52. Cemita de Milanesa at La Cemita Poblana

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Dave Lieberman
There's no excuse for anti-cemita-ism.
Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Any time a description of a sandwich includes "huge, sesame seed-studded roll" and "breaded, deep-fried meat", you already know it's going to be a winner, whether it's an enormous tenderloin sandwich in Iowa or Indiana, or a chicken-fried steak sandwich from a greasy spoon in Texas.

Cemitas poblanas are no different. While Santa Ana's La Cemita Poblana stand will put any kind of meat they have on the huge, sesame seed-studded roll, the best option is milanesa, especially beef milanesa, a large, thin schnitzel with a vampire-repelling amount of garlic, topped with Oaxacan quesillo string cheese, chile chipotle, onion, and avocado. (You can choose whether to add the medicinal pápalo herb; I never do.) Something about the combination of flavors makes the sandwich so amazing that I never manage to set it back down on the plate.

It's a calorie bomb, but oh, what a delicious calorie bomb, and it costs closer to $5 than to $10. How can you go wrong?

See also:

The List:

53. Meatballs and Polenta at 320 Main
54. Shellfish (Ốc) at Hien Vuong Da Kao
55. Basic Bol at Boldo Bol
56. Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill
57. 10-Item Plate at Thuan Kieu Noodle & Grill
58. Leche Frita at Cafe Sevilla
59. Happy Hour Sushi at Ginzaya
60. Red Beans and Rice at Disneyland's French Market
61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero
62. Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at Little Sparrow
63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna
64. Husky Burger at Husky Boy Burgers
65. Love Bagel from Koffee Klatch
66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery
67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill
68. PB & J At Hopscotch
69. Takuwan Sushi from AnQi by Crustacean
70. Ube Ensaymadas from The Ensaymada Project
71. Pork Bánh Mì at the OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market
72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales
73. Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House
74. Doughnuts from Sidecar
75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita
76. Oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Orange Homegrown Farmers Market
77. Lemon Miso Crab Melt at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach
78. Pani Puri from Adya
79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger
80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place
81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not
82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo
83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery
84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle
85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café
86. Smoked Trout at Provenance
87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant
88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro
89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong
90. Poke at Costco Tustin II
91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos
92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House
93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas
94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe
95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's
96. Jajangmyeong from Ching Chinese Express
97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch
98. Any Special Dinner by Old Vine Cafe's Mark McDonald
99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels
100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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Location Info

La Cemita Poblana

519 S. Main St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Restaurant


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5 comments
fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

That looks so good even though I don't like avocados (not for lack of trying...honest!).

mhip
mhip

Would it kill you to throw a map up on these?

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Just say NO to pápalo

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

@mhip Thanks for the heads up -- I've been attaching the map but apparently it isn't working. La Cemita Poblana is on South Main and Camile in Santa Ana.

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