Day 8: Carnitas Torta from Tortas of Tortas Nezas
I’m back in Corona for lunch under the 7, from a truck donning a home made sign reading Tortas Nezas. I’m on 111th and Roosevelt for a torta con carnitas from none other than a guy named Tortas himself. He’s open 9-6 and is usually parked along the avenue between 108th and 111th. Today he’s on 111th and I find him chatting it up with locals while cooking and serving their tortas and tacos. He stops every few minutes to get in a verse as his radio pumps out the beautiful sounds enticing me to either dance or grub. I chose to grub!
The torta was substantial and could have well fed two – soft bread smothered in mayo, sandwiching lettuce, tomato and avocado, layered beneath melted Mexican cheese and a heap of carnitas. It was a lot of meat, and as hungry as I was, was doubtful I’d finish it all there. The pork was fatty, crisp and tender, and tasted of garlic, pepper, and onions. The salt was balanced with the sweet pickled jalapenos that sadly lost all of their hot flavor. The cheese was mild like mozzarella. The crisp lettuce and tomato offered great contrast to the dense, buttery avocado. My first bite picked up everything and was so good I decided to just eat it all there.
Each bite tasted fatty and somewhat oily, but still indulgent. It was fine, since the awesome weather also brought out my bike, but after eating the entire torta, I found it best to walk it off along the avenue. The smells coming out of Roosevelt are just incredible- fried, smoky, sweet, and savory: and all telltale signs of the myriad of cultures and cuisines that run along the 7. I’ll be back again soon, as a reader NOMination came in for a little cart serving the most delicious arepas in Queens.