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A Sandwich a Day: Al Pastor Cemita at Tulcingo Del Valle
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
The bun doesn't really taste like a cemita, and the al pastor within is unconventionally rich in sweet chipotle sauce, but there's still something to love about this sandwich ($8) from Tulcingo Del Valle.
Because that Oxacan cheese tows the line just right between stringy and gooey, and it's laid on in ample enough proportion to hold its own against the crisp-edged pork sopped with moody chipotle heat. Avocado and refried beans add creaminess, and if you find yourself missing the papalo—the breezy aromatic herb that's almost as essential as the poofy sesame seed bun—the chili-spiked oil that soaks into the bread makes up for it.
It's a hefty, more-than-satisfying lunch for one, though admittedly smaller than many of the overstuffed numbers you'll find in Queens. I think this is a good thing, though, as those monsters are impossible to finish without feeling like you swallowed a bus. This one is, so far as it goes, portion control.