Category Archives: Cuban

Cuban Sandwich Cafe

Tampa Bay Times is using us for a little advertising campaign. We’re proud to be seen as a face of The Bay Area.


This cloudy morning we’re going to check out the Cuban Sandwich Cafe at 10434 N Florida Ave.


We’re three really sweet boys.


We’re three really goofy boys.


Marek read this sign for us. Which made Ivo want to do the opposite of what it told us. He’s contrary this weekend.


Since we’re reading these days, we need our morning newspapers. If you’re wondering about Ivo’s pants … “camo” is a color where I come from.


A nice corner spot.


Dangerous guys like us, we like to show off our tattoos. I guess I’m to blame for both boys talking about tattoos a lot.


Inside the Cuban Sandwich Cafe, well-worn and very crowded. It’s not a big dining room, so it’s easy to be crowded.


Ivo’s favorite thing today, thbbbpptting the tongue.


Kiss for dady? Thbbbpptt.


An immense stack of jelly.


But all endeavors ultimately fade. The Puerto Rico shirt is actually Marek’s, a present from his teacher Carmen a couple schools back.


It took a while, but we ended up getting a menu. Perfunctory in scale, but meets our breakfast minimum standards.


Ivo laughed like he was at a comedy club, every time he’s shove this bottle at me and I’d make this face. I guess, when we think about it, we sort of are a traveling comedy show.


Coffee for everyone. I’m glad I took a picture of this, since I didn’t get a refill until I was actually standing up and getting ready to walk out the door.


I’m thinking about switching Ivo to decaf. That little Puerto Rican Camo Kid spent all day pinging off the walls.


Notice the Kendo posture Ivo takes when attacking his pancakes. Good two-handed Katana grip.


Bacon and eggs, standard fare, for Marek.


Piles of pancake for Ivo.


A big mouth can take a big bite.


Ivo is demonstrating his exceptional fine motor control. I know adults who can’t cut their own food as well.


I had the Breakfast Cuban sandwich, with bacon, eggs, and cheese. It was quite nice.


Total bill was about $14.


Ivo stepped up to courier the cash.


Marek and Ivo in line. I wasn’t able to get a snap of Ivo trying to climb the counter and Marek pushing him up by the butt, but that had this half of the dining room cracking up.


When we left, we were dwarfed by this big Excursion. People who drive big vehicles don’t realize how absurdly large they appear to people who drive small and awesome vehicles.


The Cuban Sandwich Cafe is beloved by a lot of folks, and you’ll find Urban Spoon littered with praise for the Cuban chow here. Breakfast was adequate. While food was pretty good, the overall experience wasn’t really all that super. They were very busy, it’s true, but I watched the waitresses take a coffee tour of the dining room at least four times and never even look at us. And the bug-zapper light installed by the bathroom door made even me concerned about overall food-health issues, and I frequently cut an apple with my pocket knife without cleaning it off first. While the other folks eating all seemed very friendly, the staff really maxed out at “cordial,” if not just “perfunctory” when dealing with us. The real difference between our experience at the Cuban Sandwich Cafe and at Nick’s Family Restaurant last month was that at least the people at the tables around us were friendly at the Cuban Sandwich Cafe, while at Nick’s Family Restaurant clientele and staff alike were borderline hostile. Cuban Sandwich Cafe is good for a stop if you’re in the neighborhood, but don’t drive across the bay for breakfast here. We give it a Tampa Bay Breakfasts three pancake rating.


Cuban Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

Ivo made sure we all knew that there was bird poop on the window. He was proud to say he could touch it. Luckily it was outside the glass. This started a conversation about how would you poop on the ceiling. What? We are three guys in a car on a long drive. And yes, we did have a long discussion about jumping and pooping, and timing it correctly to have the desired effect.


We stopped to visit our Pasco County friends Greg and Lynette. Greg’s t-shirt says, “Chuck Norris’s Forecast: Cloudy with 90% chance of pain!” At the edge of the picture is Lynette, saying, don’t take my picture!


