Atlanta >Restaurants >
Cuban >The Crazy Cuban
290 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3031833.785940 -84.396455
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Home Park, Northeast
Kool Korners Reincarnated? Almost. – There was a depressing time in Atlanta after Kool Korners shut its doors and Havana burned down. The city's best cuban sandwiches were gone and we were forced to make due with Papi's and La Fonda. But just as the housing market always recovers eventually, so too has the local hot pressed sandwich industry. Havana has reopened on Buford Hwy and now Aldo Ramirez has taken his best shot at filling the void on 14th Street.
The Crazy Cuban does not hide behind its copy cat business model. Behind the counter you'll see photos of Aldo with Kool Korners proprietor Ildefonso Ramirez (no relation) at the new KK in Birmingham (worth the drive, by the way).
As for the sandwiches, they are comparable but not identical. The sliced meat, the cheese, and the mojo are each perfect. The only inconsistency I found was that the bread, while delicious, was a bit under-pressed, but that is probably just the Kool Korners purist in me being too picky.
I am certainly grateful to Aldo for his attempt in bringing back those wonderful flavors. I'll be a frequent visitor for sure.
Grab ‘n’ go Cuban sandwiches on 14th Street. – In Short
Despite residing in the shadow of the former Atlanta institution, Kool Korners, let’s get one thing straight: even though it’s a Cuban sandwich shop on 14th, this isn’t Kool Korners. However, that was the inspiration. Motivated to fill the void left by KK’s departure in 2008, fedora-sporting owner (the crazy Cuban, himself) Aldo Ramirez runs a similar grab-n-go operation with a menu built on pressed sandwiches and few seats for those dining in. So order a traditional Cuban, sit on the steps with a few kids from Georgia Tech and take this for what it is, not what it isn’t.
Return of a Legend? – To the best of my recollection, this is the best replacement for Kool Korners to hit the Atlanta Lunch world. The biggest difference being the meat is piled on (no skinny sandwich here) and the place is new and clean.
I went April 21 and returned a week later to see their menu and the process change. The veggie is now on the menu and the sandwiches (order the classic) are sitting on the rack ready to press. How else can you serve over 100 hot sandwiches during lunch? I got mine in less than 10 min. I used to wait over 20 min for one at Kool Korners.
I did notice the meat was actually sliced not shredded. Havana and Papi's, with much less meat, are shredded air. I would like to see one slice of ham traded for a slice of pork to simply balance out the flavor. The pork I pulled out to taste on the side was a terrific moist garlicky tasting delicacy. My next sandwich (next Wed) will be the Mojo Pork.
One other exciting thing this week was the black and white photos added for decor. I ask the Crazy Cuban how old they were and he told me they were less than a month ago.....yes modern day Cuba still looks old. The photos were excellent. Maybe I'm partial to old Chevys.
This place officially opened Monday April 26. Last week was there time to burn in the new presses. Having given them the chance to crank up; I'm convinced to walk over there once a week to keep my taste buds tingling in mojo. Welcome to my neighborhood.
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