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Nov 7, 2008 10:37 AM

Cuban sandwich, Pelham Manor!

I feel I've done adquate "research" to report on this fine example of the Cuban sandwich (I've had 3!).
Bakery at Four Corners (4668 Boston Post Rd) has a lunch counter, where sandwiches are made to order. The soups can be good too. One day I turned up hungry and there was nothing special at home, so I wandered in and spotted "Cuban sandwich". It's done right. It comes out of the press hot and crisp, with just a little garlicy flavor. Inside the bread is ham, sliced pork, Swiss cheese, and sliced pickle. The pork has just the right amount of fat on the edges, but they 'd trim it off, if you asked. They put mayo on it, but I'm accustomed to mustard. If you are too, ask for mustard when you order. It costs $7, but for me it's two servings, so a real bargain.

Four Corners is anchored by a CVS, if you need a landmark.

Cheers, Pat

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  1. Pat, is it cut on an angle? I remember my very first Cuban sandwich, it was wonderful, and it was cut on an angle.

    Thanks for the pointer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dolores

      I don't think so, Dolores. But it you want it cut on an angle, just ask the nice lady behind the counter. I was trying to think back to when I lived in Tampa and had my first. I can't recall how it was sliced though.

    2. I was in the area this week and went, and had one with mayonnaise and, at the advice of my Dominican husband, asked them to cut it on an angle for me. Well, all I have to say is "Wow". This was one great sandwich. I restrained myself from eating all of the second half, and had it for dinner that night. The woman who works there told me she cooks the pork once a week in the kitchen. It was this wonderful combination of garlicky mayonnaise, melted cheese, ham, and tender pork, all on a hot, toasty, crispy, flattened bun. The baked goods also looked very nice.

      1. Wow, a great cubano in Westchester! This is, indeed, great news. Pat, you rock. Thanks for the tip. Now I just need to find an excuse to be in Pelham or New Rochelle...

        2 Replies
        1. re: adamclyde

          Well, there is a very well priced food market in New Rochelle that might serve as an excuse. Lemons - 7 for a dollar. I bought two and a half pounds of beautiful pork belly for six dollars, and the $3.99 a pound short ribs, which looked great, were a great bargain for this Manhattanite. I'll try to find the name for you - it's off the main drag in New Rochelle. They also had a lot of well priced Asian ingredients, which I appreciated, and I picked up some Chipotle peppers to use, for, well, something.

          1. re: MMRuth

            P.S. The market is Viva Grande - 38 Centre St. and Huguenot St.

        2. Do they serve them on weekends?

          19 Replies
          1. re: chowdom

            I don't see why not - the sandwich is posted on the menu on the wall.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Yes, they do serve them on weekends, and yes it is as good as Pat said. It is also as good as the one I had in Portchester eons ago.

              Thanks for the pointer, Pat. Who would know if you didn't tell us, since you can't tell from the outside.

              Meanwhile, I didn't even try any of the pastries!

              1. re: dolores

                Was it cut on the diagonal? The last time I was in that's how they cut it for me. I've only tried one weekend day, and thought that the one(s) I had during the week to be a smidge better. Not sure why.
                One day, as I waited for a friend who was at the doctor's next door, I went into the bakery and got a cup of wonderful soup and I think it was called either "taco soup" or "tortilla soup" and man, was it ever good. Nice little bits of jalapeno floating around in a tomatoey broth and good chunks of sausage. Very warming, on a cold day.

                I'm very glad you enjoyed it. It's the only place along that little stretch where one can grab a decent bite to eat.

                I hardly ever buy pastry either, except for the occasional cookie for a grandchild.

                1. re: Pat Hammond

                  have you ever tried pelham gourmet (?) just off the bpr .strange little eat in and take out place just down the road from 4 corners

                  1. re: rich51

                    You're right! I rarely think of that place. I'm not sure of the name either. I usually go into Pelham or on to New Rochelle. Thanks for the reminder.

                  2. re: Pat Hammond

                    Yes, I specifically asked for it to be cut on the diagonal. I doubt it does anything to the flavor, but I assume it's traditional.

                    1. re: dolores

                      As it turns out, cutting it that way makes it much easier to eat. Start chomping from the "point". When they're freshly made, the melted cheese can make for a slippery sandwich that's not easy to hold together if, like me, you can't wait a minute!

                      1. re: Pat Hammond

                        OK, you two are now making me VERY hungry for one of these sandwiches! I'm going to have to find an errand to run up there next time I can get the car.

                        1. re: Pat Hammond

                          I agree they're easier to eat when cut on the bias, but I have to say I was very puzzled by all the earlier discussions about why the sandwiches might not be worth ordering if not cut that way.

                          1. re: Westjanie

                            Oh, I think those of us who've eaten one, would be happy no matter how it was sliced. It's mainly about ease of handling. And maybe tradition? It's one good sandwich, though!

