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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Life + Arts

Cheap tortas found at Llardas

The inventor of the sandwich was onto something when he or she placed meat between two slices of bread. The resulting culinary wonder has been one of the most recognizable foods around the world.

Unsurprisingly, the sandwich has many variations, from the Italian panini, the Vietnamese banh mi, the American Po’ boy and many others.’

In Houston, there is one place that serves as the bastion of the Mexican variation of the sandwich, the torta. Tortas Las Llardas, with seven locations around town, not only makes some of the best tortas, but they also sell them for cheap.’

Claiming to serve tortas ‘direct from Mexico City,’ Las Llardas does just that. All ingredients are decidedly Mexican, down to the bread used. Las Llardas uses the Mexican bolillo, a softer version of the baguette with a distinct saltiness that lends more flavor to the sandwich. The result is authentic to the restaurant’s mission and a delight for the taste buds.

Being a sandwich joint, there are the usual ham and cheese type sandwiches available, but to skip the specialty tortas would be a shame. Ingredients such as milanesa (breaded fillets of beef and chicken), chorizo (Mexican style sausage), pork leg and eggs add to the authenticity of Las Llarda’s tortas. As is customary, tortas are served with a side of chipotle paste and jalapeno peppers for added kick.’

At $5 a torta, this is definitely one of the best deals in town for a hungry college student. Add in the $5 lunch special, which includes the already $5 torta, a bag of chips and a drink, and you have one of the best deals in Houston, period.

While washing down a torta with a soft drink isn’t a bad idea, the better choice would be to order one of their many aguas frescas. Although available at many different Mexican food joints, these drinks are made on the spot and not in some plastic barrel that may have been sitting there for hours.’

Staples such as melon and strawberry are good, but the most refreshing ones have to be watermelon and pineapple. Mexican sodas are also available by the bottle, but are pricey when compared to buying them from the grocery store.

Tortas Las Llardas doesn’t do much to change up the sandwich formula, but that’s not a bad thing. With a solid selection of tortas and fresh-made aguas frescas, Tortas Las Llardas already achieves its mission of delivering authentic Mexico City eats to Houston.

Tortas Las Llardas
Flavor: Mexican
Where: Seven locations across Houston
Verdict: Delicious authentic Mexican sandwiches for a great price

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