Eating a Cuban Roast at Paseo

by Andie Mitchell on May 24, 2011

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Lately I have no urge to cook.

Not a drippety drop of ambition to do much of anything creative in the kitchen.

Makes excellent fodder for a food blog, I assure you.

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In truth, I’ve just felt so happy buzzing about town, going here and there, meeting and moving, that meal time feels like it’s hassling me.

It started when Daniel’s sister Rachel came to visit three weeks ago. We went out to eat nearly every night. It was all the validation I needed to sup at at all the oldies but goodies and a whole slew of new spots. Seattle is just delicious.

And I remembered again, why I love, love, love eating out.

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Something about trying the best a chef has to offer.

Something about exploring new flavors and doing the kinds of eating I have on my life’s to do list.

Something about describing a dish- texture, smell, taste- to Daniel, my favorite dining partner, just makes my insides tingle. Even if he’s supping the same.

Something about being in a certain place, at a certain time, on a certain date, with a certain someone, with that certain song humming in the back corners of my ears, makes eating out at a restaurant special. More memorable, maybe.

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And it’s not all the time I feel so in love with restaurant hopping. In fact, for many years after I lost 135lbs, I felt nervous to dine out. I said to myself, oh but Chili’s, why do you insist on buttering every last bite down to the [damn] bun?

…and…

Why can’t vegetables ever truly just be steamed?

…and and…

Can someone please just give me a full meal that’s five hundred [filling] calories? Is that so much to ask?

..and and and…

Can someone make sure a salad (salad for cryin’ out loud!) is never (ever) within caloric proximity of a Whopper? Because, if I’m being frank with myself, I’d just plain prefer the Whopper.

But, over time, those frustrations settled down, I learned to embrace the fact that restaurant meals are, eloquently enough- freaking delicious, and I tucked all my food fears neatly on my favorite shelf: Ignorance is bliss.

Bliss, I tell you.

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This sandwich, the Cuban Roast, is from Seattle’s famous Paseo. Since moving here last year, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. I’ve even gone to their Fremont location on two separate nights to try that beloved pork sandwich, and both times, I’ve left because that line I waited in for half an hour? The one that wrapped around the block? Well it plumb drained the Cuban pork supply. I went home [quite begrudgingly] empty bellied.

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Today I got to try that sandwich with two of my dearest friends. We drove to Ballard on our lunch break, picked up three greasy grinders and headed straight for the beach. Picnics are the only way to eat them, I hear.

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It was. It is. The best sandwich I’ve eaten in all of the days of my life.

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Slow roasted pork, garlic aioli, cilantro, jalapeños, thick caramelized onions, tucked inside a chewy French bread roll.

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The combination of flavors is brilliant. It’s the creaminess of the aioli and the spice of the jalapenos with the rich sweetness of fat slices of caramelized onions and tangy strands of slow simmered pork. The cilantro brings bright freshness. The romaine adds crunch. The bread sops up a near puddle of sauce. TLC named the Cuban Roast the second best sandwich in America on the premiere episode of Best Food Ever.

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Bliss.

So, until I’m into cooking again…oh…in, say, fifteen hours…Paseo is where I’m at.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Halley May 25, 2011 at 12:18 am

Man that sounds divine. Love that garlic aioli and pulled pork combo. Kinda seems like a Po Boy. Love the jumping photos!

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Erin May 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

Oh yum, I love visiting Seattle! Even the food court at the mall downtown is great.

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Johnny May 25, 2011 at 2:19 am

Lovely, simply Lovely! Food and Fun is a great combo. It’s just as much the company as the food! Great Post! :)

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 25, 2011 at 2:38 am

That sandwich sounds amazing! Lately I’ve been less inclined to be in the kitchen… and I feel like as summer goes on that will be even more the case! Eating through a city is the best way to appreciate it, though:-)

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Sarah@The Flying ONION May 25, 2011 at 4:39 am

I love eating out for all the same reasons that you do. It’s such a fabulous treat and I love eating the best of the best of what a chef has to offer. So fun!

And the pictures of you gals = happiness. :D

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Melissa May 25, 2011 at 4:55 am

Now I wish I had known about this when I was in Seattle! Ballard is such a cute area–I really loved the Farmer’s Market there. We had crepes from one of the vendors with spinach, egg, and feta while sitting in the sunshine on a curb. The best way to dine!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 25, 2011 at 5:17 am

Hehe you look like you’re having quite the moment with that sandwich!! (And for the record, I will never understand why vegetables at restaurants that you ask to have ‘steamed only’ come with butter. At what point in the steaming process does the butter magically appear in the pot? Liars, all of them!!) ;)

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Nelly Rodriguez May 25, 2011 at 5:52 am

that…looks soo good. Can I have that…for breakfast? :p You and your friends loo so happy :)

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Alex May 25, 2011 at 6:08 am

yum! one of my favorite spots. I love the chicken sandwich and my husband gets the Cuban roast platter. I love the onions and how absolutely messy the sandwich is!

