There are food events you wait the whole year for—the Green City Market BBQ, the Taste of the Nation benefit for Share Our Strength (which, now that I mention it, is tonight), Lula Cafe‘s annual Halloween party in which it dresses up as another restaurant.

And then there’s Brisket Cemita Night at Smoque.

Once or twice a year the popular Mexican sandwich shop Cemitas Puebla—which I wrote about just last week—and the possibly even more popular barbecue spot Smoque get together and serve Smoque’s brisket on Cemitas Puebla’s distinctive crunchy roll, with Oaxacan cheese, avocado, and both barbecue sauce and chipotle sauce.

As Smoque co-owner Barry Sorkin says, “Turns out barbecue sauce and chipotles go together pretty well. Who knew?”

The idea came about when Sorkin and Cemitas Puebla owner Tony Anteliz, both of whom had been to the other’s restaurant, were communicating on Twitter. A customer joke-tweeted something about the two of them collaborating on a brisket cemita, and before long Sorkin turned up with a parcel of brisket and they gave it a try. The first Brisket Cemitas Night was in November 2011, and they’ve done it a few times since, always winding up with lines running out of Smoque’s front door, and occasionally running out of fixings (Sorkin says that yesterday they made a last-minute run to Cemitas Puebla for more rolls).

This year Anteliz brought another dish to the party: frijoles charros, beans with hot dogs, bacon, and chiles de arbol. As I was polishing them off right at the starting time of 5:30 PM, the line was already extending toward the door, with at least one name food figure—Check, Please! executive producer David Manilow—waiting for his chance at a brisket cemita along with the rest of the crowd. If you missed it last night, you’re out of luck for now, but the brisket cemitas should be back in another six months to a year.

  • Michael Gebert
  • Tony Anteliz and Barry Sorkin model the superhero T-shirts created for the occasion.