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Best Cuban in Tampa?

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We've been on a personal quest for about 3 months now and argue over the best cuban in Tampa. (Anyone remember the Silver RIng in Ybor? ) Hard to beat that memorable taste.

Post your recommendations so we can go taste testing

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  1. It's really not easy...
    Most places are set up for mass production and skimp on the quality of each ingredient, delivering something they consider 'good enough'...

    You're almost forced to make the best ones at home, using a great bread, cheese, ham, pork, mayo, mustard, and pickles...

    I did 'the quest' a few months ago and 'eh'----- they were all just OK, even at Aguila on Hillsborough, which supposedly is up there...

    Two recently have been real good...
    'Broccatos' near I-4 and 301 and 'Franciale' on Memorial near Hillsborouh Ave...
    Broccato's was 5 pounds!
    I ordered the large, but damn!
    They use real juicy shredded roasted pork and decent enough other ingredients...
    KILLER Deviled Crab... Big AND super delicious...
    Huge props to Broccato's!

    Franciale was similar but normal size... Used good roasted pork... Nice guy too..

    Cheese always gets lost in these things so I now say 'extra cheese'--- and it's usually just ok cheese at that...

    So...

    El Grande Latin Market on Waters and Hanley sells exceptional Cuban Bread...
    Bel Gioioso Sharp Provolone... Ka-Pow!
    Somebodys' good Roast Pork...
    Your favorite ham or Capicola...
    Good Genoa Salami...
    Hellman's mixed with some Gulden's Spicy Brown...
    A sliced up Kosher Pickle and a George Foreman Grill...

    It's a premium Cuban Sandwich...
    Does it all have to be generic to be authentic?
    I'd rather it be spectacular!
    Where most everybody is trying to get you a cuban for $5.00, this would probably retail for $10.00...

    So far everybodies Cubans have just been OK...

    But I'm also waiting for other recommendations...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mild Bill

      mild bill, you are so right. it ain't easy.

      the new Cuban at the Columbia is commendable, imo. They now bake the ham and roast the pork in house, and import a special salami. i had a hand in "inspiring" the new sandwich, but more about that some other time. it is much, much better now.

      Brocato's is quite good, too, but the ham there doesn't thrill me.

    2. The Cuban sandwich I like the best is from Cacciatore & Son on Armenia. Can't put my finger on any one feature. When I want a Cuban, that is where I go.

      John

      1. Definently La Ideal on Habana and Tampa Bay in West Tampa. Have been going there for 15 years and they still are good. Be prepared to smell of the shop though - tiny, authentic hole in the wall cafe. Great black bean soup too!