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Cuban sandwich

ankimo Mar 2, 2009 08:23 PM

Where can I find a cuban sandwich like the kind served in Miami?
with the greasy pressed cuban bread--
looks like this...http://s3.amazonaws.com/iamstillalive...


  1. a
    Agent 510 Sep 1, 2009 01:41 PM

    I think the Cubano at the Berkeley Bowl West cafe may be the best I've found locally. The bread may not be exactly the same but it seems pretty close, with a good light crunch (not too crispy) and the ingredients are all there.

    1. Robert Lauriston Jun 15, 2009 08:13 AM

      Tried 21st Amendment's Cubano the other day. They've got all the ingredients right, even the bread. The only flaw is that they load it up with enough meat and cheese for two or three sandwiches, so the balance is off.

      Paladar Cafe Cubano
      329 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

      21st Amendment Brewery Cafe
      563 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

      1. c
        CharlieShagbark May 25, 2009 02:24 AM

        I haven't found anything like the cuban sandwiches I eat at West Tampa Sandwich Shop when I visit my parents in Florida, but do enjoy the cuban sandwich at DeLessio on Market.

        1. BernalKC May 14, 2009 04:51 PM

          OK, so I wouldn't know a Cuban sandwich if one snuck onto my plate. But I see you mention Paladar, as does Windy and Agent510. Now I see a review of Paladar in the Chron that speciically calls out the Cuban sandwich:

          >>Don't miss the Cubano ($9) sandwich, a grill-pressed gem with Niman ranch pork, ham, pickles, mustard and melted Swiss cheese served with a side salad.<< http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

          Is that not what you're looking for?

          4 Replies
          1. re: BernalKC
            Robert Lauriston May 15, 2009 08:10 AM

            Paladar's is one of the best around. The bread's not right, or wasn't the last time I had one.


            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Agent 510 May 20, 2009 07:54 PM

              Doesn't the Cheesesteak Shop "import" their rolls directly from Philly just to get it exactly right? It would be awesome if someone did something similar to create the Bay Area's first perfectly authentic Cubano, but I don't blame anyone for not trying......more cheesesteak-cravers out there than Cubano fans.

              1. re: Agent 510
                sugartoof May 20, 2009 10:40 PM

                It's not that you can't find similar bread already, it's just that they're not using it. The bread itself is pretty nondescript, it's just that it's the perfect softness for lathering up and pressing to get that light crunch on it. In NY they mostly just use cheap soft Italian breads, which are cheap.

                1. re: sugartoof
                  Chipotle May 20, 2009 10:58 PM

                  Actually, I'm not sure you can *quite* get the same bread many places outside Tampa and Miami. (I'm told that Cuban bread in Cuba isn't actually quite the same as the Tampa variant, and despite what folks in Miami might want to believe, the first bakery in the U.S. was in Ybor City in Tampa.) It's a bit more like French bread in my recollection, with a thin, slightly papery crust. The closest I recall finding for making my own Cuban sandwiches here a couple times was a sandwich roll at Lunardi's.

                  I have yet to find a really great Cuban sandwich out here; I liked La Bodeguita del Medio's a few years ago and Sol Food in San Rafael's. I recently tried El Habanero's and was left seriously underwhelmed. (Despite all the attention paid to the bread, I think the roast pork is probably the most important ingredient to get right -- and the easiest to get wrong.)

                  The prices of the sandwiches here still leave me shell-shocked, though; in Tampa, I'd say $4 is still probably the median price for a good-sized sandwich. Food's more expensive here in general, sure, but not usually 100% more expensive!

          2. pamf Mar 3, 2009 04:32 PM

            Sol Food in San Rafael

            Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine
            901 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901

            1. Robert Lauriston Mar 3, 2009 10:00 AM

              When I tried Paladar's, they were using crunchy baguettes, which were seriously wrong. Have they switched to something else? Otherwise it was classic.

              Some more past discussions:


              1. p
                patcox Mar 3, 2009 07:29 AM

                Cha Cha Cha on Haight almost always has a special on their menu called a Cubano Sandwich. Roasted pork, Ham, cheese and pickle.

                4 Replies
                1. re: patcox
                  Melanie Wong Mar 3, 2009 08:22 AM

                  What type of bread does ChaCC use?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    patcox Mar 3, 2009 10:11 AM

                    It's not a soft bread like the one in your photo. It more like a panini with crispy grilled bread. Good luck on your quest to find an authenic Cuban sando!

                    1. re: patcox
                      Fog City Kid May 22, 2009 01:11 PM

                      The secret to true Cuban bread is the use of lard in the mix...

                      1. re: Fog City Kid
                        Robert Lauriston May 22, 2009 03:53 PM

                        Hmmm ... where do Maccanese restaurants get their lard rolls?

                2. p
                  PerroDelAlimento Mar 2, 2009 09:06 PM

                  That is a good looking sandwich. What is in it? I've never had one.

                  1. m
                    ML8000 Mar 2, 2009 08:42 PM

                    I saw an Cuban sandwich advertised at El Indio in Hayward. It has both a taco truck and brick and mortar store on the same lot. Didn't order it. I wouldn't hold out huge hope but someone might want to try it. The tacos were good however, not mind blowing but certainly if you're in the area worth a stop.

                    El Indio
                    22221 Hathaway Ave, Hayward, CA 94541

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: ML8000
                      Melanie Wong Mar 2, 2009 08:47 PM

                      Was that a Cuban sandwich or a torta cubana (mexican style cuban sandwich)?

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        Agent 510 Mar 2, 2009 09:02 PM

                        That's an important distinction, because from what I've heard, the Mexican "torta cubana" is basically a Mexican torta stuffed with every kind of meat imaginable, very different from the Cuban sandwich.

                        The many Cuban sandwich threads on this board (which I always check out when they pop up) seem to conclude that nobody in the bay area makes an authentic Cubano like those in NYC and Miami - probably because the local Cuban population is so small - but I think there are a few that seem close enough to me, like the one at Paladar in downtown SF.

                        1. re: Agent 510
                          Melanie Wong Mar 2, 2009 09:12 PM

                          No, not every kind of meat, usually roast leg of pork, ham, chorizo, and, if you're lucky, some sliced hot dogs, plus the avocado, cheese (some times two or three kinds), crema, mayonesa, lettuce, tomato, onions, chili peppers. Torta cubana tends to be the most expensive torta combo on the menu, when available, which is understandable.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            Agent 510 Mar 2, 2009 09:21 PM

                            My bad, I oversimplified. That combo does sound like a bit much though. The sliced hot dogs push it into "for eating challenges only" territory for me.

                            1. re: Agent 510
                              Melanie Wong Mar 2, 2009 09:29 PM

                              Forgot to mention that carnitas are in there too sometimes. It's a pork fest.

                          2. re: Agent 510
                            Windy Mar 3, 2009 06:59 AM

                            Paladar's food is excellent, including their Cuban sandwich.

                          3. re: Melanie Wong
                            ML8000 Mar 2, 2009 09:44 PM

                            Could well be a torta Cubana...which I read as Cuban sandwich in translation.

                            For what it's worth, Atlas cafe sells a Cuban Sandwich, pressed w/ roast pork, ham and swiss cheese, at least they did last year. I did not order but a friend did. They liked it but no comments on authentic or not.

                            Atlas Cafe
                            3049 20th St, San Francisco, CA

                        2. Melanie Wong Mar 2, 2009 08:29 PM

                          The bread is the problem around here. This is the closest rendition i've found bread-wise.

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