Cuban Sandwiches We Have Known
Roving sandwich reporter Todd Sturtz checks in again, this time from Crazy Ray’s on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa:
Crazy Ray’s Deli opened in October 2010 in the space formerly occupied by Moxie’s, and offers a plethora of sandwiches. And I mean a plethora. At least 30 or more (including some breakfast sandwiches), with a variety of sizes and ingredients. I was driving by on my way to get a haircut and Ray’s colorful orange signs caught my attention, so I stopped to investigate.
The decor was bright and colorful, not necessarily tasteful - unless of course you’re orange and yellow is your thing, in which case you’ll LOVE it. Although labeled a deli, I don’t recall seeing any deli counter inside, more like a typical sandwich shop with a big menu on the wall and a soda fountain off to the side with napkins and condiments keeping it company.
Many of Ray’s sandwiches are on Cuban bread, which I was told is sourced daily from the Casino Bakery (Ybor City). Not surprisingly, the Cuban sandwich I ordered ($6.49) also came on said bread, and per usual, I requested it well pressed, sans lettuce/tomato/mayo. As you can see from the picture, the sandwich had a generous amount of meat on it, the most discernable of which was the thin-sliced ham when biting through the crunchy shell into the soft layers of bread, meat, and cheese.
When putting this Cuban up against my recent visits to Wright’s & Floridian, I must concede it would scarcely be a contender, even though it was the most meatily adorned of the three. The ham really stole the show, in a briny sort of way (not bad mind you, this would be quite enjoyable to one with a penchant for ham sandwiches and/or salt), while most everything else in the sandwich took a back seat. The salami was nowhere near as prevalent as it was in Floridian’s (and I really would have loved it if the Ray’s bread had a tiny bit of butter on it like Floridan), and the roast pork was in attendance, but hardly with the presence it had in Wright’s.
I’d go to Ray’s again, but to explore the rest of the menu, not for the Cuban. Especially not with the Floridian a literal stone throw away