Houston's Best Sandwiches: The R.I.P. at Antone's

Torta fans, there's a new kid in town, the R.I.P. at Antone's and it's legit.
Torta fans, there's a new kid in town, the R.I.P. at Antone's and it's legit. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

When Antone's (multiple locations) first began announcing their celebrity sandwiches this summer, I was skeptical. Antone's is a good, solid sandwich shop. The Original is a Houston classic. But, beyond that, it's really just a decent hoagie shop. So, to imagine them doing innovative sandwich fare didn't seem realistic.

Still, they announced their celebrity options on the heels of their Tex-Mex Cheesesteak being named the best cheesesteak in America. Bun B came strong with his Hot Wang Sandwich followed by Texans Whitney Mercilus and his beautifully messy Hangover breakfast sandwich.

The most recent candidate strode into some hallowed Houston sandwich territory. The R.I.P. (rest in pork) from local artist Donkeeboy is a torta. In a city absolutely brimming with amazing Tex-Mex food, putting a torta on the menu means it better be authentic because we know our Mexican sandwiches. Fortunately, the folks at Antone's put together a real contender for one of the better tortas in the city.

Let's start with carnitas. The slowly simmered, pulled fatty pork has to be done just right or it can be tough. This was anything but. It practically melted in my mouth. This also had avocado and sliced jalapeƱo (with some serious kick), but unlike most tortas, it substituted lettuce for coleslaw and sour cream for chipotle mayonnaise. All solid replacements.

The really interesting change was opting for pan de muerto over traditional talera bread for the bun. It's obviously seasonally appropriate given it is typically made for Dia De Los Muertos celebrations, but it also gave a slight sweetness to the roll you wouldn't normally find in talera. Think of it almost like a King Hawaiian roll, which goes really, really well with the pork.

Also, it is massive. Honestly, eating the whole thing might require a trip to your cardiologist. But it tastes so damn good, it might be worth it. Word to the spice sensitive, the mayo has decent heat by itself, so if you are spice averse, you may want to leave the jalapeƱos on the side. But, if you are good with it, give it a try. It's legit and, as always, for a good cause.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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