Hey there, Hi there, and Howdy, Howdy, Pigeon Handlers!
“That’s a lot of commas,” You say while looking over a memo about an office party from Janet from Accounting.
That’s right. To answer a little question posed by Vampire Weekend, I give a -bleep- about an Oxford comma. But that’s not why we’re here. Today, I’ll be letting you in on another stop in our Quest for the Cuban. At the very tip top of Tampa, there is a little place called Ybor City and it definitely belongs on the list of must-see places while touring the FLA. I’ll touch back later on the destination itself, but right now, it’s lunch time. Let’s take a look at a little place called Stone Soup Company.
Now, if you’ve been keeping up with the Quest, you’ll know that a little variety goes a long way. So, while SCC’s traditional Cuban Sammich has won a fair share of awards, it was hard for me not to take a bite out of their variant known as the Bad Hombre Cubano. With a menu description packed full of just the right amount of satirical humor [I could tell you, but why don’t you visit them and find out for yourself], I made my choice and waited with anticipation.
Now both of SCC’s Cubans are pretty traditional and roster the usual suspects: Mojo pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and that hot-pressed Cuban bread we’ve come to love.
A little side note into the history of the Cuban: There are competing theories as to where the Cuban got its start. Some say it got its American beginning in Key West. Others say the foodstuff came to be in Tampa. More specifically, they say it was right here in Ybor City. Back in the day, Ybor City was a hotspot for Cuban, Spanish, and Italian peoples and they say the Cubans first made the Cuban Sammich a staple right on the Ybor streets. Whichever is true, we can all agree that it was a gift to taste buds everywhere.
But that’s not all! With the aforementioned Italian population in the historic area, this is where we get the occasional guest on our sammiches: Salami. And it wouldn’t be an authentic Ybor City Cuban Sandwich without a few slices of salami on our Bad Hombre.
If you remember from our earlier posts, your boy the Chief Pigeon Handler is a recovering picky eater. One thing that holds the award for my absolute least favorite food item [dare I say nemesis] is mayonnaise. But a new adventure into a new state isn’t just about trying fun things. Nay, any good quest comes with its own trials and I came across the toughest to date with SCC’s Bad Hombre. A mixture of both mustard and mayonnaise is one of the listed ingredients. This quest isn’t just about me, Pigeon Handlers, it’s about you. So, I braved uncertain waters and took the sammich at face value and left that mayo on there.
All that courage I just listed came from the last ingredient on the Bad Hombre. SCC kicks it up a notch and tosses some sliced jalapeños in the mix to take this Cuban to the next level. All that spice burned all that pesky mayo off my taste buds in such a way that Stone Soup Company puts out a Cuban Sandwich that is worthy of all the praise and fanfare. And it wouldn’t be a Cuban Sandwich if it wasn’t such a generous portion of food that I had to take the second half home for later.
Verdict: 11/10 Variety is the spice of life indeed! This Bad Hombre turns up the heat and kicks the Cuban Sandwich game up a notch.
Do you know a great place to get a good Cuban Sandwich? Let us know in the comments or on any of the social media time wasters and we might check it out!
This article is part of the Quest for the Cuban, which is part of the travel segment A Little Less Texas. Enjoy!
P.S. I’ll bet you were wondering why there was a picture of street art instead of a Sammich. Well, because it was the Gosh Dang Golden Girls! You can’t not show your respect for those gal pals. #StayGolden.