Cuba meets France at Fleishers Craft Butchery
Looking for lunch options at work can become a drag that repeats itself day in, and day out. If only I had a dollar for every time that one of my co-workers asked me, “what are you doing for lunch today?” I will be forever scarred by that one question.
But one day late last week was different. On that fateful day I decided to take a short walk with my co-worker, Mark, to the local butcher shop, Fleishers Craft Butchery to see what they had to offer. Fleishers has locations in Kingston, Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York, as well as two locations in Connecticut. I had heard good things about their fresh beef, poultry, pork and lamb but really had no idea what they had for lunch. Upon entering the Greenwich, CT shop, my eye caught sight of their kitchen menu and focused directly on the line that read, “Cuban Sandwich.” My mind was made up.
Fleishers states on their homepage that it prides itself on partnering with small local farmers that raise their animals right. The animals are free to roam, eat fresh grass and vegetables and are never treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. Is this really noticeable in a sandwich, you might ask? Well, if judging by taste I would have to say that they are doing things right!
Many people may say that the Cuban is just a glorified ham and cheese sandwich. Yeah, no. Not this one at least. It was served on a French baguette that was crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. The right amount of Swiss cheese was equalled by tasty mustard, slices of pickle and what tasted like sweet ham. A surprising component of my sandwich were tiny arugula leaves. I had never seen them in a Cuban sandwich, but they actually added their own element of taste that never felt odd. Finally, the star of the show, the Cuban roast pork. Moist, flavorful, melt in your mouth goodness. That is all.
I decided to pair my sandwich with one of my favorite white wines. I have been on a riesling kick for the past few months, specifically the French 2013 Alsace Grand Cru Kirchberg De Barr from Willm. Alsatian rieslings like this one tend to have a dry character with plenty of mineral notes. These elements are rounded out by great acidity that comes from lemon, green apple and nectarine flavors that are present throughout the lean, but long finish. The sandwich and wine pairing was extraordinary.
Will I do the Cuban sandwich from Fleishers in the future? Absolutely! I also feel like I need to visit the shop more often since they often hold cooking, butchery, and sausage making courses that I hope will make me a better cook in the future!
Do you have a favorite butcher shop? A special place where you pick up your favorite Cuban sandwich? Let us know in the comment section below!