Noun 1. gastronome - a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)bon vivant, epicure, epicurean, foodie, gourmetsensualist - a person who enjoys sensuality. Follow me on Twitter: @Aghastronome

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sexy Sandwiches: El Super Cubano @ Cafe Piquet

El Super Cubano - Cafe Piquet
I was first introduced to Cafe Piquet during the Elián González fracas, they made the local news with protests against sending him to Cuba.  It still took me years to make my way there (it's every bit of 1.5 miles from my residence).  I have since had quite a few items on their menu.  My favorite lunch item is El Super Cubano.   I have been on a bit of a Cuban Sandwich mission lately.  I find this to be the best in town, so far.  Yes, I tried El Rey - and yes, I am open to suggestions.

I have a couple of favorite sandwiches, one of which is the "Reuben",  the other is the "Cuban".  Cafe Piquet offers both El Cuban and El Super Cuban.  When in doubt, super size me, hurry.  El Super comes with Mariquitas (plaintain chips) con Mojo, or, you can ask nice and get the Yuca Frita.  Construction-wise, both sandwiches are the same, just the El Super is a one and one-half sandwiches.  The bread is crisp, chewy and warm from being pressed.  The sandwich boasts a decent quantity of good quality sliced ham and swiss with the perfect amont of pierna (house-roasted pork) to round out the flavors. 

My only complaint, I only had three pickle slices - I love pickles, and on a 16" sandwich, I would have liked about, 8 or 9.  I need a crunch in every bite, I think.  Honestly, the thought of pickles vanished and my focus honed in on the sandwich itself.  Priced at $11.95, this seems a little on the steep side, but, for the quality of ingredients and the sheer size of it all, it's a great deal.  It was two meals, easily.  My total bill, including a beer and tip was around $20.  Good food, good company and a second meal - worth every penny.

The service at Cafe Piquet is friendly and accomodating.  In the many times I've been, I have never had a complaint, about anything, at all.  This could be partially due to the house Sangria, which, with the demise of Tio Pepe, is the best I have found.  It's available by the glass or pitcher, but, don't order a pitcher for yourself - they'll have to pour you into a taxi. There's a lovely warm depth from the fruit and spices without any hint of "alcohol bite", or that super cheap wine aftertaste. 

Cafe Piquet
5757 Bissonnet
Bellaire, TX 77401
Mon - Thurs:  11 AM - 9 PM
Fri - Sat:  11 AM - 10 PM
Sun: 11 AM - 7 PM

Here's a link to their full menu.

Bottom Line:  Best Cuban food in Houston, that I have found so far.  Excellent service, moderate prices and comfortable decor.  If you find yourself on the Southwest Side, or shopping Meyerland Plaza, drive on over.  I promise you won't regret it.  The Ropa Vieja is outstanding, in fact, I have never had a bad meal here.  Ever.

So, you have a sandwich you think is sexy?  Tell me about it.  I'll try anything....once.