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Cuban Sandwich between TIA & Busch Gardens

vickidr47 Mar 22, 2011 01:02 AM

Hi all

My 16 year old grandaughter is flying in this weekend..We are going to Busch gardens right from the airport...But 1st she will definately want a cuban...someplace casual & quick...Thanks,Vicki

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  1. sunshine842 RE: vickidr47 Mar 22, 2011 01:05 AM

    La Teresita --

    La Teresita
    3302 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33607

    1. t
      TampaPete RE: vickidr47 Mar 22, 2011 05:16 AM

      Arco Iris on Columbus Blvd.
      Not far from the route you have to take from the airport to Bush Gardens

      2 Replies
      1. re: TampaPete
        RibDog RE: TampaPete Mar 22, 2011 06:21 AM

        While Arco Iris is my go to place for Cuban food, I like Cacciatore & Son at 3614 N. Armenia for their Cuban Sandwich. And try a deviled crab also if you get to Cacciatore.


        Arco Iris Cafe
        4001 N Habana Ave, Tampa, FL 33607

        1. re: RibDog
          deet13 RE: RibDog Mar 22, 2011 05:16 PM

          Definitely stop at Cacciatore's for the deviled crab and Cuban sandwiches. The bread pudding they make is also pretty good.

          La Teresita is also pretty good. Make sure to try the daily special.

      2. askdrtodd RE: vickidr47 Mar 22, 2011 07:55 AM

        I dig the cuban at the Floridian, along with their bean soup and great hot sauce, it's among my faves. May not be perfectly true to style but it's close enough and they do a nice job with the bread (I think they put a bit of butter on the press before pressing them). Also I love the innards of the Wright's cuban, but the bread rarely does anything for me.

        7 Replies
        1. re: askdrtodd
          andy huse RE: askdrtodd Mar 24, 2011 02:17 PM

          i find that the Floridian's house roasted turket sandwich is actually better than thair Cuban. Girlfriend ordered it and i was surprised. The Cuban is okay, but the turkey surpised me.

          1. re: andy huse
            askdrtodd RE: andy huse Mar 28, 2011 06:38 AM

            sweet, now I know what I'm getting for lunch!

            1. re: askdrtodd
              RibDog RE: askdrtodd Mar 28, 2011 07:26 AM

              I agree, that sounds good!

              1. re: RibDog
                askdrtodd RE: RibDog Mar 28, 2011 07:50 AM

                I'll be there @11:30 if you wanna join!

                1. re: askdrtodd
                  askdrtodd RE: askdrtodd Mar 28, 2011 10:50 AM

                  hrm. Floridian was not as good as I remember, Bill & I went and got a cuban and a turkey sandwich, and split both, and a couple devil crabs. Ironically the highlight of the meal for me was the bean soup sides (we tried both black bean and Floridian bean). Meat was a bit sparse albeit tasty. I think I'll hit Wrights one day this week and Colombian one day too...

                  1. re: askdrtodd
                    rhnault RE: askdrtodd Mar 28, 2011 11:19 AM

                    I have heard that their soup is good.

                  2. re: askdrtodd
                    RibDog RE: askdrtodd Mar 28, 2011 04:46 PM

                    Sorry, did not get your message in time.

          2. the_sneeb RE: vickidr47 Mar 22, 2011 07:59 AM

            La Ideal on Tampa Bay Blvd. Excellent Medianoches here also.

            1 Reply
            1. re: the_sneeb
              bagofwater RE: the_sneeb Apr 28, 2011 02:37 PM

              I second this. They have what is easily one of the best Cuban sandwiches I've eaten.

            2. deet13 RE: vickidr47 Mar 25, 2011 12:23 AM

              If you want to get a bit historical, you could always pop into the deli at La Segunda Bakery, on 15th St down in Ybor, for a Cuban and some pastries...


              1. a
                andy huse RE: vickidr47 Mar 27, 2011 04:57 PM

                I suggest the Columbia in Ybor. I ate one today that had me swooning. Call your order ahead and pick it up in the bar/cafe. Ask for it pressed well. Probably an extra 20 minutes to your trip to get the best in Tampa.

