By Victoria Cepeda
After a long day running about we decided to indulge and treat ourselves to a Sandwich cubano, croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes), empanadas de carne (ground beef patties) and a steamy cafe con leche. The choice of location was simple. We headed straight to La Pola located at 5400 Palisade Avenue in West New York, NJ. It’s the place with the “bestest” Cuban sandwich in the Northeast! According to a young man dining there today “La Pola has the best Cuban sandwich in all of NJ and Miami”. Wow.
We totally agree. The pernil nicely complements the melted Swiss cheese and pickles served in a buttery panini style hot pressed Cuban bread that jumpstarts your taste buds. The cafe con leche is steamy and frothy transporting us to the days when our abuelitas would prepare it by “colando el cafe con media” and boiling the milk in “el jarro”.
Don Belarmino Rico, a native of Asturias, Spain who migrated to Cuba at the age of 14, beams with pride behind the counter of his traditional Cuban cafeteria. Seeing him so far from his native and adoptive lands reminds us that the US affords all hardworking immigrants the same opportunity to prosper if we labor with love and dedication. By the way, Don Belarmino’s killer Cuban sandwiches leave you wanting more. Stop by and say hello. You will be glad you did.
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