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Río Kvisto·August 29, 2006

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7148 Pacific Blvd (
Florence) ~ Huntington Park, CA 90255 ~ (323) 585-4433 
(TACO Map)Having spent some time in Huntington Park in the previous year, I have grown to love the area, particularly the bustling commercial piece of Pacific Boulevard between Florence and also Slauson. Among the many action-packed hubs below is the sizable “El Gallo Giro” restaurant on a edge with Tokyo-sized foot traffic. I met up through TACO-loco editor Hadley and an OG las vegas friend of our from the youth delinquent days, together with his dog, Buster, so the we can tackle the restaurant’s formidable best-seller: the torta cubana ($6.95).

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Upon entering, you uncover your senses gang-banged by the multicolored papel picado decor strung from the walls, the almost too according to pre-recorded mariachi music, and also various confusing currently of people. Gallo Giro is commonly pretty liven — because that restaurants, this is commonly a great sign, no? Unfortunately, the set-up is slow and inefficient: there is one line because that ordering in ~ a taco station, one line because that ordering tortas, one line for guisados (stews), and also then one line offered to stimulate homemade horchata, atole, and also fresh juices, then one to pay. It’s crazy yet it suits the place, the aggravation is just component of the Gallo Giro experience.

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The tacos below are an excellent — in reality a little more expensive than the trucks, however the tortillas and also ingredients are a little an ext substantial 보다 most. The is the torta cubana right here that is really la estrella. Hadley, getting to to his work in Havana, thought this to be going to be a Cuban sandwich: a pressed sandwich v dill pickles, roast pork or ham, and Swiss cheese. But the torta cubana is one entirely different animal, a beast with a ship of pierna (marinated pork leg), milanesa (breaded beef), ham, head cheese, avocado, a chile, a part of fresh Mexican-style white cheese, and beans.


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If friend don’t recognize what head cheese is, don’t ask. And skip this following paragraph because ignorance is bliss. I’m among those guys who will shot crazy, weird food and also often come ago for seconds. Because that those of us for whom the hazard of food poisoning native the regional ceviche on her honeymoon in Colombia is just component of the adventure, this explanation is because that you: Head cheese has actually been defined as a kind of having lunch meat do from “parts of a hog’s head, which space boiled along with spices and gelatin, climate cooled and also sliced, a mosaic of meat chunks.” The gelatin melts right into the soft bread (baked on the premises) under the interior warmth of the meats, contributing come a velvety texture in the all at once experience, leaving flavorful pork trimmings strewn across your plate. The sandwich is a huge mouthful and also every bite seems to yield a different mouthful that meat, part spiced and thin, rather chewy and also lightly sauced. The aguacate, cheese, and also beans provide off creamy sensations as you maw and also tear at the class of carne.

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It to be a quite day, so we took advantage of the exterior tables top top the busy street. Hadley swears the he felt prefer he was acquiring Mad Cow an illness with each bite after ~ I broke down the head cheese recipe, but, “in a good way”, he assured me. It’s no that spicy ~ above its own, so ns asked for part red chile come augment my dining experience. The on-site bakery, i beg your pardon contributes the sandwich’s delicious bun is also full service, do cakes and all of the traditional Mexican pastries. The good folks in ~ Gallo Giro also carry out a service to send cash remittances back to Mexico ala west Union. Apparently, they understand their customers well and must be providing the people what they want; choose I said before this place always seems busy. In what likewise might it is in a measure up of your success, they have nine other places in the Southland, and are migrating north come look for opportunities in Oxnard, Oakland, san Jose.

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I guess we deserve to sum it up by saying that El Gallo Giro is a bit more than your typical restaurant, and its torta cubana is fairly a bit an ext than your median sandwich. By every means, if you walk to El Gallo Giro at any of their locations, try the torta cubana, head cheese be damned. Thanks to their inefficient ordering mechanism where they make the damn thing in former of you, you deserve to ask them to leave off the head cheese if friend really want to wimp out. Headcheese or no, the sandwich is still a quite intimidating one. They do make it simpler by slicing that in half for you, however bring an appetite if you intend to end up a totality one. Better yet, separation it through a friend, and your arteries will give thanks to you later.