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Restaurants & Bars

Birmingham - Kool Korner

Dax | Jun 23, 200911:46 AM     28

Stopped in around 30 minutes ago to try a cubano from Kool Korner, formerly of Midtown (Atlanta).

More background here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/397560

http://blog.al.com/bob-carlton/2009/0...

And from chowhound South searches from its former Atlanta incarnation.

I've loved Cubanos since I first tried one in El Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain, MA circa 2002 or so. Multiple places in Boston served them, some super-traditional and some with the more bastardized versions including the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayo or a combination of the above. The short of it is that you have the Non-Ambiguously Awsome Pork Duo (ham and roasted pork, hopefully roasted on site). with pickles and yellow mustard, topped with cheese, and pressed between two pieces of cuban bread. But you all know that.

I ordered a Cubano and when she asked what toppings I thought I said traditional but it came out (eventually) loaded with the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mayo. I say eventually because out of the +/- 10 cubano places in MA, GA and AL (no FL ones yet) at which I have eaten, all sandwiches are made to order by someone that would make a turtle's lack of speed pale in comparison. In this case per the story on AL.com and the chowhound posts, it's 86 year old Ildefonso Ramirez who has earned his Cubano street cred so I just happily thanked him as he brought out the sandwich with a big smile telling me (and every other customer) how much he hoped I would enjoy his sandwich.

Even though it included the other condiments and salad, it was still pretty awesome. Now mind you I have been lamenting the lack of good cubanos here since 280 Cuban Grill closed and it was only so-so anyway. Don't get me started on the thing at Cantina, a place I otherwise love.

The roasted pork … I heart me some pig so really this is not a stretch, but it was delicious and thankfully not dry, partially, I assume, as a result of all of the mojo. I never really go into too much detail on tastes as I think they're very subjective, but if you want porky, melty pressed sandwich goodness in the Magic City, this is your best shot.

FWIW, I never tried the cubano from Kool Korner when it was open in Atlanta. I do admit liking the ones at Havana Sandwich on Buford Hwy that I tried twice as takeout.

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