A few years back, Bodega on Central had just closed their doors as my wife Marcela and I had arrived. We were down the street at an antique shop who suggested we check out their Frita Cubana. It’s been stuck in my mind since then.
My cousin Chunktronics and bud John are with us so this becomes a full on 5 sandwich ordeal.
I should preface this Medianoche and Cuban Sandwich discussion with a…..I’m not interested in arguing over who created or makes the best Cuban Sandwich. Yes, I’m from Miami and I’m in the Tampa Bay area but I’m about the food, not the drama.
So yeah, let’s start with the Medianoche. We requested Mustard instead of their standard Mayo but other than that, this was a right on and very very good (as Chunktronics would say) version of the Midnight Sandwich. If you’re not familiar with this beauty, it has the same ingredients as a Cuban Sandwich (Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Pickles). It’s also pressed but the bread is a sweet roll, think something like those addictive Hawaiian Rolls (alright maybe not as sweet).
Again, we request the Mayo to be switched for Mustard on the Cuban Sandwich. I’m normally a Medianoche kinda guy but in this case, the Cuban Sandwich stole my heart and it has everything to do with the bread, crusty perfectness.
The Pork was the standout protein in the previous two sandwiches so it’s no surprise this Pan con Lechon (Pork, Grilled Onions, Mojo marinade) is also a mind blower. I’m pretty sure we had a Mexican standoff trying to figure who was gonna have the last few bites of this one or at least I remember it that way. Remember, always bet on Beast.
We order their Frita and what’s interesting is that it’s not served traditional style like the previous 3 sandwiches. Even stranger was the special they had, it was for a Chicken Frita which was by all accounts a Fried Chicken Sandwich with a house Slaw and a very good one at that. I know John went all out on that one.
The Frita at Bodega on Central is Beef/Pork patty topped with spicy Mayo, Tomato, Avocado, and Potato Sticks. So is it good? Well yes and no. If I had ordered a Frita in Miami and received this sandwich, there may have been a full-on riot. We were on vacation and relaxed so there was no need to break out the blood pressure medication. I’m also not a giant Avocado fan so there’s that. Chunktronics had no problem making it look as if we were served an empty platter.
It had been a few days since I had my Cuban Coffee fix so I was excited to see it on the menu. I wasn’t as excited to see it was three times what I would pay for one in Miami but hey, that’s life.
The jet fuel was great and I didn’t share but could you really blame me?
Take A Load Off At:
Bodega on Central
1120 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705