Review by: Michael Stern

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.

What To Eat


Cuban Sandwich

Octopus Salad

Mamey Shake

Pork Chop


Roast Pork Sandwich


Margon Recipes


What do you think of Margon?

One Response to “Margon”


June 19th, 2021

The sandwiches are incredible. Served on a pressed and toasted long roll, I usually go for the chicken, which is quite juicy and is served with pickled red onions, which makes the sandwich. I usually get the sandwich to go and walk a few blocks down to Bryant Park and eat it there in nice weather.

They usually have Jarritos Mexican sodas, although they frequently don’t have my favorite, which is the pineapple and makes a fine accompaniment to the sandwich.


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