The Sandwich: The Cubana Torta
Where: 3 Salsas, 3439 14th St. NW
Bread: Bolillo, an ovoid baguette popular in Mexico
Stuffings: Breaded and fried steak, ham, chicken, chorizo, fried egg, refried beans, queso fresco, lettuce, tomato, white onion, avocado, mayonnaise, and sour cream
Thickness: 4.5 inches
Pros: Despite its mile-long ingredient list, this sandwich comes together surprisingly well. Think of it as a Mexican take on the Uruguayan chivito. The plentiful serving of vegetables on top adds a cool dose of freshness, cutting through the saltier combination of ham, cheese, sausage, and egg. What really makes this sandwich great, however, is the mildly spicy slathering of refried beans, spread like hummus on the bottom bun.
Cons: Unlike most fried steaks, which have a crispy crust and a juicy interior, the steak is tough like jerky and the breading feels soggy. The more flavorful ingredients overtake the bland steak; eventually, you’ll forget it’s even in the sandwich.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. When a sandwich is stacked this high, it’s impossible for all the ingredients to remain inside the bun at all times. A few pieces of chicken and egg fall out, but the real place you’ll see the mess is on your face. You’ll need plenty of napkins.
Overall score (1 to 5): 4. This sandwich appears to have too much going on, but once you take a bite, you realize just how well pigs, chickens, and cows can coexist on a bun. 3 Salsas’ super fresh bread and vegetables turn this stuffed sandwich into a full meal. You won’t be hungry until the next day.
Photo by Caroline Jones