I’m not one of those people who have a regular lunch spot and get “the usual” every day. I’m more of the “I must try everything around me!!!” kind of lunch-goer. That being said, I’ve gone back to Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine for lunch more than any other place, with Num Pang coming in close second.
So what keeps me coming back for more?
1. Green sauce, green sauce, green sauce!!!
What is this green sauce? You know, I really don’t know, but that’s how it’s referred to on the menu (“Try Sophie’s Special Green Sauce. . . it’s soooooooo good!”) and what a ton of Yelp reviewers (and me) rave about. It’s spicy and creamy and most importantly, delicious, and every time I go to Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, I slather it all over my food, bite after bite, because I can’t get enough.
2. Oh yeah, the sandwiches are pretty awesome too.
Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine has a few locations around the city, and the one I go to right across from Madison Square Park is a little bit hidden as it’s super close to Chop’t (which always has a line out the door during lunch), it’s currently under some scaffolding, and the exterior is just unassuming in general.
The first time I went here was because I literally searched online for “good cheap lunch flatiron district” when I was planning on meeting up with a couple friends who worked in, obviously, the Flatiron District. While it’s always busy when I go, I never have trouble grabbing a table in the back or getting my sandwich quickly so I can take it to the park.
Sophie’s has all kinds of appetizers, side dishes, platters, and specials, but every time I’ve gone I’ve gotten a sandwich because they’re just too good. The one in the photo is the Cuban sandwich or “cubano”, which has roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mayo, and mustard. I’ve also tried the roast pork sandwich or “pernil” which comes with mayo and onions.
For only $8, these sandwiches are a great deal, and I’ve often saved half for another meal. The bread is wonderfully crusty and they don’t skimp out on the meat, which is always juicy.
And back to the green sauce…when you sit inside Sophie’s they have squirt bottles of this magical condiment on every table but if you take your sandwich to-go you have to ask for some. If you’re wondering why I have a giant container full of green sauce that looks more like a milkshake or soup-sized portion than a dipping sauce, it’s because that day they ran out of little plastic containers so they asked if they could put it in that container for me to take to-go. I, of course, said yes, because I NEEDED that sauce, and because I assumed that they were still just going to put a little bit in it. Nope. They filled that baby to the brim. Granted, they also charged me $6 for it, but I didn’t mind. I saved it and used it on everything I made for dinner at home that week.
Seriously. It is too good. You go Sophie.
28 E. 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010