                7 Replies
                1. re: andy huse
                  kenr RE: andy huse Mar 27, 2011 05:39 PM

                  Knowing that you wrote a book about the history of the Columbia in Ybor and are partial to their food, I have had their Cuban and although it's O.K , I certainly am not "swooning" for another in the immediate future.

                  1. re: kenr
                    andy huse RE: kenr Mar 28, 2011 06:49 AM

                    then tell me where to get the best.

                    1. re: andy huse
                      rhnault RE: andy huse Mar 28, 2011 06:54 AM

                      I haven't been able to find one better than the Columbia. The ones at the Cafe are not quite as swoon worthy as the ones in Ybor but even they are better than anywhere else in town.

                  2. re: andy huse
                    sunshine842 RE: andy huse Mar 27, 2011 10:54 PM

                    I'm with Andy -- the Columbia is still the best -- I just didn't mention it because it's not on the way from TIA to BG.

                    1. re: andy huse
                      askdrtodd RE: andy huse Mar 28, 2011 07:53 AM

                      I think I'll try the Columbia cuban manana. Sadly I spent about a month eating a different cuban nearly every day and still couldn't find the "perfect" one

                      1. re: askdrtodd
                        rhnault RE: askdrtodd Mar 28, 2011 09:26 AM

                        What makes the one at the Columbia so good for me is the quality of the meats and the freshness of the bread. Each component could stand on it's own in a sandwich and be a winner.

                      2. re: andy huse
                        Manderley RE: andy huse Mar 29, 2011 12:23 PM

                        andy i can just picture you swooning :) i've never had their cuban, but it's now on my wish list.

                      3. askdrtodd RE: vickidr47 Mar 29, 2011 10:19 AM

                        Oh man, Bill & I had a Cuban today at Wrights that is going to be damn hard to beat. that thing was tasty.

                        1. t
                          TrevorDavis RE: vickidr47 Mar 29, 2011 01:25 PM

                          Wrights is a damn good cuban, they are in the top 5 for sure. The others in my top 5 are Castellano&pizzo, west Tampa sandwich shop (honey cuban) , Columbia, & Roberts BBQ.
                          ...and i have done extensive research all over the bay area, lots of ather good ones, but i am super picky about cubans

                          23 Replies
                          1. re: TrevorDavis
                            sunshine842 RE: TrevorDavis Mar 29, 2011 01:42 PM

                            I have NO idea what the name of place might be, but there's a divey little sandwich shop right by St Pete Airport -- one-story brick place on the south side of Roosevelt.

                            I still prefer the Columbia, but that no-name little shack cranks out some ROCKIN Cubans.

                            1. re: sunshine842
                              MandalayVA RE: sunshine842 Apr 28, 2011 11:32 AM

                              Airport Variety Store! My dad lives in Clearwater and I make a point to stop by every visit for Cubans. I've had them from the Columbia and they're good but AVS is just as good. Black beans are good too.

                              1. re: MandalayVA
                                sunshine842 RE: MandalayVA Apr 28, 2011 11:37 AM

                                that's the one. I knew it had a name that was pretty mundane, but couldn't remember what it was.

                            2. re: TrevorDavis
                              RibDog RE: TrevorDavis Mar 29, 2011 02:51 PM

                              If you are super picky then please let me ask a question about the Wright's cuban. How can it be called a Cuban sandwich with turkey in it. That is not a cuban but some other facsimile of a Cuban. Historically, it is incorrect.

                              1. re: RibDog
                                Mild Bill RE: RibDog Mar 29, 2011 07:11 PM

                                I certainly detected no turkey in the sandwich at Wright's today, and when I read the ingredients on the wall there I 'don't remember' seeing it listed, but it IS on the web menu...
                                And their Cuban had a specific name--- like maybe they were givng it license to be a variation... ???? I'll go back SOON to clarify...

