790 Montgomery Highway (Vestavia Hills)
Ildefonso Ramirez won national acclaim for his authentic Cuban sandwiches at his Kool Korner Sandwiches in Atlanta. The 86-year-old retired to Birmingham but decided retirement wasn't for him, and re-opened the shop in the Vestavia Hills City Center in a former Firehouse Subs location. Serving authentic pressed Cuban sandwiches piled high with roasted pork and Swiss cheese and drenched in mojo sauce. We thought the service was great for a counter-service place, Cuban sandwich and the chicken sandwich (which Ramirez also makes in-house) were delicious, and the plaintain chips for sale were an authentic touch. No-frills counter service, limited menu, but delicious food. Update July 2010: They've added black bean soup, tamales and guava pastelitos to the menu.