What Keeps You Coming Back to Albertaco’s?



Story by Maggie Nadeau

For two years, Albertaco’s has been ringing in Chapman students with their quickly served Mexican food. After a night of partying, students will often stop by the late night restaurant before heading home. Their menu items are ideal for satisfying the cravings that college students develop after a night of drinking.

With more than 60 menu items, ranging from chicken tenders to pollo asada, Albertaco’s has many options. Even sophomore Zak Pesner has found a way to indulge without disrupting his dietary lifestyle.

“I’m a vegan, but I can still order french fries with chips and salsa every time I go,” Pesner said.

There are four items that students have stayed loyal to. After surveying 33 members of the student body, it’s evident that the California burrito, breakfast burrito, quesadilla, and carne asada fries are Chapman’s favorite indulgences. With ten options to chose from, the California Burrito received 30% of the votes, the breakfast burrito and carne asada fries both got 18%, and the quesadilla got 15%, making them the top four items according to the survey.

Locals know the California burrito as the “Cali Burrito”. The staple ingredients to the burrito are the French fries, which make it unique to the other burrito options. The answer to why one orders the Cali Burrito is because of the colossal combination of fries, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream, packed into one bite. 

Sophomore, Ian Wooster, explained the important details of his California burrito order.

“I strictly ask for no sour cream. Even though that makes it a little dry, I’d rather not have it conflicting with the guacamole,” Wooster said.

Coming in at a close second, the breakfast burrito is also a popular option for local students. The crunchiness of the hash browns combined with meatiness of the ham is complimented by the fresh eggs that act as a filling to moisten the entire burrito. The variety of flavors marks the breakfast burrito as a staple menu item for those who are guilty of sleeping through breakfast on the weekends. 

In third, the quesadilla is served in a massive tortilla folded around an abundance of melted cheese. It is ideal for any greasy craving. However, they serve it straight from the grill, and if one is too quick to indulge they could suffer burnt taste buds.

The fourth most popular item, the carne asada fries, are served hot and ready, filling up the entire carry out container. The plate of guacamole, fries, cheese, sour cream and carne asada creates a potluck style meal for any group of friends to enjoy.

Bella Pinel enjoys going to Albertaco’s for the experience rather than the meal.

“Do I feel good about eating a greasy quesadilla at one in the morning? No, not really. I regret it about 99% of the time. But it's always just a fun experience to have with friends,” Pinel said.

 The results of the survey also explained information about a student’s usual experience when they visit Albertaco’s. 50% is often intoxicated when eating at Albertaco’s. 58% go once a week and eat inside with a group of three or more people. Less than 10% go alone, take it to go, and are sober when they order.

Sophomore, Lauren Nowicki, admits that she goes to the restaurant solely because it is convenient. She has come to realize that she only enjoys going to Albertaco’s after a night of partying.

“One time I went sober and immediately regretted it. I realized I was eating a mixture of not too great Mexican food. After that, I never went sober again,” Nowicki said.

The employees at Albertaco‘s recognize the differences in their costumers and work according to their knowledge of how business will be depending on what day it is.

Maria, a cashier who has been with the restaurant since they opened, explained the difference in business between weekends and weekdays.

“Compared to weekdays, the weekends are extra busy. We have to work really hard on Friday and Saturday. People come anytime they are hungry, and on the weekend that can be two or three in the morning,” she said.

During the weekdays there are some students that come in almost everyday and are recognized as regular customers. However, her and her fellow employees anticipate the infamous Chapman crowd on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at midnight.

 “Sometimes people don’t have any money and they throw their trash everywhere for me to have to clean it up. However, there are other times students will go out of their way to help me clean up,” Maria explained. 

They have to work efficiently not only to feed their customers but also to keep the restaurant clean. Dealing with drunken people is not easy maintenance for the employees.

No matter if you are an Albertaco’s devotee or dabbler, it continues to serve as a recognizable social dining spot for Chapman students. When ordering, it is a matter of ambition depending on your state of awareness. Whether you enjoy going for the food or just for the experience, Albertaco’s is open for your convenience twenty hours a day, seven days a week.

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