I first read about Pepi Cubano more than a year ago as I was browsing for interesting food finds around Legaspi Village where I used to work. At that time, I just recently watched the movie Chef – a film about a former chef opening a food truck which sells cubanos.
For the unfamiliar, a cubano is composed of slow roasted pork, ham, cheese, pickles stuffed in a Cuban bread brushed with butter and flattened. These sandwiches are created by Cuban immigrants in Florida to cater to the migrant workers.
Upon learning that I could get a taste of that sandwich, I made it a point to walk to their store in Gallardo Street. I wanted to try their cubano. However at PhP 250, I found it a bit pricey. I ended with the Pan de Pollo, which was PhP 50 cheaper than the former. It was good, surprisingly filling. But I would definitely have second thoughts in buying it at that price tag.
This year, Pepi Cubano opened shop in the 3rd floor of Robinson’s Place Manila. (They share a stall with Paper Moon Cafe.) I got excited to see if it is the same sandwich shop I visited in Makati. I was a bit hesitant, though, because of the price. To my surprise, their prices went down from the PhP 200-250 range. Their cubano is priced at PhP 165!
One Sunday, I brought my sister there for brunch. We shared the shop’s eponymous sandwich and the Tito Choripan between the two of us.
Unlike what I had in Makati, their sandwiches were pre-made. With more branches all over the metro, I think it is to ensure that each sandwich tastes the same which ever store you are. It also lessens the waiting time. However, it did not seem to make a big difference in product. They still serve meaty flavorful sandwiches. Their cubano is a heftier and more robust ham and cheese sandwich. The mustard and pickles added a bit of tang to balance the saltier components. The choripan hits your tastebuds all over the right places. It’s mix of sweet, salty because of the chorizo jamonado and a little tangy because of the chimichurri sauce. It’s definitely the sandwich I would love to eat again!
But besides what I have tasted, they also offer a vegetarian sandwich they call Pan De Verdura. Another interesting sandwich for me is the Pan De Guyaba, a guava jam and cream cheese sandwich. And to tickle our Filipino palate more, they have Pan de Bistec which has beef and caramelized onions and Pan de Lechon, which has slow roasted pork loin.
With a nearer location and a more affordable price, there won’t be much hesitation now to go back to get my sandwich fix in Pepi Cubano.
You can find Pepi Cubano in various locations all over Metro Manila including Glorietta 3, SM North EDSA, Trinoma, SM Megamall, and Robinsons Galleria. For more information, you may visit their facebook page. (@pepicubanoph)