Luis Galindo's Latin American Cafeteria & Restaurant

Today, Luis Galindo's Latin American Cafeteria & Restaurant, named for the brother of Cuban sandwich patron Raúl Galindo, is owned by Elias G. Elias, a Lebanese-Syrian man raised in Cuba. It makes one of the city's best cubanos. At lunch, businessmen and little old ladies perch on black stools surrounding a U-shaped bar in a rust-colored room that concentrates all attention on a sandwich-making station surrounded by hanging Luter's Smithfield hams. The work is done out in the open rather than hidden in the kitchen. Aproned cooks continuously butter smoking griddles that press countless sandwiches into submission. The perfect press crisps the bread's crust, slightly warms the interior, and compresses the whole thing without flattening it into a cracker. Elias bought the place 20 years ago and has changed only the colors of the walls.