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Cemitas Poblanas Tepeaca


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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 03:15 PM

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Recently heard about "the best cemitas in Portland" from one of my Mexican vendors. He gave me sketchy directions, so while on the westside Friday, I decided to search it out.

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They serve only one thing -- cemitas -- with various fillings:
  • cueritos (slow cooked pork skin)
  • milanesa de res (chicken fried steak)
  • milanesa de pollo (chicken fried chicken)
  • queso de puerco (head cheese)
  • jamon (ham)
  • quesillo (Mexican mozz)
  • pierna enchilada (pork leg in red chile sauce)
  • carne asada (grilled beef)
  • pata de res (cow foot)

You can also combine any of these together. Prices start at $6.

If you're not familiar with a cemita poblana, it's the iconic sandwich of Puebla, consisting of various meats, quesillo, avocado, chipotles cooked in a sauce sweetened with piloncillo, and usually papalo -- a pungent herb -- on a round bun, sometimes topped with sesame seeds. Generally cemita bread has a little bit of crustiness to it, yet isn't too flaky, and a light sweetness. It's soft inside, but should have enough structure to hold the sandwich pretty firmly. I can't think of any bread here that truly compares.

On my last visit to Puebla, some friends who live there took me to what they consider the best cemitas joint in all of Puebla, in the Mercado El Carmen. Here are videos:




This wasn't THAT good, but it was still a damn good sandwich. In fact, it was good enough that the leftover half I took to my friend later that night was declared "even better than that other place's torta" -- that other place being La Catrina and that other torta being the Cubana. I won't make that proclamation, but I will actually get to the sandwich in question now.

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I ordered a pretty standard combination, jamon and milanesa. This was $8 and enormous. I could barely get my mouth around it and could only finish half.

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It was tasty, too. They didn't have any papalo, which was a little disappointing, especially since I know there's a supplier in Hillsboro, but also because several of the markets have it this time of year. It's a acrid herb, though, almost a cross between epazote and cilantro, so a lot of people don't like it. The cheese wasn't especially good quesillo, probably just regular mozzarella, and the bread, while decent quality, wasn't really a full-on Puebla-style cemita, but it's probably the best they can do here.

With all those caveats in mind, again, this was tasty. The milanesa was tender and lightly breaded. The jamon was just supermarket ham, but added a nice sweetness. There was a generous layer of avocado off-set by a even more dominant layer of sweet chipotles. They ask if you want chipotles or not. You do. They pretty much make the sandwich and it wouldn't be balanced without them. The bread held up surprisingly well.

I showed the pictures to Rosi, my cook from Puebla who lives out that way, and she was familiar with it. She says the pierna enchilada is the best choice. I'm thinking that and milanesa next time, perhaps.

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Cemitas Poblanas Tepeaca
620 W Main St
Hillsboro, OR 97123
503.713.7798

Not sure on the hours. I had heard that it's only weekends, starting Friday. But I forgot to ask.

Cemitas Poblanas Tepeaca
Cemitas Poblanas Tepeaca >>>

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#2 Pambazo!

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:44 AM

Sounds like it is worth a try and a drive out to Hillsboro... no papalo no real queso is a bummer but sounds like they still manage to put out a good product.

#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:54 AM

Most of the El Mexicano and Cacique "queso oaxaca" is nearly indistinguishable from mozz at twice the price or more, so it doesn't bother me much. You have to really look around for decent brands like Don Froylan or Los Altos, and even those are more like commercial mozz. I miss the days when there were so many Mexican immigrants around that Su Casa was importing quality queso oaxaca. I didn't have time to chit chat with her, but if anyone else gets there, you can tell her she can get papalo from Amaro Produce, which does several farmers markets.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#4 jennifer

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:40 PM

Here's a great step-by-step on how these sandwiches are made, and an explanation of the ingredients. DDD visits Cemitas Puebla in Chicago. The shop owner flies to Mexico every 4 - 6 weeks to get ingredients and bring them back:



#5 ExtraMSG

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:18 PM

Not sure if it's the same truck, since I didn't stop, but it appeared that perhaps this truck has moved closer in, next to Tom's Pancake House on Canyon. (When the hell does it become TV Hwy?) Hopefully one of you westies can figure it out.

12925 SW Canyon Rd, Beaverton, OR

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#6 Jill-O

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:12 PM

(When the hell does it become TV Hwy?)
12925 SW Canyon Rd, Beaverton, OR


When it crosses Hocken (or possibly where Broadway splits off from it going southeast), I believe...
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#7 Flynn

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:56 PM

What day/time did you see it?

#8 ExtraMSG

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:20 PM

Monday. Saw it at 1:45pm and at 7:30pm. It was in the gas station lot just west of Tom's.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#9 StMaximo

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

Hocken is about right - maybe a couple of hundred yards past Cedar Hill Blvd to the west.

The WWW is amazing! Canyon Road has it's own Wikipedia Page

#10 friedalighthouse

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:03 PM

I may have a favorite westside lunch spot! I went today and got the pierna enchilada sandwich, $6.50. Lovely shards of pork cooked with a flavorful chile sauce, lots of gooey avocado, nice warmed bread with the barest bit of crisp in the crust. I sat in my car eating it making happy sounds. I'll meet any westside worker here any time for lunch!

#11 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

Just an FYI. The cemitas truck on Canyon is not the same as the cemitas truck in Hillsboro in this thread. I'd say the latter is better than the former, but I'll post when I get a chance. Just uploaded the photos but about to go rent a car to tour the Oaxaca Valley.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#12 friedalighthouse

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:28 PM

Just saw this on Yelp while trying to find if the Cemitas Poblanas truck was still on Cedar Hills & Canyon. Can't vouch for the info, but it was from only about three weeks ago:

 

"Was looking for the truck this weekend and it appears this food truck has moved sites. Now located across the street from natural grocers in Beaverton on SW Broadway ST. (near NAPA) on fresh start detail's parking lot."



#13 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:06 PM

There are two different Cemitas Poblanas trucks however.  The one that was in Beaverton has moved, but I wasn't sure where.  So my guess is that the one for this thread hasn't and the other one has.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#14 friedalighthouse

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:24 AM

I'll check it out soon and see if I can figure it out.



#15 levbarg

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 10:09 AM

This is awfully exciting.  I've always thought of cemitas as Supertortas®.  Never understood quite why the torta became the popular one of those two Mexican sandwiches.

 

Was at the Portland Mercado for the first time this weekend.  They need a cemita truck.

 

Mr Taster



#16 pwillen1

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 06:18 AM

there's a Cemitas truck on your way to Costco at 131st and Sandy.


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#17 EvaB

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 09:22 AM

there's a Cemitas truck on your way to Costco at 131st and Sandy.

Has anyone been to this truck? 


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#18 nervousxtian

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 01:38 PM

I drive by it quite often, but never stopped.    I drove by it last Friday.. and almost stopped.. but kids wanted hot dogs instead..  Costco 1.50 is hard to resist.



#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 03:09 PM

Get a name/pic if you can.  Maybe it's just moved from a different area.  I'll try it when I get back in town.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#20 EvaB

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:45 PM

The truck, or a truck, has been there for a long time. I asked you about it last year and you said you don't go to Costco so didn't know about it. I have a Costco list so I will try to go tomorrow and check it out.


Cool Moon Ice Cream

with apologies to Jack Prelutsky's "Bleezer's Ice Cream Store"

I am Eva Marianna
I run COOL MOON ICE CREAM STORE,
there are flavors in my freezer you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor, try the flavors on my list...