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Where to find it: Publix Super Market-styled Cuban sandwiches

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Publix Super Market is a privately held chain with stores throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina. The closest Publix to Charlotte is in Spartanburg, S.C. Several readers are looking for a Publix-styled Cuban sandwich.

On a recent visit to St. Petersburg, Fla., I witnessed long lines in front of the Publix prepared food section. Many of these people were in uniforms, including hospital emergency room workers, police officers and a paramedic team. The majority ordered the renowned Cuban sandwich. At Publix, this sandwich consists of Boar's Head sweet ham, Spanish-styled roasted pork, Swiss cheese, a line of overlapping dill chips, and plenty of yellow mustard and mayonnaise (commercial) spread on a long Cuban roll which is then pressed.

At the closest Publix to Charlotte in Spartanburg, S.C., deli employee Christine Ballou says that although they make Cuban sandwiches, only the pre-made sandwiches in the chiller case are made with Cuban bread. That Publix deli uses regular submarine rolls and heats the sandwich on a flat top since they do not have a sandwich press.

In Charlotte, the prepared food area of the Compare Foods on Independence Boulevard used to make an award-winning, inexpensive Cuban sandwich. Now, however, the new prepared food provider, Don Milo Restaurant, no longer makes any sandwiches. But the Arrowood Road Compare does. Chef Pedro makes a pressed Cuban sandwich on Cuban bread for $5.99. The ham here, though, does not have the same flavor profile as the Publix sandwich.

Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: tricia.childress@creativeloafing.com or 704-522-8334, extension 136.

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