It’s a night of broken plans. I’m supposed to go to Megamall with Johann to try a newly-opened food establishment from New York City, as well as talk to Innah about a church project we’re working on. But Johann has canceled and Innah has to go home early. Plus the line of eager diners in that said establishment turns out to be ridiculously long that a server has to remind newcomers that they’ve already set a queue cutoff.
Frustrated but unwilling to go home yet, I decide to leave Ortigas, go farther, and explore Makati anew. I haven’t been in the city for almost two months and I’ve been reading a lot about new restaurants that have sprouted in the past few months that I figure it’s time I return.
After a few minutes walking around Legaspi Village (the memories of last year, sob) I finally reach my destination. I’m now in Pepi Cubano, a restaurant (shop?) that serves, uh, Cubanos – a ham-and-cheese sandwich reiteration commonly served in Cuban communities in Florida.
Pepi Cubano has been creating those sandwiches since 2006, but those were only either delivered to customers or sold in food bazaars. But last year, with the release of the movie Chef, appreciation for this dish increased, and – maybe it has to do with it – a “proper” store was created where people can actually sit down and appreciate the Cuban-themed artworks while wolfing down their sandwich.
The menu is short, with just a handful of sandwiches. I order the restaurant’s (shop’s?) namesake sandwich, which turns out to be a hulking baguette flat-pressed and filled with tasty amalgam of roasted pork, ham and cheese. It can easily serve two but I effortlessly consume the whole sandwich.
It’s that kind of night.
G/F Tropical Palms Condominum,
103 Dela Rosa Street cor. Gallardo Street,
Legazpi Village, Makati