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Best Torta in DF?

Maya Sep 9, 2008 01:08 PM

I love Mexico-City style tortas (by the way, the best one I've found at home is at Tortas Los Picudos (2969 24th St., San Francisco). Where can I get the best grilled tortas in DF?

  1. c
    colleend Oct 19, 2008 01:04 PM

    What exactly makes a DF torta? My daughter-in-law is a proud chilanga and stranded in Washington State until December. I'd love to surprise her with a taste of home.

    4 Replies
    1. re: colleend
      Eat_Nopal Oct 20, 2008 01:16 AM

      Don't Mean To Be Demeaning At All....

      A Torta in Mexico is a type of Sandwich served on one of 4 common types of rolls:

      Bolillo - Similar to French bread but lighter, with a fluffier inside, and slightly sour / yeasty
      Telera - Flat soft, wide roll, slightly yeasty but not crusty at all
      Cemita - Sesame Bun of Middle Eastern (Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi origins)

      The fillings vary quite a bit throughout Mexico... some are common to many regions of the country, others are unique to certain States, Towns & Cities. The most classic Tortas associated with Mexico City...

      > Milanesa (a schnitzel type steak served on Telera, spread with Beans, Crema, Onions, Avocado, Ancho-Guajillo-Pasilla Salsa)

      > Al Pastor (spit roasted Pork Steaks marinaded in a complex Achiote rub, served with roasted Pineapple & Onion... the bread is Telera spread with Beans, Crema, Onions & Avocado & Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa)

      > Pepito (Charcoal grilled Ribeye, Tomato, Jalapeno, Avocado, Mayo)

      > Bacalao a la Mexicana (Salt Cod cooked in a Tomato-Chipotle-Caper-Olive sauce served on a Bolillo)

      > Chavo del Ocho (Thinly Sliced Pork Ham, Chihuahua Cheese, Tomato, Mayo, Buffalo brand Hot Sauce on a Bolillo)

      > Pierna (Roasted Pork Leg, Mayo & Pasilla-Clove-Cinammon Salsa)

      1. re: Eat_Nopal
        colleend Oct 21, 2008 02:42 PM

        Demeaning? Why would you say that? On the contrary, I very much appreciate you taking the time to outline Mexico City tortas, very informative and very helpful.

        Based on your description, her favorite must be the Pepito, for Melina it just wouldn't be an authentic DF torta without the avocado, tomato, and mayo. One more question--Is the crust side of the roll buttered before grilling?

        Again, thank you EN, your post makes me want to visit Mexico City again, if for no other reason than to try 'em all!

        1. re: colleend
          Eat_Nopal Oct 21, 2008 03:09 PM

          "One more question--Is the crust side of the roll buttered before grilling?"

          It depends on the vendor. The purist approach would say no... the best tortas are made from the freshest bread & you don't griddle that. However, some vendors don't always use fresh baked bread so the way around it is to griddle it with some fat... the result of course is delicious but different and not in the spirit of Antano (yester year).

          Then of course you have the Tortas al Vapor places (which is another regional style of Torta in DF but not very ubiquitous).... this is where fatty meats (like Cabeza, Suadero, Pierna) are kept warm & moist with steam (in some respects Mexico's version of a Hot Pastrami)... in this case the bread (almost exclusive Bolillo) is placed in with the meat where it warms up & picks up some of the juices.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal
            colleend Oct 25, 2008 12:05 AM

            Just a quick note and thank you for the torta information. We visited the local Mexican market and found everything we needed--and, the tortas were excellent! We also found the season's first pan de muerto. After just one tiny bite our dear chilanga proclaimed it disgusting. Beautiful, but disgusting. Oh well. It's sometimes hazardous trying to duplicate the tastes of home.

    2. x
      Xacinta Sep 17, 2008 07:54 AM

      La Castellana, El Capricho, Hipocampo, torta al pastor en Don T, de milanesa en los bisquets de álvaro obregón. The best tortas i have tried are not in Mexico City, it´s a place called Tortas Bernal in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, mmmm, torta de pierna con chiles serranos y aguacate......i don´t know how they do it, but these are my best tortas ever.

      1. bigotes Sep 14, 2008 01:35 PM

        La Texcocana
        Los Guajolotes on Insurgentes has a turkey torta with mole that is really something
        La Castellana

        1. Veggo Sep 12, 2008 04:32 PM

          At a minimum, be on the lookout for a milanesa torta. There seems to be a special pride in doing it well in D.F., and there are are numerous interpretations, but the one served up two blocks from my old office in Lomas weighs about a kilo and is muy sabroso.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Veggo
            Eat_Nopal Sep 12, 2008 06:01 PM

            That & pierna. I guess Cod tortas are also a regional specialty of DF.

          2. Elchilango Sep 9, 2008 09:20 PM

            Tortas El Cuadrilátero
            Luis Moya 73, near Ayuntamiento, Centro

            La Texcocana
            Independencia 8-A, near Balderas and the Museo de Arte Popular, Centro

            Don Polo
            Felix Cuevas 86 (near Av. Coyoacán) Colonia Del Valle

            These are a few that are in my book. Also very good is La Torta Brava, on the south side of 5 de Mayo, near the Zócalo, in business since 1940.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Elchilango
              Anonimo Sep 10, 2008 09:57 AM

              My fondest torta memory is a place called "El Monje Loco", which we ate at in 1992. We'd come down from several hours of exercise at Ajusco, high above the city. and we were ravenous. I don't know where the place was/is except that it was under a viaduct.
              I was impressed by the girl workers unravelling queso Oaxaca, and tearing out the inner crumb of the bolillos or teleras. The huge mixed tortas were great.

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