A Sandwich a Day

Reviews of Chicago sandwiches.

A Sandwich a Day: Carne Asada Torta at Chapala Tianguis

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I always feel slightly unadventurous when I order carne asada at a taqueria, especially one with all manner of fillings bubbling away in the kitchen like you'll find at Chapala Tianguis in Logan Square. Thing is, Tianguis happens to be really freaking good at preparing the grilled meat, so you can't blame me too much for arriving with steak on my mind. To balance those two feelings, I made the great leap and instead of ordering a carne asada taco, I went with the carne asada torta ($3.99). I know, crazy.

It's as satisfying as I hoped. The thin bread is slathered with avocado, mayonnaise, and refried beans, and stuffed with crunchy lettuce. But the juicy hunks of caramelized steak steal the show and ensure that each bite is exceptionally beefy. It's good to go as is, though the restaurant's two very good table salsas add spice and acidity. I promise to eventually sample the rest of the menu here for Chicago Tacos, but this is a good reminder Tianguis' carne asada prowess.

Chapala Tianguis

3552 West Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (map)
773-227-7972

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