Every week, Brooklyn is flooded with 5000+ people a day, as they meander the aisles of food tents known as Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights. From 11-6 on Saturdays and Sundays, you can choose from anywhere from 75-100 vendors that offer specialty honeys, teriaki balls, pizza, and everything else in between. I’m a veteran of Smorgasburg, and while some vendors are mainstays of the food market, there are new ones every year to choose from. So how does one pick from the incredible options? Do you go with well established restaurants and food trucks like Red Hook Lobster, Dough, and Mighty Quinn’s, or do you try lesser-known gambles like Outer Borough, Sunday Gravy or Bolivian Llama Party?
I don’t have all the answers, but I am here to help. Throughout the season, I will be sacrificing myself for you, our readers, and giving you my reviews of various Smorgasburg vendors, one weekend at a time.
Ready for round 4? I AM! This was my birthday weekend (29, thanks) and we all know calories don’t count when it’s your birthday weekend! Feeling free, I used the leftover cash from the drinks I didn’t buy Saturday and took my still-intoxicated self down bright and early to Brooklyn Bridge Park. After fueling up on a cold-press iced coffee from Grady’s Cold Brew, I felt ready to get my eat on.
Feeling the need for something substantial, the bright awning and friendly faces at the Cemita’s stand caught my eye.
A cemita is a mexican torta, originating from Puebla Mexico. The word is for the sandwich as much as it is for the bread it’s served on, usually a roll with sesame seeds and resembles brioche.
Cemita’s at Smorgasburg is logic-defyingly authentic and there is almost never a line, compared to the vendors that surround them where waits can last more than 30 minutes. These sandwiches are surprisingly authentic. The owner Danny Lyu has hired mostly Pueblan chefs and keeps the mexican herb papalo on the top layer of every cemita. Papalo is rarely used in the US, and usually substituted for cilantro. Cemita’s takes great pride in using the real deal amonst the whopping 10 layers that make these sandwiches.
You can also get tacos, but those are less exciting than a real-deal cemita! And don’t miss an opportunity for an authentic Mexican coke! As you can see, my foodie-partner-in-crime didn’t even risk letting me hold the bottle on my own to take the picture. SHARING but whatever.
The food cranks out fast, and in no time we were holding this gem. This is worth every penny and might even be filling enough for you to hit just the one tent and walk out with less pocket damage!
You can catch Cemita’s every Saturday and Sunday at Smorgasburg, and at the 3rd and 3rd Whole Foods in Brooklyn. They are also sister company’s to Head Over Meals, meaning you can have cemitas catered at your wedding and you can definitely invite me.