Exciting news here at Cola World HQ: We've hired Angela Garbes, a longtime local restaurant reviewer, as our new FoodNerd.



Angela has written about food for the Stranger, Seattle Magazine, and The Seattle Times. Most recently, she joins us from a gig reviewing restaurants for Seattle Weekly.

Here's Garbes on tortas, Mexican sandwiches overstuffed with meat, vegetables, beans, and condiments:
Like banh mi, tortas hold a special place in my heart because they point a delicious and direct middle finger back to colonialism. While the Mexican people did their best to fight off French occupying forces in the 1860s (see Cinco de Mayo, which, counter to popular Corona-soaked belief is not Mexican Independence day), they offered less resistance to French bread. Locals adopted and adapted baguettes into softer rolls called bolillo or telera, then filled them with traditional ingredients like spice-rubbed meats, chiles, beans, cheese, and avocado.

On traditional, handmade Chinese noodles:
The beauty of a handmade noodle lies in its imperfection—slightly irregular shape, uneven surface. The outer surface of the noodle has little ridges and valleys and bumps from being massaged by fingers and knuckles. It's these little imperfections that sauce, oil, bits of meat—flavor—nestle into and cling to. You can feel the superiority of a handmade noodle in your mouth. It's springier, filling up your mouth more, and it has real texture, moving over your tongue with weight and purpose.

And on the joys of eating over the counter:
In the end, all that matters is food. While atmosphere and service can enhance a dining experience, when someone places, say, a grilled bone-in rib eye in front of me, I'm barely able to tell the restaurant from my bathroom, the waiter from my brother. Some of my favorite meals don't even involve a restaurant, just a spring roll eaten off a Styrofoam tray by a lake, or grilled meat eaten off a stick while strolling down a dirty street. Forgo your expectations of the ambience of a typical "dining experience" and you'll find cheap, tasty eats at delis and markets all over town.

Welcome, Angela. We're excited to have you on board.
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