Fresh from Tampa: Cuban Loaves at Palomilla Grill
Since 1915, La Segunda Central Bakery in Ybor City has been baking Cuban bread – crusty on the outside with a soft, fluffy interior. Every day, the fourth-generation family bakery produces 18,000 loaves, each with a strip of fresh palmetto frond across the top to hold in the moisture.
Some of those loaves now make the 270-mile trip to Palomilla Grill in Flagami. For Emy Rodriguez of the family-owned Cuban restaurant, it’s worth getting La Segunda’s bread for their Cuban and Elena Ruz sandwiches.
“It’s better,” she says. “There’s more flavor and the texture is softer.”
La Segunda Central Bakery uses high-gluten spring wheat flour and zero-trans-fat shortening in their bread. For their Cuban sandwiches, Palomilla Grill fills the distinctive loaves with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard, while the Elena Ruz is stuffed with turkey, guava and cream cheese. Each is toasted in a hot press to create the flaky, crispy crust so dear to sandwich lovers.
The Tampa Version
This not the same Cuban sandwich you will find in Tampa, however. Here, restaurants add Genoa salami to their cubanos. The Columbia Restaurant uses La Segunda Central Bakery bread in their sandwiches, which follow the original 1915 recipe of Casimiro Hernandez, Sr.: thinly sliced smoked ham, pork loin, Genoa salami (preferably studded with peppercorns, Swiss cheese, two pickle chips and a tablespoon of yellow mustard. The Tampa City Council designated the “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich” as its official signature sandwich.
The Tampa vs. Miami Cuban sandwich debate is another story for another time. But the best bread? You'll just have to try Palomilla Grill's cubanos to see if you can taste the difference.
6890 W Flagler St, Miami