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Cemitas Puebla [was Taqueria Puebla]

Cemitas Puebla [was Taqueria Puebla]
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  • Cemitas Puebla [was Taqueria Puebla]

    Post #1 - October 26th, 2004, 12:52 pm
    Post #1 - October 26th, 2004, 12:52 pm Post #1 - October 26th, 2004, 12:52 pm
    Last month I started a new job and now find myself driving into every nook and cranny of our chow rich city.After 2 plus years of hanging out here and at CH it's amazing how many "familiar" restaurants pop into my field of vision as I drive thru the different neighborhoods.

    Saturday afternoon while heading west on North Av. to a salescall on the westside,Taqueria Puebla jumped out and flagged me down. I remember reading a few months back about the fabled cemita and figured that now was the time to try one.

    Dammm, this is one fine sandwich. I got the carne asada enchilado cemita.A nice crisp sessame roll is gently griddled and then spred with a layer of guacamole.On top of the guac goes a layer of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce,some carne asada hot off the grill and a mountain of shredded cheese(Queso Oaxaca I believe the man said).

    The hot slow/smoky burn of the chipotles really compliments the carne asada and the guacamole and cheese make a cool and creamy backdrop for the whole deal to come togheher on the palate.
    After nearly 3 days the drool still puddles up in the corners of my mouth just thinking about this masterpiece of a sammy.

    Thanks RST, Seth and MikeG for the posts and pics.

    John

    Cemitas Puebla
    3619 W. North Avenue
    Chicago, IL
    773-772-8435[/quote]
  • Post #2 - October 26th, 2004, 1:06 pm
    Post #2 - October 26th, 2004, 1:06 pm Post #2 - October 26th, 2004, 1:06 pm
    After 2 plus years of hanging out here and at CH it's amazing how many "familiar" restaurants pop into my field of vision as I drive thru the different neighborhoods.


    I call it the CH-LTHforum-induced deja vu (already seen) experience. You read so many posts, after a while a totally unfamiliar area is suddenly 'old territory' as you pass restaurants reviewed earlier by other Chowists. I have provided running commentary on various restaurants to friends and family. They inquire when was I there. "I haven't been there yet, though I know what to order!"
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - October 26th, 2004, 3:36 pm
    Post #3 - October 26th, 2004, 3:36 pm Post #3 - October 26th, 2004, 3:36 pm
    JSM wrote:Dammm, this is one fine sandwich.

    John,

    I couldn't agree more. Here's a picture I took of a cemita de milanesa at Taqueria Puebla a few months ago.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #4 - October 26th, 2004, 5:40 pm
    Post #4 - October 26th, 2004, 5:40 pm Post #4 - October 26th, 2004, 5:40 pm
    Wow, serndipity! I had this same sammich on Friday! My new job also has me driving all over N IL. (3800 miles in 3 weeks)

    I loved the cemita but I was burping chipotle for 12 hours afterwards, a bit disconcerting but still yummy. I can't wait to go back.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #5 - January 3rd, 2005, 6:27 pm
    Post #5 - January 3rd, 2005, 6:27 pm Post #5 - January 3rd, 2005, 6:27 pm
    I had a cemita there today that I would swear had Bullseye BBQ sauce on it! Not a lot mind you, more like they ran low on adobo and addecd some Bullseye to round it out but the sweetness was definitely there. I thought it very good, the last one I had was almost to chipotle-ey, I had burps for 24 hours afterwards.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #6 - January 3rd, 2005, 11:04 pm
    Post #6 - January 3rd, 2005, 11:04 pm Post #6 - January 3rd, 2005, 11:04 pm
    Each time you tell the story, the chipotle burps last longer. :wink:

    Don't forget to try some of their other items. Taqueria Puebla is probably my favorite Mexican place that I've been in Chicago.

    Great menu:

    Image
  • Post #7 - January 10th, 2005, 3:50 pm
    Post #7 - January 10th, 2005, 3:50 pm Post #7 - January 10th, 2005, 3:50 pm
    The cemitas are the real deal (as if it hasn't been pounded into the board enough yet!)...

