Tag Archives: Pork

Gulf Coasting: Pulled Pork at Snootie’s

Snootie's BBQ

“If you have a picky eater, they haven’t tried our pork yet.”

The folks behind Snootie’s BBQ are living the dream. From a brief conversation with the man who served me a delicious pulled pork sandwich, I gathered the following about their annual calendar: Halloween is their food truck’s final day of business in Sandusky, Ohio. Following that, the crew pulls up stakes and heads south to Tampa, where they set up shop through April at Bearss Groves near Lake Magdalene. I’ve had made many fruit and vegetable purchases at the Groves, a fairly extensive covered farmer’s market. I’ve also eaten many barbecue sandwiches at Snootie’s, and I further knew that they were native Ohioans, like me, from the hip, industrialized, Lake Erie side of the state. But I’d never really heard their “story,” so to speak, preferring for the last few years to grumble to myself how much I’d like to be living in Ohio during those months when Florida becomes a tropical inferno where the air itself exudes sweat, and to be here in Tampa when Ohio enters its annual ice age. Continue reading

Cubans in D.C.: A Random Sampling

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There are two prominent claimants to the title of Home of the Cuban Sandwich in the U.S., and neither is the District of Columbia. Naturally, one is Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. The other is Ybor City, a historic district located just north of downtown Tampa, Florida, notable for its roots as a cigar-producing company town and as a first stop for immigrants arriving from Cuba and elsewhere. Ignoring the obvious disagreement over the true birthplace of the sandwich itself, the rival locales agree on these base ingredients: roasted pork, ham, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread. Otherwise, Ybor’s inclusion of salami, a result of the presence of Italian immigrants in the area, would seem to be the lone sandwich-related point of contention.

Although we’ve done an unhealthy amount of reportage on the Cubano on this blog, it has all been courtesy of my brother Chris, a Tampa resident and author of our Gulf Coasting column. We have yet to spotlight any of the fantastic versions available here in Our Nation’s Capital, meaning that until this week I had no excuse to eat numerous heavy, pork-laden sandwiches in a single weekend. This situation has now been happily resolved, and so, with some help from our resident Cuban sandwich expert and without further ado, here is a somewhat random sampling of a few of our favorite Cuban sandwiches in D.C. Continue reading

Gulf Coasting: The Tampa Cuban Sandwich Festival


By Christopher Nank, Gulf Coast Correspondent

To call the 2nd annual Cuban Sandwich Festival merely a contest to determine the best Cuban sandwich in Florida would be grossly understating the scope of the event. Set entirely within the one square block of Centennial Park in Tampa’s historic Ybor City, the scene had the feel of a Latin food festival, a farmer’s market, crafts fair and music showcase rolled into a single glorious spectacle. Not even the absence of a beer truck could overshadow a beautiful late March day spent amid the wafting scents of grilled, fried and smoked food.

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Gulf Coasting: The Monte Castro at Dochos Concession

Funnel cake batter? Funnel cake batter!

By Christopher Nank, Gulf Coast Correspondent

Almost as ubiquitous in the Tampa Bay area as grouper, the Cuban sandwich is a point of fierce civic pride. The website Creative Loafing’s annual Best of the Bay accolades often include four or more categories recognizing the Florida staple, covering those sporting the “traditional” composition—that is, ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread—to the more avant-garde interpretations some eateries are renowned for. It’s worth noting that there is a long-standing debate over the sandwich’s geographic origins and the “proper” ingredients, with Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood fiercely claiming ownership of those qualities against such challengers as Miami’s Little Havana. But this is digression, ultimately. Although I admit my biases hew closer to the traditional end of the spectrum, I love the Cuban in all incarnations and with whatever dressings. Continue reading