The Best Cuban Sandwich in Florida will be named at the 2nd annual Cuban Sandwich Festival on March 30 in Ybor City. Up to 20 restaurants will compete for the title in traditional, non-traditional and fan favorite categories.
Confirmed competitors include defending champions Faedo’s On the Go (1st place in traditional category) and Stone Soup Company (2nd place in traditional category), Alessi Bakery, La Teresita, Mr. Empanada, Danny’s All American Diner, The Floridian, Sabroso Cuban Restaurant, Pipo’s Cuban Café, Datz, NY Café, Docho’s Concession, Papa Joe’s Subs, Murray’s Chicago Deli, Moe’s Hot Dogs, Ruben’s Cubans and Country Market & Deli.
The Cuban Sandwich Festival honors the region’s favorite culinary delicacy, and celebrates Tampa Bay’s rich Latino history, culture and cuisine. The free, family-friendly festival features arts, crafts, Latino foods and live music from Sol Caribe, Juan Esteban and Jeremy Rosado.
When: Saturday, March 30, 2013, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where</: Centennial Park, 1800 E. 8th Ave, historic Ybor City
Festival Masters of Ceremonies are ABC Action News director of community affairs Lisette Campos, Hillsborough County Hispanic affairs liaison Tony Morejon and Bahia Radio host Carlos Jose Peralta. Tampa Tribune columnist Steve Otto will oversee the judging process.
Judges include State Representative Janet Cruz, Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor, Tampa City Council members Mary Mulhern, Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez, NewsChannel 8 anchor Gayle Guyardo, InfoMas anchor Lydia Guzman, “Daytime” food critic Larry Cotton, “The Daily Buzz” host Jessica Reyes, Tampa Bay Business Journal publisher Bridgette Mill, Tampa Tribune food writer Jeff Houck and entertainment reporter Cloe Cabera, Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper, La Gaceta publisher Patrick Mantiega, Cigar City Magazine founder Lisa Figueredo, “AM Tampa Bay” hosts Jack Harris and Ted Webb, “Latino 54” host Franco Silva, Q105 host Scott Walker, Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus president Dr. Shawn Robinson, Ybor City Development Corp. manager Vince Pardo, Columbia Restaurant chairman Casey Gonzmart, Cynthia Fuente of Arturo Fuente Cigar Company, Audet Productions founder David Audet, Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Council chair Al Pina, Floridian Partners manager Ana Cruz, chef Charles Knight and Guido Morano Jewelers owner Guido Maniscalco.
The Cuban sandwich represents the Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants who settled in Ybor City. Originally called the “mixto” in Cuba, the sandwich was a combination of leftovers stuffed in between slices of bread. It evolved in Ybor City’s cigar factories in the 1880s into the traditional Cuban Sandwich, which consists of ham, mojo roast pork, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard pressed between Cuban bread.
Beneficiary: Admission is free. Donations to help offset the medical costs for Emberlynn Padilla, a 14-month-old baby born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia are accepted. CDH is a life-threatening congenital malformation of the diaphragm that allows the abdominal organs to push into the lung formation.