                                But the thing was juicy, crispy, & way delicious... Pressed well...
                                It was actually the closest to The Columbia's Cuban that I've had---- although today's had an extra slice of cheese which amplified its' contribution just as I hoped...

                                We'll hit The Columbia next, and then this other place that was highly recommended to me...

                                I asked Andy if he ever tried the Cuban at 'this other place' on Columbus and he said no, but was interested, so maybe a few of us can arrange a fun quick, casual, lunch soon...

                                1. re: Mild Bill
                                  askdrtodd RE: Mild Bill Mar 30, 2011 06:08 AM

                                  Cool cool. Yeah I don't recall any turkey in the cuban at wrights, but (Andy correct me if I'm wrong) weren't the true traditional cubans not even pressed? I mean if the sandwich is 90% authentic, in my mind that's authentic enough, you have to allow for someone's take on something otherwise cubans in theory would never taste any different (because they'd all use the same bread, etc). Same with the Banh Mi, my favorite Banh Mi is probably not perfectly authentic because I slap a bunch of non-Vietnamese asian condiments on it but I still appreciate that it's almost completely authentic :)

                                  Bill you wanna do Colombia today? While the other cuban is fresh in our minds?

                                  1. re: askdrtodd
                                    askdrtodd RE: askdrtodd Mar 30, 2011 01:16 PM

                                    We did the Colombia today, Cuban was good, but not any better than the one we had at Wrights. Definitely better than Floridian's though. I think the bread was where it fell short, good cheese/meat inside, but the interior was definitely lacking the unctuous quality we got at Wright's, even though we may have just caught Wright's on a good day. The beef martini we had at Wrights was pretty underwhelming and I remember that I loved that sandwich the previous times I had it.

                                    The mustard on the Columbia's was barely existent, and there was no mayo at all (although I don't know if that's a traditional ingredient or not), which didn't bother me because I really don't care for non-homemade mayo/aioli. The presentation was by far the best at the Columbia, they cut it diagonally down the entire sandwich, very pretty. I believe the sandwich was about 8 or 9 dollars though, which is slightly higher than Wright's. Cubans really shouldn't cost more than 5 or 6 bucks in my humble opinion, but that's just that, my opinion.

                                    Service was excellent and the restaurant is beautiful, we sat in the skylit room by the fountain and really enjoyed that aspect of it. Enjoyed the little devil crab's too, they were mostly crab with very little breading, some of the better devil crab I've had.

                                    Going to try to hit Brocatos tomorrow if possible.

                                    1. re: askdrtodd
                                      andy huse RE: askdrtodd Mar 31, 2011 02:28 PM

                                      yeah, the Columbia is sparing with cheese, and don't add any mayo. The bread is La Segunda, which is my favorite in town. with the Columbia, it is about proportion, not amount of fillings, like a thin crust pizza. The price is a little high, but if you judge food only by the price, you're really issing the point. The myth that a Cuban has to be $4-$5 has done more harm to the sandwich than anything else. If we used the same definition for burgers, there wouldn't be many great burgers around. For those kinds of prices, I'd expect boiled ham and deli pork. I'll throw down more coin for something that has a little love in it.

                                      But that's just me. We share our subjective preferences here and I certainly don't expect everyone to agree. Wrights and the Columbia are surely at the top of the sandwich heap. Brocato's is impressive for its size, but the ham is weak. Last time I had it the pork was pretty good, tho. I actually prefer the all-pork sandwich at Brocato's over the Cuban.

                                  2. re: Mild Bill
                                    Old E. RE: Mild Bill Mar 30, 2011 06:12 AM

                                    I've always felt the food at the Columbia was "so, so," at best. But recently (last couple of years) they re-formulated their cuban, and it is now damn good. I'm not going to guess at who's is the best, but the Columbia's are now up there.

                                    Castellano's are hit and miss, for me. I've had some that wowed me then other times I was unimpressed. I don't know why.

                                    Brocato's is always good too.

                                    Used to be a place on Gandy, near Bayshore, that had what I considered the best, but its been closed for a while now. Too bad.

