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Savenor's Cubano - Wow!

Gabatta Jun 9, 2012 09:24 AM

I was just in the Cambridge Savenor's location (I don't regularly shop there, but I was picking up some rendered duck fat for fries with this evening's dinner), and I noticed they had a sandwich counter working. I am not sure if this is relatively new, or if I just hadn't noticed it before. I ordered their version of a cubano, called the Havana ($10.99) and I think it was better than any other cubano I have had. The sandwich traveled well and was still warm without the roll (Iggy's torta) being soggy when I got home 10 min later. It was an absolutely delicious and unexpected surprise. I will be back to try more of their sandwiches, including one with sliced house roasted prime rib.

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  1. b
    bear RE: Gabatta Jun 9, 2012 10:43 AM

    Good to know since I'm in the area a lot. I noticed the sandwich counter the other day when picking up some of their wonderful Giannone chicken for the rotisserie. I was disappointed to see a sign advertising Boar's Head due to customer requests. Good to hear that they roast the beef in-house. I'm assuming the pork on the Cubano was house-roasted, yes?

    Looks like they cut the fish section to put in the sandwich bar and now just have a fish few selections.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bear
      Gabatta RE: bear Jun 9, 2012 11:01 AM

      Those chickens are awesome.

      Oh yes, house roasted pork shoulder and I can't recall the ham, but definitely delicious and not Boars Head They had 6-7 specialty sandwiches all with home made meats and ingredients. Each one sounded darn good.

      1. re: Gabatta
        bear RE: Gabatta Jun 9, 2012 11:51 AM

        Thanks, Gabatta. The Boar's Head is probably just for the deli customers, then. Can't wait to try the sandwiches...thanks for the heads-up.

      2. re: bear
        muscles_marinara RE: bear Jun 9, 2012 11:20 AM

        Fish there was overpriced, and they didn't do enough volume to keep it fresh. Glad it's gone!

      3. yumyum RE: Gabatta Jun 9, 2012 11:25 AM

        So adding this to the cubano research! Thanks for the Intel.. and I love me some prime rib so I guess I'll hafta try that one too! Bikini season be damned!

        5 Replies
        1. re: yumyum
          bear RE: yumyum Jun 9, 2012 11:52 AM

          Just seeing the word bikini makes me shudder...Cubano here I come.

          1. re: bear
            Niblet RE: bear Jun 12, 2012 12:52 PM

            I for one would like to see a bear in a bikini. Eating a cubano.

            1. re: Niblet
              bear RE: Niblet Jun 12, 2012 05:02 PM

              Ha, not this bear! (Maybe 20 lbs. and 20 years ago...)

          2. re: yumyum
            Gabatta RE: yumyum Jun 9, 2012 01:52 PM

            The sandwich was delicious, but not overly huge as to make you feel like a whale after eating it. As someone with no willpower to leave good food on my plate I appreciate more reasonable portions. However, some may not think it is a great value for $10. It's not enough for two people to split.

            1. re: Gabatta
              Madrid RE: Gabatta Jun 10, 2012 07:30 AM

              thanks for posting...I always thought the seafood section there was very sad. I don't go in often but live nearby and so will definitely stop in for a cubano. I was amazed to find palm sugar there once and snapped it up...need it for Indonesian cooking.

          3. SLL1065 RE: Gabatta Jun 10, 2012 10:12 AM

            I just read your post and while I haven't had this sandwich, I did google it because I'm always on the lookout for a good Cubano. For purists, it's not a true Cuban Sandwich. The ingredients, as listed on the web site, are: "House roasted ABF pork shoulder, Rovagnati Gran Biscotto Ham, Swiss cheese, sliced dill pickle, pickled red onion on sliced French bread with brush of spicy aioli and mustard butter."

            2 Replies
            1. re: SLL1065
              hckybg RE: SLL1065 Jun 11, 2012 02:30 PM

              Yeah, but they don't call it a Cubano and Gabatta says it's awesome.

              1. re: SLL1065
                jgg13 RE: SLL1065 Jun 18, 2012 08:36 AM

                Had one this weekend. IMO it is stretching "cuban" even for a non-purist (i.e. me) but as has been mentioned it isn't even called a "cuban" anyways :)

                That said it was tasty as heck. The one deviation I'd give from Gabatta's original report is that my roll *was* a bit greasy/soggy by the time I ate it (10-15m) although I liked that so to me it was a positive :)

              2. Alcachofa RE: Gabatta Jun 11, 2012 02:22 PM

                Can I stop by later for the fries? Mmmm...duck fat.

                1. g
                  Gabatta RE: Gabatta Jun 14, 2012 09:18 AM

                  I can now confirm that the prime rib sandwich with horse radish sauce ($7.99) is also excellent.

                  There are 2 small sidewalk tables to eat at as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Gabatta
                    GretchenS RE: Gabatta Jun 14, 2012 09:29 AM

                    Appreciate your research and reporting!

                    1. re: GretchenS
                      Gabatta RE: GretchenS Jun 14, 2012 09:41 AM

                      avec plaisir

                  2. Aromatherapy RE: Gabatta Jun 15, 2012 09:20 AM

                    The sandwich menu looks good. The sandwich bar is open Mon-Sat. from opening untl 6 pm.

