Walk up to the Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shoppe in Plant City on any given lunch time during the week and it’s easy to tell that that this place has definitely built a local following over its nearly 20 year existence.
There’s a rustic charm to this place; red and white paint line its wood frame. There’s no interior either, just a modest kitchen where you go up and order, a few picnic tables to sit and chow down if you’d like, and not much else.
The Strawberry Hut’s menu follows in the same suit with a modest selection of sandwiches, shakes, salads, and (one) soup.
“Thank you for voting us best Cuban sandwich 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011!” emblazoned on their roadside sign immediately lets you know what you should get when checking this place out for the first time.
After testing it out, yeah, it’s easy to see why. Not that this thing is the best Cuban ever, but it’s a damn good sandwich nonetheless. Ham, pork, salami, Swiss, pickles, lettuce, and tomato, mustard, and mayo come piled high between two press pieces of Cuban bread to make for one sloppy (the mustard/mayo tends to slide all the components around), but delicious sandwich.
Their sole soup (which should have been an indicator), Spanish Bean Soup is an entirely different story. Lukewarm, packed with undercooked garbanzo beans, flecks of bland, dismal chorizo, potato, and ham – all swimming in an overly salty broth -, the Spanish Bean Soup was a task to eat after just a few slurps.
But it’s hard to hold them accountable for one flaw like this. A saving grace came in the form of one of their strawberry milkshakes, a thick, cool delight packed with just enough (real) strawberry to still get that rich, creamy milkshake taste. Big chunks of fresh strawberries tend to get stuck in your straw, but it’s a pleasant hindrance since they’re absolutely delectable.
The Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shoppe in Plant City seems to be pretty self aware. They know what they’re loved for and pay due diligence to making it the best they can. And, really, that’s all a place like this needs.