Sunday, January 31, 2010
I actually first read about Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron from the Teenage Gluster blog. At the time, I was actually more enthralled at the wall paintings than the food. I just found them so amusing, but then I finally re-grouped and read Teenage Gluster's description of the food and it definitely sounded very appealing. Knowing that Pal Cabron, for short, was owned by sister and brother, Bricia and Fernando Lopez, whose family also owns Guelguetza, I wanted to check it out even more. About a month after that post, I got invited via Gluster to a Cemitas Party hosted by the restaurant. How could I say no to that?
Walking in, the first place I looked was up and there they were, 11 women painted on the wall. From modest to quite naughty, each of the women represents 1 of 11 cemitas, while a 12th cemita isn't. By the way, if you're not familiar with what a cemita is, it's a Mexican sandwich that is different from a torta in that the bread is a sesame-seeded egg roll. Traditional ingredients include sliced avocado, white cheese, onions, a Chipotle sauce and some type of meat and that's pretty much what you'd see on a Pal Cabron Cemita.
At this gathering, all the cemitas were out for sampling as well as a Clayuda. Thankfully, the cemitas were cut into smaller sections, which made easy to try quite a few of them, if not all. So I present to you the Cemitas Sandwich Menu presented with their female counterparts, starting with La Tetanic, a Breaded Chicken Cemita.
La Muy Muy: Breaded Beef or Pork Cemita
La Gordis: Pork Head Cheese Sandwich
La Mas Cabrona: Breaded Beef and Pork Head Cheese Cemita
La Cachonda: Leg of Cattle Seared in Vinegar Cemita
La Bronca: Spicy Shredded Pork Cemita
La Pipris Nais: Ham Cemita
La Chirris: Chorizo Cemita
La de Barbacha: Seasoned Lamb Cemita
La Brava: Marinated Pork Cemita
La Tuya: Make Your Own Combination. The one shown below has no meat.
La Chupitos: Roasted Pork Cemita (the only cemita that doesn't have female counterpart). I think it's because it's considered too much of a manly sandwich? :)
We also had a taste of one of their Clayudas. The ingredients included aciento (chicarron spread), black beans, queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese, cabbage, tazajo (beef) and cecina enchilada (pork).
One of the things I really enjoyed about the cemitas was the bread. Crusty on the outside, but soft in the inside and all baked on site. Freshly baked bread is the way to go when it comes to any type of sandwich. Of all the cemitas I tried, it was definitely all about the pork for me. The Spicy Shredded Cemita had wonderful heat to it while the Chorizo Cemita made my tastebuds sing. I also liked the slight fattiness of the Roasted Pork Cemita. Along with the cemitas, I enjoyed a Michelada for the first time.
The Michelada is a drink made with beer, tabasco, lemon and worcestershire sauce and is rimmed with a Oaxacan imported chile salt, which has a very interesting ingredient. Simply, the chile salt includes ground agave worms. Putting my lips to any part of a worm was something I would never usually consider, but for this drink, it didn't bother me a bit.
Also on hand were their Horchatas, a rice drink with cactus syrup, cantaloupe and nuts.
Overall, I really enjoyed both the food and the quirkiness of wall art of this restaurant and if it was only closer to me, I'd definitely be visiting it more often. To end, here is some more wall art seen around the restaurant.
Even the bathrooms are a fun visit.
Finally, I thought these handprints by Bricia and Fernando were sweet.
Click here to see all 113 photos!
Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron
2560 E. Gage Avenue
Huntington Park, CA 90255
Please join my dining group, Pleasure Palate, for our very own Cemitas Party. Click here for more info!