Taste of Havana 810 Broad Ripple Ave.
Most joints have a Cuban sandwich. In one version or another.What you need first is a long roll. Call it a hoagie, baguette, or a pistolette and you are good to go. Now stuff it with a cooked pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles; slather on yellow mustard and. Voila; an El Cubano. I have had several in many different places and at many different times. While they have all been good sandwiches I never considered them legit. Because none had real Cuban bread. Well guess what? Taste of Havana has the real deal. The bread has a flat almost lacquered finish on the outside. When you bite into it the bread offers a little resistance and then you break into a flaky interior. It reminds me of a thick bottom pie crust. A delicious way to enclose a sandwich.
After the original encounter with the bread pastry you come to the stuff inside. They roast the pork in-house. They prepare and cook the ham on premise as well. So you won’t encounter the injected deli style “lunch meat” used by some joints. In addition to my sandwich I ordered a bowl of black bean soup for $4.25. They offer their sandwiches in 3 sizes. I believe it is small, medium and large. The size difference is all about the weight of the meat. The amount of bread stays the same. I got the mini for $6.50.
The soup was as straight forward and tasty as the sandwich. I also like the fact that they didn’t “dress” the soup with sherry, onions or sour cream like some joints do. I talked with the owner for quite a while. He gave me a taste of his yellow seasoned rice. He even gave me a pack of Sazon. the seasoning he uses. He used to use Bijol, also called the poor man’s saffron. He changed to the Sazon because in addition unlike the Bijol it had a tiny touch of saffron. But the greatest score was his Picadillo. That was one of the specials today. He gave me a taste. This was straight up delicious. The aroma was rich and deep. A complex flavor of wine, tomato and olives. Just to start. This is something he has on the board weekly. So I will be back.
I had a super good lunch and a wonderful time. This Father and Daughter team do a wonderful job, and are the most gracious pair I believe I have ever encountered. They are a great addition to Broad Ripple and I wish them all the best.