Tortas de Lentejas: I will not be beaten by a lentil

When MC was home in his fabulous home town, he was taken by his equally fabulous sister to an excellent Mexican restaurant,  Cilantro Bar and Grill. Oddly, it’s in a strip mall between an unsuccessful insurance company and a particularly vile shopping centre, but it doesn’t matter. Perhaps to ward off the anger of Tea Party barbarians, the wait-staff is eerily blond, in that transparent skin kind of way. My sister’s largely Latin American circle finds it hysterically funny to be served authentic and delicious Mexican-food-like-you-can-only-get-in-Mexican-home by the Dane County Sons and Daughters of Finland. But as MC is wont to do, he digresses.

As a true nomnivore, MC doesn’t usually notice when a truly excellent meal is lacking in meat or dairy. But the tortas de lentejas he was served were so delicious, a meeting of the American Cow Association would not have batted an eye:  firm, earthy lentils fried in golden cakes, served with delicious homemade salsa, wilted spinach and thin yam fries.  His own attempt (below) was not so delicious, but he’ll try again and again, positing the results here. Please help him out if this is something you can make.

The recipe was lifted word by word in Vegetarian Times from Rick Bayless.

8 responses

  1. Looks wonderful, and conveniently located within a mile of my house! (Why am I learning about it here? I need to get out more).

  2. Hey! Thanks for the heads up! I’ve been waiting for some truly excellent Mexican food to come to Madison. However, since my wife hates cilantro, the name of the restaurant may make it an automatic no.

  3. I hope you guys like it. I hear that the food is much better when the place is not crowded, so don’t try it on a football Friday.

  4. I am really enjoying the blog, and the photography which is excellent. I personally think that both of you should travel to Madison weekly (ok maybe monthly) to check out what is new at Cilantro.

  5. A girlfriend and I gave CILANTRO a try for lunch. While there was not a blonde among the waitstaff, the food was excellent. I had the Torta de Lenteja and came straight home looking for recipies that may aid me in replicating it. That is where I stumbled into your blog.

    • I’m glad you happened upon our neglected blog. Must get restart it. Have you tried the Rick Bayless recipe from the link? Mine were not as nice, but I’m working on them.

  6. 🙂 I too had the opportunity to try the Tortas de Lentejas last night at Cilantro and found my way here while looking for a recipe to replicate that fabulous meal! We’ll be trying the Rick Bayless recipe this week; hopefully I’m successful! By the way, our waiter was blonde but the rest of the staff was not!

    • Well, there might have been a trace of exaggeration when we described the restaurant being staffed by the Sons and Daughters of Finland. But is striking mix of authentic Mexican cuisine and Wisconsin. Good luck. I think I’m going to make these again tomorrow.

      Thanks for visiting our blog!

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