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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tortas Wash Mobile,Tijuana,BC: A Torta Like No Otha
Tortas Wash Mobile comes with a 100% stamped seal of approval from all walks in Tijuana. When you ask around,"What's good to eat here in Tijuana?",you'll get different answers from different classes and generations, but one thing everyone can agree on is the torta at Tortas Wash Mobile.
They've been around since 1964 serving one kind of torta. The shack is named after the car wash that used to be by the iconic sandwich spot, but long after the car wash had faded from memory , the torta has remained.
The torta epicenter of Mexico is in Mexico City, where stands serve all kinds of meats, cheeses, and toppings. The sandwich is often named after famous models and actresses. In Mexican male culture, the torta is often likened to a sexy and voluptuous woman, plump and tasty.
Other famed members of the family of Mexico's sandwiches are the cemita(Puebla), torta ahogada(Jalisco), and the pambazo(Mexico City) to name a few.
But, perhaps the torta of carne asada known in Tijuana as the torta Wash Mobile is truly without peer.While other sandwiches compete in their respective categories, the torta Wash Mobile has no rivals. It is simply perfection for no motivation other than the pride of its founders.
Just ask Tijuana's movers and shakers Patty San Roman, or the Food Network's chef Marcela Valladolid, who is serving tortas Wash Mobile at her upcoming birthday party. Could there be anything greater than this torta?
The little shack on a quite street just a little ways off the frenetic Bl. Agua Caliente pulls no punches. The meat is grilled over mesquite.
The cut of steak is mariposa, or butterfly cut.
The taquero cuts the tender steak on a traditional cutting board, and then deposits
the mouth-watering bits to rest in their own juices while the sandwich is being constructed.
In place of the telera roll is a slender house made roll that resembles ciabatta bread. They call it a telera, too, and it is made at their commisary. Why? The torta at this temple of Tijuanan individualism breaks all the rules, and the result is other wordly.
The bread also is warmed on the grill then a thin layer of mayonnaise is applied to the buns.
A seasoned tomato and purple onion vinaigrette adds an acidity and a brilliant tang to this minimalist torta.
The last element is a dreamy guacamole. Carne asada, topped with a tomato and purple onion vinaigrette, guacamole, stuffed between a ciabatta like roll.This is the torta perfected.
Even more confounding is that this torta is a morning to early afternoon sandwich, not the usual afternoon meal as it is in DF. But, this torta is much lighter than its chilango (from DF) cousin, so you won't be ruined for the afternoon comida, Mexico's most important meal of the day.
Tortas Wash Mobile has a newer branch that is modeled after an American chain style of strip mall eatery, but most any Tijuana resident will tell you that the original is the place to go. This is the best torta in Tijuana, simple, delicious, and perhaps the greatest sandwich in Mexico.
Tortas Wash Mobile
Jalisco just south of Bl. Agua Caliente
past the Pemex station.
mornings 'til about 2pm.