Food is a big part about traveling, and most travelers will suggest at least one place to eat in a town or city they’ve visited before. It only make sense that Mesh starts adding food write ups for different areas around the world! We are going to start in our own backyard, Dallas, TX, with a delightful dish you wouldn’t typically expect to be featured around these parts: The Cuban Sandwich!
Before we get to the sandwiches though, you are probably thinking “Why review Dallas food?!” Dallas, TX has one of the best restaurants scenes in the country. As of 2015, people in the Dallas Fort Worth Area spend more money on food and alcohol than anywhere else in the United States. Eating out is practically a sport here, and there are a lot of options! It is easy to find Tex Mex restaurants, steak houses, and more burger joints than you could possibly visit in a life time, but there is also just as much great sushi, pizza, and every other kind of “fusion” food you can think of!
The Cuban, or “Cubano” as it is often referred, is something one would expect to find in Miami or the Key West, where the Cuban sandwich is said to have originated. It is basically a Cuban take on the ham & cheese sandwich and typically consists of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard all held together between to pieces of Cuban bread. The bread is usually buttered before the entire sandwich is placed in a hot press, allowing the cheese to melt (yummy!). Other variations include different kinds of meat and even the addition of salami! How they became popular in Dallas, no one really knows, but we are happy it caught on because it allows for many delicious sandwiches that we hope you want to try the next time you hit the streets of Dallas for lunch! So lets get started with the list:
#7 Cane Rosso ($12) http://www.canerosso.com/#main
Ingredients: italian roast pork, prosciutto cotto, baby swiss, mustard, calabrian chile aioli, horseradish pickles.
This is one of the more unique takes on the Cuban from the list. It resembles more of a calzone, but is still very good! The pickles were especially delicious. This is also one of the biggest sandwiches we encountered AND it comes with a side salad, so be prepared to enter a post meal nap after devouring!
#6 Velvet Taco ($4.25) http://velvettaco.com
Ingredients: gruyere cheese, slow roasted pulled pork, shaved ham, peppered bacon, grain mustard, house brined pickles, crisp flour tortilla (pictured with lettuce instead of tortilla!)
Velvet Taco is, by far, one of our favorite places in Dallas, we highly recommend it to everyone! Their Cuban Taco is one of the best items on the menu. In fact, the Cuban Taco has survived two menu overhauls over the relatively short period of time since Velvet Taco’s opening. This is the cheapest Cuban on the list, but, to be fair, one is not enough to fill you up!
#5 ¡C. Señor! ($8) 330 W. Davis St. (no website!)
Ingredients: Mojo pork, ham, swiss, pickles, mustard, cuban bread (they had a “Special Cuban” the day I tried it that also had shredded lettuce.)
I think a lot of it has to do with the ambiance of the location, but this one felt like the most authentic of the lot. These guys put a ton of cheese on this thing too. The meat doesn’t have as much flavor as some of the others but, regardless, its still really good, reasonably priced, and fairly quick! FYI, their location is pretty easy to miss: they are just west of Stock and Barrel in Bishop Arts. The building is basically a tiny taco stand with no interior seating or anything, so if its hot outside you might want to wait in your car!
#4 CBD Provisions ($15) http://cbdprovisions.com
Ingredients: country ham, gruyere, jalapeño mustard, bread and butter pickles.
This Cuban really hit the spot on a sunday afternoon after a long weekend of college football tailgating. What they lack in variety of meat (having only ham), they make up for in their crunchy bread which almost tastes like a crouton because it is so well seasoned. This Cuban also comes with a side salad or fries. This sandwich is worth a try if you are willing to spend a little extra to get your Cuban sammy fix!
#3 Jimmy’s Food Store ($5.99) https://jimmysfoodstore.com
Ingredients: Toasted on a 6″ Bun with Roast Pork, Ham, Swiss, Pickles, Mojo Sauce. (Call ahead 10-15 minute prep time.)
This is, hands down, the best value on the list, and it’s a really good sandwich! We originally had #5, #4, and #3 all tied for the #3 spot, but when we broke them out, this one won for both its flavor and its value. If you’ve never been to Jimmy’s then we recommend a visit at least once and HIGHLY recommend trying this sandwich while you are there. (Jimmy’s has a great wine selection too, btw.)
#2 Uncle Uber’s Sammich Shop ($7.99) http://www.uncleubers.com
Ingredients: Slow roasted pork, Boar’s Head ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and Uber Sauce pressed in a hot pressed baguette.
This was very close to being #1. The sandwich is amazing! We eat at Uber’s at least once a month and anytime we try anything on their menu besides the Cuban we ALWAYS regret it. Its almost the perfect balance of cheese, bread (nailed it), and flavorful meat, and we think the Uber sauce might have a lot to do with why it will haunt your taste buds so much!
#1 Brain Dead Brewery ($12) http://braindeadbrewing.com
Ingredients: Dr. Pepper glazed ham, braised carnitas, stout mustard, BDB house beer pickles, monterey jack, soft bolillo roll & sweet potato chips.
We will be surprised if we ever find a better Cuban than Brain Dead’s “10, 2 and 4 Cuban”. The sandwich gets its unique name from the Dr. Pepper glazed ham (Dr. Pepper’s was originally “prescribed” to treat low energy during the day, which occurred around 10, 2 and 4). The ham is also amazing, in fact, everything about this sandwich is amazing, including their home made sweet potato chips! Brain Dead really goes above and beyond on every aspect of this sandwich and we recommend you try it as soon as possible!
We hope you enjoy the recommendations as much as we here at Mesh enjoyed taste testing them for you. Let us know if you think we missed a good Cuban around town, and follow us on Instagram @themeshapp to see where Mesh-ers have been traveling recently! Now we are off to Brain Dead Brewery to enjoy a fresh brewed summer beer and a 10, 2, and 4 Cuban on their patio, see y’all there!