Torta Reform

El Chucho's pork sandwich is delightfully messy

We thought the side of gloves served with our Torta Ahogada at the new El Chucho in Columbia Heights was a hilarious mistake.

But one bite of the salsa-drenched sandwich stack ($12) helped us realize that those gloves are a brilliant addition. Indeed, the new taqueria from the Jackie's crew is serving the most messy and enticing sandwich we've ever tried.

Chefs Diana Davila-Boldin and Matthew Russell marinate ground pork shoulder in adobo sauce, then top the meat with black beans, a layer of melted Chihuahua cheese, thinly sliced onions for snap, and avocado. The resulting combination is tucked into a soft bun, then doused in thick, smoky, peanut-laced árbol salsa, with chopped cilantro as the fresh finale. Within minutes, the bread soaks up the meat and salsa, creating a Mexican answer to the Sloppy Joe.

The sandwich is even better paired with a blended frozen strawberry-habanero margarita ($7) and street-style corn ($4), a nicely charred cob rubbed with mayonnaise, brown-butter aioli and Cotija cheese, then rolled in cilantro.

Even with the gloves, extra napkins may be necessary.

El Chucho, 3313 11th St. NW (at Lamont St.); 202-290-3313 or facebook.com