                                    Wrights is definitely good, but the price of the thing is outrageous, compared to everyone else in town. Maybe that's what you have to pay for quality ingredients.

                                    I always loved the old Silver Ring in Ybor. I loved that the old guy would get pissed if you asked for it pressed. They had no press, just a toaster or small oven. I think he claimed that the press was a new fangled invention, and the original way to do it was to toast it

                                    1. re: Old E.
                                      sunshine842 RE: Old E. Mar 30, 2011 06:33 AM

                                      I love Brocato's pressed all the way, too, but somehow I always manage to get sidetracked by their deviled crabs and stuffed potatoes. I used to work around the corner from Brocato's, and remember when all of Michael's boys were born.

                                      (is it okay if it makes me a little nauseous to think that Michael's boys are now old enough to have boys of their own?)

                                      Brocato's Sandwich Shop
                                      5021 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33619

                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                        andy huse RE: sunshine842 Mar 30, 2011 07:39 AM

                                        to really test a sandwich, I take a small portion of the sandwich and eat the ingredients individually. The pork and ham should be able to stand on their own. wet, boiled ham is verboten in my book.

                                        I had Wright's sandwich a while ago, and it was good. didn't blow me away. the other sandwich I had, I think the Golden Gate, was better. Many old Ybor folks remember turlkey being a sometimes ingredient. The Columbia added turkey after thanksgiving in the 40s and 50s, but not the rest of the year. all I'm saying is that turkey wasn't unheard of. but lettuce and tomato was for salads, not sandwiches.

                                        I had Castellano and Pizzo a few weeks ago, and it was a good sandwich, but the Proscuitto Delight outshined it.

                                        Brocato's is good, but the ham is lacking. I'm sad to say i think the place is slipping. My beloved meatball sandwich is a mess of breaded/FRIED meatballs now. I almost wept at the travesty!

                                        Golden Gate
                                        213 S Tyndall Pkwy, Panama City, FL 32404

                                        1. re: andy huse
                                          sunshine842 RE: andy huse Mar 30, 2011 10:39 AM

                                          NOOOO! Fried meatballs? Say it ain't so!

                                          Andy, do you remember JD's at the corner of 21st and 7th? Man, I ate my weight in Cubans and their Ybor burgers.Their Friday Trout a la Russe was the best around, and it was CHEAP. Good thing; I was paying tuition!

                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                            andy huse RE: sunshine842 Mar 30, 2011 12:19 PM

                                            never had the pleasure of eating at JD's.

                                            1. re: andy huse
                                              sunshine842 RE: andy huse Mar 30, 2011 01:22 PM

                                              pity -- they were good. Timo was one of the weekend cooks at the Seabreeze, but he had JDs for his daily income.

                                              Speedy Brown's was another good Ybor Cuban.

                                              (gawd, this thread makes me feel old! )

                                          2. re: andy huse
                                            RibDog RE: andy huse Mar 30, 2011 01:28 PM

                                            Well, then I stand corrected on the turkey issue. But in my many years, especially listening to Andy also, I had never heard of turkey being on a Cuban sandwich.

                                        2. re: Old E.
                                          the_sneeb RE: Old E. Mar 30, 2011 01:41 PM

                                          Bayshore Market, may it rest in piece, had excellent sandwiches. Their cuban was awesome. Wright's definitely has turkey, but that is not a detractor. Probably my favorite cuban, albeit a mouth-lacerating son of bitch. I've read somewhere that Castellano got bought out by a couple of Yankees, hopefully that doesn't effect their cubans. I always get a few XL cubans dry and unpressed from C&L to take back home with to Dallas to prolong my fix. Hey Doc, I saw on the Nashville forum that you were around Vanderbilt recently. Any good hot spots?

                                          1. re: the_sneeb
                                            askdrtodd RE: the_sneeb Mar 31, 2011 07:21 AM

                                            I'm actually going in a couple weeks, but that City House spot really seems like the place to be. I have reservations there and at Watermark. Kind of a PITA that very few if any of the places the CH'ers love in Nashville aren't open for lunch!

