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2 minutes ago, DanielK said:

A Cubano normally has both ham (glazed? never seen that) and roast pork. Do they just skip the roast pork at Earl's?

Tons of fresh roasted pork (roasted that morning).  Abundance of roast pork, smaller elements of proscuitto and cheese.  Tons of roast pork. 

I guess the only thing that is the exact same with the original is the roast pork!!! ;)

I've had Cubanos with ham but more w/ glazed ham; glazed providing the sweetness element, which is why I was thinking that the honey mustard (plus fried pickles) does a nice job of replacing the sweetness from glazed ham.   I've had them in Miami and Little Cuba in Jersey (Union City/Hoboken across from the Lincoln Tunnel into NY).  I'm not an expert, but I've had a healthy number.

Its the Earl's version.  Its not a Cubano, but its a lot like a Cubano.  Its good...and very hearty.

 

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That abomination is not a Cuban. Okay, abomination is a strong word, because the sandwich still sounds delicious. But, man, don't people know that words and names have meanings? "I'd like a Sazerac but could you make it with ..." NO!! A Sazerac is the finished product. Bacon is from a certain animal, and it's not bacon if it doesn't come from said animal. Don't get me started on martinis...

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2 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

That abomination is not a Cuban. Okay, abomination is a strong word, because the sandwich still sounds delicious. But, man, don't people know that words and names have meanings? "I'd like a Sazerac but could you make it with ..." NO!! A Sazerac is the finished product. Bacon is from a certain animal, and it's not bacon if it doesn't come from said animal. Don't get me started on martinis...

ha ha.  I agree that the Earl's sandwich is not a cubano.  Its a variation.  I'd also agree abomination is a strong word.  It is a delicious sandwich. 

On Earl's menu they call it a Cuban Club.  On a recent blog post about the Cuban Sandwich they call it the Best Cuban sandwich in Arlington.  Well I'm not an expert on all the Cubano's offered in Arlington or elsewhere, but having read the above, and neither being a stickler for authenticity or caring all that much, I've been persuaded to differentiate between an authentic Cuban and variations.   Earl's is a variation.

Its heaped with fresh roasted ham with lesser portions of provolone and prosciutto.  The Cubans I've had hold amounts of all three that are more equal in quantity. 

But this was an excellent sandwich imo.  I savored the honey mustard element.  It adds the sweetness that abundant ham or glazed ham give to a Cuban. 

Meanwhile without an overwhelming urge to uncover the best or "most authentic" in the DC area I'll sit back and see what the rest of you have to say.  But I'll add that the Cuban restaurants in Union City, NJ in Hudson County NJ, directly across from midtown and downtown NY had excellent dishes that I thought rivaled Cuban restaurants in Miami, and IMHO is the general pizza capital of the USA along with a plethora of great examples of old school Italian American cuisine.  ;)  

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

ha ha.  I agree that the Earl's sandwich is not a cubano.  Its a variation.  I'd also agree abomination is a strong word.  It is a delicious sandwich. 

On Earl's menu they call it a Cuban Club.  On a recent blog post about the Cuban Sandwich they call it the Best Cuban sandwich in Arlington.  Well I'm not an expert on all the Cubano's offered in Arlington or elsewhere, but having read the above, and neither being a stickler for authenticity or caring all that much, I've been persuaded to differentiate between an authentic Cuban and variations.   Earl's is a variation.

Its heaped with fresh roasted ham with lesser portions of provolone and prosciutto.  The Cubans I've had hold amounts of all three that are more equal in quantity. 

But this was an excellent sandwich imo.  I savored the honey mustard element.  It adds the sweetness that abundant ham or glazed ham give to a Cuban. 

Meanwhile without an overwhelming urge to uncover the best or "most authentic" in the DC area I'll sit back and see what the rest of you have to say.  But I'll add that the Cuban restaurants in Union City, NJ in Hudson County NJ, directly across from midtown and downtown NY had excellent dishes that I thought rivaled Cuban restaurants in Miami, and IMHO is the general pizza capital of the USA along with a plethora of great examples of old school Italian American cuisine.  ;)  

There are a number of pretty-good knock-offs, I'll admit, but the classic Cubano is hard to find in this area.

