Most people like bread. I love bread. Sandwiches are made with bread, ergo I love sandwiches. So while I don’t remember much about my first time at Soul de Cuba after the sangria, when I heard that this cozy Crown Street eatery offered a small selection of lunchtime sandwiches (i.e. until 5 p.m.), I decided to scope it out.
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The menu, while not extensive or vegetarian-friendly, is reasonably priced at $8 a sandwich, although for those of you who want to splurge (without, you know, getting anything else on the menu), there is the $13 “soul cubano,” which features not one, not two, but THREE types of meat. All of the sandwiches come with a choice of salad or potato chips.
Pretending I was a “Healthy Eater,” I went for the salad, which consisted of mesclun greens, chopped red and green peppers and a sweet dressing — I only barely regretted not getting chips. I can only eat so much food, so I could only try two sandwiches: “media noche” (marinated roast pork, onions, Swiss cheese, pickles and lettuce between two thick slices of sweet bread) and “pan con bistec” (mojo-marinated steak and onions enclosed with Cuban bread).
The “pan con bistec” amounted to an average steak sandwich with a Spanish name and an overgenerous helping of salt. The bread, however, earned its stripes — it was delightfully firm and crusty (good-crusty). The “media noche,” meanwhile, was well-flavored, the pork tender and soft, but — disregarding the tradition of the “media noche” — would have tasted better on the Cuban bread. By the end of the meal, I may or may not have scraped off all the steak in the “pan con bistec” and replaced it with the “media noche’s” pork. Whatever would Miss Manners say? Regardless, I enjoyed my “pan con cerde” with relish.