Search for the Cubano Sandwich

A few weeks ago my mom and I saw the movie Chef.  I knew it was about food going into it, but I actually really enjoyed the movie for more than just the intoxicating close-ups of sizzling garlic in olive oil.  In addition to the focus on the love of food and the pride of preparing it well, the story was rather uplifting with great support from the main character’s friends and family to pursue his passion for cooking.  There were also some great cameos, including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johanson, Sophia Vergara, and Oliver Platt (Oliver Babbish on The West Wing!).  Anyway, the completely unsurprising and very predictable result of seeing this film was that I wanted to try a cuban sandwich!

I didn’t know where I would find one, but when Mike suggested we go to the Rochester Food Truck Rodeo I figured there was a good chance we would find a vendor selling them.  I know I would ride the wave of the movie and offer cuban sandwiches if I had a food truck, and of course if I knew how to make a good one.IMG_3003

There were so many food trucks, and people!

Eventually we found a truck run by The Daily Refresher, a local establishment that invites customers to its restaurant in addition to its food truck.IMG_3004I looked up what goes into the typical cuban sandwich on wikipedia: ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on cuban bread.

This cuban sandwich featured pulled pork, bacon, onion, cilantro, dill pickles, and cheddar cheese served on a bun.


So, it was close, but not exactly the traditional cuban sandwich that I was looking for.  It was a good sandwich, but it didn’t have the “wow” effect that I was looking for.  We also ordered some fries, and these were possibly the saltiest fries I’ve ever had in my life . . . and that is not a good thing.IMG_3008So in conclusion, although this was a decent sandwich, my hunger for a traditional cubano persists.  I want to find one with great flavor in the meat and a strong mustard taste that has been grilled like a panini.  I will continue my search for a perfect classic cubano sandwich!


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