Rule of thumb: any restaurant willing to put the word “fat” in their name is guilty until proven innocent. Guilty of deliciousness, that is.
Extremely lame jokes aside, we take the embrace of excess to be a good sign. Especially at a casual, cheap-eats Mexican joint. And Torta Gorda lives up to its moniker. The tortas – gigantic Mexican sandwiches, usually stuffed with meat – are gorda indeed.
There are two sizes: “Jr.” and “Regular,” and we can only assume that these refer to the size of the family that might consume one of these for dinner. A junior-sized family, say, a mother and child, would easily be sustained by the Jr.-sized sandwich. A regular-sized family of four could almost certainly make do with a single Regular-sized sandwich.
But those rules don’t apply to the Mega Cubana sandwich, which features milanesa, sausage, pierna, ham, chorizo, eggs, turkey, queso fresco, and American cheese. The “regular” sized Mega Cubana could feed 5-6 people. It is roughly the size and weight of a small bowling ball. It is something to behold, perhaps in terror. Monstrous size aside, is it good? On a recent trip, one of us reveled in the state-fair absurdity of consuming a 2,000-calorie pile of meat and fat, while the other questioned the value of a sandwich that you literally cannot fit in your mouth. You will have to decide for yourself.
The simpler tortas are in fact the superior order here. The Carne Asada is a masterpiece of meaty flavor, and the Rajas con Queso (pepper strips and cheese) is maybe even better.
The restaurant is set up like an old-school diner, with swiveling counter seats, red-fabric booths, and kitschy wall decor. There’s a back patio with umbrellas and picnic tables, which are perfect for lunchtime indulgence.
La Torta Gorda does, in fact, serve dishes other than gigantic fatty sandwiches. But why would you want them? Everything you need to know is in the name. A giant stuffed torta is freedom from judgment. It’s a ship sailing on open water. It’s an escape from reality, which we all need from time to time.
No exaggeration – this is possibly the largest sandwich we’ve been served in our entire lives. It probably won’t fit in your mouth. It will burst out of your attempts to fit it in a square Instagram photo. It is the eighth wonder of the culinary world. If you don’t find it disgusting, you will love it. There is no in between.
Ah, finally, a delicious sandwich for those vegetarians who also enjoy MAINLINING calories in all non-meat forms. We’re sure there are many.
The most balanced, and thus the best all-around sandwich here. Carne asada can be boring at some taquerias, despite its vague relation to steak. Not here. If you’re going to get one, get this.