Why is this the best thing you ever ate between two slices of bread?
I think that, especially being indigenous to Tampa Bay, one of the best things that I ever had between two slices of bread is the Cuban Sandwich over at Brocato’s Sandwich Shop.
[Brocato’s] has been there since the ‘50s and it’s a staple of the city, that business has grown throughout the years, but besides just getting an original type of Cuban sandwich, just the bread they use is great, all the meats inside are 100 percent, there’s no filler meats, they use really good quality products.
What makes Brocato’s Cuban unique?
There’s a few places that stick out in my mind over the years, being a native, that have good sandwiches, but that place, they’re consistent. Every single time it’s pressed right, the operations are good. It’s one of the most consistent sandwiches that I’ve ever had. It’s the right amount of all the ingredients, so nothing overpowers. All the meat in it compliments each other, like the whole sandwich is built perfectly. You get flavor on every single bite.
How did you find out about it?
My pop, who’s 75 years old, has been going there since he was 20 years old, so its been a staple of Tampa for over 50 years.
Where else have you worked?
The last position I had I was the director of operations for an Italian company out of the Northeast, and I was in charge of over 50 restaurants. My first job was working at Consuelo’s Mexican restaurant on Neptune in South Tampa back in 1985, so I’ve spent my entire life in the business.
How would you describe the cuisine at your resturant?
We’re an Irish pub, we’re always true to our Irish roots. We serve Shepherd’s pie, our Guinness Stew, the fish and chips, those types of things, but we’re a pub, and we were kind of lacking in the “pub food” type of items. It was real basic, so I really focused on that part of our menu.
Our top seller, hands down, is our fish and chips. We’re known for our fish and chips, people come from all over to eat it. We’re also known for the best pint of Guinness basically in the country, and I’m not kidding, because our Guinness is fresh. We have the right mixing.
What’s one dish everyone should try at Four Green Fields?
What I would recommend to people who want to feel like they’re in Ireland is our Guinness stew. It’s based on a recipe that has been around Ireland for a long, long time, it’s pretty much Ireland in a single dish. You got your carrots, onions, celery, big chunks of beef and a great thick gravy, chunks of potatoes and fresh Irish soda bread. It doesn’t get much more Irish than that.
What’s the best thing about Tampa’s food scene right now?
Between Tampa and St. Pete, you can always have a great meal somewhere that has a good flair of somewhere else or somewhere local; there’s just so much great stuff going on in the city, it’s unbelievable. I truly know that, especially being in the business and being in operations with some of the best restaurants in the United States, we have blossomed into a food community that competes with New York and L.A., all these places that I’ve been to in my career, we have some of the best restaurants here in the US. [And] not only that, we create a lot of concepts here, we innovate a lot of things in the Tampa Bay area, which is exciting to be a part of.
5021 E. Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33619