yes, it's true, today my partner Holly and I took a really long lunch and BARTed down to Fruitvale to check out El Ojo de Agua, the taco truck that Ruth said had a Torta Cubana. (See the link below for Ruth's Taco Truck Report in question, and know that El Ojo is located in a parking lot on the 3800 block of International Blvd.)
I got said torta, and holly got a torta al Pastor. The Cubana was different, slightly, from what I was after...pork loin instead of hot dogs, and no fried egg or jalapenos on the sandwich (though a jalapeno on the side). I know it is hard to believe that something could be improved by replacing pork loin with fried hot dog pieces. But it's true.
It was very good, but there was something about it that didn't quite come together; alas, my longing for a Torta Cubana remains unslaked.
The al Pastor was intensely spicy, as Ruth said, and incredibly good.
Both the sandwiches were beautifully assembled, and presented on a paper plate with a selection of pickled and fresh vegetables.
Our tortas were $4.50 and $5.50, which I noticed was several dollars higher than a lot of the other trucks. They were, however, HUGE, delicious, and made fresh to order. They came topped with cheese and avocado in addition to the usual lettuce and tomato, and the bread rolls were fresh and grilled and perfect...charred on the inside and soft everywhere else.
I find something so satisfying about seeing this level of care and pride in food preparation, even/especially when I get it out of the side of a van and eat it sitting on the asphalt next to my bike.
This was my first visit to Fruitvale but certainly not my last. Next time I'm taking a printout of Ruth's reports.
I am continually amazed at the beauty, splendor, and diversity that Oakland has to offer. We had a great bike ride back home, cruising up International and checking out all the places we will eat lunch in the future.
Thanks for reading, writing, and eating,