Monday, December 14, 2009

Las Tortas

Restaurant: Las Tortas

Cuisine: Mexican/Sandwiches
Last visited: November 27, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC (South Cambie)
3353 Cambie Street

Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 6
Service: 2.5
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Specializes in authentic gourmet Mexican sandwiches
  • Hole in the wall
  • Mexican chefs/cooks/staff
  • Expensive for a sandwich, but worth it
  • Local suppliers/producers
  • Homemade guacamole, dips, beans, potato chips
  • Hot & fresh, made upon order
  • Busy during peak hours
  • Offers authentic Mexican drinks
  • Couple homemade Mexican desserts
  • Self-service/pay at cashier
  • Accepts Visa
  • Eat in/Take-out
  • Seats 15-20
  • Free delivery w/min. $15
  • Everyday 5-9pm

**Recommendation: Cubana

I heard about this place through Kim and Sherman …their pictures is what sold me. You can’t say it doesn’t look delicious! And it was! For some reason it’s easy to miss even though the sign is huge! It looks like a hole in the wall, but it’s not really. The inside looks quite new and it’s brightly lit and clean.

To order: take a brown paper bag (also their menu), select your item and give the cashier your paper bag upon paying for it as well. It’s super casual and you can see them mak

ing it upon order. The torta is also served in the same paper bag.

Las Tortas was almost like the Quizno’s of Mexican sandwiches…but more “gourmet”. A torta is a Mexican sandwich or ‘hamburger’. It’s served in a white sandwich roll called ‘teleera’ which they don’t make in house but is supplied by a local producer.

It is expensive ($9.95 for the best one), but it’s huge, and worth it. Homemade local ingredients and lots of it! I think it’s enough for 2 people…and then you’ll have room for dessert & their homemade potato chips too...which I haven’t tried yet. The value is there so I think it’s justified. You’re definitely paying for the ingredients and not the ambiance though.

Note: I really want to say it’s family owned and operated, but I’m not so sure. It’s the sister restaurant to Soupspoons – a local chain that serves gourmet homemade soups. This part really threw me off because I was expecting to see a full on Mexican menu. I think they should offer authentic Mexican homemade soups rather than Soupspoons soup.

On the table:

  • **Cubana 6/6
    • Pierna, turkey, milanesa & panela cheese. Served hot with tomato, cabbage, pickled onions & jalapenos, guacamole, refried beans, butter and mayo $9.95
    • You can customize your order and take out some of the sauces…but I wouldn’t. Just go for it all – that’s how it’s meant to be eaten so I wouldn’t mess around with the recipe – unless of course you have allergies.
    • The Cubana is their most popular sandwich. It’s almost a meat sandwich. It has 3 different kinds of meat:
    • 1) Pierna: slow roasted pork thigh marinated in Mexican spices. This was super tender juicy roasted lean pork and it almost tasted like meatloaf. It was nice and salty and tasted like pulled pork but even juicier. You can just see the texture of it. I know it looks kind of dry, but it wasn't. It was actually almost creamy. I think because it was layered on top of the refried beans.
    • 2) Turkey: this was almost like turkey ‘ham’…so not the turkey deli meat and not actually turkey pieces either. It wasn’t as distinct as the other meats used, but it added anther layer of texture and flavour that was different than the other 2.

    • 3) Milanesa: breaded chicken breast also know as a chicken schnitzel. This was delicious. For schnitzel it could have been pounded thinner, but for this sandwich the thickness was perfect. It just made it a bit meatier. It was really crispy and not greasy and the chicken was really tender and juicy.
    • The pierna looks tastier/jucier in this picture.
    • The meats are all delicious and go together so well! Beef is supposed to be the most flavouful meat and this sandwich didn’t even have any – it didn’t even need it.
    • Besides the meats, one of the best parts was the Panela cheese, which is a fresh Mexican cheese that tastes like fresh Buffalo mozzarella. It was creamy, mild, and almost sponge-like. It didn’t melt into the sandwich either. I’m not sure if it would have tasted better if it did.
    • The sauces and dips used cannot be underestimated. They put a layer of homemade refried black beans on the bottom. It really flavorful and they layer the pierna on top of it. It blends together and the combo is great! Then there’s homemade guacamole in it and I think the mayo is their homemade garlic aioli. They also serve the aoili with their homemade potato chips which many people get as a side.
    • Besides all these layers of salty flavours it’s also spicy from the jalapenos and a tangy from the pickled red onions. The cabbage and tomatoes were really fresh too. It’s a great ratio of ingredients and it hits all your taste buds in all the right w ays.
    • The bread was amazing and from local suppliers. It was hot with a crispy exterior and super soft inside. It was a perfectly grilled sandwich roll. It was nice and thin yet sturdy enough to hold all the ingredients without everything falling apart.
    • To be honest, I was expecting a super greasy sandwich that would be really saucy and drippy. However it was none of the above. It wasn’t even that messy to eat and they give you a moist toilette. I mean it is big and tall, but the ingredients were really fresh and it didn’t feel like fast food even though it kind of is. I would definitely go again.

Las Tortas on Urbanspoon


  1. As long as you don't start calling us "bad influence", I will take the credit! :)

    I think we pretty much agree on that it is good but expensive. Should we get together one of these days for a sandwich comparison? Finch's vs. La Grotta vs. Las Tortas vs. ??? Or that would be comparing apple to oranges? hehehehe

  2. Thanks for the shout-out Mijune... but... you didn't try the chips? They rock! :)

  3. No problem guys! Without your blogs and photos I would have NEVER seen this place. I've order cakes from the place beside it too...and I still missed Las Tortas.

    I know - I gotta go back for the chips, but I was so full!

  4. Oh my goodness this looks delicious!

  5. It's freaking amazing!!! I'm not a photographer so it's not my photography skills making the food look good either. The one I ordered is supposed to be the best one! TRY IT!!!

  6. My friend said she prefers Duffins donuts for mexican sandwiches over Las Tortas...I'm kind of skeptical...have you tried duffins yet?

  7. You are the second person to tell me that! I haven't tried Duffins yet...but I think it depends which sandwich you get.

    The Cubana at Las Tortas is soo good! But I heard the chorizo and egg torta is better at Duffin's than it is at Las Tortas.

    I gotta go to Duffins! Thanks for rec!