I’ve learned that the rule of thumb in ordering a Cuban sandwich us to ask the provenance of the bread used in the making of your sandwich. Even if you’re not entirely satisfied with the answer, this is your warning shot across the bow that they had better step up to the plate.


Ruh-roh, Shaggy – that ain’t what I ordered! (yes, I’ve mixed two cartoon idioms in one post…)

And so it went on my inaugural visit to Crazy Cuban. The bread is from Pan- American Bakery, according to the owner, but somewhere after this conversation something went off the rails. I ordered a Cuban sandwich. While taking the next customer’s order (who seemed to be a Cuban sandwich novice), I was asked what I thought about a Cuban with lettuce, tomato & jalapenos. “Not even close to acceptable,” was my reply.

So imagine my surprise to discover, upon opening my lunch, just this very thing… As I’d taken my sandwich to go, I really didn’t have much recourse beyond eating it. Now in its defense, it was a tasty sandwich – lots of léchon asado (roasted pork) & ham, and a strong taste of mojo criollo. But a Cuban sandwich, it was not. The bread was a little flakey, but the lettuce and tomato had rendered it soggy in the 5 minutes it took me to get from restaurant to where I was eating.

As it’s close to my office and affordable lunch options are limited, I will give them a chance to redeem themselves.

Crazy Cuban
290 14th Street
Atlanta, 30318
M-F 11AM – 3PM

[This post also appears on Naked with: Cooking]

11 thoughts on “Crazy Cuban – D’oh!

  1. re: biskuit … that sounds like bs to me. I was in very early on (been 2x in fact) and interestingly enough – the salad toppings were already being used. Agreed that CC appears to have decent sandwiches, but they aren’t authentic and they aren’t crave worthy.

  2. I talked to the owner (the guy in the hat in your photo) – he didn’t seem to be pleased about lettuce and tomato, but said everyone was asking for it that way, so they had scrambled to try to please everyone. I did enjoy mine with lettuce and tomato, not a 100% classic cuban, but still a good sandwich.

  3. This is just so wrong. And according to their Facebook page they also put onions in there. Why?

  4. No one here remembers Kool Korners (formerly on 14th street – now in Birmingham)? This was how they made their Cubans – lettuce, tomato, onions, fresh jalapeno, mojo sauce and mayo (!) added to the usual pork, ham, cheese, pickle and mustard. It was Atlanta’s best, most crave-worthy sandwich. Customers going to the Crazy Cuban are simply trying to re-create the Kool Korners magic.

  5. I’ve been to Kook Korners. The point is not if the sandwich is good or not. The sandwich at Crazy Cuban was good. The point is, if I order a Cuban Sandwich (especially if it’s listed on the menu as a “Classic Cuban”), I expect a Cuban Sandwich – not a pork and ham hoagie.

  6. Having just come back from Cuba — NONE of those sandwiches is anything like ANY of the numerous sandwiches I had in my month there. What you’re getting at any of these places is obviously as authentic as the vietnamese, thai or japanese food I’ve had in the US. Not one tiny bit! It’s a hybrid made for US tastes… with far too much of everything on it.

  7. Interestingly, and there is much debate on this, the Cuban sandwich is in fact a “hybrid” US/Cuban thing. It’s not really well documented, but the Cuban sandwich as we know it came into play in the early 1900’s – when it was easy to travel back and forth between the US and Cuba. It was pretty common all over the southern part of Florida and Cuba.

    I think we’re pretty much all in agreement here – what I was served at Crazy Cuban was NOT a Cuban sandwich. But it is possible to get a “real” Cuban sandwich here – it’s all in how you define it. Again, I think it comes down to the semantic argument about what is “authentic”. My friend A. made Cuban coffee the other day, but she used Peruvian beans – does that make it “Cuban-style” coffee? Or wouldn’t it still be “Cuban” – she IS Cuban (born there…).

  8. Incognito: Unless you eat at expensive hotels or something, most Cuban sandwiches in Cuba have pathetically small amounts of poor-grade meat, and if that’s what you prefer, then good for you. I suspect that those in Cuba would be glad to have a sandwich made as we do “Cuban” sandwiches in the US, but they don’t have access to the abundant, relatively high-quality ingredients that we have in the U.S. The same might be said of Vietnamese banh mi, as most of those I had in Vietnam used ingredients that were simply not as high quality and not piled on as thickly as in many US versions. I think it’s great that the US has adopted these sandwiches and taken advantage of our resources and inventiveness.

  9. I visited Crazy Cuban today and there is now a “Traditional Cuban” on the menu which does not have lettuce, tomato, onion, and jalapeno. It is a little confusing listing both a “classic” and “traditional” versions of a sandwich (“classic” is with that salad). I’ve now been in there four times and while I don’t love their sandwiches, I’ll probably visit regularly since the shop is very close to me and I love Cuban sandwiches, even mediocre ones.

  10. I agree with the people saying that the “Classic” is so named because that was what Kool Korners called their Cuban with lettuce, tomato, and jalepenos.

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