The Mouth of Tampa Bay

Finest Cuban Sandwich on the Planet!

Fries to die for in Tampa, plus two other Italian newcomers

I had a lovely conversation with Harold Seltzer, co-founder and former President of the Sam Seltzer’s Steakhouse chain, at the end of last week. He’s got a new venture that he’s extremely amped about. It’s called the Floridian (4424 Kennedy Blvd., Tampa), named after the original in Treasure Island, an oldtimer with a long record of winning best Cuban sandwich in the area. This new Floridian opened on March 12 and sells eight different varieties of pressed sandwich ($4.95 for 7 inch, $6.95 for 10 inch; the sandwich ingredients also available as a salad), breakfast sandwiches, fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice, black beans and rice, “butt-twister” chili and a dessert napoleon made famous at Sam Seltzer’s.

It’s a 1000-square-foot quick-serve environment (only a handful of seats), open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and they deliver to most of the Westshore District. He painted a lovely picture of what he’s trying to do. And then he started talking about the fries.

I sat up straighter. He’s kickin’ it Euro style with the fries. That means real potatoes, cut up then blanched and dried. Then fried once at a low-temperature oil, then a second time at a higher temp for super greaseless, crispy spuds. These are the kind of fries that would make me consider being an expat hunkered down in Belgium or the Netherlands.

Excerpt from the Mouth of Tampa Bay posted by Laura Reiley at 03:35:47 PM on April 21, 2009 in Food News | Permalink