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Aug 16, 2009 05:31 PM

Mexican tortas on Cambie (Vancouver)

I came out of a screening at the Park today to be greeted by this signage. Mexican tortas on the west side -- can't wait! Anyone have any 411 on this project?

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  1. Unfortunately, the storefront looks the same as when I walked by it during a trip to Stella's...which was back in May.

      1. re: flowbee

        Same....It seems to have stalled.

            1. re: grayelf

              Possible movement: it was reported today on another food board that there was a private party here -- maybe they got all their permits??

              1. re: grayelf

                Good news...although I never liked the "Gourmet Mexican Sandwiches" part of the sign. Aren't tortas supposed to be like tacos? ie. delicious, unpretentious food for the everyman?

                1. re: flowbee

                  Yeah, that kinda threw me too. I guess the proof will be in the pudding... er, tortas...

                  1. re: flowbee

                    According to Wikipedia: A torta is a Mexican sandwich, served on an oblong 6-8 inch firm, crusty white sandwich roll, called a bolillo, telera or birote. For more info about Torta click this link:

                    I hope they will open soon. I have yet to find a cheap and good Mexican place in Vancouver.

                    1. re: CheapAppetite

                      > I have yet to find a cheap and good Mexican place in Vancouver.

                      really? you need to look harder ;)

                      Doña Cata
                      5076 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5P, CA

                      Don Guacamole Restaurant
                      1333 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E, CA

                      1. re: flowbee

                        <I have yet to find a cheap and good Mexican place in Vancouver.>


                        1. re: flowbee

                          Duffin's Donuts on Knight does a cheap and good torta as well.

                          1. re: fmed

                            I like the tortas at Duffin's but they are different than the ones I recall eating in Mexico or SF. Not bad, just different, so I'm hoping the new place will be more like my tastebud memories. I think a lot of it has to do with the bun -- obviously you can get bolillos in Mexico, and apparently in SF too. Maybe not so much here?

                          2. re: flowbee

                            Try the Taco Shack at 1937 Cornwall, a couple of blocks south of the Burrard Street bridge. Best soft tacos I've had in Vancouver. Good burritos, too.

                            1. re: searchlight

                              Thanks, searchlight, I've had the tacos there and I find them okay, a bit inconsistent though and pricey compared to other options in town. We are speaking here specifically of tortas though...

                          3. re: CheapAppetite

                            True dat, CA. You can eat relatively cheaply and well at Dona Cata, but you will be over your $5 level to get full I think. And though I liked Don Guacamole (despite that egregious name!) the one time we went, it is definitely going to be over your "limit" even if you just get tacos. These are indeed the only two Mexican places I can recommend in greater Vancouver though I've just heard about another I want to investigate at Main and 3rd called La Casa de las Artistas. I'm going to do some research today.

                            1. re: grayelf

                              Firsthand report posted elsewhere by FishGuy: the tortas are good, and they are opening for the public this Friday!!

                              1. re: grayelf

                                Thanks Guys for all your suggestion. I know Don Guacamoles. It's very close to my work. The price is a bit high to my liking:) I didn't know about Donna Cata, El Taco, or Duffin. I will check them out.

                                I used to live in Lincoln, Nebraska. I got used to cheap great mexican food there. Oso, De Leon's and Chipotle to name a few. If you have a $5-$7, you're all set. If you order the daily special, it would be a buck cheaper:-) And their portions are huge. I always have left over to take home with. Too bad they are not in Vancouver.

                                Grayelf, let me know about La Casa De las Artistas. It sounds expensive already though. lol.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  I will be headed there on Monday to check it out! Thanks for the opening date.

                2. Went by tonight. They're opening tomorrow to the public (private function this evening but the kitchen looked hopping). Menu lists 10-12 different tortas for around 7$ if I'm remembering correctly. And then some add ons for an additional $2.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: islandgirl

                    Drooling on keyboard, thanks Islandgirl. Will be looking forward to hearing what you think ck. I know you lurk nearby and was wondering if you'd be up for it :-).

                    Here's the info I've found so far:
                    La Casa del Artista
                    150 East 3rd Ave (Main and 3rd)

                    I know there is a mariachi band called Los Dorados playing there this Friday night at about 9 pm as a friend is going. Apparently it's their last performance before going on tour. The venue is actually a music studio that bands can rent out.

                    I found reviews on Y__P that said the $2 tacos are so delicious (make of that what you will) with different fillings every week, the best night to go is Friday and they only serve beer, wine and tequila for alcohol. Reservations for Friday are recommended also. Cash only with a $10 cover. Sounds intriguing...