    Toasted bread, perfect mix of cheese, guac, chili - I actually hit it with a little of their red and green hot sauces (excellent and fresh btw). Outstanding sandwich, after I go back a few more times I'll decide if it has a place in the pantheon of Chicago sandwiches (Jibarito, Italian Beef, Chicago-style Hot Dog).

    Also, gotta give them props for dedicating a sammy sosa life-size cut out for the sole purpose of ripping on the Shammy.
  • Post #8 - January 10th, 2005, 4:05 pm
    Post #8 - January 10th, 2005, 4:05 pm Post #8 - January 10th, 2005, 4:05 pm
    You mean, except for the fact that it's *not* a Chicago sandwich. a) I don't think it's that widespread in Chicago. b) it wasn't originated in Chicago. Of course, if you just mean a great sandwich you can get in Chicago, I'm with ya.
  • Post #9 - January 10th, 2005, 4:46 pm
    Post #9 - January 10th, 2005, 4:46 pm Post #9 - January 10th, 2005, 4:46 pm
    extramsg wrote:You mean, except for the fact that it's *not* a Chicago sandwich. a) I don't think it's that widespread in Chicago. b) it wasn't originated in Chicago. Of course, if you just mean a great sandwich you can get in Chicago, I'm with ya.


    I was thinkin generally, but now I've changed my mind and will abide by the "Chicago-based" parameters. Easy way to keep the sandwich pantheon very small and exclusive.
  • Post #10 - March 6th, 2006, 11:34 am
    Post #10 - March 6th, 2006, 11:34 am Post #10 - March 6th, 2006, 11:34 am
    Dear LTH,

    Saturday evening we were driving along North Avenue, and to our shock Taqueria Puebla was completely dark at about 6:30 pm. Does anyone know what's going on there? Please tell me that they are just on vacation!

    Amata
  • Post #11 - March 7th, 2006, 10:18 am
    Post #11 - March 7th, 2006, 10:18 am Post #11 - March 7th, 2006, 10:18 am
    Amata wrote:Dear LTH,

    Saturday evening we were driving along North Avenue, and to our shock Taqueria Puebla was completely dark at about 6:30 pm. Does anyone know what's going on there? Please tell me that they are just on vacation!

    Amata


    Checked on the way back from the Y this morning, there is a sign on the door that says "Los Cambios al 3619 W. North Ave, mas informacion: "some phone number" - So I think they're just shifting a couple doors down to what used to be the Zacatecas storefront.

    So hopefully this means no change after they reopen. I'll update if I see any movement on the move.

    Long live Cemitas
  • Post #12 - March 8th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Post #12 - March 8th, 2006, 4:28 pm Post #12 - March 8th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Thanks, ab, for investigating. It would be a shame to lose their cemitas and tacos arabes...
  • Post #13 - April 8th, 2006, 3:04 pm
    Post #13 - April 8th, 2006, 3:04 pm Post #13 - April 8th, 2006, 3:04 pm
    Happy to report that Taqueria Puebla is up and running at the new location, 3619 W. North. Went for lunch today and they were really on top of their game.

    We had chalupas:
    Image

    taco arabes:

    Image

    and a cemita al pastor:
    Image

    Only one other patron was in there for lunch. Talked to the owner's son and he said they were hoping to have a parking area cleared out in back within a couple weeks.

    A real Chicago gem--great food, great people.
  • Post #14 - April 8th, 2006, 6:14 pm
    Post #14 - April 8th, 2006, 6:14 pm Post #14 - April 8th, 2006, 6:14 pm
    Hey, you know what award you can always nominate it for (in a few months...)
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #15 - April 8th, 2006, 7:02 pm
    Post #15 - April 8th, 2006, 7:02 pm Post #15 - April 8th, 2006, 7:02 pm
    Gary

    What kinda breaded meat was used for that sandwich?
  • Post #16 - April 8th, 2006, 11:39 pm
    Post #16 - April 8th, 2006, 11:39 pm Post #16 - April 8th, 2006, 11:39 pm
    HI,

    Thanks for the advice the on the new location. I will miss the charm of potentially doing my laundry AND eating my lunch!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - May 27th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    Post #17 - May 27th, 2006, 7:08 pm Post #17 - May 27th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    So, I was in Mexico last month and I had my first tacos arabes at a corner stand in Playa del Carmen. (I can't remember the name of the place, but they had Jughead [from Archie] on the signs and menus.) Anyway, they were excellent, and when I got back, I wanted to see if I could find them in Chicago, which led me to this thread.

