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Every ‘wich way: La Bruja takes a Mexican staple the torta and adds New Mexico flair

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — La Bruja Torteria Mexicana has taken a food staple of Mexico and added some New Mexico magic to it.

You will not find the typical torta – a sandwich served on a soft roll usually filled with a meat and garnish – coming out of this ghost kitchen.

Instead, the eight tortas it offers incorporates the flavors of New Mexico and adds contemporary twists such as wasabi crema.

Sham Naik, executive chef and creator of La Bruja, describes his food as “Flavortown tortas at Albuquerque La Bruja,” as a nod to restaurateur and Food Network star Guy Fieri.

“We don’t do any traditional tortas at all,” Naik said. “All the tortas we have is our take on very famous staple tortas of Mexico. When we started doing our tortas every one of them were getting green chile. There’s a roasted green chile on it.”

La Bruja is a ghost kitchen that operates from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is open for take out and delivery.

Orders can be made through the delivery service selflane.com or through b2babq.com/labruja for pickup.

The ghost kitchen, which does not have a storefront, utilizes the facilities at B2B Garden Brewery to prepare and cook its offerings.

A ghost kitchen is a separate entity that makes and serves food out of an existing restaurant for carry out and delivery.

La Bruja’s menu features crispy chicken Milanesa with red chile crema, jalapeño chicken with horseradish crema, tikka chicken with horseradish crema, short rib with wasabi crema, smoked pork Cubana with green chile crema and hamburguesa with chipotle mustard.

In Mexico, some of their cuts of meat are not like a steak, according to Naik.

“It’s not the prime cut, so they take the secondary cut and they pound it with a mallet so the flavor comes out of it. And then they bread it and fry it,” Naik said.

Vegetarian options include crispy nopales Milanesa with green chile crema and chipotle barbecue jackfruit with red chile crema.

Vegan and gluten-free options also are available.

“We take that jackfruit meat and we put different spices in it and we change it to New Mexico-style,” Naik said.

Each torta is served on locally baked telera rolls with housemade creamy black beans, asadero cheese, roasted green chile, tequila lime guacamole, pickled red onion, cilantro and lemon oil arugula.

A side of housemade blue corn tortilla chips topped with chimichurri and sprinkled with a spice blend and pico de gallo also comes with each torta.

The short rib used in one of the tortas is braised for hours in B2B’s La Cueva Mexican Lager.

The lager is made with fresh lime juice and a spice extract of oregano and green chile.

“We cook the short rib for 12 hours really low and really slow in our beer that we actually brew in-house,” said Alec Linehan, B2B ABQ marketing associate. “That preparation is really awesome. It’s super savory and decadent and the wasabi (crema) adds that fresh spice to the dish. It kind of brings up the flavor profile a little bit.”

La Bruja offers non-alcoholic agua frescas including mango, lima limon, horchata and tamarindo. The fruit drinks are all made in-house. They are carbonated and served from B2B’s beer taps.

“It’s a very unique touch on that one,” Naik said. “What happens is, it’s like any other soda. Once you put CO2 in it, it changes what you call the flavor profile on it and the bubbliness makes you feel that oh, ah, kind thing.”

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