Fish tortas are a rarity in my experience. And the Thai sardine torta is a new one on me. Leave it to Boyd Vic, owner of Tea Cup Cafe, a shop that sells everything from espresso and Thai desserts to Thai dumplings and Furbys to create a Southeast Asian spin on a Mexican sandwich. As soon as I saw the sign that read “Spicy Sardine Torta Sandwich $4.50” I ordered one.
“Can you eat spicy?”Vic asked as he assembled what is surely the only Thai torta in Queens. “Everybody makes ham sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches. I wanted to do something different,” Vic said. This Thai torta is indeed something different. Really the only thing that makes it a torta is the bread. The roll is filled with sardines that have been warmed in the toaster oven, lettuce, tomato, fresh jalapenos, garlic, and a generous squirt of Japanese mayo mixed with pickled chilies.
It is of course the best—and only—Thai torta I have ever had. As sandwiches go it is pleasant enough, with a nice hit of spice and umami from the chili-spiked Japanese mayo. It is also apparently quite nutritious. When asked about the canned sardines Vic said, “I use a good one, with a lot of Omega-3s.”
Tea Cup Cafe, 76-19 Woodside Ave., Elmhurst