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The Sandwich: Torta “El Sol”
Where: Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana, 3714 14th St. NW.
Bread: White sandwich bread, made in house
Stuffings: Hot dogs, sliced ham, crispy breaded chicken, avocado, Oaxaca cheese, queso amarillo, chipotle sauce, black beans, jalapenos, tomato, mayo
Thickness: 2 inches
Pros: If you can’t decide what kind of sandwich you want (Mezcalero offers nine varieties), go all in on this one, which sounds heavy but isn’t. The torta hits so many flavors and textures thanks to earthy beans, creamy avocado, salty and chewy hot dog slices, and crispy chicken. The airy bread is another plus because it yields a pleasant crunch when you dig in.
Cons: Nearly every flavor imaginable competes for attention in this sandwich, and every bite isn’t ideally balanced. The hot dog and stringy Oaxaca cheese overwhelm all other ingredients. A more acidic and spicy sauce would balance out the salt bombs.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 2. Chef Alfredo Solis knows how to construct a sandwich. Despite being overstuffed with fillings, the torta stays together very well. But long pulls of melted cheese will leave you tethered to your lunch.
Overall score (1 to 5): 3. This torta finally answers the age-old question: Is a hot dog a sandwich? In this case, it is—and it overpowers the rest of the ingredients. A brighter sauce would make it taste better, but it deserves full marks as a feat of engineering.