THE CUBAN SANDWICH!? Well, actually I don’t hate the Cuban (Cubano) sandwich, what I hate are these DAs (dumb-asses) who claim to have Cuban sandwiches and then when you get there what they have is a Turkey or Smoked Salmon or Grilled Chicken or some other lame excuse for a proper roast pork, ham, cheese, pickle in a baguette (with a schmear of mayo and mustard) and toast pressed like a Panini. DON”T call it a Cuban sandwich, call it a Turkey or Chicken or whatever “made Cuban sandwich style!” Maine’s “trendies” are notorious for this and their versions are typically mediocre to just ok.
PHILLY CHEESE-STEAK SANDWICH: Again, I don’t actually hate the Philly what I do hate are restaurants and deli’s that call their version a “Philly Cheese Steak” when the ingredients are INCORRECT and DON”T actually make the “fakey” better than the original! American cheese, thinly sliced steak, sautéed onions and a good hoagie, not Swiss or onions and peppers or ground beef. Go Philly.
RESTAURANTS THAT DON’T KNOW ABOUT STEAK HOWEVER SAY THEIRS IS THE BEST: One thing that Maine has going for it is its beef, its delicious. What it does NOT have is any meat fat. Maybe in the better Maine steak houses you’d enjoy the nice marbling or crusty exterior, but that’s not always the case.
Good steak needs some fat. If your steak has a nice outer ring of fat you are in luck as your steak will most likely taste much better. Please don’t say yuck, you don’t have to eat the fat, it is a natural flavor enhancer and tenderizer.
One more thing, before your order your steak – the one advertised or billed as “aged,” ask your waiter to find out how many weeks aged. Personally, if it is less than 3 weeks (21 days in 45F dry cooler) I will not order it, and even if its less, I may be taking a chance at flavor and texture. Typically, restaurants get their steaks from major distributors and the steaks are just ok.