Sampling the Wonders at Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria
March 9, 2013
This past week a group of food bloggers/writers/media members were treated to some rather substantial samples of the food at Boulder’s Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria. The small order-at-the-counter restaurant is managed and co-owned by Cuban-born, Miami-raised Lourdes Sanchez, formerly of The Cream Puffery (a now defunct pastry shop/eatery near Liquor Mart, which my husband and I visited on occasion). Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria is associated with Cuba Cuba in Denver, and will be opening a new branch in the City Set development in Glendale this summer.
Lourdes was a very gracious host, bringing out a variety of sides, sandwiches, and a dessert I was a little devastated to find out wasn’t on the standard menu (but is a recurring special, fortunately). Many of the recipes for the food served at Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria are tweaked versions of family recipes, with the exception of Grandma’s flan, which needed no modification.
We started out with delicious Veggie Empanadas and Croquetas, but the Beef Empanadas that followed were my favorite of all the sides. I’m not a big red meat eater, but this was just too good not to fall for. The beef filling, while not spicy (Cuban food is generally not as spicy-hot as many other Latin American or Caribbean foods), was a wonderfully flavorful complement to the crispy pastry.
Next was the vegetarian Boulder Cuban Sandwich, served with a side of garlic mojo, also quite tasty.
The Cubano sandwich, with pork, ham and cheese led me to eat a bit more than I had intended to. There was something rather addictive about this one. Lourdes indicated that the authentic Cuban bread is an important factor in their sandwiches, and the pork they marinate overnight and then slow cook doesn’t hurt, either!
Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria also serves pork, beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetable plates with rice and beans, as well as other sides such as sweet plantains (which are fantastic), plantain chips, and Cuban fries. Their beverage selection is fairly extensive for a smaller establishment, with Cuban sodas, beer, mojitos and sangria, fountain drinks and several Cuban espresso drinks.
And then we closed with dessert. We each got a small piece of the creamiest Bread Pudding I’ve ever eaten. I’ve tried many a bread pudding, and I think this ties for top honors with the Chocolate Bread Pudding at Tortugas in Longmont, holder of the title for well over a decade. A gluten-free member of our group was given a piece of Grandma’s flan. Luckily for me, she couldn’t finish it, so I got to try some of it as well. And I couldn’t agree more with Lourdes — it would be pretty hard to improve on its beautiful texture and the taste, which was a sublime caramel. Later in the week, my husband and I got a piece of chocolate Tres Leches to go, and we can attest to that one being outstanding as well.