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What Goes Into a Cuban Sandwich?

In Praise of the Cubano

I've had plenty of Cuban sandwiches in my lifetime, made by everyone from local San Francisco cafés to national chains like Quiznos. But until I visited Miami, I'd never had an authentic Cubano sandwich as it's served at a typical lonchería in South Florida.

What makes a real Cuban sandwich? Why, it's not just the slow-cooked pork, but also the bread. An authentic version of a storied sandwich is made from heavily-buttered pan Cubano, an elusive long, rectangular bread that tends to be flaky and crisp on the outside and tender and moist on the inside. In between goes sliced ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, and dill pickles, and the whole thing is warmed on the press, or plancha, where it's heated until the exterior's toasty and the interior steamy.

The variation I tried was made to order at David's Café, and it was so many things all at once: crispy, juicy, creamy, soft. I'd never eaten anything quite like it and decided that my pairing of the meal with a Dominican Presidente beer couldn't have been more spot-on. Have you ever had a real Cuban sandwich?

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Join The Conversation
noxcatt noxcatt 4 years
For a real cuban sandwich, its got to come from Miami! Most amazing food anywhere. And yes, in a paper bag. The buttery bread is heavenly and soooo delicious.
Michele-Foley Michele-Foley 4 years
I love Cuban sandwiches, too! I haven't had enough to form a real base of comparison but I do like the Cubano from Parada 22 in San Francisco.
snarkypants snarkypants 4 years
real cuban sandwiches come in paper bags. none of this plated, fancy BS.
Shannon-Vestal Shannon-Vestal 4 years
I love Cuban sandwiches — the best one I've ever had was in Vegas. Sadly, I haven't had one I've loved in San Francisco, not once.
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