On 10/5/2016 at 0:56 PM, Kibbee Nayee said:

I suggest we stick with the classic Cubano -- 

Ham, roasted pork, Cuban cheese (or knock-off), pickles, pickles and mustard, Cuban bread, hot-pressed.

There are many permutations and combinations and kitchen's whimsies in the DC area. The classic Cubano is elusive.

This is an earlier post of mine....I can count the number of very good, classic Cubanos I've enjoyed in this area on one hand.

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1 hour ago, Bob Wells said:

For once in my life, I actually was being serious. This one uses cole slaw instead of sauerkraut. http://www.marthastewart.com/318037/the-rachel-sandwich

Sorry, I disagree with her. 

In NY Jewish Deli language, a Reuben is corned beef, swiss, sauerkraut, and russian dressing, on *grilled* (never toasted) rye.

A Rachel subs out pastrami for the corned beef, and cole slaw for the kraut.

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2 hours ago, DanielK said:

Sorry, I disagree with her. 

In NY Jewish Deli language, a Reuben is corned beef, swiss, sauerkraut, and russian dressing, on *grilled* (never toasted) rye.

A Rachel subs out pastrami for the corned beef, and cole slaw for the kraut.

"The Rachel Sandwich (aka Roast Turkey Reuben Sandwich)" on closetcooking.com

As I said, "some call it a Rachel."  Carry on, Montesquieu.

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Excellent Cuban Sandwich Locally - with 2 DC area locations, try Colada - in Sterling - and off T Street in Downtown DC.  Having lived in Fort Lauderdale/Miami for many years and frequented Little Havana for Cuban sandwiches.  This place saves you the airfare, but the Sterling skyline pales in comparison to Miami's waterfront and beach area.

COLADA SHOP CUBAN Ham, Slow Roasted Pork, Swiss Cheese, Mustard, pickles and cilantro aioli, Cuban bread.

Great place to sit outside and grab a Cafe con Leche or Cuban Coffee - very nice outdoor seating area, and ample parking.

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Had a great "modified" Cuban last night at Garden District. Pulled pork, ham, slightly sweet mustard (or was their some bbq sauce in there), pickles, and stretch, stretchy cheese (not what I'm used to in a Cuban) on pressed bread that was ever so slightly sweet. Very tasty! Made to order, it took almost a half hour. This place just does it for me on a night like last. 

We were on our way to the Drunk TED Talk at Blackcat. The concept is funny. The execution not as much. Plus it's in the Backstage room, super crowded, no easy access to the bar, and it was a sweatbox. There was one good lecture about St. Augustine, free will, and how having boners defies directly conflicts with that (i.e. being hornt up leads to bad decisions) by the excellent Elizabeth Bruenig

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Eating a Cuban right now.  Its from what looks like a recent addition to the Food Truck Scene called Rolling Rotisserie.

Its quite traditional and fits with a fair number I've had.    Its fair.  I'd say mediocre but very traditional ingredients.  Bread, if not cuban is close to it.

When I asked the guys what was good or hot...they were adamant about the Cuban:  Their hot item.   Neither the ham or pork are great.  Typical mustard, swiss, and pickles.

Its okay.  I'd eat the Earl's Cuban Version any day of the week before this.  Far better ingredients.  The Earl's Variation has creative tastes.  Yum yum

 

 

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That's a shame, I got food at Rolling Rotisserie at the NoVA brew fest a couple of years ago & it was very good (maybe it was the beer that slanted my judgment?). I did see the truck/business was for sale at some point, so it may not be the same proprietors.

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 4:53 PM, Kibbee Nayee said:

Still searching for the perfect Cubano in the DC area. Closest to date were a lunchtime special at Acadiana about 5-6-7 years ago, and a version at Blue Iguana in Fair Lakes about two owners ago, when the menu tended towards Louisiana and Gulf fare. Otherwise, there are a lot of pretenders out there.

