Cuban sandwiches have been sliding off sandwich presses all over Dallas lately. They're appearing on menus of taverns as pub grub and they're coming out of fine dining kitchens with a brand new pedigree. They're emerging from tiny takeouts, and that's before you look at the Cuban sandwiches that have been available here for years. Dallas is in the midst of a Cuban sandwich glut, or bubble, and this is a delicious problem to have.
Take a bite from one and you'll see why the sandwich is becoming as ubiquitous as the turkey club. The Cuban could one day rival the Reuben or even the burger simply because of its construction. It's the pickles and mustard that make it interesting, it's the pork and the ham that make it decadent, and it's the structural characteristics -- the pressing, toasting and melted cheese -- that bring everything together.
Here are some of my favorites in Dallas. Click through at your own risk. You will leave this page hungry.
Uncle Uber's (Pictured above) During the week, Uncle Uber's is absolutely packed with office lunchers who come and order burgers, clubs and pastrami on rye, piled high. But the smart money is on the Cuban with a side order of deeply browned french fries.
CBD Provisions This sandwich is heaped with house-roasted pork onto a roll slathered with a jalapeño mustard and topped with country ham. The bread-and-butter pickles are house made, too. They're sweeter than what's typically used 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, the sandwich at CBD makes use of stuff that packs a sweet, nutty punch.
Whistling Pig You'll need to be careful with this heavyweight Cuban served at the newly opened Whistling Pig. It stacks thick pickle slices and lots of pork, ham and cheese between two slices of buttery bread. It's dense, but it has big flavors, too. Finish one with a beer and leave with a sense of accomplishment.
¡C. Senor! This little takeout spot opened recently and already has a reputation for some seriously decadent creations. The Cuban here is top rate, and likely the best on this list. (Eat all nine back to back and let me know.) If you're in Oak Cliff and the weather is agreeable, grab a medio litro of Coca-Cola and snag a seat at the nearby tables. Let the sun beat down and... actually, does anyone know where can you get a mojito around here?
San Salvaje For $10, this upscale Cuban is a deal. San Salvaje is one the most interesting restaurants to open downtown in some time, and this sandwich is twice as delicious as the taco options on the menu. Order it and your tablemates will be envious.
Ten Bells Tavern I was thrilled when a Cuban was added to the menu at Ten Bells Tavern, not long after they'd opened. Thankfully, after a number of menu changes, this Oak Cliff Cuban remains. For a late-night fix, or a Cuban you can enjoy with a pint of local beer, you can't go wrong with this neighborhood's favorite backyard bar.
Jimmy's Everyone knows Jimmy's Food Store, the Italian shop on Bryan Street that's become a Dallas fixture after decades of neighborhood service. The last Cuban sandwich I got there came wrapped in foil, and oozed cheese and pork juices. It hit the spot.
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International Bakery I've eaten quite a few Cubans at International Bakery over the three years I've lived in Dallas, and I love the sandwich because it's so simple. For every Whistling Pig experience you need another sandwich that eats with subtlety and restraint. This is the Cuban you can eat guilt free. Almost.
State Fair Cuban I have three State Fair of Texas food traditions. First, I always eat the fried food contest winner and try not to hurk it up. Second, I eat a corn dog in an effort to erase the previous food memory, and also because I think corn dogs and state fairs get along really well together. Finally, I get a cuban sandwich because I have a Cuban sandwich problem. I mean, look at the rest of this list. Normal people don't eat like this.