CINCINNATI - We are pleased to bring you this weekly feature from Julie Niesen Gosdin, the voice behind the food blog wine me, dine me. Julie serves up a "Pick of the Week," when she visits a local eatery and samples a signature menu item.
Cubano at Salazar New American Restaurant & Bar
- Address: 1401 Republic Street, Cincinnati Cincinnati (Over-the-Rhine)
- An old butcher shop turned into a farm centric restaurant
- Price range: Around $10
Jose Salazar came to Cincinnati five years ago to head up The Palace at The Cincinnatian. Late last year, he opened Salazar, where he can be found nearly every opening hour. The Cubano, which was my favorite menu item at The Cricket Lounge, has made its return to the lunch menu.
Ever since Salazar opened for lunch, I've been dreaming about this Cubano. It's the best one I've had outside of Miami: Great bread texture, perfect balance between melty cheese, ham, pork, tangy mustard and pickles.
I was once judging a chocolate contest (hard life, I know) and after about ten chocolate samples I could think of nothing more else but this sandwich and how it is so perfectly savory. On a recent lunch trip, I sat down at the bar for the Cubano and a side of fries and was not disappointed: it's exactly the way I remembered it.
Half a sandwich later, I was stuffed and merrily went on my way with the leftovers. Don't worry, the sandwich tastes great later in the day; it holds up well.
Bottom line: Salty, savory, rich, on great bread, in an historic building? The Cubano is a great lunchtime treat when you have a little time on your hands. You won't want to rush this sandwich.
(Photos by J. Niesen Gosdin)