Has anyone tried the one at Big Buns lately? I had it many years ago, and it was the best I'd yet found.

Josh liked the version at Cuban Corner; Daniel likes the version at Mi Cuba. I haven't had either of these.

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On 7/16/2019 at 12:05 PM, DonRocks said:

Has anyone tried the one at Big Buns lately? I had it many years ago, and it was the best I'd yet found.

Josh liked the version at Cuban Corner; Daniel likes the version at Mi Cuba. I haven't had either of these.

I haven't been to Big Buns since I worked in Ballston, and that was long enough ago that my lunch was Big Buns or Pupatella TRUCK. Big Buns only won when the truck wasn't there.

It's only about 10 minutes drive from where I work now (7 Corners), so I'll give it a shot some day.

My money is still on Mi Cuba.

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48 minutes ago, DanielK said:

I haven't been to Big Buns since I worked in Ballston, and that was long enough ago that my lunch was Big Buns or Pupatella TRUCK. Big Buns only won when the truck wasn't there.

It's only about 10 minutes drive from where I work now (7 Corners), so I'll give it a shot some day.

My money is still on Mi Cuba.

My current favorite is Chef Feliciano in Springfield. It's only open for lunch, but he serves a very good rendition of a very good sandwich.

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19 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

My current favorite is Chef Feliciano in Springfield. It's only open for lunch, but he serves a very good rendition of a very good sandwich.

Am I misreading (or is it a typo) that they put mayo on the sandwich?

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I'll put in a plug for the Borinquen Lunch Box food truck, and their amazing Cubano sandwich. They used sliced pork, and the sandwich is so crisp that the bread shatters when you take a bite. They're usually at Port City Brewery on Friday nights.

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This update on the thread has me "voting" for the Cuban Club at Earl's in Arlington.    OKAY!!  It is not a Cubano.  OKAY!!   much is switched.

Regardless it has all the elements of the Cubano with different and in my experience far better ingredients that I get from any of the Cubans I've had over the last few years.  It is a superb and robust large sandwich for $10 and is superior to anything I've tried of recent memory.

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To borrow a question from another thread: Where did I get this?

BC04A88A-CA54-479A-B332-C870F47547D7.jpeg

Hint: That's not black pepper; it's a shake of oregano.

(I know, I know, but it's a darned good sandwich.)

Hint: You won't guess this - you either know it or you don't. Mouse over for the final hint:

Hint: There were smiley faces drawn on the white paper wrapping the sandwich.

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On 7/16/2019 at 4:46 PM, DanielK said:

I haven't been to Big Buns since I worked in Ballston, and that was long enough ago that my lunch was Big Buns or Pupatella TRUCK. Big Buns only won when the truck wasn't there.

It's only about 10 minutes drive from where I work now (7 Corners), so I'll give it a shot some day.

My money is still on Mi Cuba.

Please note I struck through my post up above. I'm no longer certain the good Cuban Sandwich I had was at Big Buns: It might have been at Grand Cru Wine Bar & Bistro - it was probably over ten-years ago, and I'm just not sure.

The reason I'm not sure is because of hopsing's post in the Hamburgers thread. I'm just now realizing that Big Buns is now the same thing as Damn Good Burger Co, and that it has two branches: one in Ballston; the other in Shirlington Village. About two months ago, I went and had a hamburger at the Shirlington branch and disliked it - enough so that I haven't been back, and had no plans to go back. How long has Big Buns in Ballson been Damn Good Burger Co.?

Oct 12, 2017 - "Ballston-Based Big Buns to Succeed Former Johnny Rocket's in Shirlington" by Chris Teale on arlnow.com

Anyway, now I'm thinking that it must have been Grand Cru Wine Bar, but they don't serve Cuban Sandwiches, do they? And neither does Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co. - has the format of this place changed in the past few years?

I need coffee badly, and I'm going to make some Qualia *right* *now*.

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2 hours ago, hopsing said:

I don't think your sandwich came from Big Buns as they don't serve on plates nor are their tables dark wood.

