Miami’s contributions to the world range from things we’re not so proud of (DJ Khaled) to innovations we’ll happily take credit for (neon suits, art deco architecture, and Eva Mendes, for example). The Cuban sandwich falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. It’s an undeniably Miami food, however, if you’re at a good Cuban spot, there are probably better things on the menu.
But if there was ever a reason to make Miami’s official food the Cuban sandwich, it is Sanguich de Miami. If we replaced politicians with food - which isn’t the worst idea - Sanguich de Miami’s Cubano would have our vote for mayor of the city. It’s absolutely delicious and this place will make you fiercely proud of the Cuban sandwich - and Miami’s ability to do it better than anywhere else in the world.
The small spot on Calle Ocho makes five different sandwiches, all of which are prepared in an assembly line and brushed with rendered pork fat before being pressed into crispy triangles. And a lot of the sandwich ingredients - from the ham to the pickles - are made in-house, which is a difference you taste immediately after your first bite.
You should try every single one of the sandwiches here, but the Cuban and the croquetta preparada are the leading candidates for office - the former because it’s the perfect version of the classic and the latter because it turns out that putting croquettas inside a Cuban sandwich is an excellent decision. Nowhere in Miami nails the ratios like Sanguich either. Almost every Cuban sandwich we’ve had in Miami comes with an “if.” This one would be good “if” there was more ham. Or that one might be better “if” the swiss cheese was melted. There is no “if” at Sanguich. Every ingredient pulls its weight without overpowering anything else, and it makes every bite of roast pork, spiced ham, cheese, pickles, mustard, and crisp bread a perfect one, right until the last little edge.
It’s even better to bring someone here who’s down to split some things since the sandwiches are cut in half and very easy to share. Get a side order of chicharrones, which come straight from the fryer and are so crunchy they’ll hear you chewing them in Brickell. And if you’re like us and could use a jolt of caffeine after all that pork, grab a cafecito on the way out for only 80 cents.
Ultimately, Sanguich does more than just make the best Cuban sandwich in town. It gives us a reason to be cocky about it, which is another undeniably Miami personality trait. And now, hopefully, our delicious little sandwich can join traffic, music you can’t help but twerk to, and Lamborghini rentals in the growing list of sh*t Miami does best.
The six ingredients in this sandwich work together better than the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team. There’s a perfect crunch on the outside. Inside is all tender and cheesy. We could also eat a bowl of the house-made pickles - and just might ask for one next time.
The croquettas just sort of dissolve into the sandwich once the whole thing is pressed and they almost become a sort of condiment spread across the meat. We’re surprised they don’t sell a squeezable croquetta condiment at Trader Joe’s.
Lechon, in case you didn’t know, is slow-roasted pork. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Hmm, that sounds like it’d be very good shredded and put on a sandwich with pickled mojo onions and garlic cilantro aioli,” you’re right.
This is a hell of a pan con bistec, and if you’re simply not in a pork mood, go for this. Though it’s hard for us to justify skipping the Cubano for a pan con bistec.
You should order this. Maybe not on your very first trip here, but - eventually - get this in your hands. It’s like a BLT and a Cuban sandwich teamed up in a buddy cop movie where they learned that, hey, maybe they have more in common than they thought.
These are fun, but you need three people or more to split them with, or else you’ll accidentally eat too many chips to finish your sandwich. The big basket of crispy plantain chips is topped with lechon, pickled mojo onions, and garlic-cilantro aioli. It’s tasty, but we kind of wish there was a little bit of cheese somewhere in the equation.
Keep your side of sad, thin potato chips, sandwich people. We’re going with crispy pork skins from now on.