Monday, August 29, 2011

Ebbett's Good to Go - Cuban Sandwich

Sustainable, organic and locally-sourced are all buzzwords that mean absolutely nothing without delicious food to back them up. Especially in the Bay Area, it sometimes seems like those adjectives are merely the price of admission for a restauranteur, rather than differentiators. Fortunately, the Cuban sandwich from Ebbett's Good to Go brings all of the buzzwords and delivers amazing flavor at the same time.

Out of a truck lovingly referred to as "Big Blue," Ebbett's offers up their take on the classic Cuban sandwich, along with a seasonal vegetarian sandwich and a rotation of sandwich specials. Friends and owners Shari Washburn and Suzanne Schafer decided to open Ebbett's after their kids started going to school full time, and the two saw the need for people to get excited about lunchtime again. While the buzz on the line is that they make an excellent tofu sandwich, I just can't resist the double-barreled pork attack of a Cuban sandwich, so I decided to order Ebbett's most popular dish.

A Cuban sandwich starts with ham and roast pork, typically adding Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on a Cuban roll. Ebbett's Good to Go, though, makes it more California than Havana.

Biting into my sandwich, I found the roasted Niman Ranch pork perfectly seasoned and wonderfully tender, with plenty of crispy parts that kept the texture interesting. It was paired with artisan ham, which gave a great textural contrast and a bit of saltiness. The jalapeno relish and chipotle mayo combined to leave my lips tingling even after the sandwich was gone. Topping all of this was Gruyere cheese, which melted into the sandwich but didn't interfere with the meat. The chewy Acme roll soaked up a bit of the juice from the pork and condiments but still did its duty of holding in the contents for the few short moments it took me to devour a sandwich this good.

For purists keeping track, there are no pickles on the Ebbett's Cuban. I didn't miss the pickle at all, but if you require pickles on your Cuban sandwich, they offer house made pickles for an extra fifty cents.

I'll admit I will have a hard time ordering a different sandwich from this truck after the bar has been set so high with the Cuban. To be clear, this is one of the best sandwiches in the Bay Area, so track one down at your earliest convenience. Because as Ebbett's warns us, "Admit it... you need a sandwich."

Rating: 5/5 (ratings guide)

Ebbett's Good to Go (@ebbettsgoodtogo) $8 per sandwich

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