One of these days I'm going to find a way to create a sandwich ranking system that stacks the world's best sandwiches in order of deliciousness. I'd have already done it but I can't figure out how to take the provincial nature of sandwich love into account across an entire globe's worth of sandwiches. Ask someone in Philadelphia what the greatest sandwich in the history of sandwiches is and they'll tell you cheesesteak every time. A lifetime's worth of Cheez Whiz has clogged their judgment.
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Scoring mechanics aside, I know the Cuban comes out somewhere near the top of my fictional sandwich mountain. With warm melted cheese, two kinds of pork, pickles for a nice acidic bite backed up with mustard and crunchy bread, it's got everything a good sandwich needs. It's in the top 10, easy.
So when I see a Cuban on a menu, like I did recently at CBD Provisions, it takes a lot to pull me away from it. Even the burger (seriously, look at it) at this new hotel restaurant downtown couldn't keep my eye for very long with a Cuban on the same menu.
Chef Michael Sindoni heaps house-roast pork onto a roll slathered with a jalapeño mustard and tops it with country ham. He makes his own bread-and-butter pickles, too. They're sweeter than you're used to for a Cuban sandwich but it works, especially with the heat from that mustard. And while most places that toss a Cuban together use cheap, flavorless Swiss cheese for glue, Sindoni's sandwich makes use of stuff that packs a sweet, nutty punch.
Sindoni is the same guy behind the pastrami sandwich I lusted after when he was working across the hall at Charlie Palmer. The old steakhouse is dead, but the space isn't forgotten. A waiter told me they'll be turning it into a fine-dining restaurant next.