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just coughed up some favorite this or that in their corner of the universe right now

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Restaurants & Bars 1

just coughed up some favorite this or that in their corner of the universe right now

Chef X | May 2, 2005 07:46 AM

Had to borrow the thread title from a J.L. post on a different board, so here goes:

My current favorite chow, a Torta with Carne Enchilada from Juanito's grocery in Red Bank NJ. (not from the restaurant across the street) You have to go in back and order it in Spanish, (at the meat counter)then take your ticket in the back to the 8X10 kitchen area and give it to the cook. They make it right in front of you, and you will probably feel out of place, as all the people eating in back (a hearty collection of landscapers, roofers and dishwashers from other restaurants) will stare at you, undoubtedly wondering why you didn't go to the restaurant across the street, like most other Gringo's.

Now about the Torta: In case you're wondering, it's a Mexican sandwich. Carne Enchilada is thinly sliced, highly seasoned pork (can't identify the cut, mildly spicy, but definately full flavored)that is cooked on a griddle. It is placed on a warmed Mexican (similar to Portuguese) roll, and topped with a sauce/salsa, mayo(sometimes), lettuce, tomato, onion (sometimes), avacado, pickled jalapenos and Queso Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka), or Mexican Mozzarella. The reason I've type (sometimes) after the toppings is simple, sometimes they are on it and sometimes they are not. The toppings without the (sometimes) have yet to be not includes (if they aren't on the sandwich today I will update!) I would also like to encourage ordering and eating it without special ordering, (ex. no tomato or jalapeno....blah blah)it will just confuse things, enjoy it the way the cook intends, hence the best way using ingredients at hand in his/her opinion. (a good practice in any restaurant to be sure)

The above sandwich costs about 5 bucks, and I recommend tossing a buck in the basket for the cooks. (you will see it)Top it off with a Juarito's Tamarindo (Mexican Tamarind soda another buck) and you will have maybe the best 7 dollar Mex/Am 'fusion' lunch you have ever had. Oh, and by the way, me? I am a Gringo, (quite large - maybe that's why I get the stares)who doesn't speak very good spanish, outside of "uno Torta con Carne Enchilada Por Favor...Gracias"

I hope that this post has been informative, and above all, I hope you like the torta! If you don't like it at Juanito's Grocery, try it at La Chalupa down the street, it cost a bit more, is a little different just as good (maybe better) but it is a restaurant, so therefore it will cost more, and it doesn't feel quite as much like a Chowish 'find'. Also at La Chalupa they call Carne Enchilada 'spicy pork' on the menu....sounds soooo pedestrian.

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