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Cuban sandwich

liv4food Feb 17, 2004 02:25 AM

I saw a segment today on the Food Network where they featured a "Cuban" style sandwich. The sandwich is similar to a submarine sandwich, however, a "Cuban" style roll (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside) is used instead of a french roll. It is piled high with an equal amount of ham and roast pork, cheese and lettuce. It is then placed under a "George Foreman Style" grill to melt the cheese. Anyone out there in Chowland know where I can find such a sandwich in San Francisco? Thanks.

  1. Robert Lauriston Jun 15, 2009 08:05 AM

    Bumped topic alert, most of the posts above are from 2004. Cafe Lo Cubano, Myth Cafe, and Habana on Van Ness closed.

    Here's the most recent topic on the subject:


    1. s
      Satyr Apr 1, 2008 05:21 PM

      There's a great place in San Rafael called Sol Food..I think it's on 3rd St. Great sandos-they do a Cuban-plus a few others. They do a beef w/ avocado grilled-sounds weird, but it's heaven...it's casual and crowded, but open late on the weekends for the after bar crowd...only drawback is no beer/wine...the food is heaven though!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Satyr
        Robert Lauriston Apr 1, 2008 05:33 PM

        I just went there. Not very impressed. I reported on it in this more recent Cuban sandwich topic:


      2. a
        angelheadedhip Apr 1, 2008 01:10 PM

        Myth Cafe/Cafe Myth on Washington has a pulled pork panini with cheese, mustard, pickles, ham and the pulled pork you're craving. Give it a shot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: angelheadedhip
          Robert Lauriston Apr 1, 2008 01:16 PM

          Is Myth Cafe still open?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            lmarie Apr 1, 2008 02:06 PM

            No. I walked by today and there was a sign on the door "Closed for Remodeling."

        2. mariacarmen Apr 30, 2007 02:16 PM

          try this place: http://www.birleys.com/menu_order_for...
          i've not yet had, i believe, a truly authentic cuban sandwich, but this sandwich is pretty good. it has the requisite pickles, roasted pork, ham . .. this one has a spicy orange-colored sauce which i'm pretty sure is typical, but it's pretty good. the bread, however, is not a roll, but it is grilled, like a panini. anyway, it's good, but again, not sure if i've had the real deal yet. WHY OH WHY did i not have one all those times i went to miami?

          1. The Librarian Apr 26, 2007 08:08 PM

            I was at the Marina Safeway yesterday and noticed that they now have a "Cuban" sandwich as one of their panini sandwiches in the deli. I have no idea if it's any good, but maybe someone can check them out.

            7 Replies
            1. re: The Librarian
              Chipotle Apr 28, 2007 10:33 AM

              It's good, but it's not really a Cuban sandwich -- it's a pork panini somebody read Hemingway to. :)

              The best Cuban sandwich I've had in the Bay Area was probably the one at Sol Food in San Rafael, although the one at La Bodeguita Del Medio in Palo Alto is good. Both of them are, however, dismayingly expensive compared to what I'm used to (particularly La Bodeguita's) -- I moved out here from Tampa, Florida, a few years ago.

              There are a couple Cuban restaurants in San Jose, but the only one I've been to didn't seem to actually have a Cuban sandwich. Go figure.

              1. re: Chipotle
                Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2007 01:06 PM

                Habana Cuba has one on their lunch menu.


                1. re: Chipotle
                  Agent 510 Apr 28, 2007 03:56 PM

                  I've tried the Sol Food version. Tell them to hold the mustard, and it's a real Cuban. Not bad at all!

                  I'm guessing at most of these places, the goal isn't to duplicate the original (aka what you'd find in FL or Cuba) but to offer their own spin on it. There just aren't that many people from those places around here, so nobody will care if it's not the same.

                  1. re: Chipotle
                    OldTimer Apr 28, 2007 04:51 PM

                    I am surprized that anyone (especially a Tampan) thinks the Sol food Cuban sandwich is more than barely edible. Shredded pork...come on! It was skimpy and rather tasteless. I will not return. I'll just wait until I get to Tampa again for the real thing. It is so easy to make, I'm surprised Sol Food messes it up so well. I did like the shrimp and rice dish, tho.

                    1. re: OldTimer
                      Mick Ruthven Apr 28, 2007 05:53 PM

                      I don't remember Sol Food's Cubano as having shredded or skimpy pork. But it's been a while. Does that describe what others have had there recently or was OldTimer's experience a bad day there?

