International News

Raul Galindo, King of the Cuban Sandwich, Lost His Fortune. Now He Wants It Back

Long before LeBron James and his talents arrived on the scene, Miami already had a king: Raul Galindo, el rey de los sandwiches cubanos.

For over 30 years, Galindo and his most famous restaurant -- Latin American Cafeteria -- were synonymous with Cuban food, particularly the meaty mound of ham, pork, and Swiss cheese known as the Cuban sandwich. As New Times reveals in this week's metro, however, Galindo's $12-million-a-year sandwich empire came crashing down several years ago.

But with a new restaurant in Little Havana, the wily 75-year-old is now aiming to retake his crown.


Galindo's downfall began back in 1990, when a divorce from his first wife derailed plans to expand his iconic Coral Way restaurant. Then came copycats, dozens of lawsuits, a falling-out with his own brother, two hurricanes, and, finally, a bitter divorce from his second wife -- who Galindo now claims destroyed his remaining restaurants.

For more on Galindo's rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story, check out this week's metro, up later today online. Buen provecho!

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.