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The Sandwich: Fried fish torta

Where: Espita Mezcaleria, 1250 9th St. NW

Cost: $12

Stuffings: Breaded and fried tilapia, lime mayo, red onion, green cabbage

Bread: Brioche bun

Thickness: 4 inches

Pros: Fried fish is difficult to master—most of the time, either the breading is too soggy or the fish is overcooked. But the filets in this sandwich have both a crunchy crust and a delicate, flaky interior. A soft, slightly sweet brioche bun from Lyon Bakery serves as the perfect pedestal for the stacked pieces of tilapia, and a tangy lime mayo gives every bite an extra bit of sourness.

Cons: It’s hard to find anything to quibble with, but prepare to open your mouth very wide when you eat this sandwich. It’s tall and tough to compress.

Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. Because the 

sandwich contains so much fish plus very thinly sliced cabbage and onions, it will inevitably fall apart as you eat it. Fortunately, the components taste just as good if you eat them with a fork as they do when you eat them with your hands.

Overall score (1 to 5): 5. Just in time for summer comes a fish sandwich to top all rivals. Texturally precise and equal parts sweet, sour, and salty, it makes for a light yet filling lunch.