HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >

Best Cuban sandwich in Twin Cities

fm1 Jul 14, 2012 10:20 AM

Where could one find the best Cuban around? Thanks in advance

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. z
    zfwp RE: fm1 Jul 14, 2012 10:28 AM

    no such thing. i like Manny's version. i also like El Burrito Cubano.

    15 Replies
    1. re: zfwp
      The Dairy Queen RE: zfwp Jul 14, 2012 11:31 AM

      No such thing? Not even at Victor's 1959 Cafe?http://victors1959cafe.com/dinner.html

      As a fall back, there's always the Tony Oliva cuban sandwich at Target field. It's pretty good, actually, for ball park food.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen
        zfwp RE: The Dairy Queen Jul 14, 2012 12:13 PM

        that is right. no such thing.

        1. re: zfwp
          The Dairy Queen RE: zfwp Jul 14, 2012 02:12 PM

          Bummer. I had high hopes for Victors'. I've never tried it, but had hoped/assumed it would be at least acceptable. How does it fall short?


          1. re: zfwp
            foreverhungry RE: zfwp Jul 14, 2012 02:18 PM

            What, exactly, do you mean by "no such thing"? That there is no eatery in the TC serving something called a Cuban sandwich? That no TC eateries are serving whatever is deemed to be an official Cuban sandwich? That no TC eateries are serving very good Cuban sandwiches?

            Because I'm fairly certain I've had Cuban sandwiches in the TC. Now, I've never traveled to Cuba, nor have I ever had one in Florida, so my knowledge of a Cuban sandwich served in it's native locale is limited. That said, a few of the Cubans I've had in the TC have been tasty and enjoyable. So there is such a thing. It's just a matter of what that thing actually is.

            1. re: foreverhungry
              MSPD RE: foreverhungry Jul 14, 2012 02:34 PM

              It's another one of those "cheesesteaks taste better in Philly", "pizza tastes better in NYC", and so on. Even if someone magically transported one from the Calle Ocho, it wouldn't be the same.

              1. re: MSPD
                The Dairy Queen RE: MSPD Jul 14, 2012 06:22 PM

                There is a difference between a Mexican "Cubano" torta and a classic Cuban sandwich, but we have both here. Fortunately, I'm not a purist.


              2. re: foreverhungry
                Jordan RE: foreverhungry Jul 16, 2012 08:10 AM

                Well, you won't find the exact same bread they use for Cuban sandwiches in Miami, because it simply ain't baked here. However, the other ingredients aren't particularly hard to get and press together. I think the rendition at Edina Grill is actually pretty good. For a slightly different take, Haute Dish does a Cuban sandwich substituting duck confit for the pork. This works very well. They also use a much spicier mustard than the norm.

                1. re: Jordan
                  MrStPaul RE: Jordan Jul 18, 2012 09:07 AM

                  Agreed, the bread makes all the difference. I'm surprised so many people like the Tony O Cuban from Target Field. The bread on the one I had was flavorless and chalky.

                  If you're not too much of a purist, the Muddy Pig Cuban is good. Which Wich has a passable version as well.

            2. re: The Dairy Queen
              ChillyDog RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 26, 2012 04:09 PM

              I tried the Cuban sandwich at Target Field today. It clearly had been prepared quite a bit in advance. The flavors were good but the texture was off. It was a noon game and I got the sandwich before the game started. The only way I would try it again is if I saw they were making them as they went. There was a person dressed like a chef at the stand but I never saw him actually do anything.

              On a happier note, Tony Oliva himself stopped by the stand and I got to shake his hand so it wasn't a complete waste of $9!

              1. re: ChillyDog
                The Dairy Queen RE: ChillyDog Sep 26, 2012 05:44 PM

                They are never made to order as far as I've seen. Honestly, your very best bet at Target Field is Kramarczuk's. But, that's not a Cuban, alas.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                  ChillyDog RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 26, 2012 06:57 PM

                  Kramarczuk's is my usual; I wanted to try something else today.

