What to eat this weekend: Cemita’s Mexican Sandwiches at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Date October 28, 2011

Cemita's Mexican Sandwiches

Cemita's Mexican Sandwiches

The cemita is the Rolls Royce of Mexican sandwiches; no extravagance is spared. From bottom to top: black beans, mayo, meat, lettuce, tomato, pickled onion, stringy Mexican white cheese, avocado, papalo – a pungent Mexican herb whose strength puts cilantro to shame – and a spread of stewed chipotle pepper, all enclosed in a soft, eggy, seeded bun. Most American sandwiches want to be it. And if you’re going to sell them, you may as well just call your business “Cemita.” No other name will do it justice. That’s exactly what Cemita’s owner Danny Lyu did for his Mexican sandwich stand at Smorgasburg, the food-only extension of Brooklyn Flea based at the Williamsburg waterfront on weekends. A plate-sized panko crusted chicken cutlet ($9, top) juts out from both ends of the towering sandwich before its all wrapped in wax paper, a necessary evil if you want to maintain any semblance of order and front-of-shirt cleanliness during eating. It’s worth arriving early for the breakfast special cemita ($5.50, above), served from 10am-11:30am; eggs, beans, cheese, chorizo, pico de gallo, and tater tots – both inside your sandwich and scattered around the tray – will make you a morning person. If there’s a Mexican deli near your house, odds are they sell cemitas too, but if you want your first experience to be the best, head over to Smorgasburg. It will be on the waterfront for just three more weekends before moving to a heated tent at One Hanson Place in Fort Greene on Nov. 19.

Cemita’s Mexican Sandwiches Link Sat & Sun 10am-5pm at Smorgasburg Link Williamsburg waterfront b/t North 6th and North 7th St at the East River, 10am-5pm

14 Responses to “What to eat this weekend: Cemita’s Mexican Sandwiches at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn”

  1. Sal said:

    the first sandiwch is all lettuce and cheese theres hardly any chicken man. for $9 thats a terrible deal

  2. rosemary said:

    I have to get to this next year as did the regular flea this year and the food there was amazing! These look so yummy!!

  3. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Do you even read the posts or just look at the photos and bestow judgement? If you had read the story, you would read that the chicken cutlet juts out the back of each half; as much chicken as there is in the sandwich, there’s that much falling out the side. The proportions of all ingredients are in balance. Do you have a problem with there being a lot of cheese on a sandwich? Or a lot of lettuce if everything still works together in balance? You also can’t get a sense of how massive this sandwich is just from the photo.

    If you’re in New York City and you can’t handle opening your wallet for fewer than $10 for a sandwich of this size and quality, you have no place on this site. That’s even more true if all your going to do is constantly bat things down that you don’t like and NEVER offer a more positive alternative. I’m fine with people speaking their minds about the content of this site as long as it relates to food in a constructive manner. You don’t have to like everything I post but you’re providing no service to anyone by only being negative. If you don’t like something or think its too expensive, your comment has no value if you’re not offering a better alternative. The comment section of this site is no place for pure negativity. Your comments make you sound like Scrooge. Prove me wrong, just don’t be a jerk about it.

    You’re off moderation. Prove that you deserve it.

  4. Sal said:

    food guy, i’m not sure you’re the most savvy businessman, telling one of your few readers that they have no place on this site because they voice opinions that you don’t agree with. that’s what the internet is for — OPINIONS. your reviews, positive or negative, are your opinions. do you even have any culinary background? what makes your opinion so much better than anyone else’s? and how can you say that a comment saying “there’s not enough chicken on this sandwich in comparison to everything else on it” doesn’t relate to food in a constructive manner? so you disagree, you think there is enough chicken. you post a food blog for the public to read and comment on, you’re inviting criticism. you act as though you’re personally offended by me saying that i think a sandwich is overpriced — did you make the sandwich? do you own the restaurant and set the price of the sandwich? i dont think so.

    your comment above reflects extremely poorly on you. it honestly makes you come off as a real self-righteous doosh. you should probably be the one to prove that you deserve to have any readers return to this site

  5. The NYC Food Guy said:


    Thanks Sal. This can all end simply.

    Can you tell us about a cemita you like more? Can you find us a cemita with better value? Do the words “there is as much chicken jutting out the ends of the sandwich as there is inside” mean anything to you? So all the chicken isn’t pictured right between the rolls. Can you see what’s happening beneath the sandwich in the photo? Until you go pick up this cemita and experience it first hand, how can you be sure this is a terrible deal?

    I’m not out there eating food everyday, photographing it and sleeping too few hours every night to mislead you.

    I don’t want to argue with you. You’re off moderation and if you write lascivious comments, I’ll probably delete them because its my blog. You don’t like that? Go write your own blog.

    All I want is for your to help us learn about more good food, because I can’t be everywhere at once. Can you do that?

    NYC Food Guy

  6. Phil said:

    FG – have you tried the breakfast cemita?? looks absolutely delicious…

  7. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Not to sound like a jerk, but did you read the review I wrote? I featured the breakfast cemita, and it was delicious!

  8. Phil said:


    Of course I read the review, otherwise I wouldn’t be commenting, right? You simply mentioned that the breakfast cemita is worth arriving early for and then simply described what’s in it. That’s something I could figure out from the menu. You went into zero detail, so I simply asked if you tried it. Yikes, didn’t mean to touch a nerve there, pal.

  9. The NYC Food Guy said:

    No nerve touched my friend. My response to your initial comment was said with a smile on my face. Sorry for not going into more detail, tried to keep it short and sweet. The breakfast cemita was awesome. How can a sandwich like this not be good?!

  10. Sal said:

    you really need to consider the fact that we people at work just glance over your site — we don’t sit here and take in every word you write. no need to be an a-hole to Phil. And To answer your question to him, I think if the sandwich had a better chicken:toppings ratio, it would certainly be more appealing.

    on a more positive note (since you want positive, agreeing comments), those waffles look pretty incredible, however i might stick with the $2 frozen eggos at Food Emporium.

  11. Jon said:

    I need to get to this place before they close for the year, everything I read about it sounds so good!!

  12. The NYC Food Guy said:


    With all due respect, you’ve always impressed me with your borderline encyclopedic knowledge of my posts. I remember you once called me on a contradictory statement that was based on something I wrote years before. Either way, you’re totally right about people just skimming and I apologized to Phil because truly, no nerve was touched by his comment.

    And I respect your opinion on the chicken sandwich. I’m going to work on finding you a cemita with a better ratio.

    And lastly, if you’re sticking with the frozen Eggos, which are pretty awesome, you should look out for the cinnamon brown sugar ones. I found them Hurricane weekend by accident, they were the only ones left in the freezer. Butter and syrup those puppies and you’re good to go.

    Despite Sal’s reserves, I still stand by the Cemita stand! Smorgasburg won’t close, it will just move locations. The last weekend in Williamsburg is Nov. 12-13. Then it moves to Fort Greene on Nov. 19.

  13. Orlando said:

    Hey, the Cemita looks delicious. I’d like for you to try a Cemita from Cafe Ollin in Spanish Harlem. I’m sure it will impress your taste buds.

  14. What to do Saturday: Free food & beer at Smorgasburg for Cooking Channel’s 2nd Birthday | NYC Food Guy said:

    […] food on sale and worth eating at Smorgasburg: Asia Dog, Bon Chovie, Cemita’s Mexican Sandwiches, Country Boys huarache, anything from Danny Macaroons or First Prize Pies, a BLT at Landhaus, beer […]

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