We saw a bunch of cool things on the road after breakfast on our drive to Marion County. Like this truck hauling stacked up trucks.


Just north of Inverness, a big pink elephant on the side of the road.


On the road to Hernando, some classic body parts on a flatbed.


Helicopter at the Hernando VFW on Highway 200. Presumably it’s on display, and not parked there by a vet getting a Bud Light at the bar.


Yet the boys managed to sleep through it all. No stamina in this group.


We stopped off at the grocery to get marshmallows for supper. Marek had trouble seeing for some reason we couldn’t figure out. It cleared up when we left the market.


Can you tell the boys are on dad-time this weekend?

Al’s Nuevo Cafe

We’re headed south on Dale Mabry. It’s a beautiful morning. If you look closely at this picture on the left, you’ll see people just like us, up early for the race. Running a 5k and searching for delicious pancakes are both athletic events.

We visited Al’s Nuevo Cafe at 3301 S Dale Mabry Hwy on 17 July 2011.

If only these photographs could convey the movement and sound coming from Marek. Alas, there is no such technology that exists today that can make these poor, still pictures move and talk. ‘Cause if there were, you’d hear Marek stating loudly and vehemently that “this place is DISGUSTING” and “pancakes are DISGUSTING” and so on. I think perhaps Marek isn’t very happy this morning.

The “Nuevo” ought to give it away. Al’s is a Cuban place. They have pancakes, bacon, eggs, and also morning Cuban sandwiches on the menu.

Al’s could actually pass as a reasonable sports bar. In fact, the reason we’ve never stopped in here is because when I drive by in the afternoons I can see the bar and TV through the windows from the road. It was just a fluke that I noticed cars in the morning one day.

Whenever we’re in a Cuban place, I always like to have the cafe con leche. It didn’t disappoint.

Pretty pancake for kids. They took time on this. And Marek, as you can see here, is saying, without even looking at it, “it’s DISGUSTING!” He’s a real charmer this morning.

My Neuvo Special sandwich, on the other hand, is simply fabulous. Eggs, chorizo, peppers. Really delicious!

Secret dad tip for you new fathers out there: Ignore the tantrum and it goes away. Quietly, without any fanfare, Marek just picked up the syrup.

And dug in. And that was the last we heard about things being disgusting.

Turns out, these pancakes are pretty good.

For two breakfasts the bill was just eleven clams. Not bad on the price.

We’re all cleaned up. We’re thinking about wrapping it up and heading out. Me and Ivo, we’re just having a quiet moment. We’re talking about the Beat Poets again. I mentioned that I’m a Ginsberg fan.

And Ivo, who is learning about these things in a dear, sweet, baby way, grabbed me gently by the hair, slammed my face into the table, and informed me that Kerouac is the best Beat Poet. Kids these days!

This is him giving me a piece of his mind.

Thank goodness this nice lady came along and saved me!

Back in the car, after the slammings of heads and the disgustings and all the challenges that come with dad taking two boys out to breakfast, we’re still all friends.

On the way home we stopped at the market for some vegetables. Ivo wanted some watermelon. Turns out that he likes watermelon just as well if it’s made out of paper as if it’s made out of melon.

We had a very nice time at Al’s Nuevo Cafe. The people were quite friendly, the food was good, the atmosphere was nice, if a little sports-bar-esque, and the price was right. Al’s is certainly worth a visit if you’re in South Tampa. We’re happy to give Al’s Nuevo Cafe a Tampa Bay Breakfast four pancake rating.


Nuevo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Pedro y Cary

It’s a beautiful day for a drive here in Tampa. A beautiful day for …


We visited Pedro y Cary at 3529 W Waters Ave on 23 October 2010. We’ve driven by here a thousand times, and every time we say, “what a cute little place.” Finally, we made it a destination. That looks like Pedro at the door.

Pedro y Cary’s is a tiny little Cuban cafeteria, almost reminds me of a grab-n-go. The menu is simple and I get the impression also flexible. From talking to Abuela and seeing the kitchen, I’d bet if you ask and they’ve got it, she’ll cook it. Tampa has a rich Cuban heritage, and it really shows with places like this.

