Enjoying the first full day of fall in triple-digit weather was not cool (pun intended).
Last week, I sought refuge from the heat with a tropical lunch at La Tropicana Fruits & Juices in West Covina.
Aside from the various fruit smoothies, waters, tropical ices and other cool treats, they also serve sandwiches, salads and tortas.
The sandwiches start at $4.45 with options of chicken, pastrami, ham, turkey, tuna, avocado and a BLT.
Each sandwich comes with lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, bell pepper and jalapenos. Avocado, extra cheese and bacon cost an extra 50 cents each.
I went with the ham sandwich on a telera bread, a thinner Mexican bread.
I love these type of sandwiches because they taste homemade, like the ones my mom make.
I liked that the ham was thinly sliced and everything else on the sandwich tasted fresh. There was a little more mayonnaise than I prefer and the bread wasn’t toasted the way I like.
Warning: If you can’t stand the heat of the jalapenos, order without or be sure to ask for only a few. In my sandwich, there was one in every bite.
It felt good having something light, but next time I’ll try a torta or salad and see if they have more flavor.
I also ordered an extra-large serving of freshly squeezed “agua de mamey,” or water-based juice of a tropical fruit that has a slight nutty taste to it.
The mamey really hit the spot – all fresh and cooled down with ice.
The prices for the “aguas frescas,” or fresh juices, are $1.95 for a medium, $2.45 for a large and only 50 cents more for an extra-large.
Tortas start at $5.45, green salads start at $2.45 and fruit salads start at $2.75. Fruit party trays are also available.
If this hot weather keeps up, I might have to return for a raspado (snow cone) or chamango (slushed ice mixed with small pieces of mango, chamoy, a sweet and spicy syrup, chili powder and lemon), all enjoyed with a spoon.
La Tropicana Fruits & Juices is at 1324 W. Francisquito Ave., Unit C5, at Sunset Ave. in West Covina. For more information, call (626) 919-1920.