Margon

Caribbean | Cuban | Diner | Sandwich Shop
Memorable
One of the best
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Margon is a hole in the wall around the corner from Times Square. Prices are criminally low and the Cuban food is classic. Plush, it is not. A ramp leads downward to a long, narrow space with four stools jammed up against an impossibly uncomfortable counter near the front; tables are lined up on the right of an aisle that leads to the back.

On the left of the aisle is a buffet counter where arriving customers stand and place orders. A lot of business is take-out — people bringing lunch back to the office — but if you plan to dine here, this is how it works: Walk to the back with your eyes looking left. Continue reading

Margon is a hole in the wall around the corner from Times Square. Prices are criminally low and the Cuban food is classic. Plush, it is not. A ramp leads downward to a long, narrow space with four stools jammed up against an impossibly uncomfortable counter near the front; tables are lined up on the right of an aisle that leads to the back.

On the left of the aisle is a buffet counter where arriving customers stand and place orders. A lot of business is take-out — people bringing lunch back to the office — but if you plan to dine here, this is how it works: Walk to the back with your eyes looking left. This allows full view of what’s to eat, including pork chops smothered in gravy, glistening roast chicken, rice & beans, sweet plantains, and octopus salad.

My first visit was for lunch on a long-ago Thursday with James Rodewald, an editor at the late Gourmet magazine. James, like I, decided to forgo the day’s special of tripe & pig feet in favor of a Cuban sandwich. The sandwich orders were conveyed via intercom to the front, where the planchas (sandwich presses) are; and in the meanwhile, our extremely friendly waitress, who wanted — but didn’t want — to be photographed, gave us octopus to carry to a table. The tender leaves of meat sparkled in their marinade, but after only a few forkfuls, the sandwiches arrived and commanded all our attention.

These are beautiful Cuban sandwiches, the crisp-toasted length of bread enveloping roast pork, salami, ham, melted cheese, a surfeit of pickle slices, mustard, and mayo. Somehow, James managed to keep his sandwich intact as he ate it. Ingredients slithered out of mine start to finish. It was a delicious mess!

On the way out, James insisted I stop for a shot of espresso. Since he was the one who led me to this excellent restaurant, I couldn’t say no. He grinned wide as I slugged it down. A serious coffee aficionado, he delighted in introducing a newcomer to one of the most delicious cups in town.

Dishes to try
Margon, Cuban Sandwich
Cuban Sandwich
Must-Try
A side view of Margon's Cuban sandwich shows the multiple layers of meat, cheese, pickles, and condiments squeezed into the crisp tube of bread.
Margon, Octopus Salad
Octopus Salad
Must-Try
Cool, bright, and refreshing, Margon's octopus salad is on the menu every day.
Margon, Pork Chop
Pork Chop
Must-Try
Here is a pork chop so tender that it was easily severed into bite-size pieces with gentle pressure from the edge of a flimsy plastic fork.
Margon, Roast Pork Sandwich
Roast Pork Sandwich
Must-Try
Can you see the flavor fairly radiating from the sliced pork in this sandwich? It is utterly delicious, although maybe next time, we'd add a little cheese, too...
Espresso
Margon, Mamey Shake
Mamey Shake
Margon makes tropical fruit shakes to order. This pink, supersweet one is mamey. Also on the menu are guanabana, mango, banana, papaya, trigo, and tamarindo. (What the heck is trigo?)
Margon, Plaintains
Plaintains
Classic Cuban side dishes, missing only some inky black beans, too: plantains and yellow rice.
Directions and Hours
CLOSED Today
SundayCLOSED
Monday6 am - 5 pm
Tuesday6 am - 5 pm
Wednesday6 am - 5 pm
Thursday6 am - 5 pm
Friday6 am - 5 pm
Saturday7 am - 5 pm
Information and Policies
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Reservations Accepted
No
Delivery Available
Yes
Takeout Counter
Yes