Saturday, May 16, 2009

MEOW: Pambazo, Cook's Tortas, Monterey Park

I wish I had enough time and money to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

I wish I had friends and loved ones surrounding me as I ate whatever whenever so that I could try whatever they were eating whenever.

I would if I could, but I can't so I won't.

Because I don't live in Fantasy Land, it's usually just lil' ol' me and maybe my hubby and baby boy squeezing a small meal into our busy schedules ninety-nine percent of the time. It would take me like nine years to collect enough photos and notes on different dishes from just one restaurant in order to write a comprehensive post, so I decided to start a new feature called MEOW, or MEal Of the Week where I'll be sharing one favorite dish or small meal that I ate during that week. This way, I can avoid gaining 200 pounds and spending all my money trying to eat everything on the menu by myself in one sitting just to write a big ol' post. This way, I can focus a little more on the actual food thingy that made its way from the table to my tummy instead of feeling pressured to do a full-on restaurant review every time. This way, I will throw my money away slowly and my waistline will expand over time--I prefer gradual changes.

My first MEOW goes out to the Pambazo from Cook's Tortas in Monterey Park. I gotta tell you a little secret that I didn't even know what one was when I ordered it except for the fact that it had chorizo, potatoes, crema, lettuce and guajillo in it as stated by their infamous ginormous menu board.

Then they bring me this bright reddish-orange sandwich that had some nice charring on top and as much as it made my mouth water upon first glance I thought they had brought me the wrong sandwich. She said "pambazo" as she handed it to me though, and still doubtful, I wrapped my hands around the thing, glistening with chile tinted oil, and took a bite.

According to owner Ricardo Díaz, the pambazo is dipped in guajillo chile and fried which is why my sandwich was a little more colorful than I had expected it to be. A common street food in Mexico, it's sometimes fried in hubcaps or old car doors; at Cook's Tortas, it's cooked on equipment that's a tad more fancy, but it came out equally as good, I'm sure. It was a bunch of yin-yang balancing act stuff going on in one sandwich. You had the smokiness of the guajillo chile and subtle saltiness of the chorizo holding hands with the mellow creaminess of the papas and the crema. You had the springy texture of their already delicious house baked bread singing kumbaya with the crispy crust it was given by frying and with the crumbly texture of the chorizo. My only gripe was that it had too much lettuce--a problem easily solved by just taking some of it out with my orange-stained fingers.

Cook's Tortas
1944 S. Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(323) 278-3536

For more information about the restaurant itself, please read my first post on Cook's Tortas.


weezermonkey said...

I love the MEOW concept! Purrrfect!

I tried Cook's for the first time last week and loved it, albeit I went sans camera -- so sad! I had the Mmmmmolcajete. I added those extra M's for emmmmmphasis.

Mmmmmust go back for the Pammmmmbazo (and to take pics)!

SinoSoul said...

so I was waiting at the nail salon(sss) across the street from Cook's - this in addition to having lived right down Atlantic even before they opened - but... still didn't go. God doesn't want me to eat this.

pleasurepalate said...

I did a torta tasting there with my dining group and the pambazo was one of the favorites of the meal. If you like pambazos, you should check out the food stands at Breed Street and Caesar Chavez, you'll get quite a variety, including one that is served with a mole sauce that I think Teenage Gluster tried, but I had one with chicken.

Daily Gluttony said...

Weezer Monkey,

Mmmmmm, I have yet to try the Mmmmmmolcajete!


I guess some things are just not meant to be, but maybe you could twist fate a little and give it a try?

Pleasure Palate,

Funny you mentioned Breed St--I just went there the other day and actually got a pambazo. The crappy thing was that we had to get my kid back for his bedtime & I had to take it to go--the sammich was soggy by the time we got home. Totally my fault, not theirs. Those things are meant to be eaten fresh!

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