If you live in South Florida, there’s no such thing as a typical ham sandwich. ’Round these parts, it’s cubanos or bust. Whether the take is a classic gathering of ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles or a modern variation with smoked meats and specialty grain condiments, the hot-pressed sandwich is a Miami staple. And though we’ve got the best cubano creators at our fingertips, we can’t blame the rest of world for trying. Thanks to the Annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival, Cuban-sandwich lovers from all parts get in on the snack action, but the second-annual Cuban Sandwich Smackdown decides who will represent Miami at the larger affair.
At the Smackdown, eateries from all over South Florida will join defending champion Sergio’s Cuban Restaurant, which took home the title of Best Cuban Sandwich at last year’s battle. Celebrity judges include chef Douglas Rodriguez, Hallandale Beach Vice-Mayor Bill Julian, Aventura Commissioner Luz Weinberg, Univision 23 news anchor Jorge Hernandez, and Telemundo Tampa news anchor Cristina Puig. In addition to witnessing the fierce competition, guests will be treated to cultural demonstrations, music, dancing, and food throughout the day.
The Cuban Sandwich Smackdown will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sergio’s Restaurant Doral (1640 NW 87th Ave., Doral). Admission is free. Call 305-639-8960 or visit thecubansandwichfestival.com.