A Sandwich a Day: The Chile Relleno Torta from La Verdad in Boston
In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
La Verdad, the Fenway Park taqueria, wouldn't be the first place to come to mind if someone asked me to name the best Ken Oringer restaurant, what with Clio, Uni, Toro, Coppa, and now Earth in Maine to contend with. But ask me for a favorite Ken Oringer dish, and top seed would probably go to La Verdad's Chile Relleno Torta ($9.95). It's crazy good. So good that every time I eat it, I mentally slap myself on the back of the head for having waited so long since the last time.
I think of it as a sort of exercise on the chef's part, as if he asked himself, "how much cheese can I put in one sandwich without making it taste like it's just a five-pound melted cheese sandwich?" The answer is quite a bit.
The first batch of cheese is high-quality Jack shoved into a roasted Anaheim pepper that then gets breaded in cornmeal and deep fried until crisp and gooey. The whole thing is pressed, stem and all, into a sesame-seeded torta roll (custom baked and delivered fresh daily from Iggy's in Fresh Pond) slathered with a thin layer of creamy refried beans. More cheese goes on top, this time fresh cheese from Oaxaca, along with thinly sliced avocados, a drizzle of creamy mayonesa, sharp pickled red onions, and a smoky-sweet chipotle molasses.
This is the kind of stuff that strikes fear into the hearts of hangovers.
I prefer ordering from the takeout section on the side of the restaurant where you're able to mix and match their excellent, if slightly pricey tacos ($3 to 4 each), as well as order Aguas Frescas ($2, their watermelon and horchata are great), Jarritos ($3), and Mexican Coke ($3).