Raul Galindo, King of the Cuban Sandwich, Lost His Fortune. Now He Wants It Back

Categories: La Habana
Michael E. Miller
Raul Galindo behind the counter at his new, soon-to-open restaurant in east Little Havana
Long before LeBron James and his talents arrived on the scene, Miami already had a king: Raul Galindo, el rey de los sandwiches cubanos.

For over 30 years, Galindo and his most famous restaurant -- Latin American Cafeteria -- were synonymous with Cuban food, particularly the meaty mound of ham, pork, and Swiss cheese known as the Cuban sandwich. As New Times reveals in this week's metro, however, Galindo's $12-million-a-year sandwich empire came crashing down several years ago.

But with a new restaurant in Little Havana, the wily 75-year-old is now aiming to retake his crown.

Galindo's downfall began back in 1990, when a divorce from his first wife derailed plans to expand his iconic Coral Way restaurant. Then came copycats, dozens of lawsuits, a falling-out with his own brother, two hurricanes, and, finally, a bitter divorce from his second wife -- who Galindo now claims destroyed his remaining restaurants.

For more on Galindo's rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story, check out this week's metro, up later today online. Buen provecho!

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