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Cuban Sandwich

akim1 Feb 10, 2009 06:15 AM

I've lived in Miami for 2 years now and have yet to eat a decent Cuban Sandwich. I attend classes at the University of Miami, so preferably a location around the Gables. Thanks in advance. So where can I get the goods on this food?

  1. Flaco Feb 18, 2009 02:29 PM

    I don't want to wade into a local squabble but I'm sympathetic to the OP's complaint, albeit in a more generalized way. I had a Cuban Sandwich today at El Rey de las Fritas and was underwhelmed. That said, I loved the frita sandwich that I ate first (don't judge, I saw lots of folks ordering two at a time) and I really dug the place and would be a loyal patron if I lived in MIami. But getting back to the mythical Cuban Sandwich, I have maybe eaten a dozen in my life and have never experienced what Tom Russell describes in his love song to it. Maybe I'm just unlucky, or maybe it is similar to someone having their first legitimate slice of NYC pizza and thinking "B.F.D." I will say that deli style ham and roast pork isn't what the myth suggests and mine today was taken out of the fridge pre-sliced and turning a tad green and it wasn't from the pickle!

    1. dmo305 Feb 18, 2009 06:55 AM

      El Pub on Calle Ocho has a pretty good cuban. Versailles is ok also.

      And I second Little Havana on Biscayne in N Miami, that is hands down my favorite cuban resto in town, although I haven't had a sandwich there in about 10 yrs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dmo305
        johnmlinn Feb 18, 2009 09:25 AM

        I'd love to know if anyone can rec some Broward options... I cannot, for the life of me, find many Cuban places north of the Dade line worth mentioning. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places? Let me know!

        1. re: johnmlinn
          Icantread Feb 18, 2009 09:35 AM

          I don't know about their Cuban Sandwich, but the Coral Gables outpost of Las Vegas has decent Cuban restaurant fare.

      2. scubadoo97 Feb 17, 2009 06:00 PM

        You have to come to Tampa for a decent Cuban Sandwich.

        Gables is only a few blocks from Calle Ocho. Think you could get a decent Cuban in that vicinity

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97
          LargeLife Feb 18, 2009 03:24 AM

          Uhhh...no...you don't have to go to Tampa....I'm sure that you get one in Tampa!...but you don't have to go to Tampa for a good Cuban sandwich.....


        2. Icantread Feb 16, 2009 09:56 AM

          gritty places like Enriquetas or Sergio's usually have the lowdown on the sandwiches. If you don't like those, maybe it's just not for you.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Icantread
            Frodnesor Feb 16, 2009 10:25 AM

            I recently had an awe-inspiring pan con lechon at Enriquetas. Haven't tried their cubano.

            1. re: Frodnesor
              Wursthof Feb 16, 2009 10:45 AM

              google comes up with two addresses

              NE29th ?

              Can you walk all the way across what is labeled on the map as Venetian way?

              1. re: Wursthof
                Frodnesor Feb 16, 2009 11:06 AM

                Enriquetas is at the corner of NE 2nd Avenue (which is one block west of Biscayne Blvd.) and NE 28th Street. That is about 12 blocks north of the Venetian Causeway (which I guess is called Venetian Way). Yes you can walk all the way across the Venetian Causeway but it'd be quite a schlep. From the beach it's probably about 3 miles across the causeway and then another mile north. That stretch of Biscayne Blvd. is also not exactly prime walking territory (NE 2nd Ave. even less so).

                1. re: Frodnesor
                  Wursthof Feb 16, 2009 11:13 AM

                  I don't mind the 5 mile walk. I would not want to be walking in an area that is not safe though, even in daylight. Is that the case from the end of the causeway north? At night time I certainly take cabs to off beach destinations.

                  1. re: Wursthof
                    Frodnesor Feb 16, 2009 11:31 AM

                    Sounds like we have a new variation on the old cigarette ad - instead of "I'd walk a mile for a Camel," it's "I'd walk 5 miles for a Cuban."

                    The causeway is perfectly safe (all very expensive residential) but once you hit the mainland It's a little dodgy.

              2. re: Frodnesor
                Icantread Feb 16, 2009 11:22 AM

                I haven't been back since they're alleged food stored in the bathroom debacle (2007-2008?), but their pan con lechon is great food, as is their pan con bistec and pan con pollo. Personally, I'm not a cuban sandwich person (I'm anti cold cuts and pickles), but others recommend it there as well. As Frod said, the spot is on the corner of NE 28th and 2nd, but walking is not advised. Miami's way too hot, crossing anything is dangerous with our drivers loose on the world, and that area's not overtly dangerous, but it's usually better to have 3000 pounds of air-conditioned safety.

