Friday, May 11, 2007

A Tropical Evening on the Town

It's night time. We just returned from La Penita where we had tortas at our favorite street stand. We were there waiting for Adan when he drove up to his usual corner at a little past 8:00. He runs his sandwich shop out of the back of a pickup he has fixed up with awnings, grill, refrigerator and cable television. (Well, he borrows the cable for the TV from the shop he parks next to.) He'll be serving until about 1:00 this morning. After a few hours of sleep, he'll get up and go to his regular job. On the weekends, he sings at events like weddings. Busy guy. But he makes absolutely the best torta I've ever had in Mexico.

A torta is built on a flatter, more tender bun than the French bread looking bolillos. The bun has to be absolutely fresh. It's sliced like a hamburger bun, put on the grill with butter to get toasty, and then piled with the other ingredients that have also been melting together on the grill. We get his specialty: Torta Movil. (That's also the name of his shop.) This torta has grilled onions, a slice of ham, melted gouda, American and panela cheeses, a slice of grilled pineapple, roasted pork, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and Adan's special sauce which is a mixture of mayo, chipotle and .... who knows what. It's wonderful. This very substantial sandwich, the most expensive thing on the menu, is 17 pesos....about a buck fifty. Pair it with a Pepsi or 7 Up and you've still got a meal for way under $3.

We sit on the street in one of the six white plastic chairs Adan unloads each night for the benefit of his customers, which are usually lined up six to ten deep. Most carry away sacks of up to six tortas apiece. I don't think anyone in Mexico cooks at home at night.

I could happily eat every night from the street stands set up along the boulevard in La Penita. We may be doing more of that, since the weather is heating up to the point that we stay inside in the cool during the day. We still haven't felt the need for air conditioning, as long as we keep local hours: Early early morning and late evening is when the streets come alive.

So now the air is heavy with the smell of some kind of jasmine that's in bloom, there are occasional cherry bombs shattering the quiet -- still celebrating Mother's Day, and since there's no moon, the stars are hanging out there like huge lanterns. What are we going to do on this romantic evening??? Watch last night's episode of Ugly Betty. We are such a fun couple! :-)

1 comment:

susie said...

WOW... I spent more for a latte at Starbucks this morning!! What a fun (and really cheap) date. I love it!