Your fondness/abhorrence of mustard is going to dictate your overall thoughts on Arby’s new Miami Cuban. If you really like mustard, you’ll definitely get a kick out of the limited-time-only offering — especially if you order one at the same suburban Atlanta franchise I got mine from.
As the photographic evidence clearly demonstrates, apparently the chefs at my neighborhood eatery decided it wouldn’t really be an authentic Miami Cuban unless they squeezed an entire bottle of French’s on the sandwich before sending it down the burger chute. It has since been brought to my attention that, no, this is not the standard assemblage process for Arby’s franchises, so odds are your sandwich will contain significantly less of the yellow stuff.
Beyond that condiment deluge, though, we’re working with some pretty standard stuff here. Despite the name, the sandwich isn’t served on Cuban bread, or even a ciabatta roll. Instead, the whole shebang is served on a rather humdrum, ordinary, everyday sub roll. As for the protein, you do get a nice mixture of pit smoked ham and shredded pork loin. If you’ve never had the latter before, it has a nice, semi-bacon flavor to it, all while having the same consistency of the regular shredded ham we’re used to from the franchise.
Rounding out the Cuban sub (shh, don’t tell JFK!) is a hearty helping of melted Swiss cheese and a couple of slices of dill pickle.
Obviously, the high mustard quotient is the only thing keeping this from being a fairly uninspired limited-time-only offering. Overall it is pretty yummy, and I personally dig the sorta-but-not-really-spicy taste and mouthfeel of all that mustard, but it’s not exactly a revolutionary fast food offering. Hmm, considering this is a Cuban we’re talking about, maybe “revolutionary” isn’t the best-fitting term to use. But…still.
On the positive side of things, it is a rather filling sandwich, and at 510 calories, it’s a surprisingly light fast food item for its size. As far as negatives go, the thing is ridiculously salty, and, if you get one like mine, good luck eating it without getting mustard on literally every article of clothing you own, and probably the apparel of the people sitting beside you, too.
Really, the problem here isn’t that the sandwich tastes bad, because it certainly doesn’t. It’s more the fact that it simply takes the basic ingredients of the traditional Cuban sandwich and sucks all the soul out of it. Take a look at this authentic Cuban sandwich from the Miami-area restaurant Alberto Cabrera’s. Sorry, Arby’s but you just can’t replicate that with the material you’re used to working with.
That said, it is pretty fun mixing and matching the sandwich with Arby’s impressive gauntlet of in-house sauces (you’d be amazed how well the mustard gels with the Horsey sauce) and, of course, if you don’t try the sucker with a couple of curly fries added into the mix, you have no (Havana?) idea what you’re missing.
(Nutrition Facts – 510 calories, 180 calories from fat, 20 grams of total fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 96 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,520 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 38 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $5.49
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: The shredded pork loin is great. The sandwich as a whole is pretty appetite-satiating. Mixing the mustard with honey mustard and feeling like a mad scientist.
Cons: Goodness, is this thing messy. It’s absurdly salty. Not being able to find a place to wedge in a Scarface or Don Johnson reference.