Apr 1, 2015

Review: Corner Bakery Cafe - Cuban Press Panini & Sriracha Black Bean Soup Combo

Corner Bakery's Cuban Press Panini & Sriracha Black Bean Soup combo is something they rolled out recently. The sandwich features roasted pulled pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard on pressed ficelle, while the soup is made with black beans, onions, and garlic in a vegetable stock seasoned with coconut milk, Sriracha sauce, and lime.

It normally costs $8.79 for the combo but I received this courtesy of Corner Bakery. The combo also include a bag of chips and a pickle spear.

All the elements of a potential good Cuban sandwich were present in Corner Bakery's rendition.

The pork was plentiful and meaty but a bit dry. It wasn't over-shredded and came in good-sized chunks. The ham offered a stronger flavor but was also a little dry. Perhaps the sandwich was heated too long?

The Swiss cheese was thoroughly melted with a mild flavor. I could have used an additional slice to match the abundance of meat.

The pickle and mustard added a nice tang to the sandwich with the pickle also introducing a slight crunch.
The bread was pressed a little too lightly (and maybe a little too long where the meat is concerned) for my liking. The crispy crust showed an off-kilter press rather than the ideal flat even surface you want on any sort of grilled or pressed sandwich. The bread itself is narrow with a medium density and all-around softness. A better press would have given it a better crunch.

The Sriracha Black Bean Soup had a nice, hearty thick texture and a deep savory flavor spiked with plenty garlic and onions and a measured spicy kick that accentuates it just right. The green onions on top introduced an extra bit of fresh crispness. I would liken the soup to an excellent bowl of chili but minus the tomatoes.

Overall, I liked Corner Bakery Cafe's Cuban Press Panini but it suffered a bit in the execution. The Sriracha Black Bean Soup was great though. I'd easily just order the soup for a meal (but maybe really early or really late as it's been pretty hot here lately).

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