A Sandwich a Day: Cubano at Cafetería La Mejor
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Miami transplants Jeremy and Luis know how to press a good Cuban sandwich, and they'll press one for you at their bright-teal-and-hot-pink Cafetería La Mejor on Suydam in Bushwick.
Start with a classic Cubano ($8). The menu boasts the sandwich was "born in Tampa, made famous in Miami, and perfected in Bushwick," and it's an authentically Miami-style Cubano that could only have been made in Brooklyn.
A good Cubano starts with good Cuban bread. Cafetería La Mejor gets theirs from fellow Bushwick bakery Stella di Sicilia. It's real Cuban bread, not the Italian bread or French baguettes often used as substitutes in New York, and its airy heft is pressed down to an eggshell-crisp crunch. The crunch gives way to the meat of the sandwich, a generous slice of home-roasted pork shoulder seasoned with the zest of a sour orange, and another of ham, the good kind, sliced off the bone.
The bite of pickles comes next—their horseradish-brined cukes are from Mazelle's down the street—followed by a generous smear of spicy white wine mustard. It's finished off with the warmth of perfectly melted emmentaler, an atypical choice but a good one—the emmentaler has a savory substance that holds up well to the strongly flavored ingredients, tempering their bite just enough to tie them together. Hot off la plancha it's delicious, and hefty both in size and flavor. Pair it with their famous café con leche and you might as well be on South Beach.