Posts Tagged ‘Cubano’

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Cuban sandwiches are pretty much an exotic treat for a man from Australia- Cuban cuisine (even the Americanised version) is not something readily available in the suburbs of Melbourne. So every time I have an opportunity to sample some I get pretty excited.

Down here in Key West you’d be forgiven for thinking that you had wondered into a tourist trap – if you stick to the resorts, landmarks and Duval street then you would be right.

Ana’s Cuban café is located in walking distance from the southernmost point Buoy. The café is actually located inside the southernmost deli and groceries – there’s a place to order out the front or you can order inside the deli. Either way you order and eat out on the veranda surrounding the shop. It doesn’t look particularly appealing, particularly considering that it’s surrounded by resorts and hotels and not far from the start of Duval street – you would be forgiven for assuming that this is just another overpriced café catering to the tourist crowds. However, in this case you would be wrong. Ana’s actually does a really good, reasonably priced Cuban mix sandwich. What’s that you say – especially if like me you are from the land down under you probably have no idea what a Cuban mix sandwich is. It starts with Cuban bread – or Pan Cubano – which is a long baguette style loaf with a crunchy curst and a really light dough. The next layer is mayonnaise on one side and mustard on the other, you have ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, and roast pork (often slow roasted in a mojo sauce). Sounds very simple – but like a lot of simple dishes, if executed well, it can be really good. In this case they do it well. Every time I go there I get a Cuban mix. $7.50 is not a lot considering the amount of meat you get. It’s one of my favourite sandwiches.

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Wow, has it already been a month since I last went out for a burger? Damn this whole having a baby thing has really put the breaks on leaving the house… Who knew? Anyway, I think things are starting settle down a little bit,we’re starting to feel a little bit more comfortable about heading out with the little one. Since I had been hankering for a burger for quite some time I suggested to Katie and Jo that we find a burger joint for Saturday afternoon – around 5:30ish, that way we avoid the busiest time in case Lucy decided to spit the dummy. Katie was on research detail and came up with The Resistance Bar & Café located under the Glenferrie train station. Not too far from us and right around the corner from my sister Jo’s place. We arranged to meet Jo there, and then proceeded to pack the car. I don’t recall the process of going out for a burger being so difficult. How many changes of clothes does one tiny human being need? Why does she even need to look good? Let’s be honest, the cute little bonds hoodie is just going to be covered in spew later anyway… Babies! Anyway, we eventually we left the house, found a park, unpacked the car and arrived at our destination.

It looked like they were just getting organised when we arrived, which was great for us as there was no one there. The nice guy working there even turned down the music for us so as not to upset the little one. Resistance is an interesting place. Bit of a stoner, Bob Marley/Cuban vibe going on. This is obviously reflected in their menu – I mean come on – all day pancakes? I can see how that would work nicely with their target market if you know what I mean… They also offer a “Cubano” on their menu. God damn, but I do like a good Cuban sandwich. I’ve had a few in Florida – the best one I had was in Key west – which is only 90miles from Cuba… Mmmm… But I had to stay focused – I was here for a burger, and when you have to wait this long (over a month) you can’t mess about. Eyes on the prize so they say. I ordered the Supremo de Resistance, which is their standard burger, it comes with a grass feed beef patty, caramelised onions, bacon, Colby cheese, grilled pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion and their secret sauce all on a Brioche bun – $15.00. Katie got the special – which was double beef, double cheese, double bacon, pickles, sauce on the Brioche (I don’t actually know the price as I forgot to look at the receipt…). Jo ordered the Classic Cheese burger for $9.00. We also got sides – Yuca fries – which were great and went nicely with the salsa and chipotle Aioli $6.50 and a side of the sweet potato wedges $6.50. Oh my sweet potato lord, but those sweet potato fries were exceptionally delicious. Don’t make my  mistake of ordering the side – make sure you order the share sized platter – these were hands down the best sweet potato fries I’ve had. They went too fast for me to get a photo!

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The burgers took quite some time to get to us – either that, or I was just freaking out every time Lucy started to cry… But these burgers were worth the wait. Resistance bakes their own buns, and these were some very nice buns, perfect scattering of sesame seeds, a nice spongy brioche, not too cakey, and not too sweet. Lightly toasted, the bun worked with the burger. The patties were great, a nice hint of pink, well seasoned and very beefy, a good quality beef. You get a really nice hit from the bacon, it’s nicely grilled, and you can taste the grill, not just on the bacon, but also on the pineapple -Which in this case wasn’t too sweet. It’s a rich burger with the caramelised onions and mayonnaise based sauce, working with the juicy beef patty encased in melting cheese. My one disappointment was the lack of pickles in the Supremo, both the other burgers had pickles… The burgers are also a little on small side, although the patties are big, the buns are smallish, and at those prices, without a side included, I wouldn’t exactly call this place value. All of this aside, I really enjoyed my burger – and not just because it was the first good  burger I’d had in a while. This is the kind of place I could come back to.

I’d give it a 7.5.

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