Note: Try This Dish is a periodic series on interesting dishes around the New Orleans area and the stories, restaurants and people around them.
Deconstruct a Cuban sandwich and reassemble it over a ridge of tater tots and you have one seriously delicious boat of bar food.
That dish, with roasted pork and ham, fried pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese over crisp tots, is part of the new menu at Twelve Mile Limit, a Mid-City bar known for tight cocktails and a laid-back atmosphere.
Que Pasta, which started as a pop up, took over the bar's kitchen in January.
Cuban sandwich tater tots sounds unusual but the dish is a natural here. Tots, usually loaded with barbecue, had been a standing order at Twelve Mile limit since the days when Shortall’s BBQ ran the kitchen.
For Que Pasta, it’s a bridge between a different chef, a new menu and the bar's regulars.
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Amanda Alard and Zahara Dimassi, a pair of Florida transplants, started Que Pasta in 2018. On the surface, it's a blend of Cuban flavors and handmade pasta. In practice, though, Alard has been using Que Pasta to explore the creative possibilities of her family's Latin heritage (her father is Cuban father, her mother is Honduran) and her interest in global flavors.
Her short menu at Twelve Mile Limit brings pasta made with cilantro and topped with lechon (roasted pork), Cuban sandwich sliders, yucca fries, a fried tofu sandwich with jalapeño and pesto, empanadas and croquettes and fried chickpeas for snacking. A recent vegan special had mashed lentils formed into kibbe-like cakes with fried plantains.
Next up, Alard is starting a monthly octopus night, scheduled for - wait for it - the eighth night of the month. The February edition brought octopus tacos.
Now about those Cuban sandwich tater tots: the roast pork makes the dish, with a tender, slightly smoky heft alongside the tang of the mustard and fried pickles, webbed together with stretchy cheese. The golden tots give a rough equivalent to the butter-crisp bread of a traditional Cuban sandwich. It’s fork food, not finger food, but it’s still a good one to pass around the table.
Que Pasta serves Tues.-Sun. 5-11 pm (midnight Fri., Sat.) and Sunday brunch 10 am-3 pm. It also handles the bar’s customary free food on Monday evenings, from 7 pm.
Twelve Mile Limit and Que Pasta
500 S. Telemachus St., 504-488-8114
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