That is correct, but it *was* in Arlington, a very pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in Arlington.

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On 7/20/2019 at 8:31 AM, DonRocks said:

Anyway, now I'm thinking that it must have been Grand Cru Wine Bar, but they don't serve Cuban Sandwiches, do they? And neither does Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co. - has the format of this place changed in the past few years?

The Big Buns menu changed substantially over time.  They used to have chicken, fish, bowls, etc, and they would run specials on things that were a little off the normal burger track, so it is possible.  

The GrandCru menu also changed a fair amount, they used to have a few things I really liked that they took off the menu, very possible they had a cuban at one time. They had a big shift in menu likely around 2009 ish if memory serves me correct.  I used to study for the bar there sometimes in 2008 and remember the menu changing a lot from that time.

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:37 PM, DonRocks said:

To borrow a question from another thread: Where did I get this?

BC04A88A-CA54-479A-B332-C870F47547D7.jpeg

Hint: That's not black pepper; it's a shake of oregano.

(I know, I know, but it's a darned good sandwich.)

Hint: You won't guess this - you either know it or you don't. Mouse over for the final hint:

Hint: There were smiley faces drawn on the white paper wrapping the sandwich.

Plus there's this. Both of these are, at the very least, "inspired" by Cubanos.

IMG_2429.jpg

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I'd rather not let this post be forgotten, because the first sandwich is very good, almost great, despite not being pressed (and having cubes of roast pork instead of slices) - I've had it at least three different times now, and it's better than anything I've had recently at Bub & Pop's or Earl's Sandwiches; the second photograph is important because the restaurant has a very good reputation, but the sandwich tasted more like a pulled-pork BBQ than a Cubano, and wasn't something I'd order again.

The first restaurant is in Virginia, and is something you want to try; the second, in DC, and something you want to avoid since there are so many other offerings.

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13 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I'd rather not let this post be forgotten, because the first sandwich is very good, almost great, despite not being pressed (and having cubes of roast pork instead of slices) - I've had it at least three different times now, and it's better than anything I've had recently at Bub & Pop's or Earl's Sandwiches; the second photograph is important because the restaurant has a very good reputation, but the sandwich tasted more like a pulled-pork BBQ than a Cubano, and wasn't something I'd order again.

The first restaurant is in Virginia, and is something you want to try; the second, in DC, and something you want to avoid since there are so many other offerings.

Market 2 Market?

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54 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

There you go! The good sandwich was Market2Market - I cannot recommend the Funky Cuban enough.

How on earth did you know?

Haven't been there in a long time. Had to be a sandwich shop in Northern Virginia that wasn't Earl's or Bub and Pop's. That was the only one that came to mind. (And I may have taken a look at an online picture to see if the pork looked similar...)

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On 8/18/2017 at 10:38 PM, Ferris Bueller said:

Excellent Cuban Sandwich Locally - with 2 DC area locations, try Colada - in Sterling - and off T Street in Downtown DC.  Having lived in Fort Lauderdale/Miami for many years and frequented Little Havana for Cuban sandwiches.  This place saves you the airfare, but the Sterling skyline pales in comparison to Miami's waterfront and beach area.

COLADA SHOP CUBAN Ham, Slow Roasted Pork, Swiss Cheese, Mustard, pickles and cilantro aioli, Cuban bread.

Great place to sit outside and grab a Cafe con Leche or Cuban Coffee - very nice outdoor seating area, and ample parking.

Colada Shop in Sterling closed some time ago - too bad, always had patrons, but perhaps the Covid curse took a toll on another small business. This strip-type of center is loaded with eateries, so there is lots of restaurant competition.

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2 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

I can safely assert that the Cubano at Ethel's Deli in Haymarket is worth avoiding. 

People on Northern Virginia Foodies Facebook group (“NVFFB”) love that place.  I eventually quit NVFFB because their lavish praise for out of the way and ordinary looking food just pisses me off.

I hope you didn't drive out there just for that sandwich.

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