Serious Eats: Chicago
A Sandwich a Day: Cemitas from Cemitas Puebla in Chicago
In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Cemitas Puebla in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago is known for their unique cemitas sandwich. You may have seen it on a certain bleach blond, spiky-haired, er, guy's show somewhere? The cemitas are served on a flat sesame-seed bun with avocado, your choice of meat (pictured here is the milanesa, the breaded pork cutlet), adobo chipotle peppers, fresh Oaxacan cheese, and, when in season, papalo, a Mexican herb similar to cilantro.
The sesame seeds give this torta-like sandwich some texture from bite one; then the rich avocado hits your tongue, the crunch of the fried pork gives it a full, fatty flavor, the adobo supplies heat, the melted cheese adds rich velvet, and the oil from the sesame seeds comes back to break through and turn the sandwich into a whole different experience.
Most variations will cost you $6.50. And don't forget the salsa! The tables are topped with three: salsa verde, chipotle, and salsa roja, all housemade and addictive.
You'll want to order two cemitas, much to the dismay of your girlfriend who watches you destroy them (despite the fact that you promised not to embarrass her in public).