Serious Eats: Chicago
A Sandwich a Day: Ahogada Torta at Xoco in Chicago
In this great city 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 Windy City. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. --The Mgmt.
Come lunchtime, there's a hefty line at Rick Bayless' Xoco, which makes to-go sound mighty tempting. But if you can spare the time to sit, you're eligible for the dine-in only Ahogada Torta ($10), featuring pork carnitas, black beans and pickled onions swiped with spicy arbol chile sauce, served in a shallow bowl of tomato broth.
To-go exclusivity aside, it's a torta beyond all tortas, so you might as well get all carpe diem and order it. The choice of mild, medium or hot is up to you; we went with medium and found ourselves reaching for the (equally stellar) limeade for a breather.
It's a wonderful surprise that the bread maintains some enjoyable chew after its tomato bath. Utensils are not required, but recommended: it would be truly impressive if you managed to plow through the silky pork carnitas and fraternizing drippy carnage without touching a piece of cutlery.