The humongous cemita from La Fiesta in Mott Haven is surely one of the world’s great gutbombs.
Cemitas are the signature sandwiches of Puebla in southern Mexico, the state from which many New York immigrants come. The hubcab-size round sandwich is made with a special roll that often contains cactus pulp. It is a pleasing shade of medium brown and comes well-coated with sesame seeds.
The sandwich usually contains stringy white quesillio cheese, sliced avocado, astringent and aromatic papalo leaves, a homemade chipotle sauce, and your choice of fillings. In this case, I went right for the pata, gelatinous stewed cow foot, but there are plenty of other fillings available at La Fiesta: milanesa de res (a beef schnitzel, the most popular filling), milanesa de pollo, jamon, pierna adobada, carne enchilada (con rajas), carne arabe, al pastor, carnitas, Cubana (a Puebla riff on a Cuban sandwich), and Hawaii (eek! pineapple and boiled ham). 415 East 138th Street, Bronx, 718-585-5730
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 12, 2009