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Free Apps and Some More Cemita, Please!

By Minna A in Food on Nov 19, 2010 3:30PM

In the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood of Humboldt Park, you’ll find a neighborhood staple and a unique Mexican favorite at Cemitas Puebla. Well known but still unassuming, the humble storefront of Cemitas Puebla offers bold, flavorful and unique cemitas that keeps dedicated followers coming back for more. Cemitas are street food sandwiches that originally hail from Puebla. While masquerading as standard Mexican street fare, these savory sandwiches of Cemitas Puebla are a step above, due to the time, effort and care for each ingredient that constructs the cemita.

What sets these cemitas apart is the attention to detail given by owner Tony Anteliz. You can’t find these toasty sesame buns anywhere else in Chicago, as they are specially produced for Cemitas Puebla by an unidentified local baker. Hand-picked cinnamon, oregano, thyme, sugar cane and morita chipotles are carefully selected by Anteliz’s father and flown in to create the unique and bold flavors. The cheese is flown in from Oaxaca and always fresh; as is the papalo, the paunchier herb cousin to cilantro, which is grown in Cemita Puebla’s garden.

On a recent visit to Cemitas Puebla, we ordered the al pastor cemita. We watched the cook carefully take the braised pork, seasoned with an array of spices, and let it sizzle on the flat top grill. A fresh sesame bun was cut in half, slathered with avocado and chipotle peppers and then topped with the grilled al pastor meat. Not quite complete yet, a heaping handful of cheese is added to the cemita, before it is topped with the other side of the bun. Just a drizzle of the green sauce at the table, and this cemita masterpiece is complete.

Cemitas Puebla is no secret, having been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and multiple Chicago news sources, as well as a review on WTTW’s Check, Please! episode tonight. Viewers, reviewers and neighbors alike can’t stop raving about Cemitas Puebla.

Still need convincing? Until the end of this month, Cemitas Puebla is offering their chalupas appetizer, fresh hand-made tortillas with salsa verde, salsa roja and crumbled cheese, for FREE. Just head over to their website and bring their online coupon to the restaurant. With the free appetizer, a fresh and flavorful cemita and drink can cost less than $10 a person.

Cemitas Puebla is located at 3619 W. North Ave.