CubanoWhat's on it:
Slow-roasted mojo brined pork, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, mustard, garlic aioli on a toasted brioche
Masterpiece Delicatessen (1575 Central Street, 303-561-3354)How much:
The concept of a Cuban sandwich, or Cubano, is a strange one: pork and pickles, pork and pickles, pork and pickles. It sounds like the name of a Hollywood production company that makes porno flicks, as in, "Boy, Vivid Entertainment sure won a lot of awards at the AVN Awards -- the Oscars of porn -- this year, but I think Pork and Pickles is a real up and comer, if you know what I mean." Or not.
Anyway, although a lot of delis and cafes around town offer Cubanos, I've been waiting for the right one, hoping, like a revolutionary-island-leader-turned-fascist-dictator, that patience would pay off and that one day, under the rosy glasses of history, my choices would be vindicated.
Well, call me Fidel, because the Cubano at the Masterpiece Deli was worth it.
Start with the weighty chunks of soft pork, slow-roasted and marinated beyond what you'd find in a typical sandwich. Then layer on the ham and Swiss and pickles. Add to that the rich garlic aioli and mustard, and you have a delicious combination.
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But the key to this pork and pickles packages was the bread, a round brioche that was flaky on top, soft and sweet underneath and strong enough to "stand up" to the gooey aioli and mustard, as one of the two owners said. Still, the French roll was also kind enough to get out of the way of the pork and ham.
The Masterpiece experience isn't complete, however, without mentioning its awesome setting. Perched high on a hill at the Highland end of the last of three 16th Street pedestrian bridges, its patio overlooks all of downtown, the freeway, the river (sort of) and even the mountains.
Viva la Masterpiece Revolucion!
To read about previous sandwiches, check out The Our Weekly Bread archive.