Restaurants & Bars 2

Bin No. 18 (Miami) - "Deconstructed" Cuban Sandwich

Frodnesor | Mar 14, 200806:19 AM

I happened to be in the Biscayne area right around lunchtime and popped in to Bin No. 18 (between 18th & 19th St. on Biscayne Blvd.). Loft-style space with open ceilings up 2 stories, no more than about a dozen tables with modern "Design Within Reach" catalog furnishings combined with some baroque looking chandeliers and mirrors (daily specials are written on the mirrors). Sort of an odd layout, as the "back of house" space was gigantic - weird given the limited seating. The menu was mostly sandwiches and salads with several choices of cold sides to go along, and a few daily specials (including, the day I was there, a risotto dish).

Having been recommended by the Miami Herald's Enrique Fernandez as a "best bite" of 2007 (he was right on target with another recommendation, the burger at Kingdom further up the street on Biscayne), I went with the "deconstructed" Cuban sandwich.

I'm not sure what makes this a "deconstructed" Cuban, though it is an unorthodox one. Rather than the traditional sliced pork, sliced ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on buttered Cuban bread and then pressed under a plancha, this one comes with shredded roast pork, (no ham), swiss, pickles and a mustard/mayo spread on a ciabatta, which is heated to start the cheese melting but not pressed. Traditional or not, it was a darn tasty sandwich and a pretty good deal to eat in a swanky-looking place with table service, real plates and silverware for $8 with a side. The choice of sides was quite varied, though I didn't love my caponata (too much onion, not enough olive oil, and missing my favorite additional component, raisins).

Nice little place for sandwiches and salads, and given their limited capacity they were doing a pretty good business while I was there. I was sitting less than an hour and during the time I was there, between tables that were already there when I arrived and those that sat before I left, they probably turned a dozen tables.

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