They have some delicious-looking pastries here. Marek came very close to trying guava for the first time. That’s a joke, because Marek is, ehem, not very good at trying things “for the first time.” He doesn’t get that from my side of the family, I can assure you.

We found a good seat in the corner. Not shown here, the television running cartoons on Tampa Univision. Marek was enthralled. Seriously. Like a little robot child who had his brain turned off. You’d think we were Luddites and had never let him watch TV. Or that he actually only speaks Spanish and all this time he’s been being tortured in our English-speaking family. Or maybe Univision was beaming some subliminal messages to him to buy more guava. Who knows with this kid.

Marek had the tostadas con queso blanco. By which I mean I put the plate in front of him and then forced him to take a bite. And then I finished it for him. Teamwork! Univision! Ola!

I had the sandwich con heuvos revueltos y jamon. The bread looks like it came from Mauricio Faedo’s, which itself is worth the trip. (We recognized the bread right away. We have skills like that.)

Breakfast was a little bit challenging this morning. Both Marek and Ivo woke up a bit grumpy. They’re still cute like their mom, but grumpy all the same.

I look over and find Marek is stuck and can’t move. The best part was, Univision had him so glued that he didn’t even notice.

I had a truly fabulous Cafe con Leche. So did Ivo. Though his was more Leche than Cafe.

When we were done, Marek paid the bill. The price was right. About 11 clams. Big coffee, great chow, and a juice for Marek, even.

For some reason he forgot all his Spanish this morning. From all the Pablo Neruda he reads, you’d think he’d at least be able to talk the language of love, but today… nothing. He still managed to get the job done with the bill.

Cafe con Leche? One of the best we’ve had. Breakfast? Pretty good, though I think our lack of Spanish this morning hindered us from getting something really great. Customers? All seemed regulars and happy. Staff? The best. Pedro y Cary are those kind of people you just wish you were related to. Sincere, sweet, and just happy to see you. We’re happy to give Pedro y Cary a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.


Pedro Icary Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

Pipo’s Original Cuban Cafe

We visited Pipo’s Original Cuban Cafe at 411 S Macdill Ave in Tampa on 27 March 2010. This was our first visit to Pipos, and they have a very nice web site at While Pipos is a chain, it’s a tiny little Tampa Bay chain so we consider them local.


At the door we saw a sign saying that we could order our chow online. We’re kids of the new millennium, so that kind of thing is way-cool by us!


Inside is warm and cozy. It’s not Sarkozy, but it’s definitely cozy.


Pipos is the kind of place where you order at the counter, cafeteria style, and pay up front. Then if you had a special order they bring it out to you. While we were ordering, we noticed these killer sandwiches being made for the lunch crowd. Que bueno!


We paid up front. About 11 pesos for breakfast, juice, and coffee. That’s not bad. I’d say about average for us lately. Marek didn’t want to pay the bill, but he did want to leave the tip.


We had a choice of the American coffee or the Cafe con Leche. The American coffee was self-service, so we went with that. We can drink some gosh-darned coffee. After we sat down I noticed that everyone around us had gone with the Cafe con Leche, and after we got into the American coffee we sort of thought we’d been better with the other. It wasn’t bad, it was just average.


While we waited, a drag race broke out. I bet you’re thinking, well sure, Andy and Marek, that happens All The Time with you. Big deal, you say. Show me Something New.

Well here’s something you’ve probably never seen. A three-way drag race between a NASCAR racer, a DHL van, and a Tampa Bay Lighting Zamboni.

Toldja we’d have something new for you.


And who’dathunkit, but the Zamboni won! See there? The Lightning did not get COMPLETELY mauled this week.


Then a big ole breakfast came out, in about 4 minutes from when we sat down. Blueberry pancakes, eggs, bacon. These are a few of our favorite things…


My name is Marek and I Like Bacon. Took it all from me. Again. This bacon looked like it was Steve-Standard, but you’d have to ask The Boy for details.


I’m going to have to get Marek one of these shirts.


