Cafe Marianao has been around for some time, and it shows. But it's not in the Yellow Pages and has been off the "popular" radar, until now. The new "Best of" issue gives a well-deserved "best Cubano" nod to this board favorite, correctly noting the sandwich's ingredients and origins, but misinforming readers that Marianao's version employs "Soft French bread(1)-- a welcome change from the more traditional lard-infused, hard crusted shell(2)." (1)Wrong and (2)wrong. In fact, Marianao uses the best Cuban bread in Chicago.
I think I have mixed feelings about the positive press in a popular, indeed geared-in-part-to-tourists, magazine. Marianao is not struggling; business booms. I hope that the lines don't get longer or that the staff changes its counterside manner. What if the City shows up with a white glove or wants to see what's in the steak pot? What if they spot the vans? I definitely don't like the suggestion that Marianao, probably the most authentic Cuban place here, has "improved" the Cuban sandwich by dispensing with the single most important ingredient.
You know, if the Reader had something more like LA's Counter Intelligence and mentioned these places, I wouldn't mind. Double-reverse snobbery I guess.
Anyway, other entries that make you go "hmmm" in this month's issue:
Cafeteria de Pancho
A whole bit on Shrimp Shacks