Sunday, August 3, 2008

Second Taco Stand (145th & Stark)

I went shopping with Loni yesterday, in preparation of the St. Helens hike tomorrow. We picked up my gaiters at REI and she found a very good deal over at Sportsman's Whorehouse (Warehouse.) Now all I have to do is figure out eye wear...

We had a late lunch at another Mexican/Cuban food cart, this one outside the "MERVYN'S CLEARANCE OUTLET" at about 145th and stark. Right across from Bob's Rental with the nice new bright blue paint scheme.

I was excited to try this place, since they offer tortas, which are basically giant sandwiches. Loni tried both the al pastor and pollo tacos, which were delicious but excessively greasy. The onions and cilantro on top were sort of chopped up together. They did provide adequate portions of meat, as well as very good salsa. The green salsa was brighter but not as hot as the remains of my previous taco cart salsa from the night before. Their red salsa was nicely smoky but not really all that hot.

Let me tell you about the grande tortas cubanos I got.
Layered between a slab of bread probably 14"x7" (man-inches, so you can figure the appropriate calculation) were the following ingredients:
Sliced ham
2 butterfly'd hot dogs
Fried eggs
An ocean of melted cheese
Tomato slices
Jalapeno slices
Sauteed white onion slices
Avocado slices
and some thin gray leathery meat that I still haven't identified. This bothers me a little bit, but it was delicious so I try to shut that part of my brain up.

I only managed to eat half my sandwich before my blood started to gel from all the cholesterol and fat... So I finished the job this morning.

When I finally rolled out of bed and opened my fridge, I looked at the sandwich and saw...a good start. Unfortunately, all the meat flavors tended to blend together, so I thought it needed a different focus. My basil plant yielded plenty of leaves so I layered the entire sandwich. I also hadn't really noticed any mayonnaise on the bread the night before, and I thought it needed something to kick up the flavor besides the jalapeno. I layered on some wasabi mayonnaise from Trader Joe's, and threw the whole thing into the microwave for a few minutes. Perfection!

Eating this sandwich in either of it's forms: lunch/dinner or breakfast, was a really good experience. Despite the size of this beast, you never get tired of eating it. Each bite brings a new combination of the flavors from all the different ingredients. The hot dog was novel, and I gave a taste to my cats. I'm curious if that is what is referred to by "pork cheese" that was listed on the sign-board for this sandwich. It must be, and that's the best word for a hot dog I've ever heard of.

I'm eating an apple now, in the hopes that I don't carry 5 lbs of undigested meat in my colon (as the average American is said to have...) up and back Mt. St. Helens tomorrow morning.

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