Tortas are great in all forms, but something about a well-soaked roll can turn the common sandwich into something we’re emotionally codependent on. Power dynamics aside, there’s probably no dish that better represents Guadalajara than the wet and spicy torta ahogada. Tortas Ahogadas Ameca in Montebello serves it on a traditional birote salado, a salted bread roll that can withstand several spoonfuls of spicy salsa de tomate. The stiff bread is first filled with refried beans and tender Jalisco-style carnitas before being coated in a tomato-based sauce that dyes the whole thing a satisfying red. The deep smokiness in the sauce from the chile de arbol and mingles nicely with the briney pickled onions that garnish the sandwich. And in the end, you’re left with a torta that’s sharp, spicy, and super tender with its soaked bread and slow-cooked carnitas. Ameca’s does an excellent job of preserving this Jalisco classic and offers other protein options like chicken tinga too.
Tacos de Canasta
If you don't think a taco can be soft and crunchy at the same time, then we suggest giving these tasty tacos de canasta a try. There are a few variations to choose from, but the chorizo and potato and chicharron combo are the best. After these tortillas take a dip in smoky meat drippings and get flash-fried, they’re steamed to create this semi-soft, semi-crispy shell that soaks up all of the rendered fat’s flavors. The stewed chicharron is silky smooth and spicy from its salsa, and the mashed potato with chorizo is super decadent with tons of pimenton.
There’s a lot to love about this carnitas-filled sandwich, starting with its salty roll. It’s soaked in a tangy tomato-based sauce that softens the loaf and turns it into a delicious sponge that soaks up a ton of flavor. The carnitas comes in tender chunks with plenty of buttery fat, and the sandwich is topped with pickled onion that compliments the thin sauce.
This pozole rojo doesn’t hold back on the dried chilis and that’s why we love it. You can taste the sweet and smoky hints of anchos and guajillos mixing with the rendered pork fat in every bite. We’re also big fans of the generous amount of chewy hominy you get in each bowl.