A few weeks ago while out running errands we decided to check out the latest restaurant to be getting a lot of buzz in downtown Durham, Old Havana Sandwich Shop. It was a late lunch on a Saturday and the place was pretty busy. The sandwich shop is located in lovely old renovated building with huge windows warming the entire space with sunlight. The staff are helpful and cheery just like the space.
The concept is simple, authentic Cuban style sandwiches using local, pasture-raised NC pork, free of hormones or antibiotics. All of their sandwiches are served on bread from Guglhupf bakery in Durham. They offer a few different regional varieties of the Cuban sandwich and a few side dishes. We tried the Santiago which is chopped slow roasted pork topped with mustard and their mojo sauce. The sandwich was full of nice pieces of pork which was complemented by the spicy mustard. The bread added a perfect crunchy bite and soft chew. While the pork was delicious it was a bit dry and the sandwich needed more of the signature mojo sauce. The sandwiches are served with a few maduros which are oven-roasted, ripe sweet plantains. They were deliciously sweet with nice crispy edges. We also tried the frijoles negros and the arroz side dishes. The rice was butttery and addictive with the tender, satisfying black beans.
It seems like other bloggers at Carpe Durham and Demandy are enjoying the recent addition to Durham as well. While it isn’t the best Cuban sandwich I’ve had (that honor belongs to Chez Henri in Cambridge), we will certainly be back to try the other regional specialty sandwiches and the breakfast pastries, especially the guava pastelitos.
Old Havana Sandwich Shop
310 East Main Street
Durham, NC 27701