                    1. re: grayelf

                      It's a good thing I didn't end up going by yesterday as they're closed Mondays. I had a "Mexican Club torta" today which included jamon, pierna, chorizo & Monterey Jack for $9.75. On their menu it also says, "All tortas are served HOT & are prepared with tomato, cabbage, pickled onions, & jalepenos, guacamole, refried beans, butter & mayo. However, there was no cheese at all to be found on my torta, nor any jalapenos. The meat was hot, but all other fillings were ice cold. I'm thinking maybe they melt the cheese & the sandwich is warmer, but ofcourse they didn't do that with mine today. The guac was tasty - I mostly tasted lime & cilantro. The chorizo was nice & spicy. The sandwich in whole had a nice spicy bite to it. I'd probably leave off the pickled onions next time. I didn't get much of a taste of the jamon (ham) or pierna (slow roasted pork thigh) as the chorizo overpowered the other meats. Bread was ok, had a crunch to it but was soft inside.

                      You pick up a bag and write your name on it, tick off your order, & tick whether it's for eat-in or take-out. I've attached a picture of the bag & my torta. It was very smokey in there today from the stove top. Not a bad sandwich, though I thought it was a little expensive. They make home made potato chips too for $2 as a side. Surprisingly there is no chips as in tortilla chips and salsa as a side, potato chips is it! There is Tortilla soup & a Mexican salad as well. They have Aguas Frescas which they say selections change daily. They also have Tres Leches (milk sponge cake) & a Mexican Brownie for dessert.

                      1. re: ck1234

                        Staggering, clutching heart/wallet simultaneously. $9.75 for a torta! Gak. Going to have to think really hard about this. Thanks for taking one for the team, ck. I will be asking you more questions tonight at Pho Viet :-).

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Yes, I know. If I had ordered the chips & a drink, lunch would have been $15. But a drink with a soup or salad added would have been closer to $20! A little out of my lunch time price zone! My boss caught me taking the picture of the torta at my I handed him the menu & he went, "Are you kidding? I would never pay that for a sandwich...though, it does smell good"...then grumbled that anything would smell good cos he was starving as he walked away!

                          1. re: ck1234

                            Oh well... I don't think I'm gonna try this place anymore. $10 for a mexican sandwich? I can get 3 shrimp wonton noodle soup from East Fusion and still have a buck left:) Gotta get them while they are on special though. lol.

                        2. re: ck1234

                          I went today. I didn't really have any of the miscues that CK had - except for that they're overpriced. I had the slow roasted pork in mexican spices (and I added Oaxacan cheese). The sandwich was quite delicious - a smorgasbord of toppings. I thought the bun was a little overly-cooked and they could have put on more cheese - but besides that I couldn't find any serious faults in the sandwich. I also had a Tamarindo Agua Fresca (or whatever it's called), which was solid.

                          Total bill was $13 and change. Around the same price (slightly cheaper) as a full foccacia at La Grotta, which I think, while very different, is way better (and larger).

                          So, IMO, a little pricey.

                      2. re: islandgirl

                        So excited! I swing by that area around lunchtime on Tuesdays so will be sampling the tortas!

                      3. I popped in today to try a torta too. I was lucky and didn't experience some of the glitches ck1234 had. I got the Chorizo con Huevo (chorizo and scrambled egg) which was $6.95. I didn't really find the chorizo to have a very strong flavour (though perhaps it had enough that it would have overwhelmed other meats if they were present). I appreciated the toppings they add on, especially the guacamole and refried beans. My sandwich was warm throughout.

                        It was pretty tasty... but definitely on the pricey side. The other sandwiches have combinations of meat and cheese and run from $8.50-$9.95. I'm tempted by the Cubana torta (slow roasted pork thigh, breaded chicken fillet, black forest ham and panela cheese; $9.95) as well as the Tres Quesos torta (Oaxaca, panela and Monterey Jack cheeses,$9.50). It's a bit hard for me to contemplate that kind of cost for lunch when I know I could run to Tung Hing for a sub for less than $3.

                        Agua frescas are $2 and change daily. They featured two today and one was tamarindo (yum!).

                        It's a pretty cute little place overall. It wasn't smoky at the time I went (around 1pm). There's seating for about 10 people. When you walk in there's a little counter to your left with a pail of felt pens and a stack of bags to tick your orders off on... cute idea!

                        1. I went yesterday and I really liked it. we had the chorizo, the pulled pork and the tortilla soup. I really liked the chorizo but they were both good. My only criticisms would be expensive (but fine for dinner), and not spicy enough! I even asked for extra spicy and I don't think I got any jalapenos.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: daily_unadventures

                            VanMag is waxing enthusiastic about it...