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Tuesday afternoon, March 13, 2007, I had the pleasure to be visiting the small town of Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, and I was in the mood for a carne asada torta.  Now mind you, I wasn't in the mood for one of those pre-made, wrapped-in-plastic tortas that you can purchase from street vendors in just about every Mexican city; I was in the mood for a torta that was composed of fresh, locally-produced ingredients, and cooked before my very eyes.  I was in luck, as I found Taquerķa Los Memos, along Federal Highway 2, on the west side of town.

Photo:  My car is parked in front of Los Memos, located on the west end of Sonoyta.

Photo:   I get a smile out of the shy girl who prepares salsa and makes change.  Notice the two sizes of Mexican cokes to the right.

Taquerķa Los Memos is a small, open air restaurant, located at the west end of the town of Sonoyta, along Federal Highway 2.  Typical of most small restaurants in Mexico, Los Memos faces the highway, and both the kitchen and the dining area are open to the highway, and to the elements in general.  Memos is staffed by two lovely young ladies, albeit very shy ladies, but who know their trade very well and are very eager to serve you.  Memos doesn't have a printed menu, nor does the restaurant post its menu above the kitchen; you just ask one of the girls  what you want and if they have the ingredients on hand, they'll fix it for you.  In my case, I noticed that they were cooking carne asada over a mesquite-fired grill, so I asked if they had carne asada tortas, and they said they did, so I asked them to fix me up with one.  I asked about the price, and I was quoted MEX $30.00, which seemed a little high, but, what the heck?  I'm on vacation, for cryin' out loud!

Photo:  All is well at Taquerķa Los Memos, as my torta is prepared.

Photo:  The cooking girl takes a slab of carne asada off the grill.  She later will cut a piece off of it, and dice it into small pieces for my torta.

Taquerķa Los Memos is staffed by two girls, one of whom cooks, and the other cuts vegetables, busses tables and makes change.  I attempted to talk to the girls, and naturally, they didn't speak English, but they were very shy and didn't want to chat.  That's ok with me, as I think I can handle almost any social situation.  Since I wasn't doing much talking, it gave me some time to take photos and observe what they were doing to create a perfect torta.  OK, first the carne asada is cooked over their grill, fired by a combination of charcoal and mesquite, which is a winning combination.  Then, I watched the shy girl cut the bun in half, butter both sides, and place it on the griddle, which is fired by both charcoal and mesquite, and located next to the grill, where the meat was cooking.  I noticed that she just wanted to toast the bun, which adds a wonderful flavor to any sandwich.

While the meat was cooking, the other girl engaged herself in chopping fresh onions, cabbage, peppers and tomatoes for my torta.  Naturally, when I ordered it, I requested "con todo" so I got the works, as per my order.  

Photo:  The torta lady does her magic, as she dices up the meat that will be used for my torta.  I asked her what was in the large pots, and she replied, "Frijoles de olla," which translates to plain beans.

Photo:  Carne asada is chopped up for my torta.

One girl grabbed a piece of meat that was cooking on the grill, and placed it on a cutting board.  Using a cleaver, she diced a portion of the meat into small pieces, and left the pieces in a pile on the cutting board.  She placed the rest of the meat back on the grill, and removed the bun from the griddle.  The other girl handed her the chopped vegetables and she placed them on the bun, dabbed in little mayonnaise, and placed the meat on top of it.  Next, the assembled torta was wrapped in aluminum foil, and it was ready to go.  I had the pleasure of watching the perfect torta, cooked and assembled before my eyes, in the space of about five minutes.

It was funny to watch, as a male pastry vendor, riding a bicycle, crossed the highway, dodging traffic, and wheeled up to the kitchen of Taquerķa Los Memos, much to the delight of both of the girls working at the restaurant.  This guy must be a friend, as both girls emerged from their shyness, and began animated conversations with this guy.  I wasn't able to catch the drift of the conversations, as I was just leaving, but whatever the conversation was about, it certainly seemed very friendly.

Photo:  Mr. Friendly Bicycle-pastry vendor chats with the torta girls, at Taquerķa Los Memos

Photo: Back at the motel, I unwrap my torta and its, mmmmmmmm... good!

OK, Taquerķa Los Memos may be a little on the high price side, but if you want a carne asada torta, which is delicious, and melts in your mouth, Memos is highly recommended.  I could not believe how delicious my torta tasted, as it was cooked over mesquite, and utilized fresh ingredients.  Memos fixes tortas that are to die for!

Taquerķa Los Memos
Blvd. Fco. Eusebino Kino
Sonoyta, Sonora

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