IBJOpinion

DINING: Hamming it up at new Broad Ripple Cuban sandwich spot

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

I’ve never been tempted by restaurant “dare” items. The “Can-you-eat-this?” steak or the “so-big-that-you’ll-get-your picture-on-the-wall-if-you-eat-it-in-one-sitting” burger always seemed more appetite-killing than appetizing.
 

ae-dining-apb-tasteofhavana01-15col.jpg The CrockTail, a variation on a Cuban sandwich, weighs in at over two pounds. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

My opinion on that hasn’t changed. And, no, this isn’t a column—written from the ER—where I announce that I took on such a challenge. But I did recently invest in the CrockTail Platter ($22.99) at Taste of Havana (815 Broad Ripple Ave., 559-4369), the Cuban counter-service restaurant that opened in August. And I’m glad I did.

Yes, if you eat this delicious 2-footer—loaded but not overstuffed with roasted pork, ham and cheese—by yourself, you get your photo on the wall (there’s only one there so far). Instead, I opted to dine with a friend and, together, we took care of three-fourths of it, taking the rest home to eat later. A pair of drinks and an ample supply of yucca and plantain chips, FYI, are included in the cost, making it a relative bargain.

It’s all very, very good, thanks to fresh ingredients, a cook who knows proportions, and wonderful, slightly sweet media noche bread.

There are other worthy options at Taste of Havana. The traditional Cuban sandwich, on the menu here as the El Cubano, comes in three sizes ($10.99, $8.49, $6.50) and contains layers of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and just enough mustard to flavor but not overwhelm. Less familiar may be the Elena Ruth ($8.50), a surprising sandwich where strawberry preserves accent turkey and cream cheese. The name refers to a perhaps apocryphal story of its namesake, who would repeatedly request the combo at an all-night restaurant in Havana. You might find yourself just as hooked.

Black Bean Soup ($2.50/$4.25) provides a subtly delicious starter. And whether you have room or not, I strongly suggest investing in a few Pastelios ($1.90 each). These housemade delights—puff pastry filled with cream cheese, guava and other fruit—could become my favorite grab-and-go treat on the Broad Ripple strip. Just be careful if you try to eat these flaky treasures in your car on your way to a business meeting.

With all the attention in Broad Ripple focused on chain businesses encroaching on the locals, it’s nice to see that a mom-and-pop joint—actually a pop-and-daughter joint—can still find a home along its main drag. That it can offer food that doesn’t duplicate what’s already available—and do it with such warmhearted attention both to the food and to customers—is even better.

I’ll happily Havana-ther meal there soon.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Last in a month-long series of full-flavored restaurant reviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

ADVERTISEMENT