Dining on a budget: La Tropicana in West Covina

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.

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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. 

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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.

One thought on “Dining on a budget: La Tropicana in West Covina

  1. oh Jackbrilliant and fantasticOJ in anyinthg but an orange doesnt even TASTE like orangeI keep telling people this and they WONT listen DONT drink that stuff!!The various processes, including pasteurization which enables longer shelf life, ruin everything in the oj. The regurgitated pulp has no value for the same reason. The reinserted vitamin additions are not absorbed by the body. So instead of getting masses of good fiber fm the cell walls of each little orange juice sac, yes, it’s sugar sugar sugar all the way. But remember, the oj is also thick’ how does it get that way? Again, with additives that, if you go hunting for them on the list of E- . , you will screw your nose up at and say, eeuuuwwww, would I drink bleach? no. Then why this additive?One of the things I ask friends to think about when it comes to all these foods, is this: it’s so easy to drink 2 glasses of containered oj, plus a huge slice of apple pie, plus some other bits and pieces, as dessert, or snack. But if you took all the oranges needed to make those 2 glasses of oj, and all the apples mushed down into puree/pie filling, plus the other bits and pieces, could you eat them all? Nope. So don’t.of course, it is, as we say, like talking to the Western Wall . I come out sounding like the wailing, and the Wall does it listen? heh hehDear RRs, on my farm we grew citrus. I know what goes into them. You wouldnt even want to eat them fresh. PLEASE buy fresh organic citrus. PLEASE, even if they are full of pips. and a bit annoying that way, buy them and eat them and teach your kids and grandkids to love them. Here is another reason why: all those pips [which in other citrus have been genetically modified out so as to provide us, the consumer, with a pleasant eating experience, so pleasant that we go out and buy more...] those pips grow within the fruit by turning sugars in the fruit into their own growth energy. By the time you buy the fully grown fruit, part of its sugars have been turned into seeds that have grown inside. In other words, what you actually eat is a naturally sugar-reduced fruit!!!How wonderful your creations, G-d how stupid we are for rubbishing them and trying to do better’! So, please, go and find organic fruit, [and veg]. It wont look as lovely, might have pocks and odd markings, might be smaller, but SO much better for multiple reasons.

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