Tucked amidst San Francisco’s eclectic and vibrant Mission District is an authentic Mexican eatery, the charming Puerto Alegre, where folks have been gathering for 48 years to celebrate life, love and adventure while feasting upon traditional dishes lovingly crafted from recipes handed down through the generations.
From the moment diners walk into the restaurant, the sights, smells and sounds are reminiscent of the flavors of Ayutla, Jalisco, which influenced the tasty home-cooked Mexican food created by founder, Ildefonso Vigil in 1964, and honed through the years by his four children, Lorenzo, William (Willy), Pattye and Amparo.
Fabulous flavors abound in reconstructed traditional offerings such as the Pozole Verde, a heartier version of the conventional soup, bursting with chicken, bacon and hominy, with plenty of piquant spices to satisfy the appetite.
Another favorite entree is the spicy, nutty-flavored green mole, another twist on a dish that typically features a zesty red chile sauce, Mexican chocolate and peanuts. The delicious blend of peanuts, walnuts and almonds along with green chiles, tomatillos and other seasonings make this unique verde dish a must-not-be-missed offering.
“Mama’s Special,” including Monterey Jack Cheese enchilada and chile relleno, the “Combo Classic” featuring a shredded beef crispy taco and shredded chicken enchilada and the “Combo Numero Uno,” composed of shredded beef crispy taco, shredded chicken enchilada and a chile relleno, all served with rice, black beans and a side salad, are flavorsome and filling combinations overflowing with scrumptious sensations sure to please the palate.
Ginormous burritos, perfectly grilled quesadillas, chicharrones en salsa roja (fried pork belly simmered in a zesty red sauce), and smoky-flavored chimichangas, fried tacos and savory soups are dished up daily at Puerto Alegre, lovingly prepared by the chefs and served by a warm and welcoming staff well-trained at making guests feel like family.
Recovering from a night on the town or just looking for a wake-up-and-get-the-day started means Huevos Rancheros, a delicious breakfast dish featuring eggs on a corn tortilla, covered with a fiery vegetarian sauce and served with rice and beans and available all day — just ask the friendly wait staff!
Salty, sweet and oh-so-refreshing margaritas are a must at Puerto Alegre, where thirsty diners can choose a classic lime margarita on the rocks or frozen, frozen strawberry or peach versions, or sip the night away with premium margaritas such as the Puerto Alegre Especial, the Puerto Alegre Cadillac or the Margarita De Plata, a super-premium cocktail made with top-shelf ingredients.
Best of all, not only does Puerto Alegre serve up scrumptious meals daily, guests dine amidst original pieces of art from local artists, with different exhibits on display throughout the year, featuring a small opening reception where guests are invited in to view the new artwork and meet the artists, who also bring prints that can be taken home; otherwise the art stays on the wall until the end of the show.
The Vigil family is also committed to the environment and will be participating in the Global Climate Action Summit and “Rise For Climate — Jobs + Justice California” march on Sept. 8, Amparo said, because it is important to bring awareness of the issues affecting our world which will, in turn, affect our community, meaning all of all of us, no matter where we are on this planet.
Come to Puerto Alegre, explore the vibrant dishes, the colorful walls and the family atmosphere, kick back, relax and experience authentic Latin cooking at its finest.
Puerto Alegre features original Mexican cuisine and is located at 546 Valencia St., San Francisco.