We both liked these pancakes. The were better than last week’s, without a doubt, but really pretty average for the Bay Area. Tasty, filling, cheap, and fast. These are some of our favorite things about our favorite things.


We walked out of Pipos with smiles. Good chow served quickly and cheaply. The Zamboni won the race. People were friendly and clearly locals at every table. There’s nothing not to like about Pipos for breakfast.


We’re pleased to give Pipo’s Original Cuban Cafe a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.


Pipo's on Urbanspoon

When we were done, we went to the playground for a while. You can’t hear him in the picture, but Marek is actually reciting Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl” as he goes back and forth. Kid has a thing for the Beats.


After all that swinging and poetry, we gotta, just gotta have an apple. That’s a Good Day.


La Pelota

We started the morning feeling very adventurous! Let’s try something new! So we went to the Honduran Cafe at 0830 (opening hours on Sunday: 0830) and there wasn’t a sign of life at all. OK, maybe they’re running behind. Let’s try the Viet Asian breakfast we drove by last week on Waters. They don’t open until 1000 during the week and 1100 on the weekends. That’s LUNCH, man! So now we’ve got this odd opinion that Vietnamese folks don’t eat breakfast (and that Hondurans sleep late on Sundays). In order to get a second opinion, we decided to try the An Luc Vietnamese market and cafe on Armenia. While they were open, it turns out they’re under new management and not quiet ready to serve food yet. This morning’s desire for adventure is not resulting in actual breakfast for us yet.


Yesterday our neighbors stopped us to say they just had breakfast at La Pelota. “It’s a bar, with breakfast!” So Marek says to me, dad, after all this running around chasing Honduran and Vietnamese breakfasts, let’s go to the bar. I need a drink. So we took Matt’s advice and tried La Pelota at 701 West Waters Avenue. This was our first visit to La Pelota. Our next visit will probably be for liquid lunch.


Here’s a great picture of Marek’s eyeball. You could cut class with that blue.


We went inside. Sure enough, it’s a bar. Looks like a good bar, too. We appeared to be the only breakfast customers the whole time we were there.


Our very pleasant waitress brought us the menu. We asked for heuvos revueltos. We’re in a bar named “La Pelota” so surely everyone speaks Spanish! Turns out everyone did, except her. We found out her secret within moments of walking in the door! She was the high point of the breakfast, I’ll say right up front. Very sweet and sweet on Marek, too. He is loved by Tampa’s ladies, that’s for sure!


I’m not sure about the Swizz …


While we waited for desayunos, we played cars!


We got un bessito! (Look at Marek eyeballing the camera!)


We had a serious discussion about the table. This is cool, Come, Bebe, Baila (I have no idea what Goza means, though if it follows eat, drink, dance, it’s got to be good!).


And we had a nice cafe con leche! This was very yummy. We actually had two. And Marek had chocolate milk, which was sort of new for him.


And then … breakfast came! Like a curveball thrown by Alfredo Aceves.


Marek did a quick snatch on the bacon, which was cooked the way both Steve and Marek like it. And then he dug right in to the pancakes. When our nice waitress asked how it was, Marek said “only good.” When asked if it was “delicious” he shook his head “no.” Lad know what he likes and how he likes it!


The eggs and pancakes were pretty good but had an odd taste, like maybe they were cooked with something else at the same time. The bacon was very crispy but a little on the greasy side. The pancakes were thick and not as small as our neighbor Veronica led us to believe, and they weren’t bad. I think the overall breakfast was OK but the atmosphere was definitely bar, not breakfast. We were sitting under this speaker, which was pretty much blaring Salsa and Reggeaton. (We liked the music, it was just Really Loud for having breakfast at 0830 on a Sunday.)


And the television across from us seemed to be showing looping Spanish advertisements for a Viagra knock-off (a depressed-looking man sitting on a bed by himself, a picture of a pill bottle, flashing words that I think said “no side effects, all natural, guaranteed results,” followed by the same man in a smokey, passionate embrace with a seXXXy woman). Not knocking the need for such supplements nor the necessity of advertising them, it was just odd for the breakfast scene.


