Sherman's Food Adventures: Las Tortas

Las Tortas

I was tipped off a week ago by TS (eating_club Vancouver) about a new sandwich shop that had opened up 2 stores down from Pied-a-Terre. Oh, this is no ordinary sandwich shop. Rather, it is one of the few places you can get an authentic Mexican torta. No, no, not the ones you can get at Duffin's Doughnuts. These ones are made by real Mexicans (as opposed to fake Mexicans???). Being a real fan of good sandwiches (re: Ba Le, Au Petit Cafe, La Grotta del Formaggio, La Charcuterie), I put it high on my list to visit (apparently Kim had it high on his list too!).

Needing some takeout today, I took the opportunity to head down to Las Tortas for a couple of sandwiches. The method of ordering is a bit unique; yet really simple. You merely take a paper bag (which has the menu on it) and select what you want to order by checking off the item. You put down any special requests, put your name on the top, check off if you are eating in or out and present it to the cashier. I only wish they had real Sharpies rather than Crayola felt markers because it was not easy to write with them. My "no onions" became scrunched up and looked more like "noinions". Whatever, the cashier figured it out.

I decided to try the Pierna or slow roasted pork thigh marinated in Mexican spices. Essentially a pulled pork sandwich, it included tomato, cabbage, pickled onions (I didn't get this), jalapenos, guacamole, refried beans, butter and mayo. This is all served on a grill toasted telera. For $2.00, I added their house fried potato chips. I got Viv the Carne Asada con Queso, which is marinated roast beef with Oaxaca cheese. Her sandwich included all the aforementioned toppings. Since all of their sandwiches are made-to-order and served hot, I had to wait for a little while. During this wait, I grabbed the window seat (of course I did). In the process, I had to squeeze in between another table that was occupied already. The lady seemed to wonder why I had to pick the seat right next to her when there were plenty of other open tables. So, I told her what I was doing and I wanted the best lighting possible for my pictures. It was a bit surreal, I was chatting to a total stranger about food all of a sudden. Well, that is actually a good thing. She mentioned that she had just read a post on Corner 23 and wonder if it was me. It could've been, but then again, many other bloggers have a post on Corner 23.

I finally got down to trying out the torta and it was quite an enjoyable sandwich. The bun was quite crunchy and the fillings were not the usual fare I'm used to. The pork was on the drier side; yet it was still moist. I especially liked the crisp cabbage which gave a nice freshness and crunch. Surprisingly, the sandwich did not have the "wow" factor I was looking for. What I essentially got was a solid sandwich with Mexican ingredients. Interestingly, the star of the show was the house-made potato chips. They were slightly thick cut; but fried up nicely. Crispy, not salty nor oily, these chips were money. For $2.00, they were worth every penny. When Viv finally got her chance at sandwich, much later since I actually ate at the restaurant first, she pretty much echoed my sentiments. A solid sandwich; but not OMG wonderful.

My sandwich came out to $8.50, while Viv's was $9.30. The Cubana tops out at $9.95. While not exactly cheap (since you can get these for $5.00 in L.A.), it is not incredibly expensive for a made-to-order hot sandwich. It may have not knocked my socks off; but I would eat it again.

The Good:
- Made-to-order and served hot
- A unique sandwich (at least up here in Vancouver)
- Wonderful freshly fried potato chips

The Bad:
- Not exactly cheap
- Could use a tad more filling
- Mostly takeout, not a lot of places to sit

Las Tortas on Urbanspoon


holly said...

At least it was fresher than Salumi's and you don't have to drive all the way to Seattle.

Sherman Chan said...

Yes, I was gonna to mention that, but so many people gave me heck about saying negative things about Salumi, I decided not to take another shot at the place. But ultimately, I stand by everything I say.

KimHo said...

Sherman, just because people say you are wrong, it does not mean they are correct - they might as well be BSing. Anyway, at least it seems the overall concensus of Las Tortas is what we mentioned: expensive. At least, this time, I am more than willing to back you up! ;)

Sherman Chan said...

Thanks Kim! We've been agreeing a lot recently anyways... creepy...

Anson said...

Hey Sherman,

After reading your review, I decided to visit the place. You should have told me that they put WHOLE Jalopeno peppers in there...WHOLE! Man, did it put zing in the sandwich that I bought.

Anyways, agree with your post. No OMG moments, but the sandwich/tortas(?) was so big, I ate half for dinner and half for breakfast the next day. The $2 add-on for chips *IS A MUST*. Too bad I couldn't just go in and order the $2 Chips.

Thanks for the heads up on this place.

Sherman Chan said...

They must've REALLY liked you Anson because neither Viv or I got the whole pepper! LOL... Yah, the chips are pretty good eh? Thanks for the comments!

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