In this week's Cafe review, I visit Tortas El Angel and other torta shops around town looking for the perfect hamburger torta. The problem with all the ones I tried was the hamburger patty -- it was too thin. In the end, I made the best hamburger torta at home on the grill. I started with telera bread from El Bolillo. Telera makes an exceptional hamburger roll. Be sure to buy it the same day you plan to make the burgers, or keep it in the freezer -- it goes stale very quickly.
Getting your hamburger patty to fit the oversize talera bread roll is the big challenge of making tortaburgers. Most torta shops flatten the ground meat very thin. Of course, they are trying to save money. At home, you can just make a big honking burger patty. Use the cheese-stuffed burger patty if you like.
4 large burger patties 2 large telera bread rolls 4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese 4 thin onion slices 4 thin tomato slices One large avocado, thinly sliced Half cup refried beans Half cup mayo Pickled jalapeño slices
Prepare a grill. Season the patties and place them on the grill. Separate the buns and toast them, cut side down, on the grill while the burgers are cooking. Turn the talera bread over and place two cheese slices on each top bun. Close the lid of the grill and allow the cheese to melt. Cook the burger patties to your preferred degree of doneness. Spread fried beans and mayo on each toasted bottom bun and top with two cooked burger patties. Put a tomato slice and an onion slice on each patty. Add a couple slices of jalapeño. Divide the avocado slices among the four toasted top buns and push them into the cheese. Clamp the top bun onto the bottom and compress lightly so the sandwich holds together. Slice in between the burger patties.
Makes four single burger tortas.