    So today I finally got over to Taqueria Puebla for the tacos arabes. They were really good, but they were only a little bit like what I had in Mexico. I was wondering if anyone could tell me which were more "of the type", if either, or if it's a style that is actually more diverse.

    The Chicago arabes, as some of you probably know, come with a healthy coating of a spicy reddish-brown sauce, while the ones I had in Mexico were dry. Also, while the tortillas (if that's what you call them when they're the arabes style) at Puebla were hot, they didn't have that little bit of charring that was one of the things I loved about my experience in Mexico. Now, the tortilla char is probably just a difference in chefs (or griddle vs grill), but I guess I'm wondering if that sauce is more typical or not.

    Just curious. Like I said, the tacos at TP were excellent -- just not quite what I thought I'd get.

    (Now that I look back at tapler's pictures, those tacos arabes look a little drier, as much as I can see. Is that just an illusion?)

    Oh, and for the record, the parking is open, according to signs in the windows. (I parked easily on Central Park before I saw the sign.)

    PS I guess the place in Playa is called Tortas Israel. The beautiful thing is that they have their pork spit right on the corner, on the outside of the building, advertising their specialty right at eye (and nose) level -- here's a review and a picture

    PPS since I'm here... are Orientales just Arabes with corn tortilla instead of flour? I couldn't really understand our server at Tortas Israel but I thought that's what she was telling me; I didn't think to enquire at TP.
  • Post #18 - June 16th, 2006, 10:09 pm
    Post #18 - June 16th, 2006, 10:09 pm Post #18 - June 16th, 2006, 10:09 pm
    germuska wrote:PPS since I'm here... are Orientales just Arabes with corn tortilla instead of flour? I couldn't really understand our server at Tortas Israel but I thought that's what she was telling me; I didn't think to enquire at TP.


    That seems to be the case. When Gary inquired this afternoon, he was told it was on a corn tortilla instead of a flour tortilla. Though he was the one who consumed it, so he might be in a better position to note if there were any other differences.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #19 - June 18th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    Post #19 - June 18th, 2006, 7:08 pm Post #19 - June 18th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    germuska wrote:The Chicago arabes, as some of you probably know, come with a healthy coating of a spicy reddish-brown sauce, while the ones I had in Mexico were dry. Also, while the tortillas (if that's what you call them when they're the arabes style) at Puebla were hot, they didn't have that little bit of charring that was one of the things I loved about my experience in Mexico. Now, the tortilla char is probably just a difference in chefs (or griddle vs grill), but I guess I'm wondering if that sauce is more typical or not.


    (answering myself) if this page is authoritative, the sauce is typical.

    Karen Hursh Graber wrote:In Puebla, where there is a large Lebanese population, a variation of this type of taco, served in a thick flour tortilla called pan arabe - a cross between a tortilla and pita bread - is known as tacos arabes. They are served with a spicy, deep-red chipotle-based salsa.
  • Post #20 - September 12th, 2006, 2:03 pm
    Post #20 - September 12th, 2006, 2:03 pm Post #20 - September 12th, 2006, 2:03 pm
    Last year I went to Puebla for the first time. (Hoping to return soon. Trying to talk a friend into a trip to Mexico City and Puebla that I can guide him on.) I've been teaching the occasional Mexican cooking class here in Portland at a gourmet cookware store to raise money for the Oregon Food Bank. This fall I decided to try to recreate some of my favorites from Puebla.

    It hasn't been too difficult finding recipes to play with for most items. Things like tinga poblana and chiles en nogada I've made MANY times before and are more or less my own by now. But I'm also doing a pork three ways, of sorts: al pastor, orientales, and arabes. I have to cheat on the pork, of course, because I don't have a spit and a rotisserie isn't a common household item. But I was having a heck of a time deciding what to do for the chipotle salsa. I considered just using Bufalo's, which I may still do.

    But then I thought I'd call up Taqueria Puebla. Just talked to the son who walked me through exactly what he does from start to finish, encouraging me to try it and eager for me to get something that works. (Although his dad goes down and hand picks the chipotles they use a couple times a year so they can find the exact kind they like and they haven't been happy with anything they've found locally.)