                      1. re: Mick Ruthven
                        rworange Apr 29, 2007 11:22 AM

                        Don't think it was a bad day. Though I didn't have as strong feelings about Sol Food's Cubano as OldTimer, I was left unimpressed. It is a fine sandwich, but didn't do a thing to satisfy my Cubano cravings.

                      2. re: OldTimer
                        Chipotle Apr 30, 2007 10:33 AM

                        Like Mick below, the one I had certainly wasn't skimpy on the pork, and it wasn't shredded, either -- at least, not beyond just being roasted to the point of falling apart, which I don't consider a bad thing. It's possible that they're just not very consistent. Since I live and work in the South Bay, I'm not likely to get back up there any time to try again. (While I did think it was good, it wasn't "drive 70 miles each way on a regular basis" good.)

                        I'll probably try Habana Cuba's sometime, though. The best Cuban I've had out here is one that I made myself after doing a mojito roast pork, but "my place" isn't a very good answer to "where can you get a good Cuban."

                  2. Civil Bear Apr 25, 2007 04:19 PM

                    I've seen them on the menu, but I haven't tried them at the Florida Street Grill near 19th.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Civil Bear
                      rln Apr 26, 2007 07:22 PM

                      I've had it at Florida St. and it's quite good. Pressed and grilled, with pickles.

                    2. gemster Apr 25, 2007 02:39 PM

                      The Cuban Paninis at Birley's at 4 Embarcadero are wonderful.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gemster
                        cocoaloco Apr 25, 2007 04:00 PM

                        The Hobnob on Park St. in Alameda has a Cuban Sandwich as an "American Tapa", it has roasted porkloin, black forest ham, and the swiss cheese and pickle with the "Americanization" of the sandwich being grilled and pressed on texas toast!! It is really good especially with their truffle fries -worth the trip.

                      2. s
                        Sebby Apr 25, 2007 02:04 PM

                        Delissio's market on Broderick and Oak has a Cuban pannini. I had one the other day and thought it was pretty good...but it's the first time I've had one. It was pulled pork, ham, cheese ( I think), pickle, grilled on a press.

                        1. Robert Lauriston Apr 25, 2007 01:22 PM

                          Bumped topic alert, most of the posts above are from 2004.

                          Habana on Van Ness closed.

                          Lo Cubano's not Cuban, it's a Cuban-themed prototype for a chain of cafes.

                          Most of the posts in this topic are from 2004. Here are some more recent topics:


                          1. m
                            morgan_66 Apr 25, 2007 12:28 PM

                            In Laurel Heights, there is the all Cuban cafe/restaurant Lo Cubano that makes a fairly decent one.


                            1. l
                              lj2899 Apr 25, 2007 12:19 PM

                              Not in SF, but in San Rafael you can find a yummy "Cubano" at Sol Food! Yum...with a side of maduros you'll be set!

                              1. b
                                butter Apr 24, 2007 08:58 PM

                                I don't know very much about Cuban sandwiches, but I often order one at the Grove Cafe on Fillmore. There's no lettuce on it, but plenty of pickles which gives it a nice tart flavor.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: butter
                                  jrhsfcm Apr 25, 2007 11:22 AM

                                  Lettuce on Cuban sandwiches is an Americanized aberration (commonly thought to have originated in FL). A traditional sandwich would have ham, roast pork (marinated in mojo), cheese, pickles, and mustard - and, most importantly, on Cuban-style bread... then pressed.

                                  I haven't found a good Cuban here in SF... so I'm planning on biting the bullet and just making my own.

                                2. e
                                  Erica Feb 19, 2004 06:59 PM

                                  I don't eat pork, so I don't eat 'em, but I'm pretty sure Atlas Cafe still has a cuban sandwich that is supposed to be pretty good.

                                  It's between the Mission and Potrero Hill on 20th and Florida.

                                  1. y
                                    Yanira Feb 18, 2004 02:43 PM

                                    My husband really enjoys the Cuban pork sandwich at Birley Sandwiches at Embarcadero 4. Not quite sure its authentic, but apparently its very tasty.

