My Life on Instagram

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Edited: Local Mostly Gluten Free Find! Old Havana Sandwich Shop

I grew up in Miami, Florida.  A place where the sandwiches were every where and amazing.  Pressed crispy on the outside and moist juicy on the inside.  Getting the best loaf of Cuban bread came right out of the chain grocery store.  At all times of day and night, people would be lined up to get a shot of coffee.  I never realized how different my experience was until I moved away.

After being gluten free going on 10 years, one starts to think of the things missed.  I started to crave my favorite sandwich a medianoche (midnight).  I told the Sasquatch about it and as the wonderful husband he is, he found a place, Old Havana in Downtown Durham.  He'd been waiting to try the sandwich shop out.

El Caney trying their gluten free sandwich bread.

The bread is a gluten free bread which is heavier and thicker than the traditional cuban bread.  Make sure you request gluten free, they use aluminum foil on the press to keep the sandwich from cross contamination.  I had the El Caney which touted some avocado.  My children shared a gluten free ham and cheese called Ellis Island.

The staff was nice and personable.  The food was delicious.  Sasquatch was over the moon by the maduros/plantains.  They were perfectly ripened before cooking which is quite a feat.

Do you like the food? Su's reply, "I'm in heaven right now." #glutenfree

Su's (picky eater) response, "I'm in heaven right now."  I enjoyed the sandwich fully, but next time I'll ask for extra mustard.  YUM!

Old Havana
310 East Main Street, Downtown Durham, NC 
Tel. 919-667-9525


After writing the review, I was salivating just remembering the sandwiches.  We ran by for dinner and saw this sign.  I'm saddened by the fact that restaurants are unwilling to keep their food clean and accountable.  We promptly left.  I'm not willing to chance my health of my family's health on restaurants that disclaim their food safety.  

You broke my heart, old Havana. I'll amend my blog post later.

The dark side of the masses going gluten free is the great choices, but even now, those who really need the different foods are being singled out.  


  1. In their defense, they are required to post this kind of sign to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits, just like McDonald's has to have "Caution! This Coffee is HOT!" labels on their coffee cups.

  2. Actually, they have singled out people from eating in their restaurant catering only to the "fad" people and not the people who actually need it. Other restaurants have successfully created safe food practices to deter cross contamination. They decided to put the sign up AFTER our visit and questions about their food practices, not sharing the sandwich press by using aluminum foil. They could have kept up that practice and reserving a spot for gluten free sandwich making.


Speak up.