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Torta Cubana at La Zamorana in Watsonville


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Torta Cubana at La Zamorana in Watsonville

ahclem | Sep 16, 2006 11:42 PM

What was I thinking?

A few weeks ago I was out doing errands which ended up taking longer than I'd expected, bumping up against lunch. I was near La Zamorana in Watsonville, so decided to stop in for some tacos. As I was walking from my car, I noticed that their sign gave top billing to their being a torteria. Realizing I'd never had one of their tortas, I figured I'd give one a try.

Somewhere between the door and the counter I decided that I didn't want a plain vanilla torta but something special. I had a vague memory of Nathan mentioning their pambazos, but also a vague memory that he hadn't been all that enthusiastic. (I later revisited his report here: )

Looking at the menu, I noticed a "Torta Cubana." Given that a regular torta was $3.75, a Pambazo $4.99, and the Cubana $6.99, I figured it must be special indeed and ordered one.

As I don't speak Spanish, I just assumed that Cubana referred to Cuba. However, I now believe it must be Spanish for "everything *including* the kitchen sink."

It arrived wrapped in paper and foil like a burrito, but cut in half and turned cut ends up so that its contents could be marveled at. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me, but did manage to snap a pretty pathetic shot with my phone camera:

It immediately became clear why it was wrapped like a burrito, in that, stuffed as it was, it would never hold together as a sandwich. Follow along with the photo as we recount its ingredients: Starting from the "bottom" and working up, we have the bottom half of a soft roll compressed by the contents into a thin slab of bread. Then there is mayonnaise and mustard, followed by sliced ham, cheese, a sliced hot dog(!), chorizo, a milanesa (a slice of breaded fried beef), tomato, fresh avocado, onions, pickled jalapenos, lettuce, more mayo, and the even more-compressed top half of the roll. Yikes!

Despite the excessiveness of it, the ingredients we're mostly tasty (although, I'm sorry, that hot dog is just wrong). The chorizo in particular is good (as I already knew from tacos). But I"m afraid that this is one of those situations where "more" is simply "more" (as opposed to "better").

Now I know. (Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I did eat the whole thing).

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