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Jun 10, 2001 04:13 PM

El Morfi

  • c

Years ago, when I was still living in Florida, a friend of mine took me to a deli that served these great Cuban sandwiches. He said they were Cuban, anyway. They were really thin pieces of steak fried in cornmeal batter, and they had a really strong taste of cornmeal, like hushpuppies. Haven't had 'em in years. So a few months ago I'm reading an article in LA Weekly about this place in Glendale called El Morfi, and it describes these steak sandwiches they serve there and they sound alot like those allegedly cuban sandwiches I remember. I write down the name and address of the place, scribble the words "cuban sandwiches" next to it and forget about it.
Last weekend, its my birthday and I'm looking for someplace to go to lunch, and I see El Morfi on my list. We go, and having forgotten all about the article, I'm surprised to find that it's not a little cuban sandwich shop, but a nice italian/argentinian restaurant.
I had the steak sandwich, which had nothing to do with that steak sandwich in Fla, but was still great: almost raw meat deep fried in batter, with lettuce, tomato and mayo. My wife had chicken ravioli in alfredo sauce, the sauce tasted so good that you could tell it was bad for you. The Guy talked us into a chicken empenada for an apettizer, which was really fantastic: flaky crust, and the chicken tasted like good chicken soup. (The same chicken was found in the ravioli) By that time I had remembered the article, which had focused on the caramel deserts, so we ordered their signature desert: 2 crepes filled with caramel and topped with a little bit of whipped cream. OH!MY!GOD! This stuff was so good that I can't even describe it except to say that it was...YUMMY! Plus a good cup o' Cuban joe!
Another plus is that it's right in the middle of a bunch of used bookstores, and is there anything better than browsing through used books with the taste of a great meal lingering in your mouth? (Well, yeah...browsing used records with a great meal lingering on your mouth!)

Still, I wonder...does anyone know where to get a steak sandwich that might taste like that one I had in Florida?

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  1. Never heard of cornmeal steak sandwiches but they sound awesmome! Let us know if you find them...

    You can get good Cuban sandwiches in Glendale at Porto's bakery. Just had the roasted pork a few days ago and was not at all disappointed. Even better sandwiches at the Cuban place on Sunset in the same minimall as Allegria, the name of which restaurant is escaping me right now... Probably written about on the board or in Jonathon Gold...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rafi

      Hey Chowsters! We just got back from El Morfi - This place is great! The food is super tasty, the prices are totally fair and the customer service is unmatched - I would come back for the customer service alone. I had the skirt steak - excellent. I definitely recommend any of you Porto regulars to make this the destination next time.

      1. re: aimbonics

        We've been going to El Morfi for years (we live in Glendale). It's a really nice, family run, Argentine/Italian restaurant. Many of the specials (lunch and dinner) are really good and reasonable. On the regular menu the entrana and the pechuga a la parrilla are excellent. (+real mashed potatoes! and steamed vegies that are tasty that I can actually enjoy)..and the empanadas and chimichurri also. The earth doesn't move after a meal there...but it is comfortable and yummy. (and affordable!)

    2. "really thin pieces of steak fried in cornmeal batter"

      a.k.a. "milanesa".
      Usu made with bread crumbs, but cornmeal usage not uncommon.