                                            If only Andy Huse would open a Cuban Sandwich Food Truck (hint hint). Then I would be in heaven. And he would be a gabillionarie.

                                            Well at least a thousandaire, but it would be a great service to this great city and it's hungry inhabitants.

                                            1. re: askdrtodd
                                              andy huse RE: askdrtodd Mar 31, 2011 02:30 PM

                                              believe me, i've thought about it! I'm also a big fan of breakfast Cubans...

                                              1. re: andy huse
                                                sunshine842 RE: andy huse Mar 31, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                I'm still stuck on toasted Cuban bread with butter and dunked in a BIG cup of Cuban coffee. Media y media, por favor.

                                      2. re: RibDog
                                        TrevorDavis RE: RibDog Mar 30, 2011 06:21 AM

                                        picky as in "better taste damn good!" rather than picky "historically accurate". I go lettuce tomato too which some folks don't agree with as well. The airport variety store is the stand alone on roosevelt across from the airport entrance, they are very traditional there.

                                      3. re: TrevorDavis
                                        askdrtodd RE: TrevorDavis Mar 30, 2011 06:10 AM

                                        I've only had the Medianoche from West Tampa Sammich Shop, but it was darn good!

                                        1. re: askdrtodd
                                          deet13 RE: askdrtodd Mar 30, 2011 04:21 PM

                                          I usually get the Soup and Sandwich combo whenever we go (Garbanzo Bean Soup and Cuban).

                                          I only wish the parking was better.

                                          1. re: deet13
                                            askdrtodd RE: deet13 Mar 31, 2011 07:22 AM

                                            I went at 11:30 and parking was super easy, got off I-4 at 21st st, parked in the lot immediately north of the columbia. There were a ton of spots.

                                      4. askdrtodd RE: vickidr47 Mar 31, 2011 10:13 AM

                                        Went to West Tampa Sandwich Shop today and neighboring Caccitore & Sons. Weather was INSANE.

                                        WTSS had lettuce & tomato on theirs (which I tried a couple bites of before picking it off), which was an initial disappointment, but after removing it, I really liked theirs. It had real shredded roast pork on it (although not much), perfect bread, perfect press, great texture, tasty meat (razor thin shaved ham). The cheese they used had a bit of funk to it, not bad but I didn't think it added anything to the sandwich. If they doubled the amount of meat I think this could be my favorite... Their devil crab was excellent, good size (not quite as big as brocatos, but close) a bit more breading than I prefer, but wonderfully seasoned and just slightly spicy crab filling. the tab was only $6.50 for the sandwich and the devil crab, and the ladies working behind the counter and serving the food were sweethearts. Nice experience.

                                        My co-worked called me when I was walking out to the car asking if I could bring him back a sandwich, so I went over to Caccitore & Sons to try theirs, which was recommended to me by RibDog on this board. I got them to cut a slice out of the middle so I could try it there (and so my buddy wouldn't see a bite taken out of it, heh), it had a generous amount of thicker sliced ham in it, which unfortunately was still cold (even though the lady pressed it for nearly 10 minutes) and kind of threw the sandwich off for me. It was otherwise good although a little salty from all the ham, and everyone working there was also very friendly and pleasant.

                                        I still haven't found the perfect Cuban. Not giving up yet.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: askdrtodd
                                          the_sneeb RE: askdrtodd Mar 31, 2011 01:18 PM

                                          I've heard the cuban at Kalupa's is good, but I don't recall ever having it.


                                          1. re: askdrtodd
                                            andy huse RE: askdrtodd Mar 31, 2011 02:33 PM

                                            WTSS is like walking back in time. Love the old Tampa crowd. Last time i was there, a pretty lady walked in and all the conversations in the place came to a screeching halt while all the old Latin men oggled her thoroughly.

                                            1. re: askdrtodd
                                              deet13 RE: askdrtodd Mar 31, 2011 04:09 PM

                                              The Honey Cuban and the Palomilla sandwiches are pretty good too.

