Cubano, Sandwich Cubano, Cuban Sandwich, it’s a marvel, and one of The World’s Great Sandwiches. It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been extolling its virtues for years. 27 to be exact, as I had my first way back in 1986, thanks to by good buddy and fellow cook (back then) John Lee .. He knew about them and turned me on to them, and it’s been a Love Affair with the “Sandwich” ever since. And speaking of the single word “Sandwich” this is what’s it was known of originally in Cuba, a Sandwich. in Cuba you wouldn’t call a sandwich a Cuban Sandwich or Sandwich Cubano, all though now some do, as the Cubans have picked up on the American and Cuban-American term for this wonderful sandwich the Sandwich Cubano.

OK, so what is it you say? Well, it’s a marvel and without question one of the World’s Great Sandwiches, right up there with; Pastrami, Roast Beef, Sausage & Peppers, the Croque Monsieur, and The Central Grocery Muffuletta. The Cuban Sandwich consists of; slices of Roast Pork Leg, Ham, Swiss Cheese, thin slices of Pickle and Mayonnaise on Cuban Water Bread. Some put on Mustard and though i love the stuff, for me it throws off the balance of the sandwich, but? Anyway, the main ingredient inside the Cubano is the roast fresh Pork Leg, a Slice of Swiss Cheese and some boiled Ham with a couple then slices of Pickle and mayonnaise  please leave off the mustard. These ingredients go in-between Cuban Water Bread a long bread that looks much like French Bread, though a bit less crisp. Less crisp before the sandwich is made that is, as one of the great features of this wonderfully amazing sandwich is that once it is filled it is put on a plancha. This is an electric sort of grill, much like the modern day Panini-Press. The sandwich is put into this press for about 8-10 minutes until the bread gets a nice crunchy slightly brown crust. All the ingredients heat up nicely in the press and when it’s done, the maker cuts it in half with a nice angular cut, and Voila, get ready for one of life’s great culinary treats, The Sandwich Cubano.

When I started eating these puppy’s way back in 86, I used to eat them mainly at one of 3 places. The Casa De Jagua on Rivington Street in New York’s Lower East Side, another place around the corner on Essex Street which sadly no longer exists, and at Chelsea Havana (still open), another place my good buddy John Lee turned me on to. Back then, not many (non-Hispanics) knew of this great sandwich which was sold at Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican Diners (Loncherias), some would think of as Latin Greasy Spoons. It seemed as though Caucasians were afraid of these places, or whatever and would never set foot in them. I delighted in taking as many white-people as I could to these places, simply because the food and ambiance were wonderful and the prices quite nice. many have thanked me for doing so, and I say that the pleasure was all mine and always has been to turn people on to places, different foods, and to cook for them myself as well.

Even to this day there are still many who have never delighted in this great culinary marvel. percentage wise many more people have eaten Cubanos as compared to back then, but still there are many who have not. So all I can say is, if you’re ready this, and have never had one, a Cubano, “What The Hell Are You Waiting For?” don’t be left around, get thee to a good Cuban, Dominican, or Puerto Rican Restaurant, order a Cubano and enjoy. As Tony Montana would say, “The World Is Yours Chico.”


My Buddy Don Daniele at Home in Havana .. 



The NEWPORT STEAK ? Greenwich Village’s Own

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The Greenwich Village Newport Steak was Created by Jack Ubaldi at FLORENCE ITALIAN BUTCHER SHOP on Jones Street (pictured above)


The Perfect Newport Steak? What? I make it. Not everyone can. Number 1, you have to start with a Great Steak, a Newport Steak. A Steak not known to many. Well if you’re fortunate to live in New York’s Greenwich Village, you might know about them. Then again, you might not, cause just because you live in The Village, doesn’t mean you know of this little thing of wonder, The Newport Steak. The Newport Steak is a thing of wonder, especially if you love Steak but don’t want to shell out about $19.00 a piece or more to get one. That’s uncooked from the butcher, a nice Prime Sirloin Steak that is. Now a Newport Steak on the other hand will cost you about $7.50 on the average, or roughly 2 1/2 times less than a Sirloin, and you do not give up on taste or quality. It’s just as good. Maybe better.

photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

A Perfectly Cooked Newport Steak


Cooked by Cookbook Author Daniel Bellino Zwicke

Greenwich Village New York

As The ROLLING STONES Play in The Background

SWEET !!!!



It is said that The Newport Steak was created by Jack Ubaldi, an Italian immigrant who owned a Butcher Shop in New York’s heavily Italian Greenwich Village some time around 1947. The Newport Steak is actually most commonly known as Tri Tip Steak and comes from the Bottom Sirloin portion of a cow. The Tri Tip is not well known nor much in demand. Well not among the masses, but we “Smart Ones” know better. We always get equal or better quality of anything, but always pay less. Thus the case of a Tri-Tip or if as we call it in New York’s Greenwich Village “The Newport Steak” In California, Californians know it as The Santa Maria Steak.


