Ate it for $8: Tortas La Hechizera in Dallas

The pambazo at Tortas La Hechizera in Dallas.

This week, Kristy Alpert, our cheap-eats reporter eats a torta and lives to tell about it. Let’s give her a hand.

This week my husband and I ventured over towards Love Field for tortas at La Hechizera on Maple Avenue. We are both huge fans of sandwiches and we love Mexican food, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

Even though this small restaurant has two other locations in Dallas and one in Fort Worth, stepping into the  Maple Avenue location was like opening the door to  a tiny restaurant in Mexico. Most of the clientele are Hispanic and Spanish it the predominant language.  You can watch Spanish soap operas on their 32-inch TV and you can’t miss the pulsating Latin music blasting from the speakers. And the place was packed.

Jump for an amazing sandwich.

Torta Cubana at Tortas La Hechizera in Dallas.

After a short wait, we were greeted by a friendly front-counter girl who detailed some of the house specialties. She pointed me in the direction of a large poster of their most popular torta, the Torta Cubana ($6.79), which, from the picture, looked like a delicate mix of avocado, tomatoes, and a little bit of ham with refried beans. That was not what was served.  My husband pointed to a poster of the Pambazo ($5.59), the iconic sandwich dipped in red chile sauce and stuffed with  chorizo, and said ‘yes please.’

The place is not very big. Yet, even arriving at lunch hour, we had no trouble finding a booth surrounded by brown painted rocks and guacamole-colored walls. It was matter of minutes before the waitress came out carrying our big-as-your-face tortas.

My Torta Cubana was not the delicate little concoction I was expecting. Instead of being loaded with veggies it was piled high with four different kinds of meat–not that I’m complaining. It consisted of onions, refried beans, cheese, avocado slices, mayo, ham, turkey, chicken fried steak and, as if that wasn’t enough, fried hotdogs sliced in half, served with a side of an amazing spicy red sauce. Although the sandwich didn’t photograph well and it’s probably not something I would order on purpose if I would have known what was in it, it was truly unique. The avocado and crispy chicken fried steak meshed beautifully, even if I could only eat about three bites before calling it quits! It’s big enough for two.

Right about the time I threw in the towel, I looked up to see my husband finish off his entire Pambazo with a guilty grin. This traditional dish came loaded with papas con chorizo, white Mexican cheese, cream sauce, and lettuce stuffed inside a Mexican bread which had been bathed in chile sauce. It’s like a Mexican version of a Sloppy Joe.

Overall: This meal was a great value. The menu is stocked with items right around five to six bucks and the options include tacos, tostadas,  flautas, and tlacoyos. The fexperience was a mini-Mexican holiday. And the portions are sure to satisfy a big appetite for a little money.  I must say,despite the messy torta,  I walked out wearing  “food free” white pants. My husband? Not so lucky. He went back to work and picked bits of chorizo off his clothes while his  co-workers commented on his Mexican-food musk.

5611 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX 75235 (multiple locations)

Well Dishers? Where should I go next for my $8 lunch?