Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Barriga Llena

Barriga Llena is a Mexican food truck located in Seattle, Washington. They are best known for their traditional tamales and tortas (the latter being a Mexican sandwich). They claim to be the first and only food establishment to serve authentic tortas in Seattle -- just as you would get them in Mexico City. They have been in business over nine years, a very impressive feat.

Menu (mid-October 2011)
Barrigona is one of their most popular tortas!
At the suggestion of the truck operator, I got the Barrigona ($9): breaded steak, homemade chorizo, pork leg steak, sausage, and cheese inside a round sandwich roll (telera or bolillo). This torta also includes tomato, avocado, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

Pickled jalapenos
Chipotle sauce for that smoky heat!
Barrigona torta (Barriga Llena)
It would have been too messy to take out of the container to get a true cross-section shot...sorry folks
For what was in the sandwich, I expected a multitude of flavors to bombard me like I was the target of some U.S. missile attack. Unfortunately, I got the flavor equivalent of a one-man army carrying a water pistol. A fairly huge letdown here.

Half the steak was tough to eat, while the other half was tender and had some flavor. The chorizo, pork, and sausage didn't bring much taste to the dance. While I enjoyed the lovely pressed bread (and the grill marks on the outside), the sandwich was near-impossible to pick up and eat. I resorted to a fork to help make a dent on this one.

I will put in a good word for the pickled jalapenos and the smoky chipotle sauce. Both condiments livened things up and made the experience more palatable.

It was a nice-sized sandwich, and for that, I can understand the $9 price tag. But as far as flavors are concerned, I thought their signature torta came up short.

As far as other menu items are concerned, I would be willing to try any of the following:

Diabla: Carne enchilada (spicy steak), pineapple, and Oaxacan cheese
Espanola: Homemade chorizo, eggs, and American cheese
Hawaiiana: Ham, pineapple, and Oaxacan cheese
Oaxaquena: Ham, seasoned mushrooms, and Oaxacan cheese

Barriga Llena has been around for a while, so it's clear they're doing something right in Seattle. I'm sure they have a bunch of loyal customers ready to get their torta fix each week (or multiple times a week). Unfortunately, I don't see myself as being one of those super loyal followers. 5/10

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