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Best dishes countdown #79: Medianoche at La Ceiba

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Our countdown of the top 100 dishes in the Twin Cities:

The Cubano sandwich has captured the heart and imagination of the American eating public for all the right reasons: pork, melted cheese, toasty white bread, mustard and pickles. Not spicy, or foreign sounding or acting, it's as American as a jiggly blonde in a Stars and Stripes bikini in a Bon Jovi video. And that makes sense, because this sandwich came to be in Key West, Florida as a quick and filling way of catering to Cuban cigar and sugar mill workers in the early immigrant communities of the state. 

Today, every chef has one on his menu for the simple reason, I'm convinced, that it's what every chef wants to be eating himself. It's a worker's sandwich, remember? Look no further than the darling foodie movie Chef. The muse was none other than the Cubano, the food porn even sexier than Scarlett Johanssen and Sophia Vegara, whom Jon Favreau cast as his dual love interests (he has an active imagination). 

What could be even sexier than a Cubano, Johanssen and Vegara all wrapped into one big, fabulous sex burrito? A Medianoche! It's a Cubano that gets sweetened with soft, sweet egg dough bread similar to Challah, then pressed and crisped. It gets its name (the middle of the night) thanks to the idea that it's a staple served in Havana's night clubs around midnight.  

La Ceiba serves a pitch-perfect version at their Powderhorn neighborhood Caribbean restaurant, La Ceiba. You'll not want for a regular old Cubano again. 

La Ceiba Bistro

3500 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis

612-729-0523

100: Caramel-Bacon Puffcorn at Red Cow

99: Pappadams from the Curry Diva

98: The Kingfield at Five Watt

97: Raspberry Cream Scone at Sun Street Breads

96: Bacon and Bourbon from 6Smith

95: Biscuits and Gravy at Ward 6

94: Burgers from Peppers and Fries

93: The Everything Bagel from Rise Bagel Co.

92: Bent River Camembert from Alemar Cheese

91: Two large pizzas and a pitcher of beer, Original Red's Savoy

<!————————————————————————————EndFragment————————————————————————————>90: Boiled Peanut Hummus at 4 Bells

89: Chaksuka from Shish

88: Fried Green Tomato BLT from Butcher and the Boar

87: Charcuterie Board at Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant

86: Quiche from Le Town Talk

85: Aloo Tama from The Himalayan

84: Caramelized Cauliflower at Libertine

83: Banh Mi Joy Dog at Prairie Dogs

82: Salmon Poke at District Fresh Kitchen & Bar

81: Savory Waffle at Birchwood Cafe

80: Kofta from Mim's