                  I didn't expect the Cuban to be made to order but I didn't expect it to taste like it was leftover from last night either.

                  1. re: ChillyDog
                    The Dairy Queen RE: ChillyDog Sep 27, 2012 05:55 AM

                    I don't remember the Cuban being that bad, but, now that I think about it, I realize I haven't had a Cuban all season. I've been getting the State Fair/Turkey to Go sandwich as the shredded turkey and the soft bun are easy to feed a toddler. And I only went to a game or two last season, so it's been at least a year, maybe even two, since I've had the Cuban. Time really has flown. My husband (fair weather chowhound) always gets either Kramarczuk's sausage or if the line's too long, just a regular ball park dog, so it's not even like I've been able to taste a bite of his or have his secondhand report on the Cuban.

                    I'm sorry, I hadn't realized how long it had been since I tried it when I recommended it above, although I really only intended as a last resort kind of recommendation anyway. The Cuban a year or two ago was good by ballpark standards, but not stellar. I wonder if they've changed how they prepare the Cubans in the last year or two? The bread was never the real deal, but it wasn't stupidly stale either...

                    P.S. At least you got to meet Tony. He's a gem.


                2. re: ChillyDog
                  johnnybgargoyle RE: ChillyDog Sep 27, 2012 07:18 AM

                  I think the problem (I'm a big cuban fan and was highly anticipating these when TF opened) is the turnaround time. Since they keep all the items FDA "cold" until making the sandwiches, it takes forever (in a 'fast-food' situation) in their press to get it hot all the way through (melt the cheese, etc.) The 1st 2 years, I had to take sandwiches back because they were completely still cold inside when I had gotten them right off their grill/press (much to the chagrin of the 20+ people in line at the time). So, I guess they've taken to pre-making them. Be nice if they could do a partial pre-make, and then finish them up on the press to get them crisp and hot (like a lot of 'by the slice' pizza joints do).

                  1. re: johnnybgargoyle
                    The Dairy Queen RE: johnnybgargoyle Sep 27, 2012 07:38 AM

                    You know, you're right, I do remember they had a press right there during the first season. I can't now remember whether they still had it in season 2... I never got a cold sandwich though. In fact, I seldom even remember there being much of a line.


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      ChillyDog RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 27, 2012 12:23 PM

                      The panini grill and person in chef's whites were there yesterday (Season 3 at Target Field) but both were idle a half hour before game time. My sandwich came out of a warming box.

            3. k
              keithinmpls RE: fm1 Jul 14, 2012 01:00 PM

              The Elian Gonzalez at Buster's on 28th is my favorite in the cities.

              1 Reply
              1. re: keithinmpls
                zfwp RE: keithinmpls Jul 14, 2012 03:32 PM

                there are a lot of things called cuban sandwiches around, and i like a lot of them: i already named two. i even like the Elian Gonzalez but not as much as i like the one at Burrito Cubano (not that i expect anyone to travel that far... but keithinmpls if you are up around 94 and north 50th it would be interesting to hear your comparison).
                i used to eat something called a cuban sandwich on the upper westside in NYC. they made the sandwich with a crusty bread like a short baguette and then they would roll it flatter with a rolling pin in order stuff a bunch of them into a little glass case so they would be ready for sandwich rush-hour.

              2. b
                BigE RE: fm1 Jul 16, 2012 07:22 AM

                I also can't speak to authenticity, just what tastes good to me.

                I like the Muddy Pig version quite a bit. The one at Busters wasn't bad either.

                1. e
                  exploitoholic RE: fm1 Jul 16, 2012 07:37 AM

                  While certainly not authentic, QFanatic's take on a Cuban (Q-ban) is my absolute favorite sandwich on earth right now.

                  Conversely, the Pourhouse has an "open faced cubano" on their menu that is one of the worst sandwiches I've tried in recent memory.

