The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Cactus

#9: Torta de Lengua y Chorizo – Tacos Gomez

The Torta

Sometimes it feels like tortas are fate’s way of atoning for the blows she has dealt us over the years. Not long ago, tortas were almost impossible to find in Charlottesville. But at the same time that our community has seemed to face one challenge after another, it has also seen an explosion in tortas. Delicious tortas.

A torta is a Mexican sandwich typically served on either a crunchy roll (un bolillo) or a soft one (una telera), and stuffed with lots of meat, cheese, and garnishes. While ordering an American sandwich might prompt the question: “What do you want on it?”, tortas often come with everything, no questions asked. “More is more” is the common approach.

Different eateries excel at different fillings, but almost all of Charlottesville’s tortas are worth ordering, nowhere more so than Tacos Gomez. Winner of 2002 Best Food Truck, Tacos Gomez loads a telera with cheese, tomato, onions, pickled jalapenos, avocado, and mayonnaise. From there, it’s just a matter of choosing a protein from options like ham, pork, steak, chicken, and more. You can even mix and match fillings, and it’s hard to beat the food truck’s own lengua combined with chorizo: chunks of tender beef tongue with house-made Mexican pork sausage.

#9 – Torta de Lengua y Chorizo – Tacos Gomez
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Asada y Chorizo Torta at Cafe Andrade, Al Pastor y Chorizo Torta at Super Amanacer, Torta de Milanesa at The Bebedero, Torta de Asada at El Tio, Torta Michoacana at La Michoacana, Al Pastor y Chorizo Torta at El Comalito, Al Pastor y Chorizo Torta at Taqueria Chaparro, Steak Torta Tradicional at Mi Casita, Lengua Torta at Cactus, Birria Torta at Taqueria ElChavo. Vegetarian Alternative: Vegetarian Torta at Tacos Gomez.

Five Finds on Friday: Mark Otis


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Mark Otis, personal chef and self-described “enthusiast of eating and drinking,” who is part of a stellar line-up of chefs at the upcoming dinner to raise money for the National MS Society, which now has a venue.  Next Saturday, February 6, at Early Mountain Vineyards, Otis will join Tucker Yoder of Eljogaha, Christian Kelly of Maya, and Bryan Kelly of Harvest Moon Catering to prepare six courses paired with wines. Among the excellent local purveyors to be featured are Harvest Thyme Herbs, The Rock Barn, The Local Food Hub, Seafood @ West Main, a.m. Fog Mushroom Farm, Gabriele Rausse, Blenheim Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, and more.  $100 per person, with proceeds to fight multiple sclerosis.  Details here. Email for tickets.

1) Fried Oysters at Duners.  “Located in Ivy, it is an institution and nobody does that many covers that well. I’m a sucker for a perfectly fried oyster and a cold beer.”

2) Pupusa at Cactus. “Behind the Sunoco station on 5th street, Cactus makes a pupusa that will solve anything life has to offer. Of course, Brazos crushes tacos with force–as we all know!”

3) 2015 Pinot Grigio from Gabriele Rausse.  “First off,  if you can find it you win.  And, the 2015 Pinot Grigio is my favorite Virginia wine right now.  It is due out Valentine’s Day and will make you very proud of Virginia wine.”

4) Ravioli at The Ivy Inn.  “Kills it. It gets better every time I go, and Angelo pretends like he doesn’t know it. Everything. Leave room for dessert.”

5) Ham and Brie Sandwich at Bashir’s Taverna.  “Bashir and Kathy do everything well, but the ham and brie is burned into my mind forever. Bashir is just my hero. I think he has secret powers.”

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