This recipes comes from a bakery in reparto El Vedado, La Habana (At the corner of Linea St and 12 St) It is the bakery that provides the Government with all sort of breads and delights. This is a traditional recipe so there is no high tech or clear timing or order. I am taking it from an old beat down handwritten recipe notebook in spanish, so don't pay too much attention to grammar or terms translation.
Pan Criollo o cubano:
Cambridgedoctpr: Cannot sugest a restaurant in NYC as I have been there only once last year and had dinner at the first cuban restaurant that opened in Manhattan back in the 60's, Victor's Cafe. They have integrated several dishes and technics from other countries alike. We had a good time, the food and platting was good too, but we did not feel to be having dinner in a cuban place.
I came from Cuba 4 years ago. I had a part-time sous chef position for 3 years at "La bodeguita del Medio", the most famous cuban restaurant in the world. Unfortunatelly I had an industrial accident that cut most tendons and nerves in my left hand and my time in the kitchen is over. I left cuba 5 years ago and I've been living in Roslindale for almost 4 years now and I have to tell you how sick i am of El oriental or Miami restaurants. This is not cuban flavor and it is a shame that you guys have been mislead for so long on real cuban food. These places taste like dominican republic or a boricua (Puerto Rico) food. We share the same roots but the flavor is veeery different. If you haven't been in Cuba or miami (Some places, not everywhere) you will never notice the difference and you will keep talking and sounding hollow.
Pan con Lechon comes with mojo (Named by heypielady "liquid"). If you do not have it right away, bread will definitely get mushy and soggy, no matter the kind of bread you use. The server should have advised you on this as there is no culture of cuban food up here. If you buy it and take it home you can ask the server to put the mojo in a small container. But for cubans, soggy and mushy from the mojo...Mmmmm yumiii.
Cubano: The trend here is to use gruyere cheese. In cuba we use swiss, but I have to admit that gruyere gives an extra kick to the flavor. I tried Chez Henry sandwich couple of weeks after I arrived here. It is giant, I'd never see a cubano like that in Cuba, never. It did taste good but the pork was dry and it tasted like mexican roasted pork, very different form the real deal. Bread does not make a cubano, yes, it does not. Roasted pork flavor does, the right mostaza does. In la bodeguita we make our own mostaza, a mix of dijon and honey + 5 more ingredients. After living these years in America I would rather use italian or french bread than Cuban bread for a cubano. The reason, cubano is not a healthy bread, and sandwich tastes better with italian. That how I do it at home. I will not comment about cubano sandwiches in El oriental or Miami restaurant, as they suck.
I am curious and glad that there is another cuban restaurant open in Boston. I will definitely give it a try. I will do my prayer first and go for it. I am really hoping this will be a real cuban place. It will make me very happy. I'll try to stop by soon and I will post an update and my observation.
Hope this helps clear some blurry comments. If you guys want to ask any question, my tendons were cut but my brain and knowledge of latin american food are intact.
*And please yumyum, do not put mortadella on a cubano, please, it makes me sick to my stomach. That is Sacrilegio my man.