Tampa Was Making Cuban Sengwiches When Miami Was Little More than Alligators.

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Lettuce and tomato on a Cuban sandwich?

Tampa politics doesn’t have much that could qualify as a purity test, but this might be it.

So when voter Danny Thro got a campaign mailer from City Council member Mike Suarez that had a picture of a Cuban with lettuce and tomato, he paused.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 6.22.51 PM“I’m a vegetarian and imagine a Cuban sandwich to be my weak spot if I ever go back to eating meat,” Thro said Monday in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. “Maybe that’s why I looked so closely.”

Such is the place of the Cuban in Tampa. So Thro initiated this email exchange with Suarez:

Mike Suarez above

Voter Danny Thro: what kind of sandwich is this in yr ad?
City Council Member Running for Re-election Suarez: A Cuban Sandwich, of course.
Thro: I think I see lettuce and tomato…where’s the pickle? (I don’t think Steve Otto would approve). I might add that i received 5 ads in today’s mail and you are the only candidate to include contact info. that’s a good thing. thanks. and good luck,
Suarez: I appreciate the good luck but I hope I’ve earned your vote.

Read on here to discover the authentic linchpin of a Cuban.

Mr. Walston, the fabulous bf, is from St. Petersburg, his mother from Tampa. He’s got strong feelings about the Cuban and I believe his stand is ubiquitous in those parts. “As you heard, people take this stuff seriously,” he stated. As they well should.

For his friends, the bread is the line in the sand. At a recent Cuban throw down in Tampa,Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 6.27.38 PM hosted by Mr. Walston’s near lifelong Floridian friends, the loaves of La Segunda Central Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 6.26.37 PM
faced off with those baked by Mauricio Faedo’s Bakery. Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 7.11.14 PM  Salami, ham, pork, cheese, two kinds of pickles – another divisive element, sweet or dill,  plus mustard – also two choices, yellow or brown, making me sweat with equivocation. We were more lenient than most, by all accounts, no hardliners in our mix.

My son declared La Segunda the winner. I could not have my arm twisted into an allegiance. A Cuban, well- toasted, is always a superlative sengwich by me.

Should you want to bone up on the Cubano, excellent coverage in Saveur Magazine here.

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Souvenir bread bag from the throw down. The bread is a long gone daddy.
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3 responses to “Tampa Was Making Cuban Sengwiches When Miami Was Little More than Alligators.

  1. Tampa, then Miami, then a world of hoagies/grinders/subs …

  2. Pingback: And the Beat Goes On | The Lunch Encounter

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