Manny's vs. La Alborada in a torta takedown
In the market for a quick lunch? This week's food fight compares tortas, Mexican sandwiches, from two of Lake Street's numerous mercados. Read on to discover who sells a more satisfying steak sandwich.
Lisa Gulya Manny's stackable steak sandwich
Manny's (Midtown Market)
Manny's steak torta comes with chips and will cost you $8.03 after tax. Far from a simple meat-on-a-bun sandwich, Manny's torta starts with tender steak on baguette-style loaf (think banh mi) and is packed with avocado, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, cheese, refried beans and chipotle mayo. We let them load it all on, and we weren't disappointed: the blend of flavors had us scarfing down the sandwich until its last crumb.
Lisa Gulya And in this corner: La Alborada's heavyweight version
At La Alborada, 1855 East Lake Street, you get a hefty steak torta on a soft, round loaf (telera) for $7 including tax. The torta is loaded with many of the same ingredients as Manny's -- steak, avocado, jalapeño, lettuce, refried beans, cheese -- just minus the chipotle mayo. The loaf is toasted, giving it a slightly crunchy exterior to contrast the pillowy interior. Otherwise, this sandwich is nothing fancy, just a delicious sandwich that leaves you stuffed.
The winner: Manny's deserves its reputation for delicious sandwiches, but we're going to recommend the tortas at La Alborada. You'll save a buck, and you'll also have a sandwich big enough to share. (Bonus: La Alborada has its own parking lot, making it a quicker to-go spot than the Midtown Market, which requires you to validate your ticket to park free in its ramp.)