Ok, with so many opportunities in this town, why is there only one? Niko’s Express in Vista, CA has the only Cuban sandwich in town . . . and it’s good. Hurry before the neighbors find out. Before the guy next door realizes his lost opportunity. Oh wait, maybe this is a challenge to the guy next door. Can he make a Cuban sandwich? Does he make a Cuban sandwich? Although Niko’s was pretty damn good, is was missing something. I talked with the Chef.
Niko’s explained that they had started steering more toward fresh ingredients to create these “specials”. Like this Cuban sandwich, their slow-roasted pork had a nice benchmark of pepper that helped steer the flavors. I inquired about the mustard being plain, regular mustard. It was. I could even taste the smokiness of the ham. I found myself attempting to discover what was missing. I could taste every component except something. I deconstructed the sandwich to look to see how thick the pickles were, as if they were missing. But I could taste them. It was explained that Niko’s had changed to house-made pickles and the Chef thought they should stay in the brine a bit more. I agreed saying that I went to look for pickle, but they were thick enough. They even had a good crunch. Maybe just a dash more saltiness from the brine would have helped. I think that may have been it. Otherwise a real treat here in Vista.
Chef James even gave me a piece of cheese pizza that they have ready in slices or pies prepared as big as an 18″ large. I found my self going back to that slice rather than the sandwich. I then remembered I was here for the sandwich. In other words the pizza was great also.
Niko’s Express has a fairly substantial menu that seems to get bigger and better weekly as they experiment with new things and new challenges. I was told they have recently been named of the top 50 restaurants in San Diego. http://www.nikosexpress.com/
Niko’s usually has daily and weekly specials like this. Another is the smoked pastrami or pulled-pork sandwich. Niko’s menu is authentic Eastern Italian fair, with a hint of Eastern, done exceptionally well. I have written about them in the past, but when I saw the Cuban, I had to stop by and let them make me one. The last time I had a real craving for a Cuban Sandwich was just after watching the movie “Chef”. We drove all the way to Los Angeles to find a good one . . . but I must have never realized I passed up one of the best right here in town. Check ’em out at https://www.facebook.com/NikosItalianExpress?fref=ts