It is no secret that I love a good sandwich. I think they are the most personal of foods. It is what we make for ourselves alone, and that we prepare in just the way that suits us. Casseroles are full of compromises…somebody doesn’t like cilantro (me), somebody doesn’t like onions, somebody doesn’t like black olives, etc…and you end up with a dish that often is made to please the most people in the room. But a sandwich is selfish. It is just the way you like it.
I’ve been eating a lot of Cubans lately, the sandwich that is. They are also called Cubanos. They are a rather simple affair. Beautifully simple, actually. However, the primary ingredient, roast pork, is often not on hand in the house and is also not something you pick up in the cold cut aisle. Cubanos, for me, were always a treat I enjoyed out. Of note, Jimmy’s Food Store has a spectacular Cuban and there is also a little spot called the International Bakery that has a very solid cubano. Scott Reitz of the Dallas Observer recently put a list together of the 9 best Cuban sandwiches in Dallas, he apparently being similarly moved by this treat. We should all go on a 9-day lunch-a-thon and check out the particulars. But they are nice to eat out because, not only does some angel of mercy place it before you and then take away the dishes, but you also don’t have to come up with the pork element.