Yes, it's called the Cubano sandwich but no, it does not (technically) originate from Cuba!

The Cubano sandwich apparently originated from cafes catering to Cuban immigrant workers in Florida in the mid-19th century and added their own Cuban twist to the ham and cheese sandwich. It will usually feature ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard layered between Cuban bread which is then toasted in a sandwich press known as a plancha (essentially a griddle). The end result is a panini-like sandwich with thin papery toasted crust and a soft moist centre.

Cuba Libre serves a good hearty Cubano sandwich with roasted pork, smoked ham, bacon, gherkins, mozzarella cheese, and a generous portion of fries on the side. I was warned that most people struggle to finish this dish and it was indeed generously portioned and tasty. It did seem rather weird to have a sandwich with mojitos but I thought they went well with each other.

I also tried a little of their newest creation - ropa vieja, a traditional Cuban stew made from shredded slow cooked flank steak served with black beans and rice. I ain't a fan of beans in general and the beef stew was a little heavy on salt but the beef was tender and it did go well with the rice.

Last but not least, special thanks to the folks at Cuba Libre for the invite. If you are looking for somewhere with hearty pub grub to knock back a few (stiff) solid mojito and enjoy the live band, do check out Cuba Libre!

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