The total bill for two was about 12 bucks. We had two full breakfasts, two cafes con leche, a chocolate milk. So I’d say price was just fine. The chow was certainly filling, but did seem like there were other tastes mixed in that weren’t quite negative but were also sort of unexpected. The atmosphere was certainly unique and I think I’ll go back for the bar scene ( Nope, someone’s already doing that one), but I think the loud music and general stocking of the liquor well was sort of not conducive to a great early morning breakfast ambiance. Our waitress was exceptionally nice and we’d cheerfully return for the cafe con leche, her pleasant demeanor, and maybe so Marek could stand in the middle of the floor and dance again. I didn’t ask, but I get the feeling that La Pelota is trying something new with breakfast and it’s going to mature into something really good over time. We came away thinking that this was a 2.5 pancake breakfast, but I’m going to give a half-point bonus because the people were so nice and friendly.

We give this Tampa Bay Breakfast a three pancake rating.


La Pelota on Urbanspoon

The Caribbean Point on Hillsborough

We were just driving around today. Happy to be back in the 21st century after last week’s adventure.


Then we saw this truck and we thought Desayunos! Juevos revueltos, cafe con leche, todos!


We visited The Caribbean Point at 1003 W Hillsborough Ave on 10 December 2009. This was our first visit, though we’ve driven by a lot and given it the Professional Breakfast Eyeball.


We got inside and were instantly treated to some great Cuban music and a cheerful welcome from the staff. From the look of the place, it probably gets rolling parties in the evenings. But we’re just here for breakfast. Por favor. Check out the great mural of Cuba and the Caribbean on the wall. That’s really something!


And there’s a nice little coffee bar up front, full of regulars having a morning dose of the high-octane Cubano-style.


While we were waiting, we pulled out the race cars. This little guy looks a lot like Drifter, my personal fav.


The nice lady says, what would you like? I say, in my Professional Breakfast Capacity, Cafe con Leche, por favor. Si. Gracias. No, yo tengo jugo para el niño, gracias.

And that Cafe con Leche came. And whoah, baby. That’s some really fine coffee. Forget eating, folks, just go for a dose of this daddy-juice.


And I mean “forget eating” if your name is Marek. We talked all morning about juevos. We get jeuvos, and he’s not interested. He’d barely even try the tostadas Cubanos. Maybe he’s upset that we haven’t given him a haircut yet ever in his life. But I liked my breakfast just fine! Good eggs. Great chorizo. Even the grits were good. I felt like I was in Cuba — southern Cuba, with them grits on the table!


Marek tried the tostadas under duress. Maybe he was holding out for lunch. Who knows with kids what’s going on in their little melons?


When we were done, Marek paid the bill. He likes the challenge!


All the ladies, as usual, were sighing and saying, que lindo… He had to go back to get change, then go back to say gracias, then go back to give them our business card. He’s Cassanova del desayunos!


He tried to spend the change on video keno. Little hoodlum!


We settled the bill, finished our cafe, stopped Marek from gambling, and gave besos to all. What a nice little place this is.


The price was rock-bottom. That hearty breakfast for seis dólares. Chow was good, people were friendly, Cuba mural was really unique. But it’s the cafe con leche that did it for us. This is a very fine desayunos Cubanos. We’re pleased to give The Caribbean Point a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.


Caribbean Point (Punto Caribeno) on Urbanspoon

Aguila Sandwich Shop

We visited the Aguila Sandwich Shop at 3200 W Hillsborough Ave on 9 October 2009. This was our first visit to Aguila’s but we drive by it almost every day. We’d have visited sooner but they’re closed on Sunday, and sometimes we like breakfast on Sunday. It’s such a cute little cozy building.


OK, to be perfectly honest, we like breakfast every day. Not just “sometimes” on Sunday. Our dear Marek, who is gaining an appreciation for poetry (he seems to like a bit of Pablo Neruda for a bedtime story. Or Cat in the Hat. It’s a toss-up.), is busy composing verse about an important cultural issue. He hasn’t shared the completed work with me yet, but it starts out with a similar tone to Rilke’s Duino Elegies. He recited it to me as we drove to Aguila’s:

“I want monkey. I want MonKEEEE. I WANT monkey. Dada. I want Monkey.”


