Los Carnalitos (Hayward)

Cemitas, a Pueblan type of torta, are hard to come by in the Bay Area. Los Carnalitos’ version is a monster sized stack of milanesa, slightly melted quesillo (a salty string cheese), avocado, and a smoky chili paste on a brioche like bun. I’ve had a bunch of these from the Redwood City food truck, and I am pumped that they finally opened a brick and mortar in Hayward.

If they were located in San Francisco, this would easily make it onto one of those listicles of the best sandwiches.

Also on the menu are several items made from fresh masa, including things like squash blossom quesadillas. I didn’t have a chance to try their al pastor , traditionally made on the spit with pineapple on the top, but if it’s anywhere near as good as the one from their truck, I’m a fool for not getting some to go.


Do Los Carnalitos’ cemitas come with papalos?

The times I’ve had it at the truck is had papalo (possibly watercress— I wouldn’t know the difference), but it wasn’t included at the brick and mortar.

Next time I’m there I’ll ask—- the sandwich is very hearty and could use some peppery, herbaceous bitterness.

IAfter I read yours and @Mr_Happy’s post, I recalled a cemita at the La Poblanita truck months ago. They sure loaded up on the papalo. I don’t eat cemitas often so I don’t encounter papalos often, but to me, its taste is very distinctive from and much stronger than watercress. I must say I am not used to the taste and end up having to take a bunch of them out of the cemita. Whereas I can eat watercress in quantity in veggie and soup form.


How wide is that sandwich? I didn’t remember it as such from the truck, but the Carnalitos cemita was eatable because it took advantage of it’s wing span (5-6") rather than cramming vertically like a Dagwood.

Between my, your, and @Mr_Happy’s post (wow, that does look like too much cheese), I think we’ve got cemitas covered!

The La Poblanita one is maybe 5" across. Its not good. The meat had a subpar texture and was oversalted to the point where eating them became impossible.

We tried out Los Carnalitos in Hayward, it’s near the Yogurtland, T-Mobile strip mall, and Target in Hayward on Industrial Pkwy. Thanks to Hyperbowler’s post and his mention of best al pastor in the Bay Area.

If you want to dine in, tell the cashier and they will seat you, or you can order take-out at the register.

We ordered:

2 al pastor tacos $2ea - they are small tacos double wrapped in tiny corn tortillas with a lot of meat, some salsa, and tiny slice of pineapple. 2 slices of cucumber. Tasty.

B. got a beef tostada $6 - tostada, meat, salsa, some cheese. He liked it.

1 quesadillas huitlacoche (corn smut) $8 - it looked pretty big, lightly grilled, mild taste, cheese, and shredded lettuce. we liked it.

No more aguas frescas per waiter - I wanted to try mango aguas frescas and he said only bottled sodas. We just got tap water.

They take credit card.

Only minus for me is it took a long time to get our food and it wasn’t that busy. I think I will call in my order next time and take-out.

Closed Sun
M-Th 11-8
F-Sat 11-9

Address: 30200 Industrial Pkwy, Hayward
They also have location in Redwood City: 2907 El Camino Real, RWC


Katherine Hamilton covered them in the East Bay Express.

Sadly they no longer have cemitas. Also, their trumpo is broken so it’ll take a few weeks before they’ll be able to make their al pastor in the traditional way. However they’re currently making it, it still tastes really good.

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Trumpo has been fixed! (Based on a recent phone call)