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Cuban Sandwich

Where in the greater Boston area can I get a cuban sandwich? I'm looking for a place outside of Boston. I had a cuban sandwich at The Cheesecake Factory and it was very good. I'm now looking for other places (inside Route 128) that make cuban sandwiches.

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  1. For traditional try El Oriental de Cuba and Miami Restaurant in JP. Do a search for Chez Henri on the board as well, there is alot of praise for the Cubano there, with reason, it is very good.

    I also enjoy the Cubano at All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman as well.

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    All Star Sandwich Bar
    1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    Chez Henri
    1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    2 Replies
    1. re: Matt H

      Do you have a preferred cuban sandwich when the choices are El Oriental vs. Miami Restaurant? I like Miami's food and way less frantic atmosphere but rarely get cubans there.

      1. re: PaulB

        Just like you I like the food at Miami better than El Oriental. I have only had the Cubano twice though, but in comparison to El Oriental I would say I enjoyed it a bit more at Miami.

    2. Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Sq

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      Dave's Fresh Pasta
      81 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

      1 Reply
      1. re: joth68

        +1. Go there for lunch from downtown Boston on occasion.

      2. Plough and Stars in Cambridge also makes a good Cubano.

        1. There is a new place in cushing sq. in Belmont called Gustazo's Cuban Cafe. I had a different sandwich there (Pan con Lechon) but one of my dining companions had the cubano and called it "superior." It's worth a try.

          As a side note- Gustazo's overall was enjoyable but a tad pricey for what you're getting. My sandwich was $9.95 and was not nearly the size of those huge sandwiches for the same price at All-Star Sandwich Bar and Hi-Rise. That reminds me though... Dan's Havana Heaven at Hi-Rise in Cambridge is a delicious but unconventional cubano.

          9 Replies
          1. re: heypielady

            Yes, at the bar at Chez Henri.

            I went to Gustazo and also had the pan con lechon, which has the same roasted pork, plus one of the other sandwiches (we asked for a cubano but they brought us a turkey sandwich instead, and we didn't have time to wait for a new sandwich since it had already taken a long time to get our food). The roasted pork is good, but the bread on both sandwiches tasted like bad supermarket bread. I don't think you can have a good sandwich without good bread, especially at $10.

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            Chez Henri
            1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

            1. re: Pia

              I agree about the bread, Pia. It just wasn't that good. And the braised pork had so much liquid to it that it really made the bread a mushy soggy mess.

              1. re: heypielady

                I came from Cuba 4 years ago. I had a part-time sous chef position for 3 years at "La bodeguita del Medio", the most famous cuban restaurant in the world. Unfortunatelly I had an industrial accident that cut most tendons and nerves in my left hand and my time in the kitchen is over. I left cuba 5 years ago and I've been living in Roslindale for almost 4 years now and I have to tell you how sick i am of El oriental or Miami restaurants. This is not cuban flavor and it is a shame that you guys have been mislead for so long on real cuban food. These places taste like dominican republic or a boricua (Puerto Rico) food. We share the same roots but the flavor is veeery different. If you haven't been in Cuba or miami (Some places, not everywhere) you will never notice the difference and you will keep talking and sounding hollow.

                Pan con Lechon comes with mojo (Named by heypielady "liquid"). If you do not have it right away, bread will definitely get mushy and soggy, no matter the kind of bread you use. The server should have advised you on this as there is no culture of cuban food up here. If you buy it and take it home you can ask the server to put the mojo in a small container. But for cubans, soggy and mushy from the mojo...Mmmmm yumiii.

                Cubano: The trend here is to use gruyere cheese. In cuba we use swiss, but I have to admit that gruyere gives an extra kick to the flavor. I tried Chez Henry sandwich couple of weeks after I arrived here. It is giant, I'd never see a cubano like that in Cuba, never. It did taste good but the pork was dry and it tasted like mexican roasted pork, very different form the real deal. Bread does not make a cubano, yes, it does not. Roasted pork flavor does, the right mostaza does. In la bodeguita we make our own mostaza, a mix of dijon and honey + 5 more ingredients. After living these years in America I would rather use italian or french bread than Cuban bread for a cubano. The reason, cubano is not a healthy bread, and sandwich tastes better with italian. That how I do it at home. I will not comment about cubano sandwiches in El oriental or Miami restaurant, as they suck.

                I am curious and glad that there is another cuban restaurant open in Boston. I will definitely give it a try. I will do my prayer first and go for it. I am really hoping this will be a real cuban place. It will make me very happy. I'll try to stop by soon and I will post an update and my observation.

                Hope this helps clear some blurry comments. If you guys want to ask any question, my tendons were cut but my brain and knowledge of latin american food are intact.

