The Truck: Snout and Co., with various stops on the West side. Locations listed on their website.
The Fare: Cuban with a South Carolina flare.
The Stop: You will most likely see a long queue as you approach Lee Scott’s prominent black truck with a red insignia, Snout and Co.
Cruising in several West side locations, the career chef combines Cuban food with South Carolina influence and his own culinary flare. Anyone with a long-standing allegiance to Paseo’s legendary sloppy sandwich, the Caribbean Roast, may be forced to reconsider.
The truck’s Seattle Cuban ($8.00) is a pressed sandwich a little larger than Paseo’s Sammy. From a first unwrapping, it appears Snout’s version can be eaten without ending up looking like a mayonnaise truck crashed into your face.
We are talking thick slabs of garlic and citrus marinated pork accompanied by a chimichurri sauce that one of the employees loves so much she would drink it straight from a nipple if she could. The sauce does not come out of a nipple, but Scott thoughtfully puts it in a separate container so you can walk it back to your office or car without the bread getting soggy.
In fact, the bread maintains its crispy and buttery texture quite well even after slopping on the sauce. The only problem is the sauce is so delicious there needs to be about four times as much to last until the final bite.
The regular Cuban, flush with ham, mustard and pickles, teeters more on the side of a conventional sandwich, but is equally fulfilling.
Although a lot of dudes gravitate to the meat in bread format, the real sleepers are the Cuban bowl ($8.50) and the vegetarian burger. With the first, you get a huge heap of mojo (garlic and citrus marinade) pork with black beans and rice in a smoked tomatillo-coconut sauce. The prize in this cracker jack box is the two sand dollar-sized fried plantains (called tostones) that come with each rice bowl.
The biggest surprise of the day is the vegetarian option holding its own against the carnivorous creations. Overflowing with beets, quinoa, and water chestnuts mixed in with arugula, havarti and onion relish, the vegetarian burger is as flavorful and as filling as its meaty counterparts.
It will be a matter of personal opinion if Snout overtakes Paseo’s beloved overflowing and saucy sandwich with the trademark thick caramelized onions. One thing everyone can agree on: If Snout rolled into the lot next to Paseo, there would be a righteous Cuban Thunderdome.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on May 15, 2012.