Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Oct 27, 2017

Albert Garzon, Albert's Fresh Mexican Food - 4 locations in San Diego, CA #PrayForVegas 





Ole Hickory Pits:

Grill Grates:

Weber Grills:

Del Mar BBQ Championship Facebook Event:

Spring Valley Tailgate & BBQ Festival:

Upcoming BBQ Events and Competitions:

Thank you to Jet West Band for our epic Intro Jingle!

Jet West:

Pray For Las Vegas:

Route 91:

GRAPHIC Video from Route 91 Shooting:

FOX News Story on Albert Garzon:


Albert Garzon, Albert's Fresh Mexican Food - San Diego, CA

It has been so damn hot in San Diego. Record breaking high temperatures this past week in SD.

VFM compressors went out, thanks to Joey for getting them back on and running.

SVBBQFest2017 - going to be a great day of BBQ

Thanks to Josh Kueber at Nexgen:

Crystal Clean Car Wash - In San Diego 4 or 5 locations now

Shout out to Gary & Kelly at Northwestern Mutual

Big Green Egg

Hot Sauces n More

shoutout to Clint Nelson (@clientnelson1980) in Tucson - On an epic bbq journey - keep sharing your photos/videos with us Clint!

You always need to ask for help! You can't do it all.

Shout out to Rodney in Fort Wayne -

Hit us up on social media and let's chat! 

2 sites to use - NBBQA $50 annually - huge restaurant tool!

Knowledge is power and we are here to help you learn!

In San Diego, We have the best Mexican food in the world and Albert's Fresh Mexican is on the top of our list!

Before owning Albert's Mexican Food, he was a plastering contractor in construction.

Albert and his buddies always would love to go get Mexican food at night after drinking

Albert would love to pick apart Mexican places and take notes on all the other taco shops about what he would do differently to make it better.

Albert started thinking of his own version of a taco shop the way he wanted it.

Albert had a house cleaner, Maria, who had a dad who was an owner of a taco shop

Maria’s dad Jose talked to Albert about wanting to open up a taco shop - just to try it out

Albert talked to someone who knew of a local taco shop that was small and wasn't doing very well.

Albert went to look at the taco shop and loved it at first sight - perfect because was small

The place was going to go on sale but Albert happened to walk in and talk to the landlord right before they ended up putting the property up for sale

Important: "Your lease is the heart of the business and you can be at the mercy of your landlord"

Albert paid for the escrow and everything worked out well

Within two weeks of Albert wanting a taco shop, he had one!

Albert quickly began hiring some good employees and cooks for the shop

Albert explains "You don’t have to buy into something big when starting out, you can start small and grow into that business!"

His first taco shop was just 400 sq. ft

Albert prides his taco shop by being different than all the others. His burritos are named specifically with town and city names. Make it fun!

Cali Comfort celebrating 10 years in April

Alberts Mexican Shop gives back to the community and happily supports local youth and sports teams.

More on Albert's taco shop, his landlord wanted to buy back into the taco shop and run the business so he took it away from Albert because he saw the lines outside the business and wanted it back.

Once Albert left his first location, he found a location in Lakeside that was 3x bigger and was perfect for what Albert was looking for

Albert explains "3 most important things to make restaurants successful"

  1. Great Customers Service
  2. Cleanliness
  3. Good Food

You can embrace Yelp as a business owner - take accountability

Business owners have so many Yelp frustrations

Albert explains getting more restaurant locations: Lakeside location was 4x bigger than first location  ~1400-1500 sq. ft restaurant

Albert explains how he coined his business name "The Home of the Big Rolled Tacos"

We are spoiled in San Diego, the taco shops in Colorado are not the same as in SD

Mexican food is the mecca here in San Diego

Albert wanted to create a different menu and be different from the other taco shops in San Diego, knowing how popular Mexican food was

Shawn speaks to the freshness of Alberts Mexican Food, "you have to care about the details, the fresh ingredients are noticeable and you can taste the quality"

Derek raves over the Lettuce Wraps at Alberts Mexican Shop as a healthy option

Albert explains why he chooses healthy options on his menu, "you leave the gym, where do you want to go (FastFood)? No, Instead you can go to Alberts - try the Rancho burrito - and get a healthy burrito - 1/2 cal 1/2 carbs"

Alberts catering - Albert started taco carts - golf tourneys - house parties - you name it, Albert can make it happen 

Albert explains, "Opening up a restaurant can be easy - but keeping the doors open isn’t as easy"

4 locations in La Mesa, El Cajon, Lakeside, Downtown SD

Albert explains that he has learned patience over the last 15 years

Albert and his Wife went to Las Vegas for the Route 91 Country Music festival - everyone was having fun, great vibe, it's always fun in Vegas...

Albert was 21 when he was first going to vegas and now he’s 50

Albert and his group of friends were staying in a suite in room 31 -135 the room directly under the shooter at Mandalay Bay

The shooter was staying in room 32 135 at Mandalay Bay

Albert and all of his friends were having the best weekend together, pool parties, hanging out in the room

Saturday late night in the suite they were blasting country music having a party when security came by and let them know to turn down the music - the person staying upstairs was complaining that it was too loud. had 2 complaints so they decided just to cut the music altogether 

On Sunday morning they all went to the pool and Albert was beat and was tired from the weekend's festivities, so he separated from the group to go to the MGM

Albert's pro tip "MGM - Revive downstairs $159 for an IV - Takes away the hangover and hydrates you right back to normal, even had a little massage room"

In the news, they made it seem like he was going back to his room while the group ws going to the festival, but he really was going back to get another IV, then went to NOBU and his wife and friends were going to the show. Albert was just tired and stayed back.

Next thing he knows, he is getting calls and his wife is screaming and freaking out as she and her friends are all scattering and running away.

Albert's wife called and she was screaming, passed the phone to Albert's friend who reassured Albert and said "I have the girls"

Albert's friends saved his wife and her friend from the shooting.

Guilt kicked in for Albert as he felt like he should have been there and been there for her

Everyone in the group with Albert survived, but many others didn't survive


Albert was finally was reunited with his wife in the morning after a night of madness and no sleep for anyone.

Albert talks about his crazy pictures from the hotel vantage point looking down where the shooter had unloaded on, surreal

Looking down, they could see the bodies and crime scene on the music festival.

They saw the carnage and craziness and then saw the floor directly above them where the shooter was and everything made sense to Albert about the calls and disgruntled upstairs guest (that had been the shooter)

Albert's wife isn’t doing great since the shooting - she’s getting better every day - PTSD

Albert keeps saying “it could have been much worse”

Derek reminds us "In times like these we learn to hold our wife a little tighter - be present with your loved ones"

No matter what, get up and work, love people, be positive, work hard, doors open when you follow those steps.

Work so hard that you create your own luck

A leader helps inspire others around them

Take away the "Boss Mentality" and begin the "Leader Mentality"

Albert knows he is always learning and growing within his business, eventually you have to delegate, find someone who is better and smarter and build a strong team around you

Albert has a great team of people who are big and strong and smart

All catering goes through Albert first, similar to the way Valley Farm does it - Albert assumes the responsibility in making sure the catering is set up the right way

All VFM catering goes through Derek - maybe will be delegated in the future to Chris the Butcher Shop manager

The best way to get in touch with Albert is thru the website contact form.

Albert is always willing to help others trying to start up their business

#SVBBQfest is almost here!

Get in Touch

Derek Marso -

Shawn Walchef -

Cory Wagner -

Valley Farm Market - -

Cali Comfort BBQ - - -

Behind The Smoke - -

Email -