Sloppy Jose BBQ Pork Sandwich At Cafe Habana Is A Nice Cubano Alternative
There aren’t a lot of Latin food options in Soho or Nolita other than La Nueva Conquista on Lafayette and a couple others in areas in the outer reaches of the neighborhood. If you want to sit down and eat your Cubano in a restaurant for less than $10, the options are even more grim, and Cafe Habana on Prince St. (at Elizabeth) offers that with prices that are gentler than most eateries in this area. In addition to the sit down part of the cafe, there’s the Habana To Go takeout shop next door on Elizabeth St. which you will probably not want to linger in since it’s not air conditioned, but it’s good for grabbing a sandwich or burrito and eating on a bench out front or somewhere that’s not 90 degrees.
At some point Cafe Habana won an award for its Cubano sandwich (according to the menu), but it was the item listed below that on the wall that caught my eye – the “Sloppy Jose” BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($7.50). I’m a sucker for anything fusing BBQ and pork, and as you can see they give you a lot of it in the form of a torta although you could also get it in a burrito. I also heard a lot of people in front of me ordering the chicken diablo sandwich.
The sandwich wasn’t what I was expecting because when I see the word “sloppy” in the name it immediately made me think it would be like a Manwich, or that at the least there would be actual barbeque sauce of some sort. This was not as I had envisioned, but instead pulled pork bathed in chipotle mayo with pickled jalapeno, black beans, lettuce, tomato and red onion providing back up. It was a good (and yes, slightly sloppy) sandwich that as you can see from the above photo was a good size for the price. If you want fries or any side with this it’s going to put you over the $10 mark, but the sandwich alone should be enough to fill up most people.
Cafe Habana, 17 Prince St. (at Elizabeth), (212) 625-2001
Habana To Go, 229 Elizabeth St. (nr. Prince), (212) 625-2002