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Tia Julia Antojitos now brick & mortar

E Eto Jul 8, 2009 03:55 PM

My favorite Mexican diner El Huarache in Woodside closed up abruptly and in its place is my favorite antojitos folks who run the Tia Julia Antojitos truck in Jackson Heights. Within a week of El Huarache's closure, Tia Julia has opened and I had to run over to confirm that it's the same folks, and sure enough, they are! They won't have cemitas until the weekend, but the torta de res was mighty fine. For you Coatzingo fans who didn't make it to the Tia Julia truck for their cemitas and quesadillas, this place is even closer, within a block of the 69th St stop on the 7 train, and more important for me, within delivery range.

  1. w
    Widmark Jul 11, 2009 09:03 PM

    thanks for linking to this from the other thread, I had missed it. Very excited to try it out!

    1. p
      Passingthru Jul 15, 2009 04:58 PM

      Just had the cemitas. REALLY damn good. Really nice people too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Passingthru
        Joe MacBu Jul 15, 2009 06:05 PM

        My experience on Monday was that cemitas are only served on weekends. However, I was not told this when I ordered. I noticed it on their eat-in menu after placing my take out order. When I asked about this, I was informed that it would actually be a torta made into a cemita for 50 cents more (whatever that meant). I asked if the papalo and adobo sauce would be on it and was told yes. Unfortunately, I got home to find no papalo and only a little bit of the adobo sauce. It seems odd that cemitas would only be a weekend offering, and that they'd just substitute something inferior and not think you'd care. Cemitas are normally $7; I was charged $5.50 for an upgraded torta.

      2. Jeffsayyes Jul 15, 2009 08:42 PM

        I went today. very interesting place. I liked the carnitas and carne enchilada. did not care for teh bistec y papas tacos so much. had a chorizo tlacoyo. First time ive had this anywhere. It was basically refried beens inside a fried masa pocket with meat and cheese on top. Pretty interesting contraption.

        The ladies were nice. I asked them where they are from, she replied "Mexico"....
        I asked more specifically and it was somethign like campeche or chiapas. Maybe someone can brighten that light for me. Seemed like the tlacoyos were specific to that region, but I do not know for sure.

        Nice place. Clean. The tacos def had some character. Not much heat, except for the chorizo. Interestingly, only one taco came with avocado on top, this being not a sauce but an actual slice. I respect that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jeffsayyes
          E Eto Jul 15, 2009 10:19 PM

          I think they're from Puebla, like all the other Mexicans in NYC. The biggest clue to that is that the cemita (which is Tia Julia's piece de resistance, IMO) is a Pueblan sandwich.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561077

          1. re: E Eto
            Jeffsayyes Jul 16, 2009 07:54 AM

            I asked them and they definitely did not say puebla. It's my own fault for not writing it down. Cemita is Pueblan, but I think possibly everyone is doing them now - basically because they are awesome.

        2. j
          jmax Jul 16, 2009 05:46 AM

          what is the difference between cemitas and tortas?

          4 Replies
          1. re: jmax
            w
            Widmark Jul 28, 2009 05:59 PM

            my understanding initially was the roll. Tortas are softer rolls, Cemitas are more special hard rolls with sesame seeds. There's a slight different to the contents at Tia Julia, but I don't know if that's consistent elsewhere.

            So I went tonight for takeout, got a Pollo Milanesa Cemitas and ordered 2 carnitas tacos, for comparison and in case I didn't like the Cemitas.

            The tacos were ok, really huge with great really nice pork if a bit dry, nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of red or green sauce and some lime, though they didn't supply any lime. I think if I had some lime and got really into them, I'd love them, but it was hard to enjoy even a few bites of the taco because...

            the Cemita was a MONSTER. It was a huge and fantastically delicious sandwich. The only cemitas I'd ever had before was at Cemitas Puebla in Chicago after seeing it on the Food network. That place was great, but a much lighter sandwhich. This roll was similar but denser, for better or worse. I don't know what exactly was on it, refried beans, tons of avocado and cheese, the adobo sauce, something spicy. Whatever, it was delicious and immensely satisfying.

            I asked about the weekend thing and they said that's no more, they'll do Cemitas any day now. Didn't ask if they'd deliver as far as me but will surely call to find out some day. A really awesome sandwich.

            1. re: Widmark
              Joe MacBu Jul 28, 2009 06:23 PM

              Did they put papalo on it?
              To me, that is a key component of a cemita (and something that they neglected to include in my order).

              1. re: Joe MacBu
                w
                Widmark Jul 28, 2009 06:50 PM

                to be honest I don't know! I just looked that up, it's the leafy thing? I can't say I noticed that. Maybe it was there. I'd say go there and order food to stay and ask for it and if it's not there ask them to explain!

                1. re: Joe MacBu
                  E Eto Jul 28, 2009 07:32 PM

                  Tia Julia is a bit inconsistent on the papalo. They have it sometimes, and sometimes you might have to ask. Another inconsistency might be whether they put in chipotle or their pickled jalepenos in the cemitas. I like both versions, and I find it good to change it up now and again. As for the tacos, yeah, they're kind of an afterthought, since they don't have the limes and such, so it's much better to get other antojito items like quesadillas, sopes, tlacoyos with the carnitas or the other usual taco fillings. As I've mentioned before about the Tia Julia truck, this isn't your usual "something-for-everyone" Mexican joint. It really specializes in cemitas, quesadillas and whatever they have on special.

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