                *And please yumyum, do not put mortadella on a cubano, please, it makes me sick to my stomach. That is Sacrilegio my man.

                1. re: cubantonian

                  Nice post. You should make a lengthy, photo-filled post/article/blog about how to make Cuban-style food, starting with sandwiches. I'd read it!

                  1. re: cubantonian

                    cubantonian: have you ever wrote up recipes for the mojo and mostaza and the roasted pork? Why isn't cubano bread healthy (besides all the butter that seems to be dumped on it before grilling...tried one at Dave's Fresh and my hands were coated w/ melted butter afterwards)? I'd be willing to try cooking it from scratch :-)

                    1. re: Spike

                      This recipes comes from a bakery in reparto El Vedado, La Habana (At the corner of Linea St and 12 St) It is the bakery that provides the Government with all sort of breads and delights. This is a traditional recipe so there is no high tech or clear timing or order. I am taking it from an old beat down handwritten recipe notebook in spanish, so don't pay too much attention to grammar or terms translation.

                      Pan Criollo o cubano:
                      Mix 3.5 lbs water, 6 lbs hard wheat flour, 2 oz fresh yeast
                      4 hours of fermentation at room temperature (In the caribbean ;-).
                      (Dough)
                      4 lbs flour, 1.5 oz salt, 2 lbs water, 3/4 lbs lard
                      Get the sponge in a mixer, add water, mix well, so that looks creamy. Start adding flour and mix until moistened, then add the lard. Knead until all blend together and looks smooth. Take it out of the mixer and cut it into 6 one pound pieces. Make it into a loaf form, leave it rest for 2.5 hrs and bake at 450 for 10min, then reduce heat to 350 for 40min or until golden. Split the top of the loaf with a knife before baking.

                      If you want a more modern and clear recipe, this link comes from a colega in miami
                      http://modern-baking.com/formulas/mb_...

                      Cambridgedoctpr: Cannot sugest a restaurant in NYC as I have been there only once last year and had dinner at the first cuban restaurant that opened in Manhattan back in the 60's, Victor's Cafe. They have integrated several dishes and technics from other countries alike. We had a good time, the food and platting was good too, but we did not feel to be having dinner in a cuban place.
                      So, you better look elsewhere at blogs as you suggest.

                    2. re: cubantonian

                      sorry to hear about your accident; i hope that you are productively employed in another area. Under different circumstances, you would be the dream person to open a restaurant here in Boston.

                      and thanks for your interesting post; how about finding some good cuban food in nyc (Manhattan?) or should i just check on NY blog

                      1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                        Union City is where you go for Cuban food in the New York area.

              2. The Cubano at City Slicker Cafe on Somerville Ave is quite good, and is half the price of Chez Henri's.

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                City Slicker Cafe
                588 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                Chez Henri
                1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                8 Replies
                1. re: Tonality666

                  I just had one delivered on Monday and was pleasantly surprised.

                  1. re: Madrid

                    madrid, would you plse describe this 'wich? can you compare it to dave's or chez henri?thnx much.

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      I haven't had Dave's ever and I haven't had chez henri in over 8 years, I'd say, so all I can say is that I was surprised by it in a positive way. I do recall the Montrose Spa cuban as "ok" but deli meat stuff, whereas the City Slicker Cuban seemed to have house-made pork of some kind, perhaps the same pork they put in their "portuguese pulled pork" sandwich, which I also love and which inspired me to go to my Portuguese cookbooks for pork recipes.

                      I think I remember you are originally from Virginia and I am originally from NC, so ham has to be something very special to impress me.....In a pressed sandwich with the cheese and pork and pickles all coming together, I can ignore the not so great ham!

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                      City Slicker Cafe
                      588 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                      Montrose Spa
                      1646 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

                      1. re: Madrid

                        ha! maybe you like smithfield ham? my VA. mom's idea of nirvana. i could never take it- just sooooooo salty, you could use it to kill slugs. (charming analogy, eh?!)We'll have to try City Slicker; never been there.

                        for portuguese pork recipes, i have a few you might want;you can email me through my member pg.

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                        City Slicker Cafe
                        588 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                        1. re: Madrid

                          Give me some nice country ham any day!

                          1. re: Madrid

                            City Slicker uses yellow mustard on its Cubano, something else that really makes it stand out.

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                            City Slicker Cafe
                            588 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                            1. re: Tonality666

                              I love the sharp hit of yellow mustard on my cubano. I'll need to get over to City Slicker soon. Thanks for the nudge.

                              Hmmm.... the online menu says "citrus mayo". And also provolone... interesting.

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                              City Slicker Cafe
                              588 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                              1. re: yumyum

                                sandwich sounds good but provolone has no flavor to me; i bet they'd happily sub swiss (assuming they don't have gruyere).