by The Great Foodini

Recently a good friend an old Air Force buddy of mine called me up and asked me the absurd question of whether I would be interested in going on an all expense paid trip to Tampa Bay to see the Saints annihilate the Buccaneers. Of course, I was interested. The trip included free room and board…whatever that actually means and VIP tickets to one of the coolest stadiums in the NFL. I mean, they have a pirate ship that fires a cannon when they score. Unfortunately, the Bucs are terrible and we only got to see the cannon fire once.  WHO DAT!

So, once the game was over the real game was afoot. I was in South Florida. Little Cuba was just down the street. I decided to try authentic Cuban meals. I walked into a beautiful 115-year-old restaurant that seemed to go on room after meticulously decorated room. I was walking through history as we looked at paintings, tile work and all sorts of intricate wood carvings. I sat down to a plate of La Completa Cubana (Spanish for – The Complete Cuban). This combo plate was piled high with Cuban classics like roast pork a la Cubana, Boliche Criollo (a Cuban style stuffed beef roast), Empanada De Picadillo, plantanos, yuca, black beans and yellow rice. This dish will stand out in my mind as one of the best I have ever had. My life is more complete now that I have tasted this deliciousness.

After all this food, I went back to my room and slept off a food coma. The next day I went out searching for a Cuban.  A typical Cuban is a panini of house roasted pork loin, ham, pepperoni, and melted swiss dressed with mustard, mayo and pickles. I tried several throughout the day in what are considered authentic classical restaurants in the area. None of them compared to the Cuban that can be found at Adventures Pub and Spirits on Lemeuse St. next to Biloxi City Hall. The Cuban at Adventures stands above any of the “authentic” ones I found in Tampa by quality, taste and price. Top it off with the most perfectly fried fresh cut sweet potato fries, it is an amazing meal.

Other than the Cuban, Adventures also does burgers unlike many other. The Juicy Lucy is big enough for two people easily. This burger is hand formed around a center of Cheddar cheese & special “ fire dog seasoning”.

If either of those other options don’t do it for you, I suggest the Porky Pig sandwich, which is a triple decker sandwich with grilled ham, melted cheese, bacon, fresh lettuce & tomatoes.

There are tons of other options as well. Plenty of options for everyone.