By Eduardo | @cazadordelomejor
In Mexico, there are infinite possibilities between two slices of bread. Mexicans are very creative. We’ve come up with all sorts of combinations. From a simple telera filled with mayo, beans, ham, quesillo and rajas to a more complex torta, which involves grabbing a whole different dish, such as tamales or chilaquiles, and incorporating them into the torta.
The torta is part of Mexican culture. It’s difficult for a Mexican to go through a day without saying, thinking about or eating one. On the way to work, I will probably pass by ten different torta shops. My office is four blocks from home. Whenever I walk by construction sites in the city during lunch hours, it’s hard for me not to notice the construction workers making tortas with soft teleras, freshly sliced ham and canned rajas and beans. My mouth immediately starts to water.
Most vendors that sell tortas in Mexico stick to one type, and they work hard to perfect it. Each torta maker has their own trick to making them better than the rest. Whether it’s getting rid of the migajón, brushing butter on each slice of bread, using a certain brand of mayonnaise or sourcing ingredients from their hometown. They’re convinced it makes the difference, and they’re right. For many it may seem simple to make a torta, but it’s the care and dedication of each ingredient that makes the difference.
My most recent torta experience was at Tortas Atlixco. The small, yet revamped, hole in the wall torta shop opened up in December 2016 and is owned by Arturo Ibarra, a Mexican torta aficionado, Sofía Aguilar, the owner of a creative branding firm in Mexico City and New York, and Juan Ángel Cordova, a Mexican entrepreneur. Arturo lived off tortas in Spain for years and has tried and experimented with all sorts of tortas. He’s managed to sophisticate the traditional Mexican torta at his tiny six seat shop.
To start off, the team at Tortas Atlixco has gone as far as to reach out to one of Mexico’s most recognized chefs, Elena Reygadas, to create a special, rustic and thick-crust sourdough bread exclusively for their use, as opposed to a traditional soft and airy bolillo or telera. If you’re familiar with the food scene in Mexico City, you’ll know that Elena is one of the most esteemed bread makers there is in the country and dedicates a lot of her time to perfecting the fermentation process of her creations. She was awarded Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2014 by San Pellegrino and her main restaurant, Rosetta, is on the San Pellegrino list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants year after year.
The menu at Tortas Atlixco ranges from milanesa to chilaquiles tortas. Each is unique and the ingredients sourced will not travel more than ten blocks to arrive at Arturo’s kitchen. I quickly chose the chilaquiles torta off the menu. Each bite was memorable. The green tomatillo sauce was spicy and perfectly seasoned, the fried tortilla strips were crunchy, the breaded chicken was moist and the fresh cream, quesillo and thinly sliced red onion gave the torta a lot of flavor. Indeed, Elena’s sourdough is what brings everything together and is what makes Tortas Atlixco unique. Arturo has succeeded at maintaining the torta tradition, while improving only certain components he considers necessary to create a revolutionary torta.
Tortas Atlixco, Calle Atlixco 155, Condesa, Mexico City
14comments inTortas Atlixco
Patti, just love your show, and the way you cook. Also love the relationship w/ your boys. Go Mama!!
Thank you so much!
where do you buy the wonderful 4 spout measuring cups? They look so functional….pouring in any direction
These were a gift…so I’m not sure where they’re from.
Pati, I notice that you always seem to use white onion. I’m very sensitive to the white variety. My mother In law In Chihuahua used them as well. They make me ill, stomach and migrain. Any reason you prefer the white ones?
Yes, where I grew up, in Mexico CIty, white onion rules. But nothing happens if you sub for an onion that you like more, like a Yellow or a Vidalia. The food will taste delicious as well.
Que rico suena eso de “chilaquiles” tortas. Nos puedes dar una receta? Soy cubana y tengo que agrandar mis recetas de tortas. Gracias por tu show, no me lo pierdo. Hasta las tortilla de maíz las hago con tu receta.
Mira, puedes usar esta receta de chilaquiles, y meterlos entre pan de torta! O cualquier pan que te guste… http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/green-chilaquiles-in-roasted-tomatillo-sauce/
Richard De Michele
Thank you Patti. Sounds awesome! Can we bring them to Atlanta and Chicago? (We’re big fans of Chicago’s “Cemitas Puebla” … We love Puebla’s (Atlixco’s) fabulous cuisine!!!)
Wouldn’t that be amazing!
I still remember the tortas de frijol we had in the bus station in Cuernavaca, way back in 1981. We were American students on our way to Acapulco for a weekend. Beans, pickled jalapeños, some cheese and mayonnaise. So good!
Ay….que sabroso! Vivo en Manhattan New York y me urge dar otra vuelta por mi querido D.F. a disfrutar sus delicias … Sin falta iré a Tortas Atlisco, y ojalá saludar a Arturo Ibarra. Yo también viví en España pero las tortas allí tienen pan-con-pan con alguna sola cosa como jamón o queso. Te deseo mucho éxito y clientela de calidad.
Una amiga mia, “Lila”, vive en Condesa … a ver si vamos los dos. Hasta entonces!
tortas on sourdough bread? uh uh for me And I don’t like mayonnaise on sandwiches will neve put it on a torta. Growing up in mexico many years ago (am now in my 60s) never ate or saw a torta with mayonnaise. OH WELL– thngs change and I guess this is “modern” tortas but I’ll stick to the traditional.
Oh there are so many different kinds… and I did grow up in Mexico city with mayo on my tortas… however I agree, the sourdough bread is the first I hear of it!