+
Restaurants & Bars

Tortas (or cemitas) in Pittsburgh

alaskanjackal | Jan 19, 201602:00 PM     6

Recent transplant to PGH and I'm starting to really miss Mexican food. Having found amazing, authentic Mexican all across this country in places I never expected to find anything resembling an authentic taqueria (from a schoolbus taqueria in Puyallup, WA to a hole-in-the-wall in Augusta, GA, not to mention great options in places like NYC, Chicago, and other cities), I became used to the idea that a good Mexican was available anywhere in the U.S., and certainly in every major city. I never even thought to check on PGH's Mexican scene before moving--I just assumed there would be at least a couple of choices.

Boy, was I wrong. The options in PGH are not just slim: they're nonexistent.

The tacos at Reyna's street stand in the Strip District are excellent (the restaurant downstairs is another story), and coming in (for my tastes) a very close second is Edgar's around the corner. For San Diego-style carne asada burritos, El Burro Comedor on the Northside is as close as it gets. But everything else I've tried in the city is either some modern pseudo-fusion take on faux-Mexican or, at best, gloppy-cheese Tex-Mex. And all the CH threads on the topic are a decade old.

Where are my tortas? Where are my cemitas? Tamales? Sopes? Anything?

Right now I'm craving a torta, and my Googling is proving fruitless. Any hints at a possibility of an option are coming up as dead-ends--old threads discussing now-closed restaurants, etc. I was briefly encouraged to find this recent news (http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburg...), but it seems even that didn't last long enough to let me try it.

So, a couple of questions:

1) Is there anything, ANYTHING even REMOTELY resembling a real taqueria (or anything featuring authentic Mexican food) anywhere within a reasonable drive of da 'Burgh? Any place I can get my torta fix?
2) What is it going to take to kick-start this region and get it interested in and supportive of REAL Mexican cuisine?

Heck, I moved to Pennsylvania from Alaska and had better Mexican food there than I've found here, and even the last place I lived before this (a small hamlet in Lancaster County) had a great Mexican option almost walking distance from my house. Help this California-bred boy out, please!

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better
Guides

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better

by Amy Sowder | Sugar cookies often look prettier than they taste. Now that's not right. With cookie season well under...

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year
Explainers

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year

by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

by Vanessa Simmons | Christmas cookies, holiday cookies, winter treats—whatever you want to call them, they used to be...

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies

by Jen Wheeler | Christmas cookies are one of the reasons to love the season, but holiday desserts do not stop at the...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.