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.
- Made-to-order and served hot
- A unique sandwich (at least up here in Vancouver)
- Wonderful freshly fried potato chips
- Not exactly cheap
- Could use a tad more filling
- Mostly takeout, not a lot of places to sit