Everyday Eats: Tortas at El Paisa

Skip the tacos and try the torta at this Sherman Heights Mexican restaurant.

The tacos and burritos at Tacos El Paisa are great, about that you'll get no argument. But, if the meat is the main attraction, the torta can just as easily be the way to go. Here's why: for $5.99, you get a heaping pile of protein topped with avocado, cheese, and tomato on a soft, toasted bun, plus a side of fries.

Tortas come with every meat imaginable, ranging from carne asada and pollo asado, to carnitas, but for me, it's all about the al pastor-- little bits of crisp, yet juicy marinated pork sliced off the perpetually spinning vertical rotisserie. The marinade, made with pineapple, chilies, and a splash of vinegar, permeates the pork, giving it a sweet and spicy flavor with a hint of bitterness. Did I mention you get a lot of it? It's true; the meat is so generously portioned that bun can hardly hold it all. Pork falls out the front of the sandwich, spilling on to the fries... which is exactly how I discovered the best possible way to eat it.

First, load up the pork with salsa, some of the jalapeno peppers, and a good squeeze of lime. Then, get eating, and don't worry about the bits of meat that are bound to topple out, or if the bread breaks apart a little. Half way through, you can ditch the bread and empty all of that pork, avocado, tomato, and cheese directly on to the crispy spuds for the second course: al pastor fries

If you can manage dessert, the tortilleria next door has an awesome selection of paletas for a buck a piece. It's the same brand you'll find at Albertson's, but the flavors are the more interesting, including traditional options like horchata, jamaica, and rum raisin -- though I have to say, I'm partial to the cookies and cream.

Tacos El Paisa is located at Imperial and 25th, in Sherman Heights (map)

Everyday Eats: Falafel Shawarma from The Kebab Shop
Everyday Eats: Panang Curry from Sab-E-Lee

About the author: Erin Jackson is obsessed with finding the best cheap and tasty eats in San Diego. Keep up with her other food finds on EJeats.com

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Stop Killing Restaurants, California
    Raising minimum wage without a tip credit is dumb, dumb, dumb.
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. FIRST LOOK: Campfire
    Carlsbad gets one hell of a new concept in Campfire from Craft & Commerce vet John Resnick
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module