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Craving Cuban Sandwich

bagdoodle Oct 4, 2007 12:54 PM

Who has the best? There are lots of them around that are just ok, (and lots that aren't even that), but where's the one to rival the glories of what can be found almost anywhere in Miami?

  1. tatertotsrock Oct 4, 2007 01:07 PM

    HI bagdoodle,
    I will always suggest PORTO"S on Brand Blvd. in Glendale
    -also on Magnolia/Hollywood Way in Burbank.
    I've spent much much much time in Miami, and in the Keys (I was a kayak guide/instructor), and the only Cuban Sand I really loved was at David's on Lincoln road...I think it was their potato balls and cafe con leche that really won me over-oh, and the great breakfasts.
    PORTOS will always be my favorite...but remember, to each his/her own...some people prefer a different style of all kinds of things, it doesn't mean that one is realistically better than the other...everyone has a taste all their own.Let me know what you think...don't forget to get a guava cheese danish...the only place I've found a better guava/cheesee danish was at one of the last cuban stands you hit in Key Largo as you're driving south...I can never remember the name...their coffee was too bitter though and their potato balls were too greasy...good breakfast though.

    1. b
      bagdoodle Oct 4, 2007 01:51 PM

      Thank you tatertotsrock. I'll try it next week!

      1. CynD Oct 4, 2007 02:41 PM

        Portos didn't knock my socks off, but when you're in OC, try the Cuban sandwich at De Simone's on Edinger @ GoldenWest. Great Italian deli/sub shop, and I thought theirs was tastier than Portos (but don't miss those guava-cream cheese danish-like pastries at Portos - they're really good).

        1. v
          vinosnob Oct 4, 2007 03:08 PM

          Not a fan of Porto's version although I do like Porto's in general.

          The best I've found to date is at Café Tropical in Silverlake.
          2900 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake

          2 Replies
          1. re: vinosnob
            Burger Boy Oct 4, 2007 03:27 PM

            Tropical is really good, ask them to make the bread extra crispy and you will be in heaven, IMHO.

            1. re: Burger Boy
              monkey Oct 13, 2007 02:25 PM

              I lived in Miami for over 20 years and cafe tropical blew chunks when i had it. Only place that has passable cubano is Portos in my opinion. wish there was more than that. Also I would kill for good cafe con leche....

          2. SauceSupreme Oct 4, 2007 03:31 PM

            Definitely Porto's, but other places are Milk on Beverly and the Cuban sandwich place in El Segundo.

            7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

            Porto's Bakery
            315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

            Havana Sandwich Co
            229 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

            1. JAB Oct 4, 2007 03:42 PM

              I wasn't that impressed with Porto's version. I did like Cafe Atlantic's version in Old Town Pasadena.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JAB
                tuttifrutti Oct 7, 2007 03:18 PM

                i agree about porto's version... a bit on the bland side...

              2. c
                Cubancoffee Oct 5, 2007 03:59 PM

                We lived in Miami for four years. How I miss Versailles (especially their jamon croquetas) and walk-up cafecito stands. As for here, I love the media noches I get at La Caridad, a little hole in the wall on Temple near Alvarado. At least three-quarters of an inch of pork, ham, cheese and pickles, with the bread toasted to a deep, crusty brown in the press.

                1. n
                  ns1 Oct 5, 2007 06:11 PM

                  it's a long, LONG shot, but there's a place on temple just west of alvarado, labeled only "CUBAN FOOD". looks like a complete hole in the wall. Anybody?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ns1
                    Cubancoffee Oct 5, 2007 06:23 PM

                    Please see my post immediately above yours.

                    1. re: Cubancoffee
                      ns1 Oct 8, 2007 09:14 AM

                      wow cubancoffee, you're money and I can't read. Thanks!

                      Anything else from that little shop?

                      1. re: ns1
                        Burger Boy Oct 12, 2007 09:43 PM

                        Just ate there today, it was good, for me I still like Tropical, but I will return for the Carne, Rice & Beans (Moros e Christos ?) It looked really good, the empenada was good, but already fried, had it beem fresh I would have gotten more.

                        1. re: ns1
                          Cubancoffee Oct 17, 2007 12:23 PM

                          They have standard Cuban fare, with 3 or 4 daily lunch specials. My wife enjoys the ropa vieja on Thursday. Good bebidas, and the platanos have always been perfectly prepared. La Cochinta on Sunset has better hot plates, IMHO, and their Cuban sandwich is actually bigger than Caridad's, but La Cochinita's ham has a more processed taste to me and I think Cardidad is more generous with the fillings. We've tried El Tropical and I would rate their sandwich behind La Caridad. Both La Caridad and La Cochinita have table service, which I prefer to standing in front of a counter to order.

                          1. re: Cubancoffee
                            ns1 Oct 17, 2007 12:41 PM

                            woot thanks. I am within walking distance. You wouldn't by chance know WTF is that shop right next to it is, would you? I swear it's a bodega.

                    2. maxzook Oct 13, 2007 02:49 PM

                      Surprised that no one has mentioned the Versailles chain, my favorite next to Porto's.

                      1000 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                      Versailles Restaurant
                      1000 Universal Center Dr #v206, Universal City, CA

                      10319 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                      1415 S La Cienega Blvd Ste 1, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                      17410 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316

                      1. p
                        pushkina Oct 13, 2007 05:54 PM

                        Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica near Pico, almost at the beach.

                        1. o
                          omakase Oct 17, 2007 01:42 AM

                          I think they've moved, but Xiomara on Raymond Ave. in Pasadena used to do an awesome Cuban for lunch. That and a mojito in one of their strange tilting glasses, and I'm a new man. Xiomara on Melrose is still there but haven't tried the Cuban. Should be the same, but you never know.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: omakase
                            maxzook Oct 17, 2007 08:43 AM

                            The Pasadena branchchanged its name to Cafe Atlantic -- still under the same ownership and location, but with a more casual Cuban menu, so I assume they still have Cubans and medianoches (I haven't been there).

                            1. re: omakase
                              maxzook Oct 17, 2007 08:44 AM

                              Oh, and the link ...

                              Cafe Atlantic
                              69 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA

                              1. re: maxzook
                                JamesV Oct 17, 2007 08:52 AM

                                Cafe Atlantic did have a terrific Cuban sandwich -- but sorry to day, the resturant is no more. It moved from its location on Raymond some time ago to a room behind Xiomara -- and things started to go downhill from then on. From what I understand, Xiomara sold out to some Cuban-Americans who closed Cafe Atlantic and turned Xiomara into Mojito's. We've never eaten at Mojito's -- with a name like that it's difficult to believe that they are serious about the food. We really miss Cafe Atlantic -- and the place that took over its Raymond St. location (Breitart Cafe?) offers really indiffernet food.

                            2. a
                              alexfood Oct 17, 2007 02:21 AM

                              To be a bit more specific about the Porto's recommendation, I would go for the Media Noche con Preparada. This is on a sweeter roll w/ added potato balls. Much better than the straight Cuban sandwich. Every time I eat one, I feel like I could order two more.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: alexfood
                                vinosnob Oct 17, 2007 02:08 PM

                                Thanks for this tip, I'll give it a shot and hope that it's better than the "regular" which I think is dreadful...

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