Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on September 21, 2010
when i first heard that there was a place that made sandwiches out of bears, i knew i had to check this place out!
…later i was informed that my food was not made of bears. needless to say, i was upset.
however, despite not including delicious bear meat on their menu, bearss sandwiches, on florida and wildwood street, still managed to provide a delightful atmosphere and a whole slew of sandwich options. the best part of the sandwich shop, though, was the owners. an older couple from “the old country”, the pair is both funny and courteous, and the shop is adorned in humorous posters they’ve made describing their food, and making a few statements about immigration and their memory. they’ve been in the area for quite some time now, and they clearly have a solid base of regulars who visit this shop, due in no small part to their personalities.
it is small shop in an old strip mall, with a good amount of seating and a few television sets on the walls. you order at a counter, behind which the couple and whatever other staff is there work tirelessly. the service is quick and made to order. they offer a whole bunch of different sandwiches, from meatloaf to rubens, and their cubans, which are apparently pretty good. for some reason, i decided not to get a cuban this time, although i am kind of regretting this choice now. i instead opted for another interesting choice: the chicken cordon bleu sandwich.
the sandwich consisted of little strips of fried chicken, ham, cheese, lettuce tomato and pickles, served on an onion roll. it typically has just mayonnaise, but i opted for mustard instead. because i don’t like mayonnaise. and because i am a pussy. i really need to start sucking it up and ordering things with mayonnaise if that’s how they’re supposed to be. but this time, i wimped out. the toppings were all nice and fresh, and the bun was delicious (you can’t go wrong with onion). the chicken was really good; it reminded me of homemade fried chicken tenders, with a really light bread crumb coating. i just wish there had been more of it! the ham was good, as was the cheese (swiss? it seemed too mild to be swiss… maybe a white american).
i also ordered some potato salad, because my brother had ordered egg salad, and i had to match that with something that wouldn’t make me vomit (nothing against their egg salad! egg salad in general seems pretty disgusting to me… something else to try in the future, maybe). i don’t typically care much for potato salad, either, but the more i have it, the more it grows on me. their potato salad was actually very good, and very potato-y. and it wasn’t like eating spoonfuls of mayonnaise. i liked it!
and of course, when i saw they had potato balls, we had to get one.
this is the first place i’ve ever been that pre-hot sauces their potato balls! good for them. i always add hot sauce to it, so why the hell not? it was delicious, of course, with the exterior not fried so much as the other potato balls i’ve had on my food quests thus far, and, as a result, the outer breading was a less intrusive aspect of this ball. the main part of these balls is the meat inside – it was very delicious and seasoned a bit differently than i am used to. though i usually like my balls crispier, the meat inside made these balls uniquely good.
i will definitely return to bearss sandwiches. it was cheap and delicious, but i’ll go back mostly because i want to try their meatloaf sandwich, and their cuban, and a handful of other sandwiches they had. and also because of the wonderful owners. more places should be run by people like this.