It feels like there’s a national day for almost every food now, and tomorrow (August 23) is no different. It’s National Cuban Sandwich Day! And you better believe I will be celebrating — because who can resist a melty, savory pressed sandwich that’s filled with roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and dill pickles.
In researching the origins of the Cuban, I found that both Tampa and Miami claim to be the hometown of this tasty treat, but I have to hand it to Tampa, Florida for legally establishing the Cuban as the city’s signature sandwich.
Now, I’m going to muddy the waters even more and make a bold claim. One of my favorite places to grab a Cuban here in Richmond is not from Kuba Kuba (although if I do want to go traditional, this is where I go). I’m sort of obsessed with Alamo BBQ’s take the sandwich and I’m not afraid who knows it. We mentioned Alamo in our post Five Places To Find Great BBQ in Richmond, and for good reason. They serve Texas-style barbecue (my personal favorite, sorry Virginia) and they’re dangerously close to our office just down the hill on Broad Street.
Alamo serves up three variations on the Cuban — pulled pork, barbecue chicken and sausage links. Each sandwich is pressed and filled with mustard, sriracha, onions, pickles, jalapenos and cheddar jack cheese. It is traditional? No. Is it easy to eat? Nope, grab extra napkins. Is it healthy? Probably not. But somehow the flavors just work. And if you don’t like your sandwiches spicy, I recommend asking for the jalapenos on the side.
The pulled pork Cuban has been my go-to at Alamo for a while now, but I recently branched out and tried the sausage version, and I think I’m converted. There’s just something about the salty sausage links that pair so well with the acidity of the pickles, the spiciness of the jalapenos and the bite of the onions and mustard.
If your mouth is now watering, you’re in luck, this week (August 21-27) the pork and chicken Alamo Cubans are only $5 — because Alamo is a restaurant participating in Style Weekly’s RVA Sandwich Week! And add our favorite side, the jalapeno mac and cheese for just a few extra bucks. A full meal, for less than $9.00.
Thanks to Alamo BBQ for inviting us to try all three of the Alamo Cuban sandwiches ahead of National Cuban Sandwich Day!