It’s a name food enthusiasts will quickly identify. Rick Bayless, who opened his first restaurant, Frontera Grill, in Chicago in 1987, today oversees a 7-restaurant empire. The most recent additions form a chain of fast casual tortas, the newest of which — Tortazo — is opening right here in New York. (The original Tortazo is in Chicago’s Willis Tower.)
The name, which translates as “wallop” or “punch,” may be a reference to the no-nonsense seasoning that informs all of the chef’s Mexican creations. The menu seems to confirm that, noting that the food “is a freshly made-to-order, modern, chef driven expression of the bold flavors, ingredients, and techniques of Mexico.”
The menu at Tortazo embraces sandwiches (tortas), soups, salads, and quesadillas. Portions are large, so one dish is likely to sustain you, although the restaurant promises to include dynamite churros among the desserts.
Tortazo, 1123 Broadway, 212-920-3722.