Food

No. 18: Cemita Milanesa Res at Tulcingo del Valle

by

A cemita from Tulcingo del Valle is one hell of a meal.

Cemitas are the signature sandwiches of Puebla, a region of Mexico south and east of the capital. These sandwiches are made on round seeded rolls traditionally made with cactus pulp.

Fillings vary — you can put almost anything in a cemita you can put in a taco or huarache — but my favorite is milanesa res, a razor-thin beef cutlet similar to Texas chicken fried steak, only even thinner.

The layers in the above sandwich, from top to bottom:

ROLL
REFRIED BEANS
WHITE OAXACAN CHEESE
BEEF CUTLET
BEEF CUTLET
AVOCADO SLICES
PAPALO LEAVES
CHIPOTLE CHILES
ROLL

Papalo is an herb that tastes something like burning rubber — in a good way. Oaxacan cheese is the stringier cousin of mozzarella.

Tulcingo del Valle is a Hell’s Kitchen Mexican grocery that morphed into a taqueria and then a restaurant, taking over an adjacent storefront as a dining room a few years ago. Check the specials board carefully before you order.

Tulcingo del Valle
665 Tenth Avenue
212-262-5510

100 Days/100 Dishes is an almost-random alphabetical collection of delicious dishes from around the five boroughs. See the entire series so far.

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