                    1. g
                      Guinness02122 RE: Gabatta Jun 15, 2012 10:23 AM

                      It's nice that they serve sandwiches at the Cambridge store. I found out yesterday they don't serve them at the Charles Street store.

                      1. j
                        JV72 RE: Gabatta Jun 18, 2012 07:21 AM

                        The roasted prime rib is heavenly. Savenor's had a booth at the Taste of Cambridge last week and they were serving their sandwiches (we went back for seconds but shh don't tell anyone) as well as an excellent spit-roasted boar! My husband and I had carnivore dreams that night!

                        Next year, I hope more Chowhounds check out this charity event-- www.tasteofcambridge.com

                        1. Aromatherapy RE: Gabatta Jun 18, 2012 08:51 AM

                          I tried the "porketta with house-pickled fennel and local honey." I was dubious about the honey, but the sweetness wasn't overt and it added a nice aromatic funkiness. I did wish the fennel were more fennely. Nice balance of ingredients. But--the outside of the roll was disconcertingly greasy, making for very messy eating.

                          1. opinionatedchef RE: Gabatta Aug 28, 2012 11:54 PM

                            We've been twice this last month.The Toulouse (duck confit, root veggie slaw, aioli; pressed) was terrific, and I really really loved everything about my upscale Italian sub- except the bread. It was like the best capicola etc. i could imagine. And then they top it w/ sliced romaine and tomatoes tossed w/ balsamic ,and that just hits it out of the park. The only problem has been the day old? Iggy's bread.both times. Maybe i'll take my own next time......

                            Has anyone else found the s bar staff to be attitudy/odd?that kind of 'Actually, we could care less' kind of vibe?....

                            So far, Savenor's website does not list their sandwiches, but some of them are described in this Globe piece:

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                              ChocolateMilkshake RE: opinionatedchef Aug 29, 2012 10:18 AM

                              Actually they do...

                              1. re: ChocolateMilkshake
                                Gabatta RE: ChocolateMilkshake Aug 29, 2012 10:26 AM

                                Some of the descriptions on the page are a bit out of date, and a few of the specialty sandwiches are not non there at all. It looks like it hasn't been updated since they initially posted and the page isn't easy to get to without a direct link. Some of the information is there though.

                                To OC's question about the service, I have never gotten attitude there. The staff is always quite friendly. They don't chat you up while making sandwiches, so I take the opportunity to wander the store and pick up items I don't really need or just check out what the butcher's are cutting. The sandwiches are a bit complex to make (cut/heated to order, etc), and they seem to be multitasking with other togo prep behind that counter; so I can see how they might seem indifferent.

                                1. re: Gabatta
                                  opinionatedchef RE: Gabatta Aug 29, 2012 10:34 PM

                                  We went today for same sandwiches, and the sandwich maker(same woman, w/ the knit hat) was very nice this time. I asked them to put mine on a baguette, which i handed them and it was excellent; My LOve really likes the duck confit but dislikes the Iggy's torta bread so next time, we'll do the baguette for him too. I must say, it seems so odd that a tiny place like that sells baguettes from THREE different vendors! (Iggy's, Clearflour, and.... A and R ?)

                                  btw, the check- out woman was excitedly explaining to a trainee that they've just contracted with a local lamb guy and will begin selling it soon.

                            2. u
                              UmamiBreath RE: Gabatta Aug 29, 2012 04:50 AM

                              Do they do a Muffaletta? I am in search of a good Muffaletta in the Boston area!?!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: UmamiBreath
                                bear RE: UmamiBreath Aug 29, 2012 10:28 AM

                                Have you tried the muffaletta at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville? I like it a lot.

                                1. re: bear
                                  katzzz RE: bear Aug 29, 2012 12:45 PM

                                  If you've been to New Orleans, Bear, how does Dave's compare to a Central Grocery Muffaletta?

                                  1. re: katzzz
                                    bear RE: katzzz Aug 31, 2012 08:56 AM

                                    I've only been to New Orleans once, katzz, for a long weekend (eerily right before Katrina) so I've only had one opportunity to try the real deal. My memory is vague (NO will do that to you) but I think Dave's compares favorably. They sell it in wedges, by the pound I think, with a nice briny olive salad and lots of delicious meats and cheeses. I'll have to pay more attention next time I get it.

                                    I don't think it's available every day, though.

                              2. c
                                catsmeow RE: Gabatta Sep 1, 2012 03:55 PM

                                Thank you for this recommendation! I just finished my first Havana...well actually my first 1/2. The rest will be toasted tomorrow. It's got to be the best sandwich I've had in a very long time. Thank you!

                                1. g
                                  Gabatta RE: Gabatta Sep 13, 2012 09:23 AM

                                  I was in earlier and they have added two new sandwiches which are not listed on the big sheet in front of the counter. A reuben (or their version of) and a vegan roasted veggie and spicy hummus wrap,

                                  1. opinionatedchef RE: Gabatta Nov 26, 2012 01:05 PM

                                    fyi, the 'Boston Gold Standard' of Cubanos, Chez Henri in Cambridge, has started doing Sunday brunch, and their justly successful Cubano is on the brunch menu! (intead of just on the bar menu at night.) Their chipotle mayo is so perfect on this sandwich. The nearby Davis Sq. Dave's Pasta still offers their Chez Henri duplicate Cubano (fan TAStic and humongous)on Iggy's bread, and it is on our regular rotation.

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