    So while the food is great, and in many ways superior to much of what I tried in Puebla, I just want to add how gracious and nice they are as well.
  • Post #21 - September 12th, 2006, 3:43 pm
    Post #21 - September 12th, 2006, 3:43 pm Post #21 - September 12th, 2006, 3:43 pm
    That's a great little anecdote, extramsg. The proprietors there have such a generous spirit, and it shows every time I'm in there--whether they are handing out free candy, offering samples of their latest recipes, or just preparing a great sandwich. I'm delighted that it was my little nomination that got their GNR award started--it was the least I could do to return the favors.
  • Post #22 - September 12th, 2006, 5:07 pm
    Post #22 - September 12th, 2006, 5:07 pm Post #22 - September 12th, 2006, 5:07 pm
    Tony Anteliz is very gracious. He told me that the Arabes are served on more of a pita style bread in Puebla, and that he's been trying to find a thicker flour tortilla to match. The Queso Oaxaca used on the Cemitas is also brought up by his father from Chipilo, a small town in Puebla that was settled by immigrants from the Veneto in Northern Italy...apparently they are especially known for their cheese and their carpentry. The papalo is grown in his mother's backyard...I wrote an article this week if anyone is interested.

    Taqueria Knockout
    MJN "AKA" Michael Nagrant
    http://www.michaelnagrant.com
  • Post #23 - September 12th, 2006, 7:17 pm
    Post #23 - September 12th, 2006, 7:17 pm Post #23 - September 12th, 2006, 7:17 pm
    extramsg wrote:Just talked to the son who walked me through exactly what he does from start to finish, encouraging me to try it and eager for me to get something that works.

    Extramsg,

    How very nice of the son. Mind sharing the recipe?

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - September 12th, 2006, 7:56 pm
    Post #24 - September 12th, 2006, 7:56 pm Post #24 - September 12th, 2006, 7:56 pm
    Hmmm. I don't know. I'm not sure if it would be fair to him to ask for the recipe and then publish it on the internet.
  • Post #25 - September 12th, 2006, 8:02 pm
    Post #25 - September 12th, 2006, 8:02 pm Post #25 - September 12th, 2006, 8:02 pm
    extramsg wrote:Hmmm. I don't know. I'm not sure if it would be fair to him to ask for the recipe and then publish it on the internet.

    Extramsg,

    Fair enough, though if you speak to him again please ask if he minds if you post it to LTHForum, a stronghold of loyal Taqueria Puebla customers.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #26 - September 12th, 2006, 8:07 pm
    Post #26 - September 12th, 2006, 8:07 pm Post #26 - September 12th, 2006, 8:07 pm
    You're the one who lives in the town. I can't feel too sorry for you when you can get a cemita and some tacos anytime. :twisted:
  • Post #27 - September 18th, 2006, 5:40 pm
    Post #27 - September 18th, 2006, 5:40 pm Post #27 - September 18th, 2006, 5:40 pm
    This sandwich looks lovely. Has anyone explored the taquerias that run along the north end of Farnsworth in Aurora? I'm much closer to that area and am wondering if this is a common sandwich to the area, or just to that restaurant?

    Ann
  • Post #28 - January 12th, 2007, 1:59 pm
    Post #28 - January 12th, 2007, 1:59 pm Post #28 - January 12th, 2007, 1:59 pm
    Just drove by Taqueria Puebla today and the sign had changed (sorry, no camera with me).

    The painting awning has the word 'Taqueria' painted out.

    The remaining 'Puebla' is intact.

    Anyone know what is going on?
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #29 - January 12th, 2007, 2:03 pm
    Post #29 - January 12th, 2007, 2:03 pm Post #29 - January 12th, 2007, 2:03 pm
    I ate there a week ago and everything was the same as always (damn fine cemita). Talked to Tony and he didn't mention any big changes.
  • Post #30 - January 12th, 2007, 2:08 pm
    Post #30 - January 12th, 2007, 2:08 pm Post #30 - January 12th, 2007, 2:08 pm
    Maybe they are changing the name to eliminate confusion with the other, unrelated, Taqueria Puebla on Milwaukee Ave.

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