My friend Max at Serious Eats has long felt NYC's tortas and cemitas are better than its tacos. His argument, and now mine, is that the bread game in NYC is better than the tortilla game. That's not to say tortas are better than tacos, but because of the great bread here, there are more bad tacos than there are bad tortas.
I spent some time at a few panaderias talking to bakers to find out what makes New York's bread culture, and the pan tradicional of Mexico, so good. Read what I found over at Serious Eats.