We went to Carmine’s a few months ago and waited almost 25 minutes to be seated. Pretty bad when that is the first thing that comes to mind when I start to write this.
Our issue was there were tables available. We even asked if we could be seated at one in the bar that we had asked about 15 minutes before that they finally sat us at. There were way more than enough tables to seat the crowd that waited patiently at the door. The restaurant has a very pleasant industrial styled atmosphere and a nice ambiance. It was the day of the Fiesta Festival we were there and we were hot and really wanted to sip on an adult beverage.
We started off with Margaritas which were on special that afternoon and were pretty tasty. We also order one of the giant Deviled Crabs and it was delicious! I would go back for that alone. If you ever come to Tampa this local dish is a must try. This dish originated in Tampa and is made in the shape of a football using blue crabs usually. It is slightly spicy but not hot, we loved the seasonings. Deviled Crabshas been made here since the 1920’s and became popular during the cigar strikes of that time. If you want a basket of Cuban bread be prepared to pay for it here.
Lunch that afternoon was a Cuban Sandwich and a Cabrese Cuban Sandwich that is pressed and made with roma tomato bruschetta, red onion and a balsamic reduction. My friends loved the Cabrese Cuban Sandwich and I think the Cuban Sandwich is better at the Columbia right down the street. So if it is a Cuban Sandwich you are craving stop here for the Deviled Crabs and a quick drink and go to the Columbia for lunch. Win, win this way and you get to experience 2 Ybor City restaurants.
Carmine’s Seventh Avenue
1802 E. 7th Avenue
Tampa, Florida (813) 248-3834