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Tortas Ahogadas in Salem

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A specialty of Guadalajara is a sandwich called torta ahogada or "drowned sandwich." If you go to YouTube you will find a bunch of videos about them, mostly from Mexico. They are instructive because they show you how they are made. They consist of a bolillo or other crusty french-style bread or roll filled with roast pork (carnitas) and then "drowned" in a hot sauce and a thin tomato sauce. They arrive on your plate swimming in a pool of the sauces and you eat them with a knife and fork. Some of the recipes also call for a coating of refried beans on the bread and some are served with pickled onions.

It's hard to find a torta ahogada in the states. If you search for it on Chowhound, you'll find a few mentions of them in LA and other major cities. I didn't find any mention of them on the NW boards.

Hey, maybe you can only find them in the NW in Salem. There is a great one at Mercado San Francisco on Lancaster in E. Salem, not far from the Market St. exit off I-5. It's made on a bollillo. Mercado San Francisco is a meat market and a tortilleria in addition to serving food, so the meat is fresh made right here. They don't add the beans and the onions, avocado, lettuce and tomato are on the side. It was delicious! I savored every bite. Even though Mercado San Francisco sells beer to go, they don't have a liquor license so you'll have to settle for a Mexican soda. The torta was only $6. You can also get them to go. They have lots of other tortas, tacos for $1, and other dishes like costillas.

There is another place in Salem called Carneceria El Rodeo on Portland Rd. on the far northside that advertises tortas ahogadas. I'll have to get up there and see how theirs compares with Mercado San Francisco.

Hey, you NW Hounds, Salem is the go-to place for authentico Mexican food. Come on down and try all these great places we have here!

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Mercado San Francisco
1584 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97301

Carneceria El Rodeo
3545 Portland Rd NE, Salem, OR 97301

 
 
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  1. Two newish restaurants in Seattle are serving these - but these are both full service / cocktail forward type place - Poquitos and Little Water Cantina. A little more money and atmosphere. I haven't tried them in either establishment but noticed them on the menus. I think there is a truck or two as well, but I can't think which ones.