Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tortas Guicho Dominguez y el Cubanito review

I was really excited about this excursion to Torta Guicho Dominguez y el Cubanito. While I was away in Raleigh, the Better Half sent me this review from the Star. I don't think I'd ever had torta from any of the Mexican places we'd visited, so I was excited about trying this version. WIBIA at Would I Buy It Again had mentioned having a super-loaded torta on one of his road trips, so I am wondering what he'll think of this place eventually.

We arrived for a pretty late lunch on Saturday. We had mom in tow, too, who usually makes it quite clear that she doesn't like sandwiches. The restaurant is brightly adorned, well lit, colorful and welcoming. There is seating for about 16 people is my guess, and there was a nice little crowd of about 6 there at the time of our visit. They start out with some salty, shelled peanuts. Then, you have to work your way through the menu. Ultimately, you can pick small variations of their sandwich fixings or... basically get everything in the Cubana (#12).

They bring two salsas and some peppers to accompany your sandwich. The red salsa is very heavily peppery, and the green has more flavor beyond the blunt pepper. The jalapeno/carrot mix is a great addition to go with the sandwiches, and they're more sour than hot.

They have 6 sandwiches named after famous Mexican artists, including Salma Hayek, Shakira and Enrique Iglesias. Suffice to say, I could not imagine having the words "I'll have the Enrique Iglesias" come out of my mouth, no matter what was on that sandwich.

Mom had the Salme Hayek - chicken, ham & mozzarella. The Better Half had the Luis Miguel - smoked pork, chorizo sausage and mozzarella. I had to go for the whole pinata, so I ordered the Cubana.

Everyone enjoyed their sandwiches, which come on soft, slightly sweet bread. These buns are likely 8 inches in diameter, so not a small sandwich. But, the bread is not dense, so you are not filling up on bread.

Now, let's take another look at the Cubana.

The Cubana has: smoked pork, ham, breaded steak, egg, turkey, chorizo, a whole hot dog, headcheese, American cheese, mozzarella, white fresh cheese and pineapple. That is from the menu. Mine also came with avocado which was not listed. That's right, 13 toppings. How do you say "dagwood" in Spanish? I'm thinking it was over 4 inches in vertical height, but luckily you can compress the bread. The chorizo comes cooked up in the egg, and I took some of that off. It was on its own at least a 2 egg omelet. I'm not a headcheese expert (sorry), so I am not sure it was on the sandwich. If it was, that was a first experience with head cheese for me.

It really is a great sandwich, and I want to take some food-loving friends here for the experience. A few down sides, though. The taste of it is kind of overwhelmed by the split and griddled hot dog, though it is a nice tasting hot dog. Too much egg for me, too. Otherwise, it is a great sandwich, fun to order, filling, tasty.

My favorite of our three was the Luis Miguel. It was really cheesey, and a great mix with the pork and chorizo. This sandwich is spicier on its own than the Cubana, and the pickled peppers were a great accompaniment to this sandwich.

Pretty much all of the sandwiches are $5.50, but the Cubana is $7.50. $3,75 for a breakfast torta, which I'd like to try. Very good value all around.

The verdict: 4.5 belly rubs (out of 5). Nice owners, great local addition, tasty, filling, good value. I'm not sure why I'm holding back on the last half belly rub, I guess just because it was the first visit. Please try this place.

Now, the Star calls this a Fletcher Place restaurant, but while you haven't crossed back over the the North-South split of 65, I consider this a Fountain Square restaurant. And, I think it is a great addition to the collection of Fountain Square restaurants. And, really, as I think about it, I really think that Fountain Square, for such a small area, has some of the best collection of restaurants of any of the neighborhoods in the whole city. For my own slant, they have the best Thai restaurant in town (Siam Square), best Greek (Santorini's), best outside seating (Shelbi Street Cafe's rooftop in the summer), and now the best torta! Our only attempt to get to Naisa, it was packed so we went elsewhere. And, Maria's pizza is pretty good, and I like the one that comes with sauerkraut quite a bit. Plus, there is the Murphy Art's Center, Dolphin Papers, and the Wheeler Arts Community (very cool to go to their open house). Discover Fountain Square - way better than Broad Ripple!


wibia said...

How do you say Dagwood in Spanish?....ha ha..

Looks close to what I had. The price seems fair as well. I would probably take off some of the cheese, but it looks solid.

Btw, the carrot and jalapeno side is always a mystery to me. They are usually pickled and cold and crisp, but I have seen it warm at places as well. When it is cold and there are more carrots than jalapenos, it is called Zanahorias en Escabeche, which is strange because Escabeche is a poaching or frying something (usually fish).

Whenever I have had it warm (still with carrots, oddly enough) the guys says…”do you want some peppers?”

In any form, I have never liked it… but the naming and proper way to serve it is still beyond me…

Jeff Miller said...

Thanks for enjoying our new restaurant and writing up a great review on it.

I did want to comment on the statement: "Now, the Star calls this a Fletcher Place restaurant, but while you haven't crossed back over the the North-South split of 65, I consider this a Fountain Square restaurant". It actually is on the inside of I-65 (it is North on Virginia after you are inside I-65). That's why it is in our lovely Fletcher Place neighborhood.

Again, thanks for the wonderful review.


Jeff Miller
President, Fletcher Place Neighborhood Assn.

Tom said...

for the etymologists and fans of word origins (I'll soon be appearing on Jeopardy - j/k)

The name derives from the Persian sikba: sik, “vinegar”, ba, “food”. And so, the basic premise is that meat is cooked in a mixture of some sort of sweetener (honey, grape juice, date molasses) and vinegar. The interesting thing about al-sikbaj is that it is no longer cooked in the Arab world. Its memory now lives on in the Spanish escabeche.

Tom (fan of vinegar)