By Ava Stryker-Robbins
How does one define a sandwich? Food surrounded by bread? A quick, filling meal that can be devoured at any given time? Well, classic tortas add so much more to this often simple dish, and The Migrant Kitchen’s Lamb Torta Sandwich makes for much more than merely a quick, filling meal.
This dish features soft, sweet bread upon which is creamy Oaxaca cheese. The sandwich has tasty avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, romaine lettuce, and a black bean spread that perfectly compliments the tender and delicious lamb. This sandwich is flavorful, comforting, and filling. The separate ingredients of this dish melt together as you eat them, creating a perfect blend of spice, savory flavor, and sweetness.
The Migrant Kitchen (TMK) opened its third location on the Upper West Side in April after starting as a pop-up in Brooklyn and then opening a permanent location in Lower Manhattan. TMK’s mission is to contribute toward empowerment through food. According to their website, they are “focused on providing meaningful opportunities for immigrants to showcase the cuisines and cultures of their home countries while earning more than just minimum wage.” Soon after opening, COVID hit and the restaurant decided to “pivot…from their standard catering operation to serving food to frontline healthcare workers fighting against the pandemic…serving over 60,000 meals a week to food insecure communities across NYC.”
Co-founder Nasser Jaber told WSR more about their lamb torta sandwich; “People love it. It has a cult following…This sandwich to me represents the best of Mexico and Palestine.” Jaber emphasizes that although the cost of the lamb offsets the proceeds from that dish, he and others at TMK are determined to keep serving it, as it holds an important meaning.
Jaber concluded by saying that, at TMK, they are always trying to help others in need. “When you buy a meal, we donate some of the proceeds to people in need…I am very happy that the community on the Upper West Side enjoys the food, and that they are happy that they’re helping us impact people.”
The Dish: Lamb Torta Sandwich $17
The Restaurant: The Migrant Kitchen (157 Columbus Avenue at 67th Street)
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