Where: 200 NE 28th Ave
When: 11am-10pm, Tuesday-Sunday
Honeys Heart: Refrito Torta
The first torta I ever had was from a small cart in Guatemala. That torta was filled with pieces of hot dog, ham, chicken, and chorizo topped with mayo, salsa, tomatoes, and jalapenos, and though Doug was adamant that it didn't do justice to tortas as a whole, I was already hooked on what is essentially a Mexican street food sandwich.
Since then, I've had a few different torta experiences, including an insanely spicy version at Rick Bayless's Tortas Frontera in Chicago and a delicious, but sadly no longer available, carnitas torta at Edgar's Cantina at Safeco Field. My torta consumption has been lacking here in Portland though, and so I was very excited to check out the new brick and mortar location of well-reputed torta food cart Güero.
Güero's food menu features seven different tortas as well as bowls, snacks, and sides.
I opted for the Refrito ($9.50) made with refried beans, avocado, roasted serrano peppers, fresh onions, pink pickled onions, cotija cheese, cilantro, poblano crema, and chile lime aioli.
Doug went for the Ahogado ($9) with carnitas, habanero slaw, and cilantro topped with achiote tomato sauce.
Both of our sandwiches were huge, very flavorful with a definite spicy kick, and pretty messy. In other words, come hungry and don't wear your Sunday best.
We also split a Sik'il Pak ($7) which is a pumpkin seed dip with fire-roasted tomatoes, chiles, citrus, and herbs served with jicama slices and tostadas. To me, this dish was totally lacking in flavor compared to the tortas and Doug found the dip oddly sweet. The jicama did provide a crisp, refreshing contrast to the spicy tortas, but that wasn't enough for me to be pleased with this dish.
Of course, we had to sample some drinks too. I went with the classic Margarita ($8.5) and Doug tried the Margarita Yucateca ($10) made with mezcal, sour orange juice, and grapefruit. We both preferred my margarita, which wasn't a surprise on my end since I am not the mezcal fan that Doug is.
I'd like to go back again soon to try some of the other tortas as well as La Jefa, a cocktail made with horchata, tequila, ancho chile liqueur, and orange zest.
Te veo pronto, Güero!