Did my eyes deceive me? As I was rushing down Spring Place Rd (HWY 74) my eyes spied a hot red wagon parked on the corner where the Tornados tore down all the buildings a little over a year ago. "Authentic Cuban Food" it said, in big block letters one the side of the wagon. "Footlong Cuban sandwhiches!" That was all it took!
"Cuban Sandwich," "Croquettas," "Papas Rellenas" (mash potatoe fried balls stuffed with meat) O.M.G! I walked up to the bright red lunch mobile ready with my Espaniol. (I know how to order authentically also!) Only to overhear the propriator speaking to the customer a head of me in English! With no visible Cuban Accent! NOOOOOOOOO! It can't be an AMERICAN serving AUTHENTIC CUBAN FOOD! How authentic could it be?
Well, as I struck up a conversation (in englaise) I found that he was not even from MIAMI!
Could it be...that Cubans have taken over other parts of Florida as well?????
It turned out my night in shining red wagon was from Tampa, Fl. Where he proudly told me that the origional authentic Cuban Sandwiches were first made. Tampa! What?:I couldn't believe my ears...Wasn't the Cuban boat rush in Miami? Didn't I start my stay in Miami in 1960 with only one cuban on our block? Only to leave in 2005 and find I was one of the few Americans left in Miami? Pronounced mee-ham-ee! You mean they made it up to Tampa and made the first AUTHENTIC CUBAN SANDWICH there first? Well even though I didn't believe it. I decided to give him a try. I'll have a Cuban Sandwich, a Papa rellenos, and 5 hamone crocettes I said. As I proceeded to have a conversation with the very nice American (Bruce). He began the preparation of my food.
Looking into my wallet I discovered I only had $3.00 (This never happens to me) Halt! I said in my best German. I have to go to the bank! I have no dinero! Bruce was only too happy to partially cook my food and continue when I came back (So it wouldn't be cold). Wasn't that sweet? Well I am here to tell you THAT wouldn't happen in Miami!
Well I bid him "adious" and drove home. I have to tell you, the food was wonderful! Very authentic and I was pleasantly surprised to find an extra croquetta in my box when I got home! Ya got to love it!