Sliced and Diced Eatery on East Anaheim Celebrates One Year of Tortas and Love • Long Beach Post

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Photos by Brian Addison.


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Sliced and Diced, the small, bright-purple, fresh-food-and-sandwich shack that sits on the northeast corner of Obispo Ave. and Anaheim Street, came out of necessity—and on the eve of its first-anniversary celebration, it’s safe to say it has already become a neighborhood staple.

Co-owners Amy Eriksen and Griselda Suarez were overwhelmed before solidifying a storefront for their operation: between hitting up farmers markets selling their Peppered Up sauces and moles to renting various kitchens to prepare the goods, the pair had to figure out how to make things easier with the ability to still capitalize upon their love for food.

“We had to get our own place. Nobody else’s kitchen is as happy as your own kitchen, y’know?” Ericksen said before quickly pausing to look across the table at a patron joining. “Mike, your sandwich is ready.”

Mike, distracted on his phone but a loyal patron for months according to Eriksen, mouths a “Thank you,” grinning to ear-to-ear while he grabs his Chicken Melt, a grilled chicken breast topped with melted Swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, and lathered with worcestershire-mustard glaze.

SlicedDice01In addition to providing just that type of love through one’s own kitchen, a variety of other obstacles were in the road: given that Eriksen was the main caretaker of her mother at home, proximity was key.

“I’ve lived here my whole life,” Eriksen said, “and I just love my neighborhood. And I knew what was needed: this place used to be a taco stand but there’s Tacos Chapala right there and Los Compadres right behind it—we’re not gonna do something that is already being done. So we had to figure out how to use our food—especially our sauces—and highlight them.”

Sliced & Diced was born.

The duo’s approach is a cater-to-all ideal that will make the tummies of both the Fat Kid and the Health Nut bloat with happiness.

For the former, there are a plethora of pork options—the one meat both Suarez and Erikson admit is the most popular—ranging from pulled pork to pork chorizo. Our suggestion? None other than their hallmark torta, the La Marquita: layered with chorizo (or soyrizo), egg, spinach, and a sauce that harkens to a Mexican hollandaise. This particular torta is not only hearty, but made with heart: it is the birthday breakfast that Eriksen provides to Suarez every year.

“We knew we had to have this one on the menu,” Suarez said. “I love eggs benedict. And Amy made me this—and she’s made it every year for me since. So I figured: why don’t we make this into a torta? And if we’re gonna make tortas, we have to find the best bread, right?”

The perfect torta bread was found after the rejection of six others—“Finding the perfect bread is not just picking a bakery and there you have it,” noted Eriksen—and for those avoiding gluten, you can have roasted yams as your bread instead.

“We know this neighborhood,” Suarez said. “We know they want good food, they need fresh food, and they options that can compete with the McDonald’s across the street.”

That competition does not come easily. Many, both Eriksen and Suarez admit, have been miffed at the shack’s limited days of operation: Thursday through Sunday. But there is an explanation that is twofold. For one, Eriksen (who has another job as well as attending Leadership Long Beach this year) and Suarez (who is a professor at Cal State Long Beach and will be performing at this year’s Sister Spit) are always at the shop—quite literally. With one other employee, the two have single-handedly been churning out every sandwich purchased.

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The La Marquita torta.

Even more, there is a cost-effectiveness to keeping limited hours according to Eriksen.

“Beyond just keeping us from collapsing,” Eriksen said, “it keeps our prices down and our products as fresh as possible. It keeps our staff limited. We try to have at least 50% of our product local—if we did entirely local, we would have to charge much more.”

Eventually, they admit, they’ll find the cook that can hold their baby while they’re not around. However, until maybe their Two Year Anniversary, it will continue being just Eriksen and Suarez. After all, they need to focus on their One Year Anniversary party this Saturday, where they’ll invite the public to come and enjoy not just their food, but their wall of kale, lettuce, and herbs (you read that right: feel free to take some fresh greens home).

They’ll also be offering a free class on how to make their Caesar salad dressing; the all-women Chef Tech Cooking School from Bixby Knolls will be coming down to help you hone your knife skills in the kitchen; the ever-growing Rainbow Juices will stop by; and Localism, a local new urbanism business, will discuss edible gardening.

Sliced & Diced’s first anniversary event on Saturday March 8 is free and open to the public. Sliced and Diced is located at 3201 E. Anaheim Street and the event will begin when they open their doors at 10AM.

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