Here, Eat This

Houston's Best Sandwiches: The Pechuga Torta at La Tapatia

The Pechuga Torta at La Tapatia is the perfect balance of Tex Mex goodness.
The Pechuga Torta at La Tapatia is the perfect balance of Tex Mex goodness. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

Much like the Vietnamese bánh mì, the Mexican torta (the common name for a sandwich) is one of Houston's unofficial sandwich ambassadors (greatest job ever!). It doesn't get quite the respect of the other popular Tex-Mex hand food, the taco, but it's close.

The Pechuga Torta (literally translated: breast cake) at La Tapatia (the Richmond location is my fave) is a marinated and grilled chicken breast on soft, toasted talera bread. The oblong, oversized roll, is larger than a hamburger bun (my dining partner said, "Would you like some sandwich with your bread?") but with a similar soft consistency.

Inside the roll with the well-seasoned chicken is a slathering of refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and, critically important, fresh avocado. Tapatia's refried beans are silky smooth and with the sour cream and avocado, make a delicious, creamy blend of condiments.

The torta here is served with french fries, but I often get a salad since I spend the first third of my meal crushing fresh tortilla chips with guacamole or queso. Tapatia offers a variety of torta options including asada (beef fajita), camaron (shrimp), pastor (pork), pollo guisado (braised chicken), pierna (pulled pork) and jamon (ham). All are very good, but the chicken just seems like it has the perfect balance of flavors on this particular sandwich.

Tapatia also has some of the most consistently good Tex Mex in town along with a killer top shelf frozen margarita, which, as it turns out, pairs pretty damn well with a torta. With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, you have no excuse.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke