If you are in Miami, Florida and looking to eat the "best sandwich," you'd be hard pressed (terrible pun intended) to find something better than a Cubano. Sliced pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles, ironed flat inside a French-style Cuban bread—it's a near perfect creation. I say near perfect because you will always find that person from Tampa who insists on salami, but in all my years growing up in Miami, genoa was something you got on an Italian sub, not on a Cuban. Salami or not, it's about as serious as sandwiches get.
And yet, this past weekend when I was visiting Miami, I found myself craving a totally different pressed sandwich. A sandwich whose soul is about as far away from Calle Ocho as you can get, and possibly my earliest memory of eating what we would now refer to as a "Serious Sandwich": the pressed duck sandwich from the Deli Lane Cafe in South Miami.
South Miami is not exactly known for its destination dining, and Deli Lane is no exception. Opened 20 years ago as a yuppified Jewish-ish diner, it has undergone many physical and existential transformations over the years, and yet when I returned this past weekend, I found that the sandwich that evokes such great memories for me has remained exactly the same.
It starts with duck breast, which is oven roasted, pulled and then sautéed on the flat top grill with white onions. The mixture then gets placed inside a hoagie roll, topped with brie, pressed on the flat top until browned, sliced into thirds, and then served with my favorite part—a house made dipping sauce from apricot preserves, burgundy, and red wine vinegar. The richness of the duck, creaminess of the brie, and sweet frutiness of the dip makes for a perfect sandwich that tastes exactly the same today as it did over 15 years ago.
Deli Lane Cafe & Tavern
Address: 7230 SW 59th Ave
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