Tampa Local Specialities
I'm aware of devil crab (which I must try very soon, and thankfully there's one right near the USF campus at Mr. Empanada). Any others? Is cream cheese - and - guava empanadas a Tampa thing?
you can't miss the cuban sandwiches at the floridian...either on kennedy or on treasure island
Trucha Rusa (Russian trout) is an invention of a chef about fifty years ago who worked at Valencia Gardens. Alas, Valencia Gardens abruptly closed a few days ago after being in business for 82 years in Tampa. Hopefully, they will open up somewhere else. I"m sure that there are other Cuban places in Tampa that do the dish, but I've never paid any attention, since Valencia Gardens was the only placed I ordered it.
we're known for the old spanish/cuban specialties. tampa has an original spin on, or invented, these dishes:
Cuban sandwich (with salami, the Maimi version came later))
Spanish Bean Soup (adapted at the Columbia from Cocido Madrileno, a multiple course affair in spain)
Crab enchilado (whole crabs of crabmeat simmered in a tomato sauce and served over pasta.
devil crabs (an adaptation of croquettes, street food in the 1920s)