Viva La Sandwich: Chacabanas Brings A Taste Of Cuba To OTR

Chacabanas Cuban Sandwiches is a must when you’re craving Cuban or Dominican food.
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PHOTO BY CATHERINE VIOX

If you’re walking along Elm Street near Findlay Market around lunchtime on any given day, you’re liable to hear the sounds of rumba and salsa music pumping out of Chacabanas Cuban Sandwiches. Named after the lightweight version of the traditional Dominican military shirt, it’s appropriately festive for an eatery that turns out tasty Cubanos, empanadas, and croquetas.

While the signature sandwich, the El Cubano—roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard pressed between two pieces of toasted Cuban bread—is a savory delight, it’s the Croqueta Preparada sandwich that shines brightest here. Croquettes (crispy fingerlings of ground ham rolled in breadcrumbs) share space with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on pressed Cuban bread, offering an extra crunch in this variation of a Cuban sandwich. A side of yuca fries or tostones (fried green plantains), both tossed in garlic-infused oil and served with a dusting of Manchego cheese, are fitting companions, but you may not need them. The chunky croquettes almost act as their own side, adding a little heft to the hearty sandwich. (It’s best to two-hand it to keep from making a mess.)

PHOTO BY CATHERINE VIOX

Top off your meal with a piece of tres leche, a milk-soaked sponge cake topped with fresh meringue. Better yet, snag a Mexican Coke to go. There’s always room for something sweet.

Chacabanas, 809 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 717-2172, chacabanascincy.com

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