We got inside and immediately liked this place. It was 0800 on a Friday and it was almost full. It seemed like a nice collection of older retirees and working folks on the way to work. Well-worn but not unclean. The host seemed to greet almost everyone by name as they came in, and we know that’s a really good sign.


We might have to come back for the especialidad, which is more of a lunch thing. Marek used this little paramedic truck throughout the morning to reel in everyone that walks by. He’d roll it right off the table and wait for folks to pick it up. Most times he’d have to go get it himself, but he gave a cheerful “gracias!” to anyone who helped him.


We flipped the menu and were a little concerned. The breakfast offerings were a little terse. That’s 8 items on the breakfast menu.


But with pancakes on the docket, we’re in good shape. I had the cafe con leche. Marek had none, for once. I think he’s trying to cut back on his caffeine as part of some new age yoga thing he’s been doing in his spare time. Not me, though. This was some deeeelicious coffee. Really fine stuff.


While we waited, Marek turned on the charm. I think he’s taking dramatic classes in the evenings. Along with his yoga and poetry.



One of the things we look for in a Tampa Bay Breakfast is the unique factor. Does a TBB have something that no other place has? Besides Marek, since there’s only one of him in the whole universe and at any given time he’s having breakfast in only one place. Unless the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement applies to little boys as well as distant quantum particles. But quantum theory aside, what makes Aguila’s special? Well, it’s the only Tampa Bay Breakfast we’ve been to where we noticed a humidor. Those are some enormous stogies!


Yak, yak, yak. You’re wondering if I’ll ever get around to the breakfast, aren’t you? We had breakfast and it was good. Real good. Marek had the pancakes. A set of three that weren’t enormous but they also weren’t expensive, so we’ll call it even.


And I’d love to tell you if they were tasty or not, but I never got any. Marek gave these pancakes the Bionic Elbow treatment. Those pancakes rue the day they met Marek!


I tried the breakfast sandwich. I was apprehensive at first, but I’m here to tell you that this sandwich was so good it made me feel like adopting it as a second child. Muy delicioso! This was with scrambled eggs, yellow cheese (by recommendation), and chorizo. This filled me up so good, I didn’t eat another thing until almost suppertime.


I’m still thinking about that sandwich. I might go get another one right now. But first, Tampa Bay Breakfasts! When we were done, Marek paid the bill.


And he made himself at home behind the counter. I’m always surprised folks don’t hand him an apron and a broom. Put that tiny hiney to work!


When we were done, Marek went around and gave everyone adios kisses. Then we went home.


Aguila Sandwich Shop didn’t have the normal menu we like. And they’re a paper-plate place, which is not always something I want when we’re out. But Marek loved the place, the food is truly outstanding, and the family and all the customers are top-shelf friendly and welcoming. I would not hesitate for a moment to return to Aguila’s — we’ll be back with our favorite guest reviewer, Mom! Oh, and our pancakes, juice, cafe con leche, and ginormous sandwich all fit in on a ten-spot. That’s a good value!


We’re pleased to give Aguila Sandwich Shop a Tampa Bay Breakfast four pancake rating!


I’m starting to think that we need a special category for desayunos, where we don’t penalize for there not being grits and biscuits on the menu (not, mind you, that we usually get grits or biscuits). We tend to approach breakfast from a Southern eggs-bacon-pancakes diner perspective, which is just not what you get at these fabulous places. I’d like to hear from our readers on this!

Aguila Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

West Tampa Sandwich Shop

Today is Tia Sofia’s birthday. Cumpleaños feliz, Tia Sofia! To celebrate, we did a Spanish-speaking Tampa Bay Breakfast today. Hola desayunos!

