¡Tortas Gigantes!

They fill your pan

A whole page of tortas grace TLP's menu, and though I haven't tried them all, neither have I had a bad one yet. Other than the stupendous La Presa, which might cause you to dislocate your jaw trying to get your mouth around its middle, I'm fond of the slightly less thick Melchori, Hawaiian and Cuban tortas. The Cuban is really not like a Cubano you'll eat in Miami, but who cares? Its combo of roast pork, sliced ham, mozzarella, tomato, and jalapeño strips is still tasty and spicy. So is that of the Melchori, with its fried beef, chorizo, ham, jalapeños, and so on. Pineapple rings make the Hawaiian, the fruit snug between warm layers of ham, pork, and big, melted hunks of queso fresco (a fresh, white cheese) topped with a tangy Russian dressing.

Mountain of meat: Co-owner Enrique De La Torre with his restaurant's signature "La Presa" torta.
Jackie Mercandetti
Mountain of meat: Co-owner Enrique De La Torre with his restaurant's signature "La Presa" torta.

Details

La Presa torta with chips: $7.99
Cuban torta: $5.75
Chicken quesadilla: $4.99
Limon agua fresca: $1.99

602-870-2967.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

9230 North Seventh Street (just south of East Hatcher Road)

The tortas are usually served with potato chips. But some, like the Ranchera, come with a simple salad of lettuce, grilled onion, radishes, and cucumber. The Ranchera is more a straightforward steak sammy, albeit one with a spicy green salsa and avocado. I haven't checked, but I fear I may have gained another 10 pounds working on this torta story alone! (Sigh.) Seems the La Presa torta could be both the first and the last mountain I'm ever able to climb.

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