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Home of the Original Cuban Sandwich

By Linda Tancs

Plenty of American cities and states have staked their gastronomic claim to fame–Philly has its cheesesteak, Maryland boasts crab cakes, lobsters reign in Maine, etc.  So who lays claim to the original Cuban sandwich?  Answer:  Tampa, Florida.  In particular, it’s Ybor City’s signature sandwich that has local hearts all aflutter.  Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District, Ybor City (the Latin Quarter) exudes old world charm with its wrought iron balconies and narrow brick streets.  Founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor as a cigar manufacturing center, Ybor City welcomed a melting pot of immigrants from Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy.  Florida’s first industrial town, it is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in the state.



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