Ta Chido offers tortas and other Mexican specialties
My first memorable torta – a Mexican sandwich on a long flat bun – was in Puebla, Mexico, a really long time ago. At Tony’s Tortas. My freshly made husband and I had just stepped off the bus from Mexico City and dossed down at a hotel. It was late, we needed to eat. The dodgy Tony’s was open, and my subsequently wobbly innards regretted that late-night nosh for days as I would weakly hobble from touristic colonial building to touristic gallery to touristic zocalo.
So, tortas make me nervous.
But, I wanted to start anew with these sandwiches, and Ta Chido on Parc Avenue seemed a good bet for getting over my leeriness. The name is short for "Esta chido," meaning "It’s cool." The joint plays cool music. Forget the ethnic tune stereotype – when I showed up one mid-afternoon, Ta Chido was playing a hip mashup involving LCD Soundsystem and The Beatles. There’s a cool and vibrant black and white mural on one side of the narrow space, a couple of cool display cases with plastic figures on the other. I’m not sure which caseload I preferred – the one containing the female version of the Flaming Carrot vigilante superhero, a few eyeballs on legs, the Hamburglar atop a bus and more? Or the smaller case crammed with King Kongs?
Ta Chido not only has many tortas, but also quesadillas involving pork, eggs, black beans, stringy Oaxacan-style cheese, even a vegetarian-friendly tofu al pastor. The corn fungus huitlacoche is coming soon (see sidebar). And for the tortas you can choose gluten-free bread!
I added the option of a simple soup (veg and rice) and juice (pineapple) for $2.50. And awaited my chipotle chicken torta. The sandwich was more goopy than chunky, nicely stuffed. Not particularly hot, so I added some of the tabletop salsa, red and green, homemade. My torta fears were over.
I had a good chat with the owner about the problems of keeping salsas fresh and readily available, particularly when clientele don’t realize what they’re missing by not reaching for the squeeze bottle, letting the salsa go to waste. Nice guy, wants the best for his customers. Funnily, it turns out he’s from Puebla, the town of Tony’s Tortas.
Ta Chido Snack Bar Mexicain
5611 Parc; 514-439-0935
Meal for two: $15-$25