On a recent weekend, I drove down to the parking lot of RTA/Toys R Us in Chula Vista. It had been a while since I had a chance to check out the Mariscos el Pescador truck, once our favorite. Unfortunately, when I arrived at 10am, there was already a line......good for them, bad for me, as I wasn't willing to stand in line. Instead, I headed to the other end of the parking lot. To the El Gallito Tortas Ahogadas truck.
I remember first coming here when they actually had a lonchera, which has since turned into a trailer. As you can see, they really push on the fact that Andrew Zimmern has been here......I hope it has brought them a ton of customers, though I'm thinking, the serious torta ahogada lovers, those who love the real deal from Guadalajara wouldn't really care.....
I had a traditional torta ahogadas at heat level "9". This is what I got.
On this visit, the pork in the sandwich was moist and nicely flavored. The chili de arbol sauce, while singular in tone, delivered a slow crescendo of heat.... it truly grows on you. The birote, the "roll" was much harder and less crusty than I recalled....it was once my favorite part of the sandwich.
I consider eating this "dipped sandwich" a challenge, packing extra napkins..... always thinking it was some kind of personal short-coming, I felt some vindication on this day as I saw several locals struggling with the sandwich....somehow it made me feel better.
This ended up being quite the "wake-up call" for a late breakfast. The woman working here was so very nice, even checking on me to make sure I hadn't dropped dead while eating my sandwich, then offering more hot sauce!
So, if you're in the area and looking for something more than some caffeine on a late morning.....perhaps you should have a tortas ahogadas, heat level 9. I'm sure it'll eventually get your attention.
El Gallito Tortas Ahogadas
1008 Industrial Blvd
Chula Vista, CA 91911