                  For the best attempt at a traditional cuban I prefer Tony O's in the upper concourse of Target Field or 3 Square when I don't have a Twins ticket on hand.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: exploitoholic
                    BigE RE: exploitoholic Jul 17, 2012 07:47 AM

                    I haven't heard of that sandwich at Q. Sounds like my dinner plans are set!

                  2. j
                    jbanana RE: fm1 Jul 18, 2012 09:17 AM

                    I've had a good Cuban at Whitey's bar, believe it or not. No vouch for authenticity, just tastiness.

                    1. Latinpig RE: fm1 Jul 20, 2012 07:29 AM

                      I thought I read somewhere that the Cuban sandwhich was invented by Cuban Americans in Tampa (not Miami) which I believe has a very old Cuban population. Not sure if true or not.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Latinpig
                        flavrmeistr RE: Latinpig Oct 15, 2012 09:59 AM

                        It was invented in Havana.

                      2. m
                        mull0263 RE: fm1 Jul 23, 2012 07:01 AM

                        Another one I'd throw out there is Tiffany's in Highland Park - not going to claim authentic, but pretty tasty nonetheless.

                        1. s
                          s4zando RE: fm1 Aug 11, 2012 11:37 AM

                          I can't vouch for it's authenticity, but I sure do like Manny Tortas' version... The Manny's Special is a damn fine sammy too.

                          I tell ya, that man makes a mean sandwich and is the main reason I slog over to MGM (aka MidGloMar)...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: s4zando
                            rp1760 RE: s4zando Sep 27, 2012 06:11 AM

                            +1 on Manny's Torta.

                          2. s
                            shoo bee doo RE: fm1 Sep 26, 2012 04:34 PM

                            Aesop's Table has a pretty good one. They are on Dale near Como Avenue.

                            1. b
                              BatMan RE: fm1 Sep 27, 2012 02:11 PM

                              CP declares the Cubano from Cheeky Monkey in St Paul is the second best sandwich in the Twin Cities.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BatMan
                                mull0263 RE: BatMan Sep 28, 2012 07:32 AM

                                I must have had it on an off day - didn't think it was anything too special the one time I tried it. Do like Cheeky Monkey though...

                                1. re: mull0263
                                  BigE RE: mull0263 Sep 28, 2012 07:42 AM

                                  Add me to that list. I've had it twice, and it was just OK for me.

                                  Maybe it's time for a return visit.

                              2. s
                                shoo bee doo RE: fm1 Oct 7, 2012 01:23 PM

                                The best one I've had is at Cafe Ena. If you go there, try their guacamole. That's also the best in the Twin Cities.

                                1. MSPD RE: fm1 Oct 22, 2012 07:07 AM

                                  It may not please the hardest core purists, but I had a Cuban Sandwich at Chilkoot Cafe in Stillwater over the weekend that was a great sandwich. (They add bacon and house-pickled vegetables, but it worked).

                                  All in all, I was really impressed with that place, especially recommended if you're out that way and don't want to deal with the crowds and ridiculousness of downtown Stillwater (it's up the hill a bit).

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: MSPD
                                    flavrmeistr RE: MSPD Oct 22, 2012 09:09 AM

                                    Sounds more like a backwoods bahn mi. In a good way.

                                    1. re: MSPD
                                      BigE RE: MSPD Oct 22, 2012 03:01 PM

                                      That's great news. I just moved to Stillwater recently and have been wondering about this place.

                                    2. s
                                      ssioff RE: fm1 Oct 22, 2012 12:09 PM

                                      I agree - no such thing around these parts. However, Obb's has a good "midwest" version. It too has bacon on it, but then everything is better with bacon.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ssioff
                                        mull0263 RE: ssioff Oct 22, 2012 12:28 PM

                                        +1 on Obb's. Certainly not 'traditional', but quite good nonetheless.

                                      Show Hidden Posts