                                    1. d
                                      david kaplan Feb 17, 2004 11:02 PM

                                      I recently ate at Laurel's, a Cuban place on Oak near Gough. Though I didn't have the Cuban sandwich, the seafood stew and the tostones were both excellent, giving me high hopes for their sandwiches. The bread I tried was great, too.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: david kaplan
                                        nja Feb 18, 2004 09:49 AM

                                        Don't get your hopes up. I tried the cuban sandwich, it was very disappointing.

                                      2. r
                                        Roz Feb 17, 2004 06:41 PM

                                        one of my fondest dining memories of NY was the cuban sandwich along with a side order of fried plantains.

                                        the cuban place in Palo Alto is called la bodeguita del medio: www.labodeguita.com. pretty decent cuisine, but i'll have to try out their sandwiches too!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Roz
                                          Greg Feb 17, 2004 10:51 PM

                                          Sandwiches at Bogedeta are great at the lunch hour. Dinners are, too but I do not think they serve them that late.

                                          1. re: Roz
                                            P. Punko Apr 25, 2007 09:38 PM

                                            Their Cubano is decent-

                                          2. b
                                            bubbles Feb 17, 2004 03:05 PM

                                            Bi Rite (small deli/market on 18th Street, for those just exiting their cave) makes a Cuban sandwich. I thought it was good, but I know nothing about Cuban sandwiches. It was warm, the roll was indeed crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I remember the meat was orangy-pink colored from whatever marinade they had it in, and there was plenty of meat (not Max's deli plenty, but more than I expected). Somebody who knows should go try one and tell the rest of us if it's worthy.....

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: bubbles
                                              Missy P. Feb 17, 2004 11:21 PM

                                              No kidding! I plan to try Bi-Rite's cuban ASAP. Was it pressed/grilled, with swiss cheese, mustard and pickles? Was there ham AND pulled pork?

                                              The need for a good cuban sandwich just plagues me. Thanks for the tip.

                                              1. re: Missy P.
                                                bubbles Feb 18, 2004 03:09 PM

                                                There were definately pickles. And mustard. It was pressed, but on their grill, I think, not a sandwich press. I don't remember cheese. I do remember that the meat was really good, but I don't remember if there was more than one kind -- I think their sign says it's pork, so it's probably just pork (although ham is pork, so who knows). Like I said, I thought it was a good sandwich, but I have no idea if it was a good CUBAN sandwich...

                                            2. w
                                              Wendy Lai Feb 17, 2004 01:28 PM

                                              I can't remember the name of the place, but there is a Cuban restaurant in Palo Alto (that was talked about a couple of years ago) that served these sandwiches. I ordered one when we went (based on Melanie Wong's rave reviews). It was pretty good but a bit too salty for me I thought...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Wendy Lai
                                                xanadude Jun 14, 2009 11:48 PM

                                                La Bodeguita Del Medio

                                                La Bodeguita Del Medio
                                                463 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

                                              2. h
                                                HungryGrayCat Feb 17, 2004 01:12 PM

                                                I had a Cuban sandwich in the bar at Acme Chophouse last year. It was pretty tasty.

                                                1. j
                                                  jen maiser Feb 17, 2004 10:34 AM

                                                  There is a taco truck at 13th/Harrison that has Cuban sandwiches. You will see from the thread below that the reviews are not raving, but maybe we need another pass at the Cuban sandwiches. Please report back if you try them!

                                                  Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                  1. d
                                                    DavidT Feb 17, 2004 07:26 AM

                                                    The only Cuban sandwich I have ever come across in the Bay Area is in the restaurant at the public Metropolitan Golf Links golf course near the Oakland airport. The sandwich was OK, however it was not exactly "piled high" with ham and pork.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: DavidT
                                                      joe Feb 17, 2004 08:56 AM

                                                      a cuban restaurant opened in sf recently. its called HABANA. you might give them a call.they are on geary blvd i believe.

                                                      1. re: joe
                                                        Lisa C Feb 22, 2004 03:22 PM

                                                        I had my last Cuban sandwich in Miami 3 months ago (how could one not?). "Piled high" meat is an American aberration. The important thing is the crusty bread,two types of pork (cured and fresh) and of course, pickles.

                                                        1. re: Lisa C
                                                          Melanie Wong Feb 22, 2004 11:11 PM

                                                          Thank you. Yes, the whole point is intense flavor - from the cured pork and the garlicky roast with that great touch of sour of the slivered pickle - and not huge volume.

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