Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series: Havana Mia
From time to time, we get friends of the farm that send us tips or spicy spots that they’ve enjoyed to add to our list and this is one of those locations.
Naga Viper Nathan reached out and let us know that we had to try out the Cubano from Havana Mia and their spicy sauce. When we approached their truck the 90 Miles Burger and Ropa Vieja both sounded like great options, but we stuck with the recommendation of a Cubano. The two folks inside the trailer (including owner/chef Yunier Macola) were extremely nice and that seems to be par for the course based on their Facebook page and their interactions with patrons.
We grabbed a tamale, their Cubano, and a container of their hottest sauce, running $12 total, a pretty good price for the amount of food you get.
Unwrapping a tamale is always an exciting thing. You never know how it’s going to look on the inside, but first glance at the Havana Mia tamale showed a moist yellow outside with chunks of Cuban style pork filling. Each tamale is made from scratch and the meat to non-meat ratio is one of the best we’ve had in recent memory. We slathered some hot sauce on top and made quick work of the tamale. The hot sauce added an excellent additional flavor to the tamale, complimenting the corn and spices laced throughout the tamale itself. A few tiny sniffles, but primarily getting additional flavor from the sauce.
The Cubano is well put together and the first thing we noticed was the thin bread layer you can see in the middle of the sandwich. Fluffy with some crunch on the edges, but well smashed in the middle, the Cubano bread was pretty awesome. A nice layer of mustard, followed with Swiss cheese, roasted pork and ham, this sandwich was only missing one thing. More hot sauce.
If you haven’t noticed yet, there are some lil’ potato bois that are in and around the Cubano. As far as we know, these are some form of potato sticks (what variety, we are unsure), a fine crunchy addition to pair with the sandwich. The above picture gives an excellent look at the sauce that comes with your meal. It’s a vibrant red with some visible seeds. Smooth in consistency with some specks of pepper throughout the sauce, it pours extremely well. The balance of peppers and vinegar help with its ability to pair on any of the foods on the menu and we could see two to three little jars being used for the rice of the Ropa Vieja if we’re able to track them down again.
Cubano prepped with sauce, it was time to try out the full sandwich. That initial crunch of the bread we were expecting did not disappoint and the roasted pork is awesome. The only part of this sandwich that was so-so was the ham, but the mojo marinade that the pork is prepped in brings out a zesty, garlicky flavor. If they just sold a container of the pork, we would be tempted to acquire several of those on any trip. The hot sauce we had slathered on brings a bit of a kick and from what we were told is made with thin, long red peppers (potentially red serrano or cayenne), toasted a bit and then mixed with a few other ingredients right there in the trailer by the head chef. It’s a simple sauce, but it compliments the mojo and leaves you wanting more. They also have a lower heat if you’re nervous. From their Facebook page, they are even prepping “a couple new sauce options for the 2020 season, stay tuned.” Sounds promising and looking forward to seeing how those turn out.
As far as the heat of the sauce, it registered on the sniffle scale and is a good “lunch-time spicy,” where it’s not going to make you sweat uncontrollably, but is an enjoyable heat overall. We will definitely be asking for an additional sauce when we get some Ropa Vieja. In our list, we’d put the Havana Mia food truck at #28, just above The Rail’s Bonfire Burger and just below the Blarney Stone Tavern 9-1-1 Wings.
This is one of the better Cubano’s we have had in the city (though admittedly our sample size is about 5) and we’d definitely recommend trying to track them down at some point. Havana Mia also features freshly squeezed lemonade via The Lemon King (also owned by Macola), so if you’re into that, let us know how it is. You can find Havana Mia on Street Food Finder to see when they’ll be close to you.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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