I’d heard a lot of good things about Fonda, a new-ish Mexican place here in Park Slope. I tried to get brunch there with my parents a few weeks ago, but it was so packed that the wait would have been too long. I recently stopped by on a weekday for lunch, and the place was nearly empty. I ordered the vegetarian torta, despite the $8 price tag. There are several places to get a torta in the neighborhood, and you can get a good one for less than $5 at any of those places. For $8, it had better be the best damned torta I’d ever eaten. And it was a good sandwich. But was it worth the money? The short answer is no. The long answer can be found after the jump.
I had never heard of tortas before moving to NYC, but they have quickly become one of my favorite quick meals. It’s basically a Mexican sandwich, and although there are many variations they usually have a few things in common: beans, avocado, cheese, mayo, and often jalapenos. At Fonda they used really fresh, high quality ingredients — instead of a smear of avocado there were thick slices; instead of pickled jalapenos there were large chunks of fresh ones; the bread was nicely toasted. Despite the meager amount of beans, it was a very tasty sandwich. And yet there was something lost in the translation of this humble dish to fine dining. It’s almost as if a torta needs to be made of cheap ingredients to be satisfying, at least to my palate. I’m still interested in trying a full meal at Fonda, but I won’t be back for the torta.
Fonda — 434 7th Ave