The Dish: Torta Milanesa at La Michoacana

To call a torta a sandwich doesn't do it justice. Meat, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, avocado, jalapeño and sometimes more spilling out from a giant bolillo roll: The Earl of Sandwich never imagined this. And, yes, fries do come with that. How does the torta from La Michoacana, a year-old Mexican restaurant at 3324 North Lindbergh Boulevard in Bridgeton, measure up? Join me after the jump...

The milanesa is one of the most common tortas. As in schnitzel, the beef is beaten very thin, breaded and then pan-fried.Though tasty, beef milanesa can be tough -- almost leathery. That isn't a problem at La Michoacana. Not that the beef is tender. Quite the opposite. It is beaten so thin and then fried so crisp that its texture and, to a certain extent, taste is reminiscent of bacon. And that's never a bad thing.

A couple of other things to like about La Michoacana's torta: The mayo isn't glopped onto the bolillo roll, rendering it a soggy mess before you bite into it. Also, the avocado chunks are plump and very fresh; they provide a cooling counterpoint to the sharp, hot jalapeños.

The fries, on the other hand, were mediocre. But you don't judge a Mexican restaurant by its fries.

- Ian Froeb