Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.
#86 Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms, 10560 Westheimer
Logan Farms calls it the "Cuban pesto sandwich," and I think it's the best Cuban sandwich in Houston by a long shot. It's not hard to imagine that a roast pork, ham and cheese sandwich would taste pretty damn good with the Italian paste of garlic, basil, pine nuts and olive oil on it. The question is: Is it really a Cuban sandwich?
In fact, the definition of a Cuban sandwich is the subject of debate. Some say the sandwich was invented to feed cigar-factory workers in Ybor City, Florida. Others say it was invented in Havana, where it was called a "mixto." Some say a "true" Cuban sandwich must be pressed in a plancha. Others contend that the original Cuban sandwich, a fancy ham-and-cheese on a foot-long section of Cuban bread, wasn't toasted at all.
The standard recipe calls for roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese and thinly sliced dill pickles on bread spread with yellow mustard. In Tampa, where there were a lot of Italian immigrants, Genoa salami was traditionally added. If you can add an Italian ingredient like Genoa salami, pesto is not much of a stretch. Go to Logan Farms and give this sandwich a try. I think you'll agree that the substitution of pesto for yellow mustard is nothing short of brilliant.
The list to date:
#100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89 Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill #88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha #87 Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.