I've been on a serious torta kick lately, devouring the Mexican sandwiches everywhere from my neighborhood to the Mission to Mexico itself. To show my deep appreciation for this delicioso dish, allow me to tell this tale of three tortas, starting at San Francisco's bourgie yet authentic Mexican eatery Nopalito.
Like a Mexican hoagie or a burrito on bread, tortas take South of the Border flavors and sandwich them in a soft, toasted roll, such as a telera or bolillo. Nopalito stays pretty true to tradition with its housemade bun, which contains adobo-seasoned shredded pork, refried beans, jack cheese, and avocado.
At $9 a pop, this isn't the best torta I've ever had, but it definitely did not disappoint. The best part is the pork, which bowls you over with a rich, smoky flavor that falls somewhere between smoky Texas barbecue and sweet carnitas.
The hefty portion of avocado also gets high marks, though the other flavors got somewhat lost in the deliciously overpowering pork. The jack cheese seemed a bit too bland, though I liked the crunch of cabbage. A creamier cheese and some refried beans (which my sandwich lacked) might have made it more interesting.
Stay tuned for more torta tales, as well as some tips on making a perfect torta.