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Jan 4, 2009 09:56 AM

Cemitas in Boston?

Guilty pleasure = watching Guy Fieri's Diners Drive-ins and Dives. In the sandwich episode, he showed off a Mexican place in Chicago that featured cemitas from Pueblo.

Cemitas are a cousin of the Torta, with chipotle smeared over avocado and a fresh Mexican cheese on top of fillings. Most popular is the milanesa (fried pork cutlet), which I've enjoyed in a torta but never seen as a cemita in our area. Has anyone seen these sandwiches around here? Eastie?

The restaurant also featured tacos arabes, which are available at Angela's and are one of the best things on the menu.

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  1. Hi - just poking in, but you should come visit us in Chicago and go to Cemitas Puebla in person :) The Cemitas as are just as good as the DDD program shows, though my coat does still smell like a grill a week later. At least 2/3 of the appeal is the bread and the chipotle sauce they make in house. I think it may be my favorite sandwich I've tried so far in Chicago, and we have some really good sandwiches here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: leek

      I'm seriously considering a trip to Chicago soon ... and Cemitas Puebla will be my first stop. Then I'll need an Italian beef. I'll post on the board before I come!

      I travel for food.

      1. re: yumyum

        Don't stop at Italian Beef, get Italian Sausage, Beef, Onions and mushrooms and have them soak the whole thing in gravy mmmmmm. Can't remember where the heck I had that, but it was over the top.

    2. This was back in 2007, but La Verdad served cemitas. At the time, Ken told us that he had the cemita rolls specially made by Iggy's for La Verdad.

      I cut and pasted part of my original post:

      "E was a bit disappointed that it wasn't the classic bolillo roll he grew up with, but closer to a cemita, the authentic and traditional variation of the torta of Puebla. Slightly chewy and covered with sesame seeds (specially made by Iggy's), it was delicious. Each torta consists of layers of refried black beans, Oaxacan string cheese, molasses-glazed chipotles, avocado, mayo, and cilantro with either chicken milanesa, carne asada, carnitas, chile relleno, or hamburgesa (7.95)".

      1 Reply
      1. FYI notice that this article mentions pork loin milanesa for one cemita filling (and I think YumYum was one of the first to mention Cafe D' s fish tacos around here). Hey maybe if they see this thread, one of the options could be the tacos arabes

        (Even if you don't want Cemitas its worth reading the article to the bottom... patio at Sensing, possible 4am license for Hen House, etc)

        13 Replies
          1. re: digga

            The menu looks great -- various kinds of fish tacos, cemitas, salads and grilled chickens -- oh and that grilled corn with cotija cheese! I am looking forward to checking it in June.

            1. re: yumyum

              What, no papalo ?! Pffft, posers. ;)

              Looking forward to June, too !

              1. re: Nab

                Oh snap! This guy knows his cemitas!

                1. re: yumyum

                  Ha ! I wish I did yumyum, but I've never even been to Puebla ! I've only sampled the cemita a handful of times at Taqueria Puebla in Chicago several years back.

                  Papalo or not, I'll be all over these ones in June.

                  1. re: Nab

                    Then you have had it. They use the herb at the TP in Chicago -- that's where Guy Fieri started my whole obsession.

                    1. re: yumyum

                      They sure do use papalo. While I will be happy to try these ones here in town, I do think papalo really sets the sandwich apart. Being a fan of the bitter & astringent spectrum of flavors, I really find the cemita with papalo to be well-suited to my tastes. Some folks find the lingering, anise-y flavor off-putting though.

                      I think there are two other key variables in the equation - the chiles and the cheese. I can't recall what is de rigeur in Puebla, but IIRC, TP in Chicago also uses chipotle en adobo and a 'flower' of shredded Oaxacan cheese draped over the whole mess. Looks like Dorado is on-board with that as well.

                      Alright, stop talking about it YY, June is a long ways away !!

                      1. re: yumyum

                        They use it seasonally. When they can get it, they put it on. In the winter, it's not there.

            2. re: itaunas

              Having just come back from Puebla, I had an awesome milanesa cemita at one of the smaller mercados in the city, pictures below.

              As for Doug Organ's comments in the BH article, what I loathe is that the anti-'vat' attitude: “It’s a chef-driven concept, rather than just a bunch of guys making giant vats of food and putting it inside a tortilla,” he said.

              Some of the best Mexican food, and food in general is made in huge vats, granted his comment was to position his business as something that's a cut above the 'typical' burrito joint. I actually would want more Boston restaurants to offer stewed offerings.

              1. re: avial

                Did you go to Mercado del Carmen?? I recognize the size of that sandwich and I think the tables too. Two of us shared one sandwich....all the locals ate their own. Awesome, and so good.

                1. re: hckybg

                  I think it was the Mercade del Carmen, the cemitas place (Cemitas de Alex? I think it was called), had a very long counter/construction line set up and there was a jugo counter right next to it.

                  1. re: avial

                    Yes and overflowing bins of cheese and a butcher across the aisle with a big plate of cow tongues eyeing the cemitas.

                    EDIT: I just found it--the place I went was Cemitas las Poblanitas

                    1. re: hckybg

                      Sure, sounds about right, the best were the pickled veggies - cauliflower and pepper rings.