Each week, Justin Bitner goes hunting for DFW's most interesting sandwiches. Have a sandwich suggestion? Leave it in the comments and he'll check it out.
Venue: Tortas La Hechizera
Sandwich: El Pambazo ($5.69)
Bread: Bolillo well-soaked in scarlet enchilada sauce
Toppings: Chorizo, fried potatoes, queso fresco, crema and lettuce
The Case: Tortas are one of the hidden gems of the food world. The mainstream consciousness has for some reason latched onto tacos as the fad food from south of the border. Perhaps it's their portability, their variety or just their seemingly endless well of double entendres.
Whatever the reason, while the populace is gorging on tacos, folks in the know have been able to enjoy the greatness of tortas. One of the finer purveyors of the classic Mexican sandwich is Tortas La Hechizera down on Maple Avenue. The place recently went through a renovation, allowing more space in the dining room with the order counter now perched next to the side entrance. Walking into the well-lit joint, I spotted my prey advertised on the wall. The giant image of the Pambazo beckoned as I pointed two fingers in its direction and angled my head to the cashier. "Pambazo, por favor."
I grabbed a seat, bending an ear to see if the sparse remnants of my high school Spanish could sort through what was coming out of the television. Just as I was facing the stark realities of my mental atrophy, a woman sidled up to my table and brought things back into perspective. She set down an enormous, oblong Styrofoam plate topped with something that looks like the JerryWorld of sandwiches.
Served on a soaked red bolillo and stacked tall, the Pambazo has the look of a sandwich to be reckoned with. There's a nice char along the top of the bun from a quick panini-style toasting, and toppings spill from every side. After picking up the sandwich and taking a giant bite, I put it down and stared into my hands, which look like I tried to get handsy with Carrie at the prom.
The torta has all the perfect elements lined up. The chorizo and fried potatoes provide the main elements, with the former giving a subtle spiciness while they both bring the salt. The queso fresco, crema and lettuce cooled things down, with the lettuce also adding some crunch. The bolillo is well portioned and soft. The enchilada sauce poured over it gave the tang that would be provided by tomatoes on most sandwiches. A small plastic shot glass of hot sauce that accompanied the torta had me feeling like this a few hours later.
The Verdict: No vas a tener hambre despues de comer el Pambazo. Es un chingo de comida.