Why does pressing a sandwich make it taste so much better? Whether my affinity for salty, crisp, and crunchy is cultural or biological, I am positive: toasted bread is better. A panino is better than a soft, bready hoagie; a sloppy roast beef po-boy needs the support of very lightly toasted Binder’s bread…even a cream cheese schmear on an everything seed bagel improves when toasted.
Scoring off the charts on the toasted-sandwich scale is High Hat Cafe’s Cuban sandwich, a flattened (but still mouth-bursting) pile of roasted pork, ham, cheese, and pickles. High Hat scores additional points in my book for offering a traditional southern vegetable plate; choose three favorites from 10+ choices (blackeyed peas, green beans, okra and tomatoes, potato salad, etc.), bookended by a big hunk of cornbread.
Other tasty Cuban sandwiches: the Latin Corner in Morgan City, Norma’s Sweets in Kenner or Mid-City, Cochon Butcher in the Warehouse District, and the “Fancy Schmancy Cuban”, a Friday-only special at Stein’s Deli. (Stein’s version combines Tuscan ham, roasted pork, Gruyere, pickles, and spicy mustard on pressed ciabatta.) Have I missed your favorite Cuban in south Louisiana? I want to hear about it….