Dreams, Answered: a Cuban Spot Is Opening in SF, Media Noche


Recipe testing: a meaty medianoche. Photo courtesy of Media Noche.


Recipe testing! Ceviche. Photo courtesy of Media Noche.


Recipe testing! Empanadas. Photo courtesy of Media Noche.

Anyone who has traveled to Miami, or even better, Cuba, has hopefully enjoyed a medianoche (midnight) sandwich, with layers of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and dill pickles pressed inside sweet egg bread that is not unlike challah (a Cubano is on a crustier style of bread—here’s a pic of one I had at Margon’s in New York).

So here’s the good news: a couple of SF restaurant industry ladies—Madelyn Markoe (Tacolicious, Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen, Boxing Room) and Jessie Barker (Nopa, Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen, The Tavern at Lark Creek)—are going to be opening ~MEDIA NOCHE~, a fast-casual Cuban counter, where they will be serving classic medianoches, plus some fun versions, such as a fried chicken Cubano. There will also be snacks, like empanadas and croquetas.

They are working with Telmo Faria (who has his upcoming project Uma Casa, but was previously with Tacolicious) as their culinary consultant, and the trio is in Miami right now doing some delicious research. They will be integrating a lot of inspiration from their travels, but look for some local ingredient influences too.

They are just finalizing a spot right now and are in lease negotiations, and since they signed an NDA, they can’t share where it is just yet. But if this location works out, it will have around 30-35 seats and outdoor seating. They also plan to stay open until midnight Fri-Sat. And there will be quite a lively Little Havana vibe, with music and a colorful design, and some communal seating to keep things social and fun. Beer and wine and coffee served in the Cuban tradition are all part of the plan.

We’ll be able to release more info soon—and stand by for news about some pop-ups they’ll be doing at Birba in Hayes Valley in October.