One bite in, and I was charmed by the best Cubano I ever had tasted. Purists might scoff at this pork-free interpretation of the Cuban sandwich, but that is the charm of Rico’s World Kitchen, located in a former muffler shop. It’s a place where comfort food gets a global tweak.
Rico’s Cuban trades the traditional roasted pork-ham combo for marinated, smoked chicken. The juicy, sliced meat is piled high on a foot-long slab of toasted French bread that is slick with mustard and thinly sliced dill pickles. The deftly balanced sandwich is pressed to a soft crunch and blanketed with gooey baby Swiss cheese.
Cut diagonally, it is served with chips. The mojo marinade, bright with citrus, does double duty as a dipping sauce. The assertive flavors are vibrant, and the hearty combination of crunchy, tangy and creamy is rich and satisfying. The serving is large enough to eat just half, especially if you begin with an order of lumpia — hand-rolled Philippine-style egg rolls.
Rico’s World Kitchen. 306 W. Main St., Buford. 678-765-7518, ricosworldkitchen.com
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Credit: University System of Georgia