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A Sandwich a Day: Pierna Torta at De Mole in Astoria

In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know.—The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

The Sunnyside Mexican restaurant De Mole, a favorite among many locals, has opened up a second location in Astoria, bringing its friendly atmosphere and more-than-just-Tex-Mex menu (other perks: a surprising number of surprisingly good vegetarian and vegan options, nopales, seitan, tofu sour cream, and all). One of the tastier offerings is the Pierna Torta ($6.50), a sandwich stuffed with thin slices of braised pork leg topped with a sweet chipotle sauce, pleasantly lard-y refried beans, avocado, stringy cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Though the pork is a little more lean than I'd like, its firm bite, nicely porky flavor, and ample rub of complex chili sauce more than make up for its shortcomings. Avocado and refried beans add great creaminess, countered nicely by chewy cheese and crunchy iceberg.

The torta roll itself may not be the softest out there, but its sweet crumb and buttery flavor make it stand out. If there's a problem with this sandwich, it's that it needs some tamping down with a fork to evenly distribute the jenga-stacked filling. But with a couple seconds of fussing, you get a torta that's way more fresh and texturally interesting than most of the taqueria sandwiches out there.

De Mole

4220 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103 (map)
718-777-1655

4502 48th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377 (map)
718-392-2161
demolenyc.com

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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