The Torta Cubano @ Healdsburg Bar & Grill

hbgtorta

The Cubano Sandwich @ Healdsburg Bar & Grill.

There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to the torta cubana: One school adheres to a traditional standard of ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. The other school remains much more spirited and open-minded in its approach, with Mexican-style tortas that may include hot dogs, beef milanese, fried eggs, guacamole, and several other additional condiments. This latter style of sandwich is best embodied by the über-torta at That’s It Market in San Francisco. The That’s It sandwich remains a beast by anyone’s standard, and it has become infamous for its sheer, all-inclusive decadence.

In comparison, the traditional torta cubana, like the HBG version pictured above, seems almost subdued by nature, quaint in its conformity. At its essence, the traditional cubana lacks the comprehensive, hangover-curing potency of its Mexican cousins, but the sandwich can still succeed within its own simplicity. After all, tradition is typically rooted in purpose: With the classic cubano, the acidity of the pickles and mustard deftly offset the richness of roasted pork, cured ham, and melted cheese. The HBG cubano hits its mark, even if it doesn’t shoot for the moon.

Find more info about the Bay Area’s best tortas…

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