Ybor City is known as the birthplace of the Cuban sandwich. From the original recipe, a slew of variations have been inspired. The comfort of Cuban bread, the kick of yellow mustard and mojo pork, the garlic goodness of a plate of lechon and the sweetness of maduros have come to define Tampa’s local food scene.
Our food has become so iconic that two restauranteurs, Geunmin Kang and Hyunmin Cho, in Seoul, South Korea have opened a restaurant that pays homage to the history and food of our city.
Tampeno goes global
Called Tampa Sandwich Bar, the new restaurant features the classic Cuban sandwich, Mac N’ Cheese sandwich, shrimp po’ boy, customer-loved sweet potato fries and even fried oreos. The interior is decorated with posters meant to establish a Tampa atmosphere. The owners have yet to visit Tampa, their methods for crafting the Cuban sandwich have been learned and studied through Google and Youtube.
Strong showing at the Cuban Sandwich Festival
They’ve put all they’ve learned to the test with appearances at Tampa’s famous Cuban Sandwich Festival. The pair even took home an award for their tasty interpretation.
A few local organizations went out of their way to supply the restaurant with Tampa memorabilia. Everything from Gasparilla beads to travel brochures have made their way to Korea to help Tampa-fy the sandwich bar.