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Feb 19, 2007 02:39 PM

Mini Cubano tasting

Cuban sandwich: also known as the "cubano," it's a popular meal in South Florida, where many Cubans have settled. The standard Cuban sandwich consists of ham and roast pork marinated in mojo sauce (garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and orange juice), mayonnaise (not included in the original), mustard, dill pickles, and Swiss cheese on Cuban bread, which is a light French bread.

In an attempt to find this sandwich I hit three restaurants in a slow work week.

1.Cubano. California at Laurel Village.No Cubano. Ham and cheese with mustard. A sandwich.
2.The Bay Cafe. San Rafael."Sliced roast pork and ham with provolone,pickles and roasted garlic artichoke spread on ciabatta," Enjoyed it.Nice to have in the neighborhood.
3.Sol Food. San Rafael.4th and Lincoln. A lime green paint job that made Angelo's blood
boil.Check for his letter at the front door. The sandwich was the biggest of the 3 and the closest to the description.The pickles could have been more in evidence but worth the trip across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and to also get the mofongo for my vegan daughter.
Mofongo has been a Grail since Epstein on "Welcome Back Kotter" said his mother made
gefilte mofongo. Anyway, a rave for the sandwich.

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  1. Vegan mofongo? Gefilte mofongo? Huh?

    1. Vegan mofongo,no pork rinds,no lard,just plantain and garlic mashed and refried.The joke
      was Epstein had a Jewish mother and a Puerto Rican father.Today we call it fusion.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wolverine61

        I think that should properly be called mangu.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          You must be Dominican.I've heard Puerto Ricans prefer to call the dish mofongo.

      2. Cool. Thanks for the report. I still favor Bay Cafe but good to hear a report by someone who knows their Cubanos.

        Have you ever tried El Rincon on 16th at Harrison?

        First it took me years to get over the look of the place. By then, I had moved out of the city and never seem to get over there when they are open.

        Looks like they've added to the Cuban menu. For a while it was pretty much the Cubano and one or two other dishes.

        Now they have croquettas, pan con lechon, ropa vieja, vaca frita, masitas de puerco fritas, congris, yucca con mojo, plantanos, tostones and chircharitas. They also have Cuban sodas like Jupina and Cuban coffe.\

        1. IMO good Cuban anything will be hard to come by, I don't think they favor the weather here.

          The Bay Cafe - the sandwich mentioned was pretty good.

          I wonder if El Nuevo Frutilandia has a Cubano? mostly Carribean and Puerto Rican.

          2 Replies
            1. re: Lori SF

              >I wonder if El Nuevo Frutilandia has a Cubano? mostly Carribean and Puerto Rican.
              they certainly used to and i suspect the still do, but i havent been there in a few months.

            2. The Taste wine bar in the Epicurious Garden complex in Berkeley has a good Cuban, although the way their menu changes, it's hard to say how long it'll be around.