I mentioned in a recent post that hubby and I wanted to try Taste of Havana recently and couldn’t get in the door because it was so busy. So the other day when we needed to have an early lunch, we decided it was the perfect opportunity and yes! we walked right in and got a table too (there’s a limited amount of seating in there).
Knowing we would of course need to try the Cuban sandwich, we chatted with the owner about what our second choice should be. He said he loves everything, but his personal favorite is the pan con lechon sandwich ($9.50). We ordered the “mini” sized Cuban ($7.50) and then also decided last minute to throw in a Picadillo pastelito ($2.99).
They brought the pastelito first—they are premade and just sitting in a case next to the register waiting to tempt you. It’s basically a little flaky pastry dough filled with, in this case, ground beef and pork simmered in a sofrito sauce. The sauce is a seasoned sauce with garlic and various spices. There were some raisins in there too. It was nice and hot and it tasted delicious. They offer a special on certain days of this meat over rice and I bet it’s a tasty option. There is also a chicken pastelito (I want to try for sure) and several sweet options as well. Who has tried these?
The Cuban sandwich was solid—and according to the owner, the most popular item on the menu. It’s the classic thin bread (crisp on the outside, but not thick) sandwiching ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. I love the pickles and mustard part of a Cuban—because it gives it that zip and vinegary acid that I love on a sandwich. The meat was fine, but I wished for a few more pickles to balance it out. But I love pickles. The mini is more than big enough and I even saw construction workers order it and not finish it.
The pan con lechon though? The owner is right, that sandwich is just plain great. It’s the same bread (this one only comes in one size though and it’s bigger than the mini) topped with chunks of marinated and roasted pork, caramelized onions and some mayo. And the best thing ever--a little container of the pan drippings to dip your sandwich in. It tastes of the marinade and the pork and is just wonderful. I recommend asking for another one and dipping whatever you get into it. The Cuban was also good dipped in there. Anything would be good dipped in there. If I could make a hybrid and add the pickles and mustard on this sandwich, it would be crazy, but so delicious. Anyhow, if I were going to pick just one sandwich to recommend, it would be this one. The Cuban is good too though.
There are actually a lot of different kinds of sandwiches on the menu—which ones have you tried? Oh, and if you are a coffee drinker, the Cuban coffee is delicious. The owner explained, it’s the way they roast it that makes it a super mellow and smooth easy drinking coffee. He gave us a little shot of it to try. I am not often a coffee drinker, but this was tasty.
Taste of Havana
815 Broad Ripple Avenue