                                            2. p
                                              Peeler1 RE: vickidr47 Apr 13, 2011 08:52 AM

                                              I have lived in the Tampa area for over 30 years and have always liked the Cuban sandwiches at Pipos on Hillsborough Ave. in Town and Country area.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Peeler1
                                                rhnault RE: Peeler1 Apr 13, 2011 09:16 AM

                                                I like their food but if memory serves correct they use the boiled ham. Though it has been a while since I have had a Cuban sandwich there.

                                                1. re: rhnault
                                                  Peeler1 RE: rhnault Apr 13, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                  They may used boiled ham, not sure, but they taste pretty good. I need to try the one at the Columbia, never think of ordering a sandwich there. We do like their 1905 salad though.

                                                  1. re: Peeler1
                                                    rhnault RE: Peeler1 Apr 14, 2011 05:05 AM

                                                    when we go we split a 1905 and each get the half and half. My husband gets the 1/2 Cuban and the Gazpacho and I get the 1/2 Cuban and Calde Galllejo. On the half and half you can upgrade to a whole sandwich for a dollar or 2 more. Then you might have leftovers!

                                                    1. re: rhnault
                                                      RibDog RE: rhnault Apr 14, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                      Stop, you're making me hungry.

                                                      1. re: RibDog
                                                        Peeler1 RE: RibDog Apr 14, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                        Me too!

                                              2. askdrtodd RE: vickidr47 Apr 27, 2011 08:07 AM

                                                While it's anything but authentic, wife & I shared a "Havana Hottie" @ Datz last night and it was really damn tasty. Probably the generous quantity of high quality ingredients. Ask for it extra pressed with extra hot sweet mustard, I know it's not a traditional cuban, but neither is the Mi Cubano at Cafe Hey and that one is damn good too :)

                                                15 Replies
                                                1. re: askdrtodd
                                                  Tom Scherberger RE: askdrtodd Apr 27, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                  If it was authentic it wouldn't be pressed!

                                                  1. re: Tom Scherberger
                                                    andy huse RE: Tom Scherberger Apr 28, 2011 06:44 AM

                                                    The sandwich press has been around for over 50 years and some folks used a tailor's iron for pressing before then. I think it is safe to press the sandwich. Now, lettuce and tomato are another matter.

                                                    1. re: andy huse
                                                      askdrtodd RE: andy huse Apr 28, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                      Ugh. I can tolerate a lot of "interpretation" but lettuce & tomato are a no thanks for me.

                                                      1. re: askdrtodd
                                                        Tom Scherberger RE: askdrtodd Apr 28, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                        Actually I think "authenticity'' limits creativity. Who cares if it's authentic if it tastes good?

                                                        1. re: Tom Scherberger
                                                          Old E. RE: Tom Scherberger Apr 28, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                          I think it becomes impossible to define authentic, or to define something AS authentic. What makes one person's interpretation less authentic than another's? Who knows what was done when and by whom in the past? My 2 cents... thereby allowing interpretation to be authentic.

                                                          1. re: Old E.
                                                            rhnault RE: Old E. Apr 28, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                            We have historians and researchers who help define events of the past.

                                                          2. re: Tom Scherberger
                                                            rhnault RE: Tom Scherberger Apr 28, 2011 03:20 PM

                                                            It might taste great, but that does not make it a Cuban sandwich.

                                                            1. re: rhnault
                                                              Old E. RE: rhnault Apr 29, 2011 06:25 AM

                                                              What about Cubans who come here and make a sandwich, that they have beem making for 50 years, just like their mother's sandwich, but it is different than your concept of a Cuban sandwich... which one is MORE authentic.

                                                              Historians are now the purveyors of Authenticity? I bet they would be unable to give you a specific recipe that was the mother of all recipes. Everything went through some sort of evolution.

                                                              My point is, the term authenticity is an intangible. Each interpretation is no more or less authentic than the next.

