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Oct 19, 2010 11:57 AM

Cemitas in Brooklyn

We've got a thread about cemitas in Queens. Brooklyn deserves it's own.

Last Friday night I was on my own. Part of me wanted to watch the Yankee playoff game in a bar. The downside of that is that the evening would have involved large amounts of drinking and good conversation. It wasn't going to be an early night and I would have slept in until noon on Saturday. Since I had a number of chores planned for the next day I reluctantly decided that I needed to defer the pleasures of baseball and beer for another time. That made me slightly depressed for awhile until I remembered that I could watch the game at home with a couple of beers and my good friend, Mr. Cemita.

And why stop at one? Why not get 2? I had it all planned out. I'd stop off at Tacos Matamoros on the way home. I'd previously tried their pollo asado and really enjoyed it. I also had my eye on their jamon cemita. My plan was to have half of each on Friday and then cap off Sunday night with the other halves.

Previously I've tried to convey just how substantial these things are. Here are Friday night's halves sitting on a standard dinner plate. These guys are larger than a regular pub burger. It's a real two handed meal.

The pollo asado cemita is generously filled with nicely grilled chicken and the standard cemita ingredients of string cheese, avocado ,crema, tomato and salsa. (I removed the papalo - too strong for me.) It was my second time around for this one and I'll keep it in the regular rotation. It's outstanding.

I liked the jamon cemita fine but not as much as the pollo asado. In addition to the regular ingredients mentioned above they added a medium spicy ancho chile based sauce. It tended to overwhelm the flavor of the ham a bit. I'm glad I tried it but I'll probably move on to the other combinations on their menu before I'd go back to one of these.

Each of these monsters is only $7.00. Viva Sunset Park.

Tacos Matamoros
4508 5th Ave. (@ 45th St.)
Menu -

The three attached pictures:

Friday night's halves sitting on a standard dinner plate to give you a feeling of their sheer size.

The pollo asado.

The jamon.

Tacos Matamoros
5717 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

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  1. *Not* destination food, but if you're near the Lorimer L and in need of a cemita, La Bonita Bakery (NE corner Union/Grand, aka Rocio's) offers a decent rendition.

    $5.50 I think they run, although I usually go torta -- milanesa de pollo, or if I am totally disregarding health the torta cubana.

    (Decent + cheap breakfast sandwiches as well.)

    Lots of vitriol on google about their cakes, I see, which I would never order in any case. On the baked good front I will confess that I occasionally get (and enjoy) the powdered-sugar fire-engine-red-guava-filled pastries. My kids like the cruellers.

    Plus they're really nice people.

    La Bonita Bakery
    501 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211