                              1. re: Pat Hammond

                                I used to be in the Miami area on a regular basis some years ago and became familar with Cuban food during those visits -- including a place in Coral Gables, whose name I cannot now remember, which was said to have the best sandwiches.. After reading these discussions about how to cut a Cuban sandwich, I actually spent some time desperately trying to remember how those were cut -- I suppose on the diagonal, but that's not what I now remember about them -- more the taste, how they were compressed, and the look and feel of the restaurant.

                                1. re: Westjanie

                                  Westjanie, they are one (I'm sure there are similar sandwiches in other cultures) of the original 'paninis', which are (were?) all the rage. Yes, pressed until all the insides are meltedy and good. The interior of this place is NOT Cuban sandwich, it's young urban professional coffee and bakery, with a surprise Cuban sandwich place in the back.

                                  As I noted, my memory goes back to a wonderful woman from Cuba who brought me to her neighborhood in Portchester -- before IT was chic, remember the ice cream parlor on West. Ave.? -- and pointed me to a store that sold Cuban sandwiches. I had never had one before and hadn't had one since. My sandwich from eons ago was cut on the diagonal, so for me it was strictly nostalgia.

                                  I would imagine that there are similar places still selling them in Portchester??

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    There may well be some place in Portchester that has the sandwiches, but all the places I see appear to represent different Latino nationalities and cultures. I'm pretty sure I ordered a Cubano years ago, just on principle, from Latin American Cafe in WP, but I have no memory of what it was like. For what it's worth, the "famous" Cubano spot in Coral Gables always struck me as a repurposed Dairy Queen, which seemed odd, but the sandwiches WERE very good.

                                    1. re: dolores

                                      I've schlepped around Port Chester a lot and have never seen a cubano on any menu (well, I've seen Mexican Torta Cubanos, but those are entirely different affairs).

                                      If there is one, it would be at an oddity at some unsuspecting deli or some otherwise inconspicuous place, like it is in this Pelham place, rather than at a cuban place of which there are none in PC at all.

                                      1. re: adamclyde

                                        adamclyde, there is still a Cuban club on Westchester Ave., very near Main St. It was near here (and it was so long ago I don't remember the location) where I found the Cuban sandwich, down a side street.

                                        Just as the charming ice cream parlor (Neilsen's?) is history on West. Ave. in PC, I think the demographic has changed. Life happens.

                                    2. re: Westjanie

                                      My initiation was in Ybor City, Florida, an old Cuban enclave section of Tampa. The "young urban professional coffee and bakery" Cuban, is as close as I've come to that experience. I almost missed it too, because my eyes were getting bleary skimming past all the "wraps" (a poor substitution for a sandwich, IMHO.). The Cuban is on the right of the board, almost at the bottom. Come on out!

                                      1. re: Westjanie

                                        Westjanie, Was the restaurant with the sandwiches Versailles - although Versaille is not very re-purposed Dairy Queen so maybe not. I worked down there for several years and can't picture a place like you are talking about and sadly have never been. I miss a good cuban sandwich as well as afternoon shots of Cuban coffee in the office?

                                        1. re: laylag

                                          No, Laylag, definitely not Versailles. It was on Coral Way, I believe (tho maybe some other major road), and in the outskiirts of downtown Coral Gables. We would be staying on Key Biscayne, and it was any easy destination from there.

                      2. Had one for dinner just now.. It was very good. The wraps we also picked up were just ok. My wife wouldn't try the Cuban which she said "smelled like feet". Being born with anosmia, I can't comment on the sandwich's scent but it tasted good to me. My only regret is I forgot to specify mustard. By the end of the sandwich I was regretting that. Our three year old daughter agreed with me on the taste of the sandwich and wasn't shy about demanding a 2nd piece. Thanks for the recommendation!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: rafi

                          I can see the mustard cutting the richness a bit. Next time.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            MMRuth, don't know if you read the other thread on the dreaded canned cranberry sauce but...yes, I did...I mixed c/s with mayo (that was a new one to me) and piled some of that onto the sandwich.

                            IMO, it was even better than before.

                          2. re: rafi

                            Rafi, you shouldn't have to ask for mustard on a Cuban. It's part of the sandwich and I've never had one without it. Seems odd they'd serve it without.

                            1. re: laylag

                              I don't think the folks making the sandwiches are Cuban. They sure have everything else right, though. Even with mayo, it's a good sandwich.

                              1. re: Pat Hammond

                                Oh Pat - I just reread your original post and see that you did say no mustard and also see you said they put mayo on them. Definitely not Cuban people making those sandwiches. Since everything else you say seems right on I wonder why they'd make that condiment substitution. If I do get there I will remember to ask for mustard and request no mayo too.