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MelissaNibbles May 25, 2011 at 7:06 am

It sounds delicious. I loved eating down by the aquarium when I was in Seattle.

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Sophiegoose May 25, 2011 at 7:14 am

I love eating out too, and always try to order something I can’t make at home or something I don’t normally eat. To me, restaurants are a time to explore, not eat steamed veggies and chicken!

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brandi May 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

do you think they ship to VA? :)

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Sam May 25, 2011 at 8:18 am

That sandwich looks fantastic! Your photography always makes me want to eat the food right off the page. I’m jealous of your skills.

I hate to say that I am still at the stage of fearing restaurants. I know one day (hopefully soon) I will be able to indulge without guilt, but I haven’t quite made it to that step in my progress to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic May 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

Yummm. I love pork sandwiches, especially with aioli! Adding jalapenos sounds awesome.

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Ashley @ Cupcakes & Combat Boots May 25, 2011 at 8:32 am

I ate there when I visited Seattle last September!! Sooooooooo freakin’ delicious! Definitely the best sandwich of my life.

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thirteen25 May 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

i have every intention of visiting seattle urged by your reviews alone. it seems like a wonderful place to eat, shop, and relax. i was under the impression that it rained everyday all day. i really hope i can get up there sometime in the future, the food sounds heavenly!

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LizAshlee May 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

Slightly odd reader request. May I be your friend so we can go to the beach during lunch?! You girls look like you had SO much fun..and the beach..I imagine myself living near the water one day!

Have a wonderful Wednesday w/ or w/o cooking! :)

LizAshlee

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 25, 2011 at 9:33 am

Restaurant meals are outrageous, but that’s what makes them so delicious and indulgent. We rarely go out to eat, so when we do, I don’t hold back.

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Leah @ Why Deprive? May 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

Oh my goodness, I’ve heard about this sandwich before! I wish I could remember where – but it sounds amazing. Even to me, the meat hater. I kind of want one – really badly.

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Leah @ Why Deprive? May 25, 2011 at 9:36 am

Gah! I just left a comment and it didnt work, so if you wind up getting two, it wasnt on purpose. :)

I’ve totally heard about these sandwiches before. I cant remember where, but they sound so good even I want one. Me – the girl who hates meat. I want one really badly.

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Riss May 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

I could quite honestly eat a sandwich just about every day of my life and be perfectly happy (and I’m not talking stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth Wonderbread). And that sammy looks like it could find a permanent spot on my weekly menu…

And I completely understand your inner conflict and angst when ordering out… It IS stressful! And can ruin your whole evening if you let it!

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

I just caught up on your last three posts and I seriously cannot wait to make those meatballs!

Ordering out is stressful… it always frustrates me that the salads aren’t healthier at restaurants!

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Kara May 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

After losing over 50 pounds, I still struggle with letting go of control when going out to eat. I appreciate the honesty in all of your posts, and hope that they can help me relinquish some of my control in such situations. :)

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Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy May 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

So when I come for our sleepover you will take me here for dinner, yes?? K great, can’t wait :)

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Gina May 25, 2011 at 11:45 am

Yet another place I’ve added to my very long “must-eat” list in Seattle! I love that you are double-fisting the sandwich, ha!

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Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen May 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm

That looks like it’s worthy of a trip to Seattle :)

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Alexa @ Simple Eats May 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I don’t blame you one bit. That sandwich looks absolutely dreamy.

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Parita May 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I wish I could visit the beach with my friends! Lucky duck!

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Catherine May 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Oh my gosh! I saw the first picture and knew it was Paseos! So so so yummy!!! :-)

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Lu @ A Mix of it All May 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Estoy celosa. I thought you should know.

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Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I’m Cuban, so you know I really want this right now. There’s just something about that roast pork with caramelized onions that sets off all your taste buds :)

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Kate A May 26, 2011 at 5:24 am

How do you eat those foods without gaining the weight back? Meatballs, cuban sammies, hommade fries….

I wish I could do that!

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Erika July 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I just found your blog yesterday, and have been reading it bit by bit, and I love it! I love reading about a person who went through weight loss and can still enjoy food to the extent that I do.

Because I’m telling you lady, that sandwich is as good as or way better than most things on the planet.

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Meg H July 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

*Sigh*, Paseo is definitely one of my top 5 food experiences that I miss since moving away from Seattle. Standing in the queue outside a tin shack for the most delicious sandwich you’ve ever eaten followed by a walk around Green Lake,… sounds like summer perfection!

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Leah M August 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm

I just discovered your blog today and I am obsessed! My gosh I have so much to read now. I started reading from the most recent post and working my way backwards until I got to this one… and the pictures of you at the beach are right across the street from my house! Where I am sitting right now! Small world. Thank you so much for all of your writing. I am inspired to try to cook more for myself.

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Karen July 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

now i have to go try it myself!!! too bad it’s a 16 hour drive for me ;)

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