Saturday, January 26, 2013

“La Torta Gorda”

Yes, but could an overweight tortoise have beaten the hare?

(Okay, this EweToob link is a bit of a stretch, but I couldn't think of any good "tortoise"-related songs, Señors Flo and Eddie.)

Open for just a little over ten years now, Poblano's[1] "La Torta[2] Gorda[3]" ("La Casa De La Autentica Cocina Poblana"), on 24th Street right in the of the Mission, was mi destino para el desayuno. They open up plenty early enough to meet my 2013 guidelines: 7:00am on Saturdays, 8:00am on Sundays, and 5:30am the other six days of the week. Size-wise (sise-wize?) they have seven tables that seat four and eight counter seats, plus they have a very large backyard patio with several tables with umbrellas (it was sunny enough out today, but, even so, I still ate inside). Early on a weekend morning parking isn't that much of a problem in the neighborhood and I easily parked two blocks away on Bryant Street.

"La Torta Gorda" is primarily a Mexican sandwich shop (hence the "Torta" portion of their name), but they have a pretty decent selection of desayuno items from which to choose (and even a few Breakfast Sandwiches). As usual with a new Mexican place for me, I will normally choose Chilaquiles con 2 Huevos, which comes with a side of refried beans (but no rice for some reason, nor any fresh corn tortillas). I also had a cuppa café mexicano (meaning I added a bunch of azúcar and lots of leche to it). 

They will make the two eggs any way you would like, but I am used to chilaquiles made with huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs), so I ordered it that way for comparison's sake. They offer a choice of either red or green chilaquiles sauce; I went with the standard red, but probably should have tried the green, as I have never had that colour/flavour with chilaquiles. They serve this with slices of avocado on top, which is a nice touch. All in all, this was another decent version of chilaquiles, the red sauce wasn't very spicy, but had a nice enough sabor to it.

As for condimentary supplementation, "La Torta Gorda" only has bottles of Tapatío®; however, they offer two very good homemade salsas: roja y verde. I used a little of both on the chilaquiles; the roja was a bit more picante, but the verde was pretty tasty still.

For breakfastary dessert (which I don't have any cutesy portmanteau words for yet, but will gladly solicit any good ideas ~ all bad ideas can be unsolicited) I walked across the street and down the next block to Dynamo Donuts. This is one of those "only in San Francisco" places, Dunkin would have a heart attack if he ever ate there. Their selection ranges from Caramel De Sel (with fresh orange zest and nutmeg, topped with a caramel glaze and sprinkled with
fleur de sel), Bacon Maple Apple (yes, as disgusting as it may sound, this is made with actual apple bits in it), Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate, Molasses Guinness® Pear (molasses doughnut with Guinness®-soaked pears, crystallized ginger, and golden raisins topped with a Guinness® glaze), to (my favourite) Apricot Cardamom. I wanted to try something a little more on the normal side, so I had a Hibiscus Heart Beet; these are made with puréed beets in the batter (I asked) and a hibiscus-chocolate glaze (my guess). I also got a single shot o' espresso. I didn't even get the "-beat" joke until I got home.

Remember what the dormouse said: "Feed your head… 
with chilaquiles or at least a hibiscus-beet doughnut."

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles ~ 6.4; Hibiscus Heart Beet Doughnut ~ 7.0

1. Estupido, useless cunning linguist pointer del día, número uno:

"Poblano/poblana" is the Spanish adjectival form of the word used for people or things from the State of Puebla, Mexico.

2. Estupido, useless cunning linguist/pseudo culinaristic pointer del día, número dos:

"Torta" actually means "cake" (or some type of "bread") in Spanish, but has different meanings throughout many Spanish-speaking countries. In Mexico a "torta" usually refers to a grilled sandwich (usually toasted panini-style). (See also: tortilla.)

3. Estupido, useless cunning linguist pointer del día, número tres:

"Gordo/gorda" in Spanish simply means "fat"/"plump"/"thick", Mr. Shumway.

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