We visited the West Tampa Sandwich Shop at 3904 N Armenia Ave on 29 August 2009. West Tampa Sandwich Shop also has a web site at We have been to West Tampa Sandwich Shop probably a dozen times, both for breakfast and for lunch. While breakfast is our focus and lunch is usually none of our concern, I’ve got to plug the lunches here. A Cuban sandwich y arroz amarillo con frijoles negros — que bien! But enough about that other meal. Let’s talk about breakfast.


This was a special breakfast. We were joined by The Sly Red Fox himself, Diamond Dave.


The West Tampa Sandwich Shop is one of our favorite places. It’s always full of hustle and bustle, loud and vigorous, and always welcoming and friendly. Even if it’s your first time here, you’re automatically an old friend.


At these classic Tampa Cuban places you don’t get the usual diner coffee that we so enjoy on a usual TBB. As our faithful readers know, the only way to drink coffee is black. The only exception I make for this is for a Cuban breakfast where there’s cafe con leche (or, perhaps, a French breakfast with cafe au lait). And oh baby, is it good!


We got Cuban tostadas.


We had fun goofing off.


Breakfast came. We had the “West Tampa Special” with pancakes, bacon, eggs, and grits. Marek jumped right in.


And Diamond Dave was pleased with what came out of the kitchen.


Marek surely likes him some pancakes! He’s a chowhound!


When we were done, Marek paid the bill.


He got a little lost along the way.


Somehow he ended up helping one of the staff deliver a breakfast to another table.


He worked enough that I think he may have ended up filling out an application for a real job. He could do worse than working in a great place like this.


Marek made good friends and handed out a lot of kisses.


We had a great breakfast and a fun time all around. Diamond Dave had a great time, and we really enjoyed having him as a guest reviewer.


After it’s all said and done, you can’t ask for much better in Tampa than the West Tampa Sandwich Shop. The food is consistently delicious, the people are warm and inviting, and the atmosphere is simply fun. We are pleased to give West Tampa Sandwich Shop a 4.5 pancake rating.


West Tampa Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

La Teresita Restaurant

We visited La Teresita Restaurant at 3246 W Columbus Dr on 20 July 2009. La Teresita has a web site at We’ve been to La Teresita a bunch of times for lunch, but this was our first time for breakfast. I mean “desayunos!”


This was a special Tampa Bay Breakfast as we had our favorite person ever join us … Mom!


La Teresita is one of the best-known Cuban restaurants in Tampa and is considered a must on the Tampa Tour for out-of-town visitors. It’s a vibrant, bustling, exciting place and the prices are as low as the food is good. And it’s almost all lunch counter, which we think is pretty neat. Everyone, on both sides of the counter, is very friendly and welcoming. You get the feeling that folks have been coming here and sitting on the same stool for 30 years. That’s a good place.


Before we go any further, I’ll have to let you know about our morning challenges. Marek was being two years old, hollering and throwing cars around and generally not being interested in breakfast. We made the best of it but I’ll admit that I considered selling him to the La Teresita staff for the price of a cafe con leche.


The menu is a bit limited for desayunos. No pancakes listed, but when we asked they were very happy to make us some.


So we had pancakes. And while they were small, they were remarkably good. Nice and crispy on the edges.


And Mom had a tasty omelet made in a unique way, sort of like a frittata.


I had the scrambled eggs and bacon, and our breakfasts came with tostadas, which was a unique Cuban touch to this breakfast.


Marek proceeded to mostly ignore breakfast and alternate between playing cars and wondering if someone would save him from Dad.


Usually Marek pays the bill, but today he just wasn’t interested. So I took the opportunity to slip in an extra coffee at the end, and ordered un presso when I paid. Now that’s good coffee!


We had a nice time with some incredibly friendly people who enjoyed speaking Spanish to Marek. We had some tasty and unique food in a classic Tampa landmark. Aside from the fact that Marek woke up on the wrong side of Toddlerville this morning and caused chaos for all, it was a breakfast well worth repeating. Oh, and the three of us had breakfast for ten bucks and change. That’s a value!

We’re pleased to give La Teresita a Tampa Bay Breakfasts rating of three and a half pancakes.


La Teresita on Urbanspoon