Food rivals: Tampa, Miami Cuban sandwiches to face off at annual fest

Ybor's yearly Cuban sandwich battle will draw the best from South Florida, Tampa Bay and more.

click to enlarge More Cuban sandos will be crowed at this year's City2City Smackdown. - CL ARCHIVE
CL Archive
More Cuban sandos will be crowed at this year's City2City Smackdown.

Judged on presentation, taste and authenticity, South Florida restaurants will dish their best Cuban sandwiches in Miami at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 1, during the semifinals for Tampa's fourth annual City2City Cuban Sandwich Festival Big Smackdown.

The Miami qualifier will be held at Magic City Casino. Favorites from the traditional and nontraditional categories will represent the region at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 22, in Ybor City's Centennial Park, where Tampa and Miami's longtime rivalry over the Cuban could be settled.

Tia's Authentic Latin Food, So Nuts Donuts & Deli and The Dude and His Food are among this year's Bay area contestants, and North Florida food joints will also compete.

For the past three years, thousands have descended upon Ybor for the free Cuban Sandwich Festival that blends culinary and cultural histories. The event will run for three days, and live entertainment, exhibitors and other Latin delicacies will be featured.

On March 21, the gathering's second day (the first day, March 20, will bring a VIP reception), the festival will try to trump its 2014 longest Cuban sandwich record of 86.2 feet with 105 at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor campus.

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