Hearty Ham & Cheese Sub from Brocato’s Sandwich Shop – Tampa, Fla.

Posted: June 5, 2014 in Sandwiches
Tags: , , , , , ,

BrocatosSpring 2014

Sometimes I wonder why I do not know the Gulf Coast of Florida better than I should. I am certainly familiar with perfect eating establishments in Pass-a-Grille and how driving back from a Tampa Bay Rays game is like receiving a wedgie for 2.5 straight hours. But that’s about it.

So when I was introduced to Brocato’s Sandwich Shop in Tampa, I immediately removed my wedgie and stretched out my belly. Located very close to downtown and in a stretch that really featured nothing exciting, the place was packed. I mean, to the point where it felt like I was in some outfield bleachers during a home-run derby.

Even though moving inside Brocato’s was next to impossible, the lively walls were decorated beyond belief, which helped me pass the time. Noticing that it advertised itself as having the “Best Devil Crabs in Town,” I elected for a ham and cheese sandwich simply because it looked phenomenal. And I got it with extra cheese and mayo.

It’s difficult to ruin a sub sandwich. I believe Firehouse subs may be the worst, and Subway never fills me up, but beside that I certainly prefer local eateries. And when my name was called at Brocato’s I snatched my bag and headed out the door to a trailer-like barn filled with tables. When I opened up my selection, I immediately became disappointed.

BrocatosMy ham and cheese sub was not located in the bag, but instead I had a devil crab, some other weird object and a messy sandwich that still looked scrumptious. I returned and stood at a counter, watching as a massive amount of employees were either playing with dough, building sandwiches or yelling out orders. It was chaos. I managed to flag down a manager who was very apologetic and said I could keep what I had, and he provided me with my sandwich and a couple bags of chips if I wanted. A great way to show hospitality amid so much organized confusion.

And the sandwich hit the spot, providing a very hearty meal that I struggled to finish. And everyone around us was inhaling their lunches as if they were pigs around a trough.

What makes a good sub is the bread itself. Sometimes the simplest can be better, and when you add on a boatload of options like ribeye steak, buffalo chicken and roast pork, there are plenty of choices at Brocato’s. Combining solid food with an interesting experience makes this a must-see place to chow down in Tampa.

If continuing on to St. Pete, might as well finish the day at Ferg’s since the one in downtown Orlando STILL isn’t open.

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