Jake: As a big fan of authentic Mexican cuisine, I decided this week to take a step away from the traditional taco, burrito, rice and bean combination that is a staple in my diet and try out Tortas Locas on South Tacoma Way. The Locas family run business makes nearly everything in house, including the must have chipotle sauce that is on every table.
Jason: Eating authentically is much more rewarding than stuffing my face with one more Americanized version of Mexican cuisine. Like Chinese-American food, our country has managed to take much of the freshness and spice out of Mexican food. Luckily, though, that is changing more and more in the South Sound, and places like Tortas Locas are popping up around town.
Jake: Ordering a torta was an entirely new experience for me, and with 17 available choices, it was not an easy one. So why try just one? I ordered both the Carne Asada torta and the Toluquena torta; both were large sandwiches that were hot, full of meat and incredibly tasty. Additionally, all tortas come with mayonnaise, beans, onion, tomato and avocado. However, neither of mine came with beans.
Jason: I loved the chorizo balanced nicely with fresh cilantro and hot jalapenos. The mayo is not globbed on, it's more like a smear, and the beans (I didn't get juiced) were moist and woody.
Jake: The Carne Asada torta, or Mexican steak sandwich ($6.49), was full of flavorful ground steak that was only improved with the addition of the house chipotle sauce. I was amazed at how a simple sandwich could be so satisfying, both in quantity and size. The Toluquena torta ($7.99) was equally as large but with pork leg, chorizo and mozzarella cheese. This is one meaty sandwich, and again amazingly flavorful and filling!
As a general food rule, I try to avoid vegetables and garnish food types. However, in the case of both tortas, the avocado and tomato added greatly to the flavor and overall experience of the sandwiches. And the only complaint I have about my meal would have to be that one tomato slice and two thin avocado slices are not adequate for a 10-inch sandwich. I never thought I'd hear myself say this . . . but more veggies, please.
Jason: Mom will be so proud.
Jake: With 20 other menu items that are not sandwiches on the menu, I decided to go back and see how Tortas Locas does with traditional Mexican food as well. The menu also includes tacos, quesadillas, gorditas and tostadas. I wanted to leave my comfort zone again and ordered a pork skin quesadilla. I was expecting a fatty mixture of, well, fat and cheese. I was pleasantly surprised and the meaty deliciousness that this quesadilla offered. Well done, Locas.
Jason: The only drawback I encountered was the wait. I am sure a torta takes some time, but I sat for 30 minutes waiting on my sandwich. There are other tortas in town, and with a wait, it's hard to find the time to go back.
Jake: I do believe that I have found a new love of Mexican food, however, I will be asking for extra garnishes for the first time in my life!
(Tortas Locas; 5420 S Tacoma Way; 253.473.9069)