I hadn't eaten the cuban sandwich from El Castillo de Jagua in over a year when I tried it again about two weeks ago. Thankfully, it's still an awesome combination of a pile of pork topped with a slice of ham, gooey cheese, and tart pickles in a mayo-smeared roll, grilled and pressed to a crisp. The last time I had the sandwich the pork was more shred-like and threatened by dryness—the newer version featuring fat meat chunks oozing with sweet pork juices is better. Few sandwiches this satisfying and filling exist for under $5.
Unfortunately, as I don't work near El Castillo de Jagua, it isn't my go-to cuban sandwich joint. Milanese is a suitable replacement for only being a few blocks away from my office. Their sandwich is filled with pork of the shredded sort, resulting in a few dry, chewy slabs of compacted pork among the mostly moist filling. Also, at $6.50, it's more expensive than El Castillo de Jagua's. But it may also be larger than El Castillo's, and for the area, it's a good deal for lunch. Besides that it's...you know, delicious, because it's hard to mess up roast pork + ham + cheese + mayo + pickles + toasted bread. I'd pick it over the Chipotle around the block any day.
El Castillo de Jagua
113 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
168 W 25th St
New York, NY 10001
Other Words That Have Spurted Forth From My Fingers
If you're not a regular reader of Serious Eats, here are some of my latest reviews. You really should read Serious Eats; they pay my bills and is the main reason I don't update this blog more often. Because I'm up until the wee hours of the morning doing something work related! Heehee! (It's not really their fault; I tend to procrastinate until 1 a.m.)
I mean, I love my job; I just miss sleeping. How does the saying go—"I can sleep when I'm dead"? But if I'm dead, I won't be conscious to enjoy it. What's the point of that?
- OH GOD THE BURGERS, I ATE THEM.
McDonald's Cheeseburger vs. McDouble vs. Double Cheeseburger: This is what I get for being a burger writer: McDonald's specializes in burgers and it is now my duty to report on such burgers when they are of national interest. Raphael told me I should blog about the McDouble, the new double cheeseburger that only has one slice of cheese instead of two. Shocker! (My conclusion: Just get the double cheeseburger; the McDouble is worse.) McDonald's burgers hold no special meaning to me. Although I grew up eating at McDonald's, their burgers were probably what turned me off to burgers when I was little—because they kind of sucked. I always got the four-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal; no part of me would ever desire the burger option.
- OH GOD THE FILET-O-FISH, I LOVE YOU
McDonald's Filet-O-Fish: Yea or Nay?: The Filet-O-Fish, on the other hand, is a total nostalgia bomb. I love the Filet-O-Fish. I mean, I fucking love it. I really do. (I only swear when I mean it.) And I don't even feel bad about it. I'm past that. The combination of fried fish stick patty and tartar sauce and processed cheese food in a diminutive squishy steamed bun is just perfect for when I want...uh, that. Whatever that is. I know it's junk food—I hadn't eaten a Filet-O-Fish in nearly a decade—but it's junk food that makes me happy.
- Toast! Everyone loves toast! TOAST!
Serious Eats Gift Guide: Toast-Related Accessories: Everyone had to pick a gift guide. I ended up with "toast" to narrow down the overpopulated field of "food-related novelties." Maybe next year I'll do "waffles."
The Garlic Burger from Hon Cafe in Chinatown: A burger in Chinatown? Wha? I, too, was skeptical. But no longer, for a burger in Chinatown is bound to be made of beef mixed with pork and other tasty seasonings you won't find in most burgers, like soy sauce. I got a nice reblog on Grub Street; maybe someday I'll get my own tag. A girl can dream. (Hey, Adam has one!)