RIP Manny's Tortas

I passed by the Manny's Tortas at Hi-Lake yesterday to see it in person: an empty shell of what was once a great late-night spot for a damned fine Mexican sandwich.

My favorite Manny's story occurred a couple of years ago when I was sent to Mayor Rybak's office to do an article on his monthly constituent "open house" for Mn Monthly. But after a half-hour or so, nobody showed up, and Rybak said he needed to get a haircut and asked if I wanted to go along.

We jumped in the Prius (me in the back, among some gym clothes, Rybak shotgun, and his driver) and headed to one of those old-school East Lake barber shops. While Rybak got a buzz cut from the aging barber, I was left to entertain myself with a pile of skin mags--luckily the haircut took all of five minutes.

On the way back, we're passing Manny's and Rybak starts saying how much he loves Manny's and begs his driver to pull over. The driver relents, so we run in, order a couple of Cubanos, get enmeshed a circular discussion about who's going to pay for them (we both offer to pay for the other, but neither can accept the sandwich, so we end up going dutch). Then several constituents approach Rybak and start asking him about zoning questions and such and he tells them to email him as we race back to the Prius and return to City Hall in, like, 30 minutes tops.

I'm going to miss that Manny's--fortunately the Mercado Central (1515 E Lake St, Minneapolis - (612) 728-5408) and Midtown Global Market (920 E Lake St, Minneapolis - (612) 870-3930) locations are still open.