   Anyway, Mr. Ubaldi, wanted to sell this lesser known cut to his customers, but didn’t want to sell it as Tri Tip, he wanted a catchyer name. A name that would help sell this wonderful little steak, that was oh so tasty and cost far less than Sirloin, T-Bone, Porter House or Rib Steaks. He wanted a name that in the name itself would sell the steak. One day jack Ubaldi was looking at a pack of Newport Cigarettes and noticed that the logo of Newports was more or less the same shape of the Tri Tip Steaks that he cut. Right then and there Jack Ubaldi named his cut of Tri Tip “The Newport Steak” the name caught on and they’ve been selling Newport Steaks at Florence Meat Market on Jones Street in Greenwich Village ever since. They’re are a couple other spots in the area where you can get a Newport Steak. Ottomanelli’s down the block at Bleecker and Joes Streets sells them, as well as Pino’s Prime Meats on Sullivan Street, and is a place where I often pick up a Newport Steak or two, along with ones from the original Florence Meat Market.


     Well, I picked up a couple the other night and cooked them for me and a friend. As usual, they came out perfectly. We had a Couple good bottles of wine as well, in a nice bottle of Villa Sesta Chianti and a fine Bordeaux. And if that wasn’t good enough, and don’t you think it should have been? We listened to The Rolling Stones while I cooked those “Tasty Steaks” some Roast Potatoes and Carrots. Those steaks, yes they were Perfect. Not many people can cook a Steak as Good as Me, “No Brag Just Fact.” Yes it’s Fact, I can cook a Steak Better than anyone of ever met or eaten a steak cooked by another, and that includes Steaks I’ve had at Sparks Steak House, Peter Luger and other places renowned for their steaks. If you knew me, you’d know I’m telling the truth. Ask anyone who has ever eaten a Steak that I’ve cook, “They tell you.”


  Any way, yes the Steaks were perfect. My mouth is watering now just thinking about them. Dam, I tell you, Those Newport Steaks were “So Dam Good” they were practically “Orgasmic” I kid you not. Ask my Pal Chris, or my Buddies Raoul or Jimmy S, they’ll tell you. So we had The Perfect Steak, drank Chianti, and listened to The World’s Greatest Rock Band of All-Time “The Rolling Stones.” And yes Boys and Girls, Ladies and Gentlemen, “Sometimes Life Can Be Blissful.” Yes It Can.




Available in PAPERBACK and Kindle on AMAZON


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When it comes to great Italian Food, in a city (New York) that is known to have the Best Italian Food in the World outside of Italy, it’s hard to beat Bar Pitti, which is why Bar Pitti may very well be the “Best Italian Restaurant” in New York City! Yes!
Wait a minute, scratch that “maybe.” No, Bar Pitti serves without a doubt, thee “Best Italian Food in New York.” You don’t think so? name one that is better. And please only qualified people please. No followers or Hack Food Critics like
Frank Bruni.
Who could compete? Maybe Babbo, Del Posto, Elio’s, Lupa. They are all good, but none as good and consistent as Bar Pitti.
Il Mulino is absolutely “Aweful!” An “Overpriced Lackluster Restaurant” with horrible ambiance, mechanical annoying service, and food that is merely good, and no better and insanely “High Prices.” It’s a place for “Followers” who run with the crowd and wouldn’t know real good Italian Food if it came up and Bit Them in The Ass.
Babbo many would say. Well Babbo is quite good, but just can’t hold up to Bar Pitti with more of a true Italian feel, great food at truly real Italian Prices. Babbo is a great Special Occasion restaurant, but for everyday eating, Babbo doesn’t even come close to Bar Pitti for “Great Quality Price Ratio,” and even not considering the prices, if they were the same, though the food at Babbo is very good and I’ve had a few very enjoyable meals there, I have been disappointed a couple of times, something that has “Never” happened to me at Bar Pitti and I’ve eaten there more times, yet never been disappointed, not once, and always had a great time. So even if the prices were the same, Bar Pitti still has an edge, with Better More Consistent Authentic Italian Food than Babbo.
How bout Maialino, Laconde Verde, Osteria Morini, and others? As MC Hammer would say, “Can’t Touch This.”
So if you’re looking for Thee “Best Italian Food in New York” there’s one name, “Bar Pitti.”

Recommended Dishes:

Coda d’Vacinara (Braised Oxtails) 150 Points on a 100 Pt Scale

Bolito d’Manzo (Boiled Beef) Taste a whole Lot Better than it sounds!

Polpettine d’ Vitello (Veal Meatballs)

Fegato al Salvia (Calves Liver sauteed w/Sage)

Paparadelle con Sugo d’Coniglio (Pasta with Rabbit Ragu)

PUNTARELLE Wild Roman Greens Salad w/Anchovy Dressing

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke