Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The Floridian Cuban Sandwiches - Tampa, FL
Business and walking distance proximity gave an me opportunity to try the Floridian's as they claim the "Finest Cuban Sandwiches on the Planet." I checked into the hotel and asked the receptionist if there was a Cuban sandwich place within walking distance to which she replied no. Of course I did my scouting and knew there was one nearby.
About 10 minutes later I was at the Floridian. I ordered the 7 inch combo. The sandwich consisted of ham, mojo spicked pork, Genoa salami, Swiss cheese, dill pickle, mayo/mustard mix and ordered "all the way" whatever that specifically meant. The combo included a soda and the Best Homemade Fries on the Planet (Yukon Gold potatoes twice fried). Over $10 including tax took care of the damages.
I'm not a connoisseur of Cuban sandwiches, having maybe 10 in my life. The Cubans have ranged from horrible to good. The one thing they shared was that they all tasted about the same. If you're eating a Cuban, you know you're eating a Cuban. It's no revelation. Also, Cuban sandwiches don't really trip my trigger. I prefer a good Italian sub over a Cuban any day. So this review should be read in that light.
It was well past noon and I was the only customer in the shop. Still it took a good 7 minutes or so for the sandwich to be delivered to the table. First impression: WOW! It was huge coming on a bed of fries. I should have ordered the 5 inch combo.
The sandwich was densely packed with a mound of meat unlike any other Cuban I had. The Cubans I had before had maybe 3 or 4 layers of meat. This one came out with twice the amount. The sandwich came out warm to hot to the touch, a nice thing. With a Cuban, the first and predominate taste is the tang of yellow mustard followed by the pickle. This was also true of this sandwich. What distinguished this Cuban was that the bread offered a textural fresh crunch without being toastlike crumbly. I tried to taste the meat but as with all other Cubans, my taste buds failed to distinguish the ham and mojo pork because the mustard overwhelmed them. After finishing the first half, I felt like I was in an episode of Man vs. Food.
The fries were excellent offering impressive spiciness right just for me and a dense interior unlike the airy fast food joint fries. Yukon Gold is the way to go. The accompanying spicy dipping sauce just makes the fries that much more irrestible.
The Floridian Cuban undoubtedly was the finest Cuban I ever had. The mustard and pickle tastes dominated but the textures, warmth, and mouth feel just combined to create a most enjoyable sandwich. It was the best I've had compared to any other I have had. I'd certainly recommend this place for Cuban but the service needs some tweaking.
Is it the world's finest? I'll leave that to the experts.
4424 Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609