By SUSAN ERICSON
Grabbing a stool in the bar area of ChikyBoom on Broad Street in Red Bank, PieHole was eager to try its Cubano, or Cuban sandwich given a boost in popularity by ‘Chef,’ the movie starring Jon Favreau released last year.
Was chef Eduardo Bover up to making one?
“If you’re a Cuban and you don’t know how to make a Cuban sandwich, get out of the business,” says Bover, himself an import from the Caribbean isle, as noted in a PieHole profile.
Mustard or mayonnaise? The question divides foodies from Miami to Union City, but at ChikyBoom, the sandwich is slathered with neither. Instead, a little ramekin filled with a fragrant creamy condiment called “mojo” (pronounced moho) sauce makes all the difference in authenticity and flavor of the sandwich. According to Bover, the sauce is 95-percent garlic mixed with olive oil and lime juice.
Pernil, or pork, roasted slow and low until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender, is the star of this sandwich.
Salty, slick slices of ham, Swiss cheese and ultra-thin slices of pickle are pressed together with the pork panini-style in a flattened crunchy roll. The garlicky mojo sauce is an exquisite flavor enhancer, bringing an ambrosial kick to every bite.
Served with the sandwich is a choice of spiced fries or crispy fried plantain chips. Having enjoyed the plantains here before, we opted for the surprisingly large serving of crispy fries.
The crave-worthy sandwich and fries also came with a small scoop of potato salad and a lettuce-and-tomato salad. It was a larger than expected amount of food for $12.95.
ChikyBoom is open from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. for breakfast and lunch with later hours for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.