Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
No exploration of the wide world of Minneapolis sandwiches would be complete without a trip to Midtown Global Market, a hub for international food and shopping with 18 different restaurants and food vendors. While many of them are worth trying, Manny’s Tortas is a local favorite for ”gourmet Mexican sandwiches”.
”Torta” can mean different things in Spanish depending on the context, but in Mexico, it usually refers to a type of sandwich. Mexican tortas are served on a long or round roll, and usually grilled, similar to a Cuban sandwich or an Italian panini.
Manny’s offers tortas with a variety of traditional and not-so-traditional fillings, with a special appreciation for pork. Favorites include ham, chicken, milanesa (breaded steak), and the “3 Little Pigs” (pork tenderloin, applewood-smoked bacon, and ham). The “Manny’s Special” if only for the truly hungry: it includes steak, onion, mushroom, tomato, and jalapeños, all topped with ham and cheese. Their version of the Cuban is also popular. For vegetarians, there’s a mushroom and cheese. All tortas come with tomato, lettuce, onion, avocado, jalapeño peppers, refried beans, chipotle pepper mayo, and chips.
Manny’s is also known for its appetizers, including potachos, the Mexican version of hashbrown potatoes, served with pico de gallo. They also offer blue tacos and molettes (small open-faced sandwiches) as appetizers.
Manny’s was founded by Manuel Gonzalez, a native of Mexico City who spent decades working in other Twin Cities restaurants before opening his own in 1999. He submitted a successful application for a spot at the nearby Mercado Central, which was being renovated by the Latino Economic Development Center. At the time the city of Minneapolis was looking for a way to redevelop this former Sears building that would enhance the neighborhood more than a “big box” store, and reached out to Latino Economic Development Center among other neighborhood organizations for help in creating Midtown Global Market. That partnership resulted in Manny’s opening here. With help from his sister Vicky, Manuel now manages this location as well as a booth at the Minnesota State Fair.
Cover photo: Nsaum75, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.