

Just as he left our table our dinners arrived. My fajitas looked great—tender strips of beef, marinated in Bertha’s special sauce, served with fresh vegetables, guacamole, rice and beans. Three warm flour tortillas were served with my dish.

The beef was tender and served with peppers in a perfectly spiced sauce. The fresh guacamole and vegetables made this dish remarkable. I finished my fajitas, almost licking the savory juices from the plate.

My mom said her enchilada was also good. She especially liked the rice and beans served with her dish. She cleaned her plate as well.

We were too full to try any of the flan, sopapillas or fried ice creams that comprise their dessert menu, but next time around, I’m going to save room.

Bertha Miranda’s entertains their diners with a great atmosphere, but it’s the food and service that make this place a Reno favorite. The service is friendly and knowledgeable.