A torta is a Mexican sandwich that is served on a firm, crusty white sandwich roll called a bolillo, telera or birote. Tortas can be served hot or cold, and are filled with all sorts of goodness like marinated pork (al pastor), steak, bacon, onion, pepper and cheese (alambre), marinated steak (carne asada) and fried tender pork (carnitas).
I fell for my first torta in high school at an eatery named La Torta in downtown La Mesa. In between high school graduation and the present, I never again encountered an opportunity to chow down on a torta. Well, that’s not completely true. I sampled a “torta” in Saigon at Cantina Central earlier this year. However, it was made from hamburger buns, so it totally didn’t count.
While strolling around Old Pasadena a few weeks back, I suddenly experienced a terrible case of the munchies. In search of something savory and satisfying, The Astronomer and I veered off Colorado and found ourselves at Tortas Mexico.
At Tortas Mexico, customers place and pick up their orders at the front counter—service is informal, fast and friendly at this petite shop. The menu, which consists mostly of tortas, is spelled out on an old school fast food-style sign behind the counter.
Our chorizo torta arrived soon after we ordered it, wrapped tightly in white butcher paper. The spicy chorizo (pork sausage) contrasted deliciously with the fresh avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos and iceberg lettuce. While I usually hate on iceberg, it feels so right when it’s paired with Mexican food. The bread was sturdy and meshed well with the torta‘s contents. Melted cheese is the only thing that could have made this sandwich better. Next time, I say, next time…
90 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103