The name pretty much says it all – Cemitas Puebla specilizes in the cemita, a type of sandwich that is indigenous to Puebla, Mexico. Though we usually head to Pilsen (or Rogers Park for that matter) for Mexican food – we were surprised to find ourselves in the primarily Caribbean Humboldt Park (note to selves we need some Puerto Rican food, stat!) The space itself is relatively tiny and non-descript, and like most little places with hype there is always a wait and a line. Suffice to say, Cemitas Puebla is not a hidden secret anymore – and evidence of their various brushes of fame (Diners, Drive-in and Dives, etc) – is apparent. When we walked in we were greeted by a gregarious fellow we can only assume was an owner with a hearty “Hello – welcome! Do you know what a Cemita is, let me explain….” After listening to a little spiel we were ready to order.
Naturally we started out by ordering a Cemita ($6) – we chose a milanesa cemita (breaded pork cutlet) – other options were ham, cheese, carne asada and cow foot. Our food arrived at the counter just a few minutes later, and we were excited and a little bit nervous, as we often are at uber-popular restaurants (were we going to love it or hate it). Fortunately, the Cemitas did not disappoint. The pork was juicy and tender and topped with a crazy amount of avocado, a spicy chipotle sauce and a huge pile of Oaxacan cheese. All of the ingredients worked together perfectly, and each bite was packed with flavor. For good measure, we also got an order of the Tacos Arabes ($2.60), park tacos carved off a spit (like gyros) on a thick tortilla. The tacos arabes were also delicious, but did not shine like the cemita. Cemitas Puebla is good local place with a unique specialty, but definitely with a little bit of the TV treatment. But if you can get past that, the food actually does rock.