Next! The eighth tasting is the Cuban Sandwich at La Segunda Bakery. Gina joined me for the forty-minute drive to the restaurant. We had a bit of a surprise when we arrived in Ybor City and walked in—there was nowhere to sit—it was a legit walk-in bakery (they specialize in Cuban bread). The line was out the door, and we asked about seating (I had seen photos online of tables) and was told the Kennedy Blvd. location was a bakery and a cafe. So we enjoyed the ten-minute drive to the other site on a perfectly beautiful Florida day, and sure enough—it was a modern bakery and cafe. The original location in Ybor has been there since 1915 and looks like it.
The La Segunda Cuban Sandwich Rating:
Bread – 10
The first “TEN” rating in the search. It is a bakery, and I never tasted more fresh and delicious bread than the Cuban bread on this sandwich. It was otherwordly.
Ingredients – 9
There were seven ingredients—the most so far of any sandwich. Cuban bread, mojo marinated pork (Mojo marinade is used widely in Cuba to prepare various meat, poultry, and seafood dishes—there are many recipes, but the critical ingredient is a sour orange, also called Seville orange, that gives the pork a slightly bitter but very pleasant taste), smoked ham, genoa salami, swiss cheese, pickle, and special sauce. Oh my! Of course, I had to ask about the special sauce and was told it was simply mayonnaise and mustard combined. I wondered about the beautiful spicey taste and was told it is copious amounts of black pepper. It took a while for the food to come out. However, once again, the fresh, high-quality ingredients shine. It was my first time at La Segunda (a Tampa Cuban icon), and it will not be my last.
Condiments – 8
The special sauce and pickles melded the complex sandwich together perfectly.
Service – 7
One orders at the counter and is assigned a number. The cashiers were engaging and helpful. There is a coffee counter on the opposite side, and of course, I had to order cafe con Leche, which was terrific. But it took quite a while to get someone’s attention for the coffee and the food to come out—everything is obviously made fresh to order—once it did, everything was hot and fabulous.
Presentation – 7
The presentation was acceptable for a counter sandwich place. It is a beautiful sandwich, particularly the pressed bread.
Cost/Value – 9
The sandwich was cut in half and easily could have fed both of us. The meal ($10.99. each) was around $26, not including tax and tip. It was the most affordable meal yet in our search for the best sandwich and included a very generous serving.
Ambiance – 9
The interior of the La Segunda cafe and bakery is clean, efficient, and fun. We sat outside on the covered patio, and it was comfortable, distanced, with a beautiful breeze.
Final Rating: 8.43
This delectable sandwich is now tied for first place. Overall it is a perfectly crafted sandwich that truly melds in your mouth. And it was the best Cuban sandwich of my life, and I’ve had plenty. I love them. One of the best things about living in this part of Florida is the legit Cuban cuisine. I’m grateful. The abundance of ethnic food in our area is a delight.
Click on the hashtag #tampabaybestsandwich to see all the tastings and a list of the ones to come. Their Instagram page is amazing: https://www.instagram.com/lasegundabakery https://www.facebook.com/LaSegundaBakery https://www.lasegundabakery.com