It’s been a while since I’ve had anything really worth writing about, but last night I had an amazing experience at a little South Philly Mexican place called El Jarocho. Yesterday morning, I was reading the usual blogroll and came across a post on Foodbooz about a dish called the Super Torta [http://foobooz.com/2010/04/street-team-goes-in-search-of-super-torta/]. The picture they posted just looked like a ridiculous gutbomb of a sandwich. Considering I had no plans set for the evening yet, I decided this was it. I gathered 5 of my friends and planned to go there at around 8 PM.
We took the subway down (which took over 45 minutes!!) and eventually to the Ellsworth Street stop at around 8:30. We ended up in a quiet and rather shady neighborhood (There was a lot of really weird stuff just lying around in the South Philly streets). We walked a block further toward the brightly glowing aura that is the neon lit El Jarocho. We enter this tiny neightborhood shop to the wonderful scent of fresh, authentic Mexican food. I’m looking around the room and am already salivating looking at the other people’s dishes.
I look over the menu, despite the fact that I already know I NEED to order the Super Torta. It is an off-menu item written on a sign in the room. It is carnitas, fried egg with chorizo, ham, pork al pastor, head cheese, breaded flat steak (milanesa), quesillo (flat fried cheese), pineapple, avocado, refried beans, jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on Mexican bread. How could I not order this???
Did I mention this place is BYO friendly? We brought a bunch of rum and tequila which went quite well with the Mexican soda’s and juices they had. I ordered Mango juice to mix with my rum, which turned out to be a really good choice.
Before we ordered, they brought out really good Mexican tortilla chips with 3 sauces. Before we had ordered anything, I knew this was going to be awesome from the salsas alone! They brought an orange colored one that had a creamy cheesy consistency with very mild spice, a red semi-chunky salsa that had a bit of a kick, and a creamy green sauce that truly packed a punch.
We placed 2 orders of Guacamole (which was delicious!) and I ordered the Super Torta. The waitress smiled and said “You’re gonna be surprised.” So I told her how excited I was to try this thing. The guacamole came out really fast! And soon after our main courses were ready soon after.
I cannot not even exaggerate how big this Super Torta was. I mean, I knew it was going to be big from the picture on Foodbooz, but oh my god, I literally squealed with joy when I saw them bringing the dish out. Just amazing to look at. I thankfully told myself before the meal that I was not going to finish it all and had the self-restraint to only eat half! Each bite of this sandwich was messy, oozy, and absolutely amazing. I’ll be fair, it’s not the most balanced dish flavor-wise since there are so many deliciously strong individual flavors, I can’t blame it for that.
They were extremely friendly to us, never rushed us while we hung out chatting and drinking more after our meal was done. The prices were really reasonable particularly because we were ordering their most expensive items… I think the Super Torta (which is big enough for two people) was only $12.50. I love this place. Everything about it.
And to close, a pretty gross picture of me digging into the torta (I’m only holding half)!