Local Spotlight

Torta Cubana at La Guadalupana Bakery & Café

Whenever I feel nostalgic for Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, I visit La Guadalupana Bakery & Café. During the period that I resided in that Boston suburb, I did my laundry each week at a laundromat next store to a terrific restaurant, El Oriental de Cuba, and in between cycles I frequently chowed down on their plantains, rice, and beans.

Although in Houston I have a washer and dryer onsite at my apartment complex, I am tickled that I still have the option of doing a load of whites and enjoying a good meal at the same time via La Guadalupana's proximity to coin laundromat. No matter that their focus cuisine is Mexican rather than Cuban--even better, actually, because that means I can have one of their wonderful tortas.

I very much like the Café's chicken and milanesa tortas, but my absolute favorite is the torta cubana.

Inside a bulky white roll with a cracker-crisp crust and a soft fluffy interior lies strata of ham, sausage chunks, avocado, tomato, beans, jalapenos, onions, pineapple, mayonnaise. The hearty albeit unusual combination of salt meaty and tropical fruit is the perfect lunch for an air-conditioned lunch on a long, hot summer day, especially when paired with horchata.

I should note that while several online sites, including Yelp still list the price of the Torta Cubana at $4.50 when in fact the current price is $6.99. It's still worth it, though I wish the markup corresponded with a proportional increase in the amount of meat inside the sandwich. Please, sir, I want some more [sausage]?

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Joanna O'Leary