Friday, March 17, 2023

Web Extra: The Best Cuban Sandwich in Boca, How to Make Cincinnati Chili

This web extra comes from our regional food feature, Born in the USA, in our January 2018 issue, which was all about the best regional foods around the country available in South Florida. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine. 

Cuban Sandwich


OUR PICK: Caribbean Grill, 1332 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton; 561/362-0161

For my personal safety, I’ll just breeze over the whole Tampa vs. Miami thing and say we chose Miami as the owner of the Cuban sandwich because it’s … closer.

For those times when you need a good Cubano but don’t want to risk the inevitable hair loss, road rage and deterioration of hope in humanity that is the result of a drive south to Miami, just go to Caribbean Grill in Boca. The Cuban there (pictured above) has all the necessary fixings (pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and pickles) all pressed inside Cuban bread that’s buttery and shatteringly crisp on the outside and soft but sturdy on the inside. It’s hot, satisfying and well-balanced, and no one element overpowers any other. In other sandwiches we tried, the ham to pork ratio was off, or the bread was soggy, or it wasn’t stuffed enough.

It’s also of paramount importance to mention the fries at Caribbean Grill. They’re seasoned fries—always cooked perfectly—with this amazing textural crunch on the outside and so much flavor you almost wish you hadn’t just dunked them in ketchup.

Despite having just whined about the drive to Miami, you really do have to get down there at least once and eat a Cuban sandwich. Not doing so is like going to New York City and not going to Times Square; you just have to. We recommend Luis Galindo Latin American Cafeteria & Restaurant on Red Road, where the expertly crafted ‘wiches are made right in front of you.


  • Caribbean Grill, Boca Raton
  • V&S Deli, Boca Raton
  • Havana, West Palm Beach

How to make Cincinnati Chili


Recipe courtesy of the Food Network Kitchen for Food Network Magazine

6-8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
  • 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound grated cheddar cheese
  • Oyster crackers, for serving

Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add half the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water; simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes. Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper.

Divide the spaghetti among bowls and top with the chili, beans, remaining onion and cheddar. Serve with the oyster crackers.


Shayna Tanen
Shayna Tanen
Shayna is the Web Editor of Boca Magazine. She is a 20-something sorta-recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. Most of her time is spent fawning over cats and kittens; cooking food at home for her family; and observing Florida's greatest asset: nature.

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