Club Havana

“I’d say I was hungry, but I don’t want them to hear,” You say quietly at your desk, trying to fight off the rumblings in your stomach.

Never fear! Me and Janet from Accounting have hearing like you wouldn’t believe and we have just the thing for you! That’s right, yet another installment in our Quest for the Cuban!

“That’s an awful lot of exclamation points.”

You’re right! That’s because we are super excited to tell you about our latest exploration of the Ocala area [in terms of Sammich goodness, that is] and our visit a neat little hole in the wall called Club Havana.

For starters, I can’t tell you how lucky I was to arrive when I did. You could smell the delicious goodness as soon as you walk in the door, but I didn’t have to wait too long to step right up and order. As I sat down, I looked back to the door and there was a line of people stretched all the way to the glass. Talk about your lunch rush. I took this as the best of signs and waited with eager anticipation.

As the Cuban made its entrance, two things became clear: the general accepted size of a Cuban usually hangs around the neighborhood of big and this particular beast comes with a bonus side of fries. Yes indeed, I came in just looking to satisfy a wee bit of hunger and was left with a full belly and a to go plate.

The Sammich itself was fantastic. The bread was pressed and had a definite crunch and the entire thing was heated throughout, from the mustard to the pickles to the ham and swiss. The roasted pork was my favorite part of this bad boy, though. First, there was a lot of it! Second, it had a second mailing address in flavor town. Third, and perhaps the best, was the fact that it was almost charred on the outsides. Ooo-wee did that give it that extra boost.

Getting back to those bonus fries, they were an absolute treat. The menu states plainly “Cuban”, so the fact that the plate comes out with anything additional is just plain awesome service. But it wasn’t just the fries. They were good, no doubt, but it was the ketchup that sealed the deal. I’m not a food expert, but this is one of those things that can only be summed up by “if you know, then you know.” I can’t explain it, but the ketchup at Club Havana is whatever brand of Holy tomato goodness that separates it from all the others. Maybe it was fancy? Who knows?

For those of you who want a little more Cuban culture with your meal, give their Café con Leche a try. I, in the quest for better health that involves eating Cuban Sammiches while abstaining from caffeine, opted not to go full Crüe and kickstart my heart. But the fellow working the steamer was straight up hustling and everyone who did partake had nothing but the best to say.

Final Verdict: 10/10 It is perfectly acceptable to go clubbing at lunch time, so long as you arrive early to Club Havana [que unsuh-unsuh music and fist pumps].

Do you know a great place to get a good Cuban Sandwich? Let us know in the comments or on any of the social media time wasters and we might check it out!

This article is part of the Quest for the Cuban, which is part of the travel segment A Little Less Texas. Enjoy!

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