Columbia Restaurant's Original Cuban Sandwich
9" piece of Cuban bread
4 ounces glazed ham, thinly sliced
1 1/2 ounces pork loin, thinly sliced
1 ounce Genoa salami (peppercorn studded preferred), thinly sliced
1 ounce Swiss cheese
2 pickle chips
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Cut Cuban bread in half lengthwise. Layer sliced meats and cheese in the following order: ham, pork, salami, and then cheese. Place pickle chips evenly on top. Spread mustard on top half of bread. Lightly butter both top and bottom of sandwich. Heat sandwich in press until crisp. Cut diagonally from corner to corner. Serves 1.
In the 1880’s, lured by incentives from the city of Tampa, cigar factory owner Don Vicente Martinez-Ybor moved his operations from Key West to a section of West Tampa, known today as the city’s Latin Quarter. The influx of thousands of Cuban and Spanish cigar workers, led to the establishment of cafés, bakeries, and restaurants in the fast-growing Ybor City, forever transforming the cuisine and culture of Tampa. In 1905, the Columbia Restaurant, opened, enduring Prohibition and dire economic times to remain a modern-day landmark of the neighborhood.
Nearby, La Segunda Bakery continues their craft of Cuban bread, with a recipe dating back to the Spanish-American War. Many contend that today’s popular Cuban sandwich, known as the “mixto”, was born here, a perfect blend of the various immigrant cultures living in the city. The skilled cigar rollers were encourage to own their own homes, or casitas, as they worked to attain the American dream.
Walk the streets of Ybor City today, and you’ll enjoy a wide variety of sights, sounds, and aromas. You’ll find cigar-rollers and coffee-roasters by day, and the enticing sounds of Latin music late into the evening.
Florida’s oldest and largest Spanish restaurant still stands guard on Ybor City’s main street, attracting crowds for its opulent Old World atmosphere, exciting entertainment, and generous portions of food. The diverse menu blends traditional family recipes with crowd-pleasing favorites, and includes such dishes as the famous “1905” salad, Spanish bean soup, Paella, and of course, the Original Cuban Sandwich.
In 1915, Spanish soldier Juan Moré founded this little bakery, with a simple recipe that turned flour, water, salt, sugar, and shortening into the perfect loaf of Cuban bread. Nearly a century later, La Segunda Bakery is a popular locals’ spot for bread, pastries, and café con leche. This fourth-generation family business cranks out up to 12,000 loaves of bread per day for national distribution. Check out more information by visiting their website.
Established in 1921 by Spanish immigrant Carlos Menendez, this family-owned coffee roasting business is still going strong on Ybor City’s main street, with a bustling gourmet coffee shop and adjacent roasting, packing, and distribution warehouse.
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