El Asador's torta and fries

by Christiaan Mader

I’ll admit some general bias toward Mexican food. It’s like duct tape; there’s nothing that salsa picante or cumin won’t fix and make substantially better. Perhaps the unsung hero of Mexican hand-helds is the torta, which is effectively taco contents migrated to a bun. The torta’s airy, brioche-like vehicle being the principal difference here, it really helps that El Asador makes excellent ones. They’re lathered in butter so every bite is moist, rich and appropriately decadent regardless of the filling: pastor, chicken or steak. You could stuff it with a tortilla and it would still grade a solid B plus. I’m trying to imagine an infinite regression of a torta bun wrapped around a tortilla wrapped around a torta bun wrapped around a tortilla etc., and no matter how long I ponder the M.C. Escher-like mind garble I’m still willing to eat it.

Pro Tip: French fries are usually a no-no at cantinas and taquerias. Usually of the bagged and frozen variety, they exist (in my opinion) on Mexican menus as a cursory offering to the most stubborn of American palates. Why someone would crave fries where tortilla chips are abundant and free of charge is beyond me. Not so at El Asador. These fries are like McDonald’s fries in the best way: golden brown, perfectly salted, crisp, providentially divine and as a bonus made of actual food.