We’re not here to rag on your standard PB&J or the BLT. On the contrary. Each one has their place in your lunch rotation.
But Latin sandwiches are a lot like Latin grandmothers — they’re on a mission to stuff your face. Basically, if you’re not loosening your belt and carrying home leftovers, you’re not really eating a Latin sandwich.
Each Latin American country has its own outrageously delicious signature sandwich. Whether it’s the Dominican chimi burger or the Peruvian butifarra, Miami’s got a place for just about all of them. Here are six you need to put on your lunchtime radar.
This Peruvian sandwich is an essential component of daily life in Peru. And when it’s lunchtime in Miami, why not do as the Peruvians? In West Kendall, Mr. & Mrs. Bun makes homemade buns and fills them with an ungodly mound of ham that’s been cured for 48 hours, aioli sauce and salsa criolla. Good luck fitting that into your lunchbox.
Mr. & Mrs. Bun, 15572 Sunset Dr., Miami; 786-717-6244
The mighty chimichurri (or, the “chimi,” as it is affectionately called) is the Dominican version of a burger. And the ones served up at the Chimi El Tigre food truck put the standard patty-and-bun to shame. Using a fresh toasted Dominican bun, they fill this hefty hand-held meal with fried longaniza (Spanish sausage), chopped coleslaw, fried cheese and a secret chimi sauce. You can also opt to add a fried egg, sweet plantains and potato chips to your concoction. Just don’t count on getting any work done afterward.
Chimi El Tigre, various locations, Miami
The name of the Argentine specialty tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this sandwich: “chori” is for chorizo (a spicy pork sausage) and “pan” means bread. It’s like a hot dog gone gloriously rogue. Order up your choripan at Che Milenesa, and you’ll be treated to a crusty baguette stuffed with the aforementioned chorizo, chimichurri sauce and lettuce and tomatoes. Feel like testing the outer limits of your appetite? Go for the XL version with two chorizos and mayo.
Che Milanesa, 11735 SW 147th Ave., #38, Miami; 305-934-1027
C’mon. You knew the classic Cubano was bound to make an appearance. Now, if you ask Cubans in Tampa, this combination of shredded pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and dill pickles on pressed Cuban bread requires salami. But you’re in Miami. And here, that’s simply an abomination. Islas Canarias knows what we’re talking about.
Islas Canarias, 13695 SW 26th St., Miami; 305-559-6666
If bread is too pedestrian for your beloved sanguich, the Venezuelan patacon is ready to whisper sweet nothings to your rebellious heart. Instead of bread, the patacon calls upon two slices of fried plantains to sandwich a variety of fillings. Which is exactly what the crew at Pincho Factory has done. Their Toston Burger uses fried plantains to house a juicy burger patty, jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and a homemade cilantro sauce. Brioche just seems downright basic at this point.
Pincho Factory, various locations, Miami
Ah, Puerto Rico. Land of many delicious food stuffs. And thankfully, its tripleta sandwich doesn’t disappoint. At El Rincon del Coqui food truck, they layer this magical beast with three different kinds of meat: churrasco, chicken and marinated pork. If you haven’t worked up the food sweats yet, the shoestring potatoes and creamy special sauce will finish off the job.
El Rincon del Coqui, various locations, Miami; 305-724-3917