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Nomination for Best Cuban Sandwich - Gustazo Belmont

Had one yesterday. Have to nominate this for best Cubano in Boston.

While I love the one at Chez Henri, it really is too meaty (oxymoron I know).

For starters the roast pork was clearly house made and super flavorful.

A proper cubano should honestly not be PILED with meat, that is just not correct.

It is all about balance between the pork, the ham, the cheese, the bread, the pickles.

Seriously, this was a PERFECT cubano. They also knocked the price down to $9.99 at lunch which is a bit more palatable. It comes with a nice bag of house made thin crispy plantain chips which were perfectly executed as well. I prefer the beefier chewy tostones, but these were spot on.

The resto itself is really a gorgeous little gem of a place and the staff is very earnest and tries very hard to please.

Next up I have to try their ropa vieja and the garbanzos and chorizo, two of my all time favorite dishes.

Gustazo
289 Belmont Street
Belmont MA 02478

Phone: (855) 487-8296
http://gustazocafe.com/

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Chez Henri
1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

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  1. Looks good.. I head that way to pick up Sophia's yogurt, have to make that trip a two-fer now to try it..

    1. If you ever find yourself on route 1 in Scarborough, Maine, stop into the Cheese Iron and try their version. It is spectacular.

      1. Yah, good find. Tried it when the area the other day. Great sandwich. Most other dishes coming out looked good as well. I will try the Pan con Lechon next time.

        1. Another Cuban, the new best (for me): Picco has added one to their menu in the last week, and it's delicious. The pork is really smoky (in a good way, but almost overwhelming) on account of the oven, great pickles, it's sour / salty / spicy / smoky on a good baguette. Well worth the $11.

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          Picco
          505 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

          1. Tried this Cuban today and it ruled.
            Will be going back for sure.

            Agree completely with StriperGuy about the balance. So good.

            1. recently tried the cubano at gustazo cafe and was very impressed. perfect balance of meat, cheese, and pickles, and, as noted above, served with nice crispy plantain chips. eager to return and try more of their sandwiches

              1. The Cubano was really nice but at $9.95 way to expensive. The chips was mixed, some crisp and some less so. For that price a soup would have been nice. Gorgeous place and nice staff. I will be back and try more lunch specials even if they are a bit expensive.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Ferrari328

                  I agree that the price is still a smidge steep. $8 or $9 would be in line with Sofra.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Eh... a block away is Watertown.
                      I've eaten at Gustazo - nice sandwich, generic Stop and Shop mesclun salad. As "hounda" mentions, "no leftovers" - portion size is very controlled. $9? Nope, I won't be adding it to the rotation, until or unless they add a lunch special or two for those of us born without the silver spoon.

                      Fine for the "Ladies who lunch" crowd, ala Sofra.

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                      Sofra
                      1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                2. I agree. This is right around the corner from me. Have eaten there 1/2 dozen times

                  1. Ah ha..! Finally I have seen the light - Chez Henri Cuban sandwich is too meaty. The Gustazo Cubano sandwich is about balance, and the bread they use is fantastic. No leftovers. We also enjoyed the substantial Empanadas platter appetizer. Gustazo is BYOB, btw.

                    1. Finally made it here.

                      I agree with Striper: best Cuban sandwich in the area. It trounces El Oriental de Cuba. (Chez Henri really is its own animal.) Perfect bread, awesome pork element.

                      Is it overpriced by a buck or so? Perhaps. But for this level of quality, I'm certainly not going to keep it out of my rotation for $1. That's just silly. Plus it comes with plaintain chips. I'm pretty sure the Sofra sandwiches come with nothing.

                      Purists will have to ask for them to make it w/o mayo.

                      EDIT: One thing I'll give El Oriental is that I think they did a better press job. I'm used to my Cuban sandwiches being more slender. Not a good or bad thing, necessarily. Just what I'm used to as an "ideal".

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                      Gustazo Cuban Cafe
                      289 Belmont St.,, Belmont, MA 02478

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Alcachofa

                        Glad you approve, sorry we missed ya today.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          I definitely want to go back and try other items.

                          1. re: Alcachofa

                            I was not thrilled by the ropa vieja, a bit too delicate and somehow sweetish.

                      2. They posted new/updated menus online...knocked the cubano down to $9.50.

                        1. My wife and I had dinner there last night... didn't have the Cuban, but the empanada was tasty, my ropa vieja had great flavors, rice was well made, and service was friendly and attentive. Its definitely worth Round 2 - maybe I can find a lunch reason to be there, to try a sandwich.

                          1. A friend and I had lunch here last Saturday. Striper's right - this is the best Cuban sandwich. Also, I didn't realize it would come with a huge pile of plaintains so had ordered the Yuca Frites appetizer, which was incredibly delicious. Fat fingers of Yuca fried to a perfect crispness while remaining creamy on the inside. I ate so many of those I could only eat half of my Cuban, and brought the other half home. I normally wouldn't do this, but I reheated that half in the microwave for brunch on Sunday, and was amazed at how good the sandwich still tasted after being reheated so inappropriately.

                            My DC had a chicken empanada to start and the Ropa Vieja sandwich, which came with what seemed to be home made potato chips. All delicious as well.

                            Oh! I almost forgot - the first thing I ordered was a Cafe con Leche. It was a dreary chilly day, and I needed something to warm up. The drink was delicious as well. It reminded me of the incredible Cafe con Leche I used to get at Iruna in Harvard Square. I can't wait to back for another one, and to try more of the menu.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Dea

                              Great report! The yuca frita sounds good!

                            2. Do they use real Cuban bread? In my opinion that is the real problem with so many Cuban sandwiches up here. To make a real Cubano you need real Cuban bread.

                              1. I got the cubano as takeout the other night and agree that it is excellent. It held up well to a thirty minute or so wait. The tortilla espanola is also delicious. It was served hot, which is something I'm not used to, but the flavor and texture were excellent.

                                My son enjoyed his roasted eggplant and fried fresh cheese vegetarian entree. The eggplant was a garlicky puree, almost too garlicky for me. It came with a simple, light butternut squash bisque that I thought could have used a little more seasoning but he liked. The tostones were well-fried and not greasy.

                                We'll return to try other things on the menu.