One of the drawbacks about working in Bothell (as many people will tell you), is that you are definitely in suburbia hell. Bothell seems to be made up of tract houses and office parks which usually means restaurants that generously would be described as half way decent. And for the last two years, I would have to agree; finding only a couple places worth eating at. Usually, if I want a decent lunch, I will drive myself down to Kirkland where you can at least find some restaurants that have a little personality and quality. So, needless to say, when I forgot to pack my own lunch, and needed to find something quick before a meeting, I had to do a lot of serious self-convincing to get myself to leave the salad bar at the cafeteria and go out and try to find something.
Once I convinced myself to leave campus and go find something to eat, I pulled up Urbanspoon and looked for something close and highly rated. I found an Asian place that looked good and headed that direction. But, I couldn’t find it for some reason, so I was getting ready to head home when I noticed a place with a sign that just read Tortas. I almost walked away, but figured since I was out, I might as well give it a shot.
To say that I noticed a Mexican feel when I walked in would be an understatement. The place was filled with soccer memorabilia from the Mexican league. The TV was playing the Mexican soccer channel. And the menu was written in Spanish, translated into English. Let’s just say, I was glad that I walked into the place. I took a moment or two to look at the menu which was written on an entire wall. Since the specialty was tortas (basically a Mexican sandwich), I figured that was what I was going to go with. After a little deliberation, I decided on the Torta Hugo Sanchez with Chipotle Peppers; the chorizo and egg combo won me over. It took about 5 minutes after ordering to get my $8 sandwich which I ended up taking back to the office since I had a conference call to jump on.
Once I dialed into my call, I broke into my sandwich. The first thing I noticed was how heavy it was, but not in a bad way. I thought that there was an awful lot packed into the sandwich. And when I took a bite, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The sandwich itself had a lot of flavor. There was a bit of a kick from the Chorizo and the Chipotles, balanced out with some fresh avocado. Usually, I’m not an avocado fan, but in this instance, I think it worked well as a balancing element. It was a delicious sandwich where the flavors blended beautifully.
Overall, this is definitely a place that I will be taking a couple of my co-workers too. The only thing that I think was a miss was that there was no crunch. Texturally, it was pretty much one note with soft bread, scrambled egg, and everything else. It needed something like fresh, crisp red onion, or even toasting the bread so there was a crunch on the outside. That would have made the whole thing perfect. But, for a small local place in a hidden strip mall in Bothell, I was quite pleased. I just wish I had found it sooner because it would have been the perfect place to sneak away to and watch the World Cup games last month. This is probably one of the best places that I have found over the past two years working in Bothell. It is absolutely worth the trip.