                1. re: Icantread
                  Wursthof Feb 16, 2009 11:39 AM

                  Thanks for the safety tips. It sounds like a pretty manageable walk over the causeway. It's always nice to build up an appetite. Just as many mouth breathers up here behind the wheel so due diligence is always needed when walking. I just can't justify tacking on a $20 cab ride to a $10 lunch for some reason. certainly not a problem when hitting Michael's for dinner coming from the beach.

                  1. re: Wursthof
                    Icantread Feb 16, 2009 01:10 PM

                    I'm the same when it comes to value. Causeway's actually quite scenic. The area (biscayne/design district) is intersting as it is constantly changing right now. Let us know what you think.

                    1. re: Icantread
                      Wursthof Feb 16, 2009 01:51 PM

                      Will do. Hopefully won't have too much crossover from the food festival when I arrive sun morning. Looking forward to some warm weather and good eats.

            2. b
              BottomsUpMiami Feb 13, 2009 07:18 PM

              Larios by Sunset Place isn't bad, but by far the best Cuban Sandwich I've had in Miami is at Little Havana Restaurant on Biscayne and 127th. They actually use chunks of pierna (pork) instead of that sliced supermarket meat that everyone else uses.

              9 Replies
              1. re: BottomsUpMiami
                BurgerBeast Feb 14, 2009 09:48 PM

                Try El Caribe at 3953 NW 7th St. They have great croquetas too.


                1. re: BurgerBeast
                  LargeLife Feb 16, 2009 08:30 AM

                  I don't mean to be a wise guy...although it''s my nature....But where did you eat a decent Cuban sandwhich before you came to Miami??.....You say you've been here two years and haven't had one?....So where outside of Miami is a Cuban sandwhich that you believe is better than what we have here??....There are a 1000 places that make a good Cuban sandwhich here in South Florida.....Mario's in Homestead....I'm sure a Cuban sandwhich at Versailles is not going to suck and that's on the northern quadrant of Coral Gables and close to UM.....La Carreta's is decent.....Again...it's a long list.....

                  1. re: LargeLife
                    Wursthof Feb 16, 2009 09:37 AM

                    I haven't had a good cubano in Sobe for a while. Last year I got one from a little place off of lincoln rd(yes, shame on me) that was just a counter in the back of a small cigarette/convenience store. It was microwaved and horrible. The only place I have had a good one and this is a while back was the restaurant(i forget the name) on collins opposite the beachside between the south seas hotel and lincoln. They had a curbside counter that served shots of espresso and fresh guaraba. That place has been gone for a bit now but I do remember having a really good cubano and a media noche there. That being said the best cubano I have had has been in the Boston area at El Oriental de Cuba and Chez Henri.

                    I did say Sobe so that doesn't qualify for Miami but I often come down without a car so it sort of limits the geographic area. Sometimes I rent a car for a day and set out but still haven't found a lot to wander for.

                    1. re: Wursthof
                      Wursthof Feb 17, 2009 08:42 AM

                      The name of the place I remember having good stuff at on Collins was El Viajante.
                      Did they set up somewhere else after closing up on Collins?

                      1. re: Wursthof
                        Frodnesor Feb 17, 2009 09:56 AM

                        Good memory - I think it's long gone and I'm not aware of it resurfacing elsewhere.

                        1. re: Frodnesor
                          Wursthof Feb 18, 2009 12:34 PM

                          Yeah it has been gone probably 4 yrs now. Really wierd waking up in the middle of the night thinking about cuban sandwiches and remembering the media noche I had there about 2 in the morning quite a while back. The really cool memory was the sugar canes they had there to be freshly juiced.

                          1. re: Wursthof
                            Icantread Feb 18, 2009 01:20 PM

                            it's guarapo, in case you get in the mood for it again and should easy to get in many Cuban joints.

                    2. re: LargeLife
                      eimac Feb 17, 2009 08:01 AM

                      My reaction exactly. Where are you from??
                      Aside from the Great Tampa/Miami Sandwich Scism ( pressed vs not pressed) Miami is Cuban sandwich nirvana. ( maybe Union City is okay - never been there)

                      What about Latin American cafeteria?

                      1. re: eimac
                        Icantread Feb 17, 2009 10:35 AM

                        let's not forget the ham/salami debate as well. Latin American's are typically reliable for most things sandwich. After all, didn't Al Roker visit one a few years back?

                2. Marsjt Feb 10, 2009 06:49 AM

                  mojito grill on red road and a block off of sunsent has the best pan con bistec! I haven't tried the cuban sandwich but i've never had a bad meal there and you should at least try it out. let me know how it goes..

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