Gringo al pastor

Illustration By Mark Stivers

My personal shortlist of favorite single-food items in Sacramento is the torta al pastor from El Abuelo Super Tortas Chilangas (5045 Franklin Boulevard). For the uninitiated, a torta is a circular Mexican sandwich, reminiscent of a panini, which comes with an assortment of meats and fillings. At El Abuelo, al pastor (barbecue pork), flame-roasted to perfection on a rotating spit, is accompanied by tomatoes, onions, pickled jalapeños and avocado mayonnaise. The bread, known as bolillo or telera, is savory, dense and impeccably fresh. This ain’t your mama’s bologna sandwich; it’s punk rock: spicy and greasy fare that combines everything you love about sandwiches and tacos in one convenient package. Although tortas are offered at many area restaurants, El Abuelo’s torta is king. Accept no substitutes. Extra credit: Bolillo, in addition to being torta bread, is a synonym for gringo.