No, Tres Agaves hasn’t opened an East Bay branch selling twelve dollar tortas ... and I complained about Slanted Door’s seven buck banh mi.
There is only one big-priced torta at La Guarecita. It is the Cubana Suprema and I haven’t had it yet. I started with the humble milenasa $4.99.
This torta is better than anything I ate in Mexico.
First of all the meat is good ... the thinnest, meltingly tender slice of beef, deliciously and lightly breaded and grilled so the edges are slightly crispy ... sigh.
It is in a roll that is brushed with butter and lightly grilled on both sides. The warm soft bun lovingly holds the meat, tomato, lettuce, avocado, little sliced onions, jalepeno, and beans ... real beans ... Mexican beans.
Everything is done so there is true balance.
The shop is a grocery and meat market. That meat is wonderful-looking and that translates into that terrific milenasa.
There was a fantastic looking house-made sausage that looped endlessly. This place has one of the best Mexican cheese selections in the area. Butter in one pound blocks wrapped in waxed paper is $.69 a pound. At this point I’m dreaming there’s someone in the back churning it ... ok, I don’t know about that ... but $.69 ... and it is pretty good.
So, the entire menu is in Spanish without English transalation. Oddly enough, the staff speaks excellent English, so no worry. For people who can’t read Spanish there are pictures of the sandwiches. So here’s the description of the $11.99 torta from the menu
Milanesa, jamon, chorizo, pierna, salchicha, queso de puerco, fresco y amarrillo, con un tonques Mexicano.
There are other special tortas and I’ll probably order the Chipotluda next ($5.99) – Milenesa, ham, Oaxacan cheese, and chipotle .. sure, why not .. yum.
Other special tortas are the regular Cubana, Cuba-Mex, Pechugona, Cremosa (sounds REALLY good), Ahogada, Del Chavo, Enchilada (yes a torta), Jarocha, and Hawaiiana.
Then there are the eleven regular tortas.
They have the loveliest grilled onions and peppers for some of the Mexican plates.
Other items are Chavindena, Sincroniadas, quesadillas, burritos, tacos, nachos, pupusas, tamales, chiles rellenos and tostadas.
Aquas frescas, liquados y malteadas available.
This is a clean, sunny market. There are a few nice light wood tables inside and a window counter. There are also two sidewalk tables.
Like the take-out menu says these are las mejores tortas. I agree. My torta was simply the best.
La Guarecita Taqueria y Mercado
1848 23rd St (nearish the San Pablo Avenue merge)
San Pablo, CA 94806
510 236 1644
Mon – Fri: 8am – 9pm
Sat – Sun: 9am – 9pm