The menu at Tortas Ahogadas Mi Barrio in Fruitvale takes up almost half a wall of the restaurant, but most customers order only two things: the namesake torta ahogada and the tacos dorados. “Ahogada” means drowned in Spanish, and these pork-stuffed tortas come drenched in a pool of tomatoey, slightly spicy sauce. Mi Barrio gets the bread right, with a thick, chewy crust and a salty, sourdough-like flavor. The tacos dorados are crispy fried tacos filled with your choice of beans or potatoes, then topped with pickled onions and cabbage and drowned in the same red sauce as the torta ahogada. But be sure not to miss the carne en su jugo served weekends only, which deserves a spot in your rotation of comforting winter soups like ramen, pho, and pozole. The broth has a robust flavor of beef and pork, accented by tomatillos and a squeeze of lime. Every spoonful is filled with pinto beans, chunks of bacon, and remarkably tender beef.

— Katherine Hamilton


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Price: $$

Payment Type: Cash, All Major Credit Cards

Hours: Mon.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

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