Yeah, I was surprised and confused when I heard that there was a restaurant in Seoul, Korea named after my hometown. Tampa, Florida isn’t NYC or Paris famous but it has its share of history, enough so that it has landed over here in teh form of a sandwich bar, serving up Cuban Sandwiches.
After finding out about it, Ji and I went right over there and took a seat. The place was painted bright yellow and blue and decorated with a few pieces of the sort of “Florida” tourist stuff that is non descript enough that they can slap the name of any beach in any tropical location on it. I really wanted to offer to come do a mural of the tampa streetcar with Minaretts and maybe throw in the famous Marti Steps, which are now part of the Scientology building. Knowing how Korean businesses pop up and shut down I figure the effort would not be worth it. Plus there is a certain lack of interest in originality and authenticity around here, at least in my mind it feels that way.
The menu had a “Tampa Cuban” and a “Miami Cuban” plus a bunch of other things including some pulled pork sliders. Both of which were served with hand cut french fries and of course the obligatory korean pickles. When I say obligatory I mean it! We got indian food, came with pickles, got portuguese food, came with pickles, got pizza came with pickles… you get the point.
Having tried a different Cuban sandwich place here i would have to say i preferred that one over the one at Tampa Sandwich bar and teh fries were so soggy even though they were fried on the spot. Hopefully they keep working to make it a great sandwich. Eitherway it was still neat to see “my” city represented here in some form.