In Tortaland, size rarely matters, though it is often noted. When we deign to tackle even a relatively tidy, reasonably sized specimen, we're usually reminded of Roald Dahl's The BFG — how the sweet-hearted title character, by far the smallest giant in Giant Country, still stood 24 feet tall, towering over buildings, lamp-posts, and trees. That said, the aptly named La Torta Gorda serves what is not only arguably the best torta on 24th Street, but most assuredly one of the very biggest, at least with regard to surface area. It's nice when quantity and quality go hand in sauce-smeared hand.
Some tortas are certainly more amply stuffed with fillings, but La Torta Gorda's — laid out on broad slabs of bread with layers of refried beans, mayonnaise, cheese, and jalapeño peppers — stack up with sheet pans and the shields of Roman legionnaires. Our go-to is pollo, either grilled in thin strips, or as a Milanesa, crusty and deep-fried. We usually eat half for late Saturday breakfast, and the other half for linner, which is, of course, that mid- to late-afternoon repast designed to tide one over until cocktails. Or whenever the sidewalk tacos from Vallarta start to smell really good.
La Torta Gorda 2833 24th St. (at Bryant), 642-9600