Fruit salads, smoothies, açaí bowls: all kinds of stuff we're all supposed to fit into our healthy diets. Those are the offerings I've always associated with Señor Mango's. Back when I lived in North Park, I used to drop into the little fruteria for smoothies. Smoothie chains were surging at the time, but I preferred Señor Mango's because you could request no sugar be added, which was surprisingly rare in that smoothie heyday.
4607 30th Street, North Park
"The sugar's already in the package" I was told by too many supposed smoothie specialists. Not at Mango's. There's sugar if you want, even ice cream if you order the right smoothie (or the more dairy-focused fruit drink, licuado). But primarily, there's fruit, most of it sweet enough without the embellishment.
Honestly, I never even noticed there are tortas.
See fruit, want fruit, eat fruit. That's how most of my visits have gone. Fortunately, I found myself parked nearby last week, in need of a snack. I had a few bucks and a few minutes, and planned on getting one of the shop's $4 yogurt and cottage cheese cups (with fruit, honey, and granola).
But I was really craving something savory, and there were the tortas, all of $6.25 with the option for ham, roast beef, tuna, and guajillo seasoned pork. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't much. Something to tide me over. I ordered the chicken.
What I wound up with was a super tasty, grilled, chicken salad torta. It's cubes of white meat chicken slathered in mayo and melted provolone, served with lettuce and smashed avocado on a grilled telera roll.
The bread was toasty and warm, even as the lettuce remained crisp and the avocado cool. All this might have changed had I waited a few minutes, but I did not. I devoured it, digging my teeth into the light crunch of that seared crust with unexpected delight until there was no more sandwich to be seen.
I usually ignore tortas in favor of tacos, not fruit, but either way it's clearly time to get them out of my blind spot. I spent nearly 12 years so myopically focused on which fruit combinations to order that I obtusely ignored the sandwiches, and missed out. Granted, papaya and mango, or raspberry and peach — these remain difficult decisions. It might be good to have a torta to chew on while I decide.