Several years ago, Las Tortas opened on Leetsdale Drive and since then the torta, the iconic Mexican sandwich, has found its way into the mainstream. The Squeaky Bean served one of my go-to renditions before the restaurant closed. (I'm hoping the lunch staple will reappear on the Bean's menu when it reopens any day at 1500 Wynkoop Street.) My current favorite is found on Hi Rise's breakfast menu.
Owner Doug Anderson says that this sandwich (pictured) is the culmination of a lot of fiddling. The Ballpark bakery makes its own bolillos, which are rich and soft but not as sweet as the traditional Mexican rolls. These are split in half and loaded with an array of fillings: egg and chorizo; tomato; house-pickled onions and jalapeños; avocado; Muenster cheese; cilantro; and house-made refried beans and chipotle sauce. The creation is messy, satisfying, and completely delicious. It's also wildly popular on weekend mornings, so plan accordingly.
Also: Check out the Enrique at the brand-new Torta Grill on Colfax Avenue. This vegetarian sandwich makes for an excellent breakfast stand-in with egg, grilled cactus, mozzarella-like panella cheese and crushed red peppers layered with the usual refried beans, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and mayo. And don't leave without ordering the cucumber-lemonade. This beverage is so refreshing and addictive that an unnamed bar has been buying the combo and mixing it into cocktails.
Las Tortas, 5307 Leetsdale Dr., 720-379-7269; Hi Rise, 2162 Larimer St., 303-296-3656; Torta Grill, 1818 Colfax Ave., 720-420-0964