The Juban Sandwich

As you may know, PALO! used to perform the first Thursday of each month at D. Rodriguez Cuba at the Hotel Astor. Although we no longer play there, this was one of the most fun gigs ever. But one of the coolest things was that I got to collaborate with the Chef on “The Juban Sandwich”. Chef Douglas generously asked me to begin the initial research on my own. I went right to work.

Some of the Testers

I started my experiments armed only with a sandwich press and my unique culinary point of view. I enlisted some friends for the Juban Sandwich Test Kitchen. We tried various combinations of bread, ingredients and sauces. One version of the sandwich contained cow’s tongue, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickle, and a sauce. It was delicious, but questions remained: rye bread with caraway seeds or without? Pork, or no pork?

After reporting the results back to Chef Douglas, we settled on a final, delicious recipe. First, he decided that he’d bake his own fresh bread exclusively for the Juban: Cuban bread with caraway seeds. Talk about both worlds colliding! The other ingredients are as follows:

  • Pickles, prepared specifically for this sandwich
  • Roasted beef brisket, thinly sliced, replacing the Cuban sandwich’s roast pork
  • Turkey ham, thinly sliced, adding a nice smokey flavor
  • Swiss cheese – this is something the “Cuban” and the “Reuben” have in common!
  • Garlic aioli mayonnaise

The bread is split and the ingredients are strategically placed inside. The sandwich is grilled slowly on a sandwich press until the cheese is melted, the ingredients are hot, and you can tap on the bread and hear that Cuban clave percussive sound! It’s served with crispy plantain chips.

No es por nada pero this sandwich is TO DIE FOR!

See how Chef Douglas makes the Juban Sandwich:

PALO! in the kitchen w/ Chef Douglas Rodriguez. THE JUBAN SANDWICH

By | 2017-01-14T23:54:11+00:00 May 17th, 2010|blog|8 Comments

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  1. Raoul Sorondo May 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    A Juban sandwich not only would NEVER have pork, but would NEVER mix meat and cheese. Come on, what kind of Jew are you?

    • Steve May 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      I’m a non-religious, non-bar-mitzvahed, non-kosher, but still-proud-to-be-of-Jewish-lineage kind of Jew. 🙂

  2. ines May 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    No es por nada pero now I’m hungry!! I love the Astor and Chef Rodriguez’ food is beyond delish. I still remember eating there when he announced an amazing “Afro-Cuban Jazz Band” that would soon be playing there – when I asked if it was PALO, his eyes almost popped out of his head …and I had to tweet you on the spot.

    Somehow good people always end up in the same place – don’t forget to try their coconut mojito (YUM)

  3. Alisha Haydn Vera May 18, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I LOVE THE JUBAN SANDWICH! Tested and approved by THIS Jew (but MUST contain caraway seeds. #thatisall). Love you!

  4. Steve May 18, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Ines, your support is always appreciated! We’ll have to all hang out with some mojitos soon. We’re developing a special drink for Thursdays @ D Rodriguez Cuba.

  5. Steve May 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Alisha – the final version uses Chef Douglas’ custom Cuban bread with caraway seeds – the best of both worlds!

  6. Olive March 9, 2013 at 3:13 am

    As per my better half this sandwich is good. Does this restaurant still have the Juban on the menu?

    • Steve March 9, 2013 at 3:38 am

      It’s only available at my house. But D Rodriguez Cuba at Ocean on Miami Beach is an excellent restaurant!

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