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The Dish: torta Cubana
The Location: Tacos Pepito’s Bakery Mexican Pepito’s Bakery*, 1762 Columbia Road NW
The Price: $7 for medium (pictured); $9 for large
The Skinny: Adams Morgan’s Tacos Pepito’s Bakery (also known, on the storefront sign, as Mexican Pepito’s Bakery) oozes casual—-there’s a scattering of stools along the counterspace inside, and the utilitarian counters lining the outside of the front window are apparently for standing only—-so whether it makes the best choice for a lunch stop in Adams Morgan may depend on the size of your party or on your preference for take-out or delivery. But if you really want the midday fill-up done quickly and well, try a selection on their ample list of tortas, which you can order stuffed with chorizo, veggies, steak, and other fillings. Pepito’s’ version on the traditional Mexican sandwich succeeds on sheer size alone. Even the medium version (pictured) is ample enough to bust a belly or two (which in a way counts against it—-you can forget about rounding out your order with one of those tasty-looking cake slices sitting in the restaurant’s fridge). Then there’s the flavor combo—-the warm, soft bread, the ham, the carnitas, and especially the ample, oozing yellow cheese of the Cubana version blend well enough together to make even this lifelong tomatophobe eat right through that and other toppings. If this is a gut buster, it’s a sublimely gentle one.
*Correction, 6/18: Poster Joe Dempsey originally miserported the restaurant’s name. The correct name is Mexican Pepito’s Bakery.