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Bite of the Week: Cuban at Columbia’s Fusion Cocina Latina

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$10.95.,1945-6 Decker Boulevard. 803-834-3941. fusioncocinalatina.com.

The stakes were high. A Saturday morning, no food in our stomachs yet, delays aplenty. Conversation was short, tense. Food was needed and the 15-minute drive to get it was doing us no favors.

A week ago, I received a text from a farmer who told me to look into Fusion Cocina Latina on Decker Boulevard. The reason for the unsolicited recommendation was its Cuban sandwich. He texted me adoringly, “Never had anything close to that Cuban sandwich.”

My reaction was similar, yet more animalistic.

“Oh f#!k,” I exclaimed when I first bit into Fusion Cocina Latina’s iteration.

It was a much-needed victory. Tempers may have boiled over without one.

The grilled bread crunched before giving way to the two layers of pork, ham and roasted pork, and pickles and mustard. Fusion’s Cuban melds together succulent fatty pork with sharp pickles and lively mustard. The opposing and complementary mix of flavors dance on your palate. A mess of sweet potato fries were the sandwich’s companion, and they were excellent as well.

Earlier that morning I had asked what my partner’s favorite hot sandwich growing up was. She told me hers was a hot ham and cheese, and I quickly concurred. After that day, we both agreed that the Cuban was better and may have taken the mantle.

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