Great Cuban Sandwich near Wall Street
Of all places you could possibly find one, check out the Classic Deli on Pearl street between Hanover and Broad, right between Zigolinis and Ranch 1.
Its your basic quick takeout wall-street deli place -- most chowhounds wouldnt give it a second look, but they make a killer cuban, simply made out of roast pork, deli ham, swiss cheese, pickles and grilled in a sandwich press. Their twist -- the bread is garlic bread on a standard french loaf -- and it works!
Sorry about the tone, but in New York, we Chowhounds deserve to have the real thing!
The sandwich at this deli might be called a cuban sandwich, but it is no cuban sandwich, or at best a pale gringo-fied imitation of the genuine article.
Areal cuban sandwich is made on cuban bread, not italian, which is far, far heavier. And a real cuban sandwich is pressed, which this sandwich is not, unless you ask for it special, which they really resisted doing - and its unclear italian bread could ever be pressed like cuban bread anyway. A real cuban sandwich is made with fine roast pork, redolent of garlic, and if you're lucky, or you ask for it, with some of the crackling edges left on. The meat at this place is more like a pork roll than real roast pork - garlic not much in evidence - the gringoes have taken over.
On the plus side, a cuban sandwich generally does not have a "new dill" pickle on it, although this actually was good - perhaps an improvement on the original, but its a matter of taste. Another thing that was right, was that it had real swiss cheese - the dominican places, e.g. el papasito (a wonderful establishment recommended in alphahound's book -which although it has great food, and good roast pork, makes rotten cuban sandwiches) often use gloppy american cheese, or perhaps even something that resembles velveeta. Finally, a real cuban sandwhich has real mojo, made from scratch (that wonderful elixer of the gods made with lime juice, olive oil, oregano sometimes, and plenty of garlic - something really not in evidence at this establishment.
Not that this was a bad sandwich, but it was no cuban sandwich. Stick with Sophie's or 92 on Fulton if you have to one downtown. Or better yet go over to La Isla in Hoboken, Mundo Latino on Bergenline in North Bergen, Las Americas in Jersey City or 100 other wonderful establishments on the other side of the river.
re: andrew reibman
re: Jason "Calle Ocho" Perlow
just so you don't wander in vain...
sophie's is at 106 greenwich, not on fulton. just around the corner is a good (and an authentic) mexican place, Tajin, at 85 greenwich and a decent jamaican place, Cacique upstairs at 94 and 1/2. there's also an excellent bibbimbap place (frequented by my korean associates) on maiden (or it john st.).
all of these establishments stand head and shoulders above the unwashed mass of downtown food hell, although none is nearly the best of their respective cuisines in the city, or even arguably in the big league, i.e. none is worth a trip from outside of food hell.
92 is a different establishment, on Fulton.
I think this has been mentioned once or twice in the last year but, if you want a good cuban sandwich downtown, what about Sophie's? Location at 106 Greenwich is Little Havana-style counter hole-in-the-wall with a few chairs. There's also a new fancy location at 73 New Street that I haven't tried. Great cuban sandwiches, steak sandwiches, ropa vieja, picadillo, chuletas, batidos, cafecitos. One of the best authentic cuban places in NYC. Second maybe to La Chinita Linda in Chelsea.
re: Amanda Plyley
re: Jeff F
I paid a visit there today. Thanks.
The sandwich was freshly prepared and delicious, though perhaps a bit mustard-heavy for my own personal taste. It being after 2pm, everything else was essentially sold out, which seems like a good sign.
My sole previous exposure to Cuban sandwiches was at least five years ago in a mall shop, albeit it Miami, from which I don't think I remember a significant mustard contribution. Any comments from experts here?
FWIW, another friend who claims to know the cuisine loved the sandwich at Sophie's (on Pearl Street).
The Sophie empire also appears to be expanding; the current phone book lists additional locations on Greenwich and on New Streets.
Those unfortunate enough to be eating dinner in the Wall Street area please note: All three Sophie's close at 4pm.