"The other white meat" is the tagline that ruined the fine reputation of pork. Oh sure, it probably was the best thing to ever happen to pork's sales, but that's just not what it is. Pork is like the homely, but very cool, girl who believes that if she goes out for the cheerleading squad then she'd have the whole package. In the process she lost the true friends, and never really made any new ones. Likewise, pork has lost favor with real lover's of food, while all those actually buying it are just thinking of it as a recipe stand-in once they've gotten bored with chicken breast.
Good pork is the star of the Cuban sandwich, and I've been on the lookout for a good one in the valley since I arrived here in June. I've been hearing fantastic things about K-Rico, so I decided to use my day off to make the trek out there for lunch. K-Rico's is actually a Puerto Rican place, but so many of the foods are similar. The mainstay is their sandwiches, while they have other specials on various days of the week.
I ordered my Cuban and a 4 oz. flan. About 5 minutes later they brought out the sandwich. It was a perfect size for a meal. Just looking at it I could tell that it had a great ratio of bread to fillings. The bread itself was a soft "french" baguette section, pressed until just slightly crispy, but not colored. The interior was soft (but not fluffy) with just a slight sweetness. The texture of the bread did a great job of soaking up the juices of the meat with becoming soggy. The pork appeared to be a well roasted pork shoulder that exemplified pure pork flavor. It wasn't salty or overly spiced. The flavor was just pure pork goodness. The ham slice was your typical good quality supermarket ham. The Swiss cheese and pickle, however, were quite industrial and left much to be desired. The cheese was rubbery and the pickle came from a plastic tub no smaller than 10 gallons for sure. Even though it wasn't the perfect sandwich, the quality of it overall was very good. The best I've had in Phoenix for sure.
I'm not a flan fan, but i have heard she is the flan leader in the valley, so I decided I should try it. As custard desserts go I generally dislike the firmness of most flans, as opposed to the smoothness of a creme brulee for instance. This flan certainly had the gelatinous structure I expected, but it was also nice and creamy, with just enough caramel syrup to flavor it with out making it coyingly sweet. I wouldn't order it again, but it was good.
They also have a number of other pastries, including cookies, bread pudding, and tres leches, plus a wide arrange of appetizers including Puerto Rican takes on pastiles and tamales. They also have a variety of other sandwiches, including some interesting ones on sweet bread. K-Rico is in the first floor of a small strip center at 1616 East Main in Mesa.