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Best Cuban sandwich in Twin Cities

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  • fm1 Jul 14, 2012 10:20 AM
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Where could one find the best Cuban around? Thanks in advance

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

    15 Replies
    1. re: zfwp

      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.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        that is right. no such thing.

        1. re: zfwp

          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?

          ~TDQ

          1. re: zfwp

            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

              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

                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.

                ~TDQ

              2. re: foreverhungry

                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

                  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

              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

                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.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  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

                    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.

                    ~TDQ

                2. re: ChillyDog

                  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

                    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.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: keithinmpls

                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. 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. 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

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

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

                    1. 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

                        It was invented in Havana.

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

                        1. 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

                            +1 on Manny's Torta.

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

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

                              http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BatMan

                                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

                                  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. 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. 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

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

                                    1. re: MSPD

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

                                    2. 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

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