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Old Havana Sandwich Shop on E. Main Street, Durham...

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Stopped in for lunch at this new restaurant in Durham and was pretty impressed! I get cravings for Cuban sandwiches every now and then, mostly rely on Oakwood Cafe in Raleigh for the fix. Old Havana has a very small menu, just sandwiches and sides but it does a very good job.

Had the standard Cuban and a roast pork sandwich along with maduros and a cafe con leche cubano. Bread was toasted just right and fillings were good. Will need to come back for a final verdict but if you do like Cuban sandwiches, might want to check it out...

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Oakwood Cafe
300 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

 
 
 
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  1. A friend of mine went there this afternoon as well. She works at a law office not far from there and said it was very tasty. Also had the regular cubano.

    11 Replies
    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

      I went this past weekend and had the regular sammich. The "old Havana". The meats were great, especially the roast pork which you could tell was a high quality product cooked with care. Bread was great too. Overall, though, I thought the sandwich was very dry. I was a bit disappointed because I want to love this place like I do Toast.

      1. re: ToothTooth

        I sort of agree with you about the dryness, ToothTooth! Which is why I want to go back and double-check. I'm not sure if the roast pork is typically sliced, for some reason I remember it being shredded in the other sandwiches I've tried. Or maybe they need more olive oil or butter? Not sure yet...

        1. re: RonboNC

          Cuban Sandwiches arent generally very wet. the interior wetness is generally from the mustard, pickle juice, and overall wetness from the roast pork. the swiss cheese should seal it all together

          there's no authentic way for the roast pork to be cut. it all depens on how its cooked. if its well done its falling off itself and a typical cuban sandwich maker with simply tear it off in big chunks and pile it on and hope it stays when it gets pressed. some places will slice it in an effort to be neater. that's all.

          as a cuban who has grown up eating may Cuban Sandwiches/Sanwiches Cubanos (we never call them "Cubanos") this is the best i've had since living in Miami. the family is genuine and their hearts are in it.

          the maduros were spectacular. someone mentioned they were baked and i'm still trying to figure out how they did that.

          i suggested offering a side of Mojo because honestly, you cant get enough :)

          1. re: TSQ75

            Thanks TSQ, appreciate the opinion from an expert! Yes, I totally agree on the family and the authenticity of the place. Maybe all I've had are gringo Cuban sandwiches up until now.

            But I admit that I liked the Cuban sandwiches from Oakwood Cafe in Raleigh better than Old Havana. Not necessarily more authentic (different type of bread), but tasty stuff. And Oakwood Cafe's maduro's are awesome too, not sure if you've eaten there.

            I'll go back for another visit and get a better idea about Old Havana, appreciate the comments...

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            Oakwood Cafe
            300 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

            1. re: RonboNC

              oddly enough, the bread is generally the dealbreaker for me. I've been having Cuban sandwiches in gringo establishments for years, and always have to say its great except for the bread...lol

              1. re: TSQ75

                My roommate at college was a Cuban dude from Hialeah. I would go stay at his house on occasion and we ate many a Cuban sandwich, croquetas, media noches, etc., at Latin American Cafeteria. I hope Old Havana comes close to the sandwiches at Latin American.

                1. re: bbqme

                  Latin American Had awesome cuban sandwiches....and great breakfast

                  *also spent formative teen years living in Hialeah*

                  1. re: TSQ75

                    I was shocked to read on the net that the LA cafeterias had closed. I can't understand why since it was always packed no matter the time of day.

                    1. re: bbqme

                      I will also admit, the Frijoles Negros at Old Havana do not hold up at all. I wanted to let them know but it was way too busy. I'm a stickler for beans because truthfully, they need help, and it irks me when people dont offer beans the flavor help that they need.

                      come on guys, a bit of sofrito, adobo, vinegar...you'd be amazed at how many people are shocked to have delicious beans after a lifetime of marginal bland beans. I've converted passive or non-responsive bean eaters happily for years with Cuban frijoles...lol

                      1. re: TSQ75

                        Sounds like you could consult for them, TSQ75! On a sidenote, I was told by a well-informed friend that Old Havana does not have a full kitchen in their space. I wonder if that will limit them in their prep and the breadth of the menu...

                        But yes, need to go back for another visit once the buzz dies down!

                        1. re: TSQ75

                          A bit of softrito, adobo and vinegar would make gravel taste good.

      2. I stopped here too on Friday and got the special - a plate of chopped pork, black beans, rice, and a half order of maduros. It wasn't super cheap at about $9 but was amazing and enough for about two meals for me. I loved it as I am not big on cuban sandwiches, so it is good that there is another option. I lived in south florida for 5 years and this was just as good as most I found down there.

         
         
        1. The Santiago sandwich, the one on the left in the middle picture, is the bomb!

          9 Replies
          1. re: bbqme

            Hah, you can recognize the sandwich from the picture? Nice!

            And Mandy, yeah I need to go back and try em out again. But not sure how I'm going to be able to walk past Dame's without stopping in there...

            1. re: RonboNC

              Yes Dame's is very hard to resist!

              1. re: panthur

                I'm confused. Dame's in on 9th Street and Old Havana is on E. Main St. about 4 miles away. If anything, a burger from King's Sandwich Shop is much closer to Old Havana, about a mile. If you haven't tried a burger from King's you should give them a try.

                1. re: bbqme

                  Uhm, Dain's is on 9th street (great tots) but Dame's Chicken and Waffles is right on Main St next to Toast and Beyu. If you haven't tried Dame's yet, check it out...

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                  Dame's Chicken and Waffles
                  317 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

                  1. re: RonboNC

                    DOH! brain fart...sorry! Dame's is indeed good. Best collard greens in town too.

                  2. re: bbqme

                    Is King's walking distance from the American Tobacco campus?

                    1. re: panthur

                      Not really. King's is by the old Durham Bull's ball park. I mean it depends on how far you are willing to go.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        My office is downtown so I walk to these places for lunch all the time. Trust me, it's no more than 10-12 minutes b/w Old Havana and King's.

                      2. re: panthur

                        Yes, no more than 10 minutes.