The jibarito is — officially at least — a relatively new food item in the sandwich canon. It contains meat, cheese, and veggies, but what sets it apart is what holds it all together. Instead of bread, two flattened tostones, or fried green plantains, are used on either side. The result is a delicate, savory crunchiness that gives an added dimension to the sandwich. It was "invented’ at the Borinquen Puerto Rican restaurant in the mid-1990s in Chicago, but the truth is probably that Latin cultures have been making this sandwich, unofficially, long before.
In this week’s Dining on a Dime episode, host Lucas Peterson goes to Pilsen, a primarily Mexican neighborhood on the lower west side of Chicago, to visit The Jibarito Stop, a former food-truck-turned-restaurant that serves fantastic examples of the jibarito sandwich. He picks up a cheap six-pack of beer before sampling the offerings, and declares the sandwich his new favorite.