                                                              1. re: Old E.
                                                                rhnault RE: Old E. Apr 29, 2011 07:01 AM

                                                                I thought we were talking about the "authentic" Tampa Cuban sandwich. This does not seem to me to be something that is hard to define. I don't think we are talking about random Cubans who come here and make a sandwich. There is a specific Tampa version that has already been traced back to its roots.

                                                                1. re: rhnault
                                                                  Tom Scherberger RE: rhnault Apr 29, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                  Andy has spent more time researching this than I, so I'll defer to him, but I'm pretty sure it was the Anglos in Tampa who started calling mixto sandwiches Cuban sandwiches because that's who was making them, and sometimes they included turkey, which no one would consider authentic any more. And while sometimes they were pressed, they often were not. I moved to Tampa in 1980 and pressed Cuban sandwiches were not nearly as common as they are today. At the Silver Ring and La Tropicana, two landmarks in Ybor City, the sandwiches were warmed in an oven, if you wanted, though the default sandwich was cold. I think it was non-Cubans who added mayo and lettuce and tomato, so that probably wouldn't be "authentic" and doesn't work well when pressed. And only in Tampa do they include salami; Miami Cubans don't think the Tampa version is authentic (and they slice their ham too thick, imho).

                                                                  La Tropicana Cafe
                                                                  1822 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

                                                                2. re: Old E.
                                                                  sunshine842 RE: Old E. Apr 29, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                  The semantics don't hold water.

                                                                  Yes, a sandwich prepared by someone from Cuba could correctly be termed a Cuban Sandwich, or even Cuban's Sandwich. (it's considerably less Cuban if it's prepared with ingredients not from Cuba, no?)

                                                                  But this conversation is about the *Cuban Sandwich*, which is the working and common name of a sandwich first created in Tampa, for which the documented history is long and detailed.

                                                                  There's even a competition every year or two as to who makes the best one -- read Richard Gonzmart's explanation of just how important a Cuban sandwich is to the Columbia:


                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                    Old E. RE: sunshine842 Apr 29, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                                    my comments are meant to be more generalized. Apply to tacos, sushi, cheese steaks... doesn't matter. I don't believe anything is "authentic." I think it is a made up term or concept that can never be proven. One guys authentic is another guys not authentic. Perhaps I'm just not making sense, or simply, no one agrees. Sorry for beating a dead horse.

                                                                    1. re: Old E.
                                                                      bagofwater RE: Old E. Apr 29, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                                      Absent a sanctioning body, with objective standards (like balsamic vinegar, for instance), you cannot measure "authenticity."

                                                                      Go to New York, ask 100 New Yorkers what the most "authentic" NY pizza is in the city. You will get 90-100 different answers.

                                                                      1. re: bagofwater
                                                                        Tom Scherberger RE: bagofwater Apr 29, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                                        True, that! Same with Philly cheesesteaks. You can start a fight over Cheese Wiz. vs. provolone (or white American).

                                                                        1. re: Tom Scherberger
                                                                          askdrtodd RE: Tom Scherberger Apr 29, 2011 11:47 AM

                                                                          I will likely be thought less of for this, but for me authenticity holds water only if the (more authentic) final product is more exciting when I pay my hard earned money to eat it. This is the most evident thorn in my side with Japanese food. If you think for a minute that Japanese people make & eat friggin onion ring volcanoes and fried inside out chicken sushi, or that all Chinese people eat is sweet & sour beef, you're sorely mistaken. This is where authentic cuisine would dominate the Americanized version. To keep things on topic, I think the "cubans" I've eaten at Wrights or Datz have been not 100% authentic, but I would take in a heartbeat over most of the ones I've had that are whatever are currently defined by our most reliable sources as the spot-on definition of a cuban sandwich. Too much is left up to semantics and interpretation as it is to discount the cuban-inspired sandwiches available to us.

                                                    2. s
                                                      sarge RE: vickidr47 Apr 28, 2011 06:50 PM

                                                      I have tried quite a few of the aforementioned places, but the best I have found was recently at the Cup of Organic Coffee Shop between Land O Lakes and Wesley chapel. They get their bread from LaSegunda in Ybor and use mostly organic

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