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Memories in the Kitchen

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A breakfast torta from Super Tortas Obregón in Mexico City.

What: Tortas, or sandwiches, are so common in Mexico, and especially Mexico City, that you can hardly walk a block without finding one for sale. What makes them Mexican are the bread—an oval-shaped bolillo, or “little ball,” roll, which is soft inside and crunchy outside, or the slightly rounder, softer pan telera—and the insane amount of fillings that are available at any respectable torta shop. Popular here in D.F. are the Milanesas (with thin, breaded fried steak or pork), pierna (roasted pork leg), and bacalao (salt cod) tortas, but the meat-cheese-veg possibilities are nearly endless. Think main ingredients like egg, chorizo, ham, sausage, pork chop, cheese, steak, chicken, and turkey, plus additions such as lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, refried beans, jalapeño, pineapple, mayo, chipotle salsa…hungry yet?

Where: Our torta is from a street stand in Colonia Roma called Super Tortas Obregón (Av. Álvaro Obregón betw. Jalapa and Tonala, map), which we chose for location’s sake—it was very close to our hotel.

When: Mon-Fri, 7am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 7am-7pm

Order: This is a highly personal choice, of course. We had our torta at breakfast time, so it included huevo con jamón (egg with ham, cooked omelet-style), tomato, avocado, hot peppers, and pineapple (18p). Simple yet very satisfying. Of the most D.F.-centric fillings, though, the ones available here include Milanesa and pierna (20p each).

Alternatively: Tortas are everywhere, but three long-trusted spots include La Texcocana (two locations including Independencia 87-A betw. Balderas and Revillagigedo, map) in el Centro Histórico, known for its tortas de bacalao; Tortas La Castellana (Av. Revolucion 1309, map) in Colonia Guadalupe Inn; and Don Polo (Felix Cuevas 86, map) in Colonia Del Valle (a neighborhood about midway between Condesa and Coyoacán).


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