Cuba native Jorge Chalgub and his daughter Dayana Mireles have brought true Cuban sandwiches to the Broad Ripple strip. Taste of Havana (815 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-559-4369), opened August 15, offering nine ethnically inspired sandwiches, including a classic El Cubano, with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard served on Cuban bread. This authentic masterpiece comes in three sizes: El Especial for $10.99, El Regular for $8.49, and El Mini for $6.50. Adventurous customers order the Elena Ruth—roasted turkey, cream cheese, and strawberry preserves between Media Noche bread, served hot and gooey after being pressed in the panini toaster. Portioned for sharing, the Cuban CrocTail is a two-foot long sandwich weighing nearly two pounds and served with two fountain drinks and chips for $22.99. “I think what really makes this place different from any other in Indy,” Chalgub says, “is a combination of the bread we use—real Cuban bread—and our marinades for the meats.”
The hotspot also serves homemade black bean soup and housemade Pastelitos (Spanish for little desserts), which are turnover-like treats baked and filled with either guava fruit or strawberries and cream cheese. The tight layout of the counter-service shop (the former home of Fat Dan’s Deli, which has since moved to College Avenue) consists of only a few tables and a small selection of window seats combined with Cubano tunes on the sound system. It’s easy for customers to feel as if they are in the heart of Cuba.