During the last week of my job, I went to drop off my cable box at the Time Warner office on 23rd Street and was excited to see that a Sophie's Cuban had opened up just a few doors down (I spent all these years working in the Flatiron Building, and it was only right before I left that Cuban food arrived to the neighborhood. Dangit). Knowing I only had a limited amount of time to enjoy the convenience of the place being just down the block, I nabbed TL to meet me there at lunch for a taste of la cocina cubana.
It was hectic inside. Sitting at a table required waiter service, so we opted to get our goodies to go and to settle ourselves in Madison Square Park. There, on a bench, we dug into a croquette de yuca, which is a deep-fried torpedo of smooth, buttery mashed cassava root stuffed with ground pork. It's pretty huge at two bucks and quite filling.
Our sandwiches of fried pork with sweet plantains and onions became ones made with roast pork (they had run out of the fried, and neither of us felt like waiting). I'm glad for the switch; lunch was heavy enough without adding deep-fried meat into the picture! I enjoyed this sandwich a lot: the meat was a little dry, but the plaintains tucked between the pressed bread added both moisture and caramelized sweetness. The only thing I would have done is given it several good shakes of vinegary hot sauce for some extra depth and flavor. I shouldn't have consumed the whole thing, especially since I'd already eaten half of a croquette de yuca, but I did anyway and regretted it not at all.