What’s that Pigeon Handlers? You’re almost at lunch and you’re trying not to think about food?
“Yes. Pretty Much. Plus, I think Janet from Accounting has already stole my Tuna Salad.”
Sorry about your bad luck. Anyway, here’s the latest installment of The Quest for the Cuban! Our travels bring us back to Key West as there’s an afternoon to waste and a whole lot of sunshine to soak up. That brings us to a superb Floridian eatery, Cuban Coffee Queen.
First of all, if you are planning an explorative excursion down Duval Street on your way to the Southernmost Point of Continental USA, you’re going to need a little extra pep in your step. Have no fear, Cuban Coffee Queen has you covered. Coffee is in the name, and they do it right. I went with a Café Con Leche, because that’s the way to do it. Added bonus? On a hot day, they’ll set you up with an iced version.
Smooth and creamy, the drink on it’s own is a refresher. But what’s that tint in the ice cubes? That’s right amigos, coffee cubes. Not just for aesthetics, there’s a delayed surprise with these cool cubes. Remember that hot day we were having? When these puppies start to melt, hello flavor. Taking the drink to another level, you get a stout beverage with a little sweet.
After you’ve wet your whistle, get yourself ready for the main course. That’s right, the Cuban Mix. Swiss cheese, Ham, and Mojo Pork.
“Mojo Pork?” You ask, trying not to plot revenge against Janet.
Well, Mojo in Cuban cooking is usually a sauce that is comprised of varying amounts of garlic, olive oil (or pork lard, if you want to triple the amount of pork in your sammich), and some form of citrus juice. And folks, let me tell you a little something about Cuban Queen Coffee’s Mojo Pork. Juicy, sweet, and a little tangy, each and every bite gushes with goodness.
But is CCQ’s Cuban Mix all about the meat? Not even close. Again, recovering picky eater here, so I left off the tomato, lettuce, and mayo. What I neglected were the onions, but boy howdy am I glad I didn’t. That biting flavor, plus the added crunch… so good. Perhaps most surprising (and tasty) part about the sandwich was the pickle. I can say with honesty that this was the first time a pickle slice nearly stole the show, but that’s a fact. Classic dill flavor, not like your tangy hamburger chips. Nay, think more like a deli shoppe spear. The garden variety squad teamed up to give the whole Mix a solid crunch and bold flavor.
Want to add a little kick? Try a couple of dabs of Cuban Coffee Queen’s house hot sauce. It’s already hot outside, what’s the hurt with a little more heat?
One thing to know about this meal is that the sandwich is large! You are definitely getting your money’s worth out of this bad boy. If you’ve still got room, get you some plantain chips. Prior to the beginning of this culinary quest, about all I knew about plantains were that they were like bananas. What I didn’t know was the unique taste these guys offer. In chip form, they’re a bit salty and starchy, but are absolutely delicious.
The final touch on a perfect meal? Island flavored Dum-dum sucker. The Pizza Resistance.
If you find yourself in downtown Key West and a hearty appetite, visit Cuban Coffee Queen and get yourself a Cuban Mix. Be warned though, if you plan on taking a dip afterwards, you’re gonna want to tack on another 15 minutes to the standard waiting period before diving in. Just don’t tell Janet!
11/10. Bow down, this sammich is royalty.
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!