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Savenor's Cubano - Wow!

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. 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

      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

        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

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

      3. 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

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

          1. re: bear

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

            1. re: Niblet

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

          2. re: yumyum

            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

              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. 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

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

              1. re: SLL1065

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

                1. 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

                    Appreciate your research and reporting!

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

                    1. 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. 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. 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. 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: ChocolateMilkshake

                                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

                                  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.

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

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: UmamiBreath

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

                                1. re: bear

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

                                  1. re: katzzz

                                    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. 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. 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. 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.