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Cuban Sandwich/Vietnamese Sandwich

  • m

A visit to Southern Florida piqued my interest in Cuban food- Fell in love with the Cuban Sandwich. Up North here- have eaten one at El Oriental and the Miami in JP. The latter is better all around- freshness, quality, service, atmosphere etc.

I heard that Cafe Pamplona [sp?] in Cambridge/Harvard Sq. serves one. Is this so? Their hours are erratic so it has been tough for me to hit them when they are open.

Any other suggestions as where to find this mini feast? I adore this meal- I even purchased a Cuban Sandwich Press so I can have them at home!

Additionally, I love the Banh Mi which I get in Chinatown- at Banh Mi and at a Vietnamese Grocery Store- forget name.

Has anyone had this sandwich anywhere else around Boston/Cambridge?


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  1. The Montrose Spa on Mass Ave. serves up a really good cubano. It's essentially a neighborhood convenience store -- and not at all the kind of place one would expect to find a good sandwich. Don't let the setting or the help sway your resolve.

    The Phoenix wrote them up a few years ago, and the review included the all-time classic line, "You will need a nap afterward." The article is linked here.

    I understand that there was a cuban sandwich contest at Chez Henri a few years ago, and evidently the Montrose won the title. I think that Chez Henri also offers cubanos on their bar menu, though I haven't tried them.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Gabe Handel

      The Cubanos at Chez Henri are very good and are still available. Great tip on Montrose, I'll give it a try!

      1. re: Joel

        I wasn't that impressed with the Montrose Cubano. Expensive ($5), and they use deli meat, instead of real roasted chicken/pork.

        1. re: JJ

          The Montrose Spa and Chez Henri are in my neighborhood. I just heard as well, from a Cuban pal that the sandwiches at Chez Henri are good.

          I checked out Cafe Pamplona in Harvard Square. What they call Cuban Sandwiches are pathetic- a tiny oval roll with way too much melted cheese and a piece of cold cut ham. For 3.95! Ugh!

          BTW- The Vietnamese store serves a better sandwich than banh mi. It is on Beach street on a corner. $2-


          1. re: Miiki

            The Plough and Stars on Mass Ave in cambridge occasionaly has a very tasty Cuban sandwich on thier lunch menu.


      2. re: Gabe Handel
        Seth Ditchik

        Just had a cubano from Montrose; it was okay, but certainly not "the best cuban sandwich in Boston". Too dry, for starters. The cuban at Chez Henri is better; than again, it costs twice as much.

      3. i'm a chef from the boston area, currently living down south. A good friend of mine is the chef at chez henri, and i must say they make the best cuban sandwich around. of course i'm a little jaded in my opinion, but whenever i'm in town i eat at least 3 on my trip. try 'em out they're great.

        1. i have had a cuban sandwich at the bar side of chez henri in cambridge. very good and also the melrose spa on mass ave in cambridge makes a great one too.

          1. s
            shafon kimthong

            I'm interested in making vietnamese sandwich for my cafe shop but I dont know all the ingrediants in the vietnamese sandwich. Please whomever knows the full ingreidents please email me a.s.a.p. I would be truely grateful. Thanks a billion.

            Bicka Kimthong

            1. I agree with the general take that Chez Henri has the best Cubano, on their bar menu.

              For banh mi, I am a huge fan of Pho Viet, in the food court of the Super 88 in Allston. Their roast pork banh mi is perfect. In Chinatown, there are a whole bunch of places, none of them bad, but my favorite is probably Mike's Banh Mi, inexplicably hidden in a multi-use storefront, for the "vietnamese cold cut".

              Chez Henri
              1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

              Pho Viet
              1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Might be a new record for stepping into the way back machine!

                I had a Pho Viet Bahn mi for lunch today. Good as ever, although I forgot to ask for it spicy so I had to doctor it up at home. YUMZ!!!

                Pho Viet
                1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                1. re: yumyum

                  Prav has DivGuy beat in the relic dept.


                  Love the Pho Viet banh mi. Just be aware if you order the shredded pork...clear, very chewy something or other...maybe tripe? Not what I was expecting. Need to get back there soon.

                  Pho Viet
                  1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                  1. re: bear

                    That's hilarious bear! I missed that. Prav is a gem.

              2. Chez Henri is the best Cuban that I've had around here; and one of the best sandwiches period. But if you're looking for a real Cuban- you probably won't find it. For me, it's all about the bread... and I don't know if anyone around here is making real Cuban bread! Then again, I'm Cuban- so perhaps I expect too much? If anyone knows of a place that's making Cuban bread (usually made with lard), please tell me!

                Chez Henri
                1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                1. The best Banh Mi sandwiches that I've had in Boston have been at Bobalicious in Newton. Their bread comes from a bakery in Dorchester. Banh Mi Ba Le in Dorchester and Pho Viet in the Super 88/Hong Kong Market food court also make really terrific Banh Mi.

                  Banh Mi Ba Le
                  1052 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

                  308 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

                  Pho Viet
                  1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: lipoff

                    Isn't Bobalicious closed?

                    308 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

                    1. re: galleygirl

                      The person who reported that gave an update in the April openings/closings thread saying they were open.

                      1. re: LStaff

                        Oops, my bad then...Of course, I never really got excited about their sandwiches...

                        1. re: LStaff

                          That person would be me. They sent an email saying they were closing, but never did. However, when I last went, there were new people working there and my banh mi was a disappointment.

                        2. re: galleygirl

                          Not as of two weekends ago! Has something changed since then? I haven't seen the original owners around for a while, to be honest, but everything seems to taste the same.

                      2. Just outside the inside entrance to the Kan Man Market in Quincy is a small counter place that makes the best Banh Mi that I've had. I tried the one at the corner of Beach St in Chinatown as well as the one at Pho Viet in Allston. The Quincy one was much more flavorful and there was more filling. Very nice people too. The woman that made my sandwich in the shop at the corner of Beach acted like I was interrupting her day by coming in and was really put out that she had to actually do something like make my sandwich!

                        Pho Viet
                        1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                        Beach St Cafe
                        35 Beach St, Manchester, MA 01944

                        1. Volle Nolle on Hanover in the North End makes a tasty Cuban sandwich..lunch only. Not the same as "authentic" S Fl, but very tasty.

                          Old thread but Cuban sandwiches and Banh Mi are still in style..:)

                          Volle Nolle
                          351 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113