Review Of: Tortaria
By: Chef Vincent Tropepe
The torta has a pretty confusing history. Some say it originated during the French occupation of Mexico in the 1860’s. Some sources say that bakers in Mexico took inspiration from the French baguette and made smaller loaves called bolillo and teller, which were both used to make sandwiches.
Another theory is that the sorta was created by mistake. The sorta ahogada or “drowned sandwich” was born in the early 1900’s. A street vendor in Guada;ajar, Mexico accidentally dropped the sandwich in a container of salsa when handing it to the customer. The customer ate it anyway and ended up liking it.
The most traditional sorta is prepared on a fluffy roll similar to brioche and stuffed with fried pork carnitas. The sorta is then either media ahogada “half drowned” or partially dipped or bien ahogada “well drowned” in a spicy salsa depending on how the customer likes it. However, torts come in different varieties and different regions of Latin Americans countries all have their own traditional ways of preparing them and Tortaria in Union Square is one of those places.
Tortaria is best described as a Mexican sandwich shop/restaurant and tequila bar that specializes in the Mexican Torta as well as Taquitos and Tequila. They offer what is probably the widest selection of torta in all of New York City and prepare them from scratch with authentic full flavored Mexican ingredients and spices. They are located just steps away from the heavily populated Union Square.
And in my many visits to Tortaria in order to write this review, there is nothing to be confused with how fantastic it is. When eating enthic foods, it has been my experience that many times spices and spicy dressings can be applied heavy handed, but not here. As elementary of a food as it is, “a sandwhich” Tortaria has gotten this down to an absolute science. Here, all the flavors, of every ingredient represent themselves in each dish I ate.
The Mahi Tuna tacos, the crispy Eggplant Torta, the shrimp qesadiella and the pork michoacan excited my palate and drove me to write a review on Tortaria. My only critism is that the drink service was on the slow side, and considering that I only drink water when I eat to review a restaurant I felt at times they were drilling a well to get it, but that aside Tortaria has a lot to be proud of and what it does everyday to further advance the Mexican cuisine and culture right here in New York City.
94 University Place New York, New York 10003