Pipo’s Café is a small local Tampa chain of ‘cafeteria style’ Cuban Cafes. Established in 1979, they have two locations that serve up breakfast and lunch with dinner served in the South Tampa location.
We stopped by their South Tampa MacDill Avenue location for a review.
We arrived a little after the lunch rush and found the staff still ‘recovering’ from the previous customers. The restaurant is set up in a cafeteria style setting, with all of the hot dishes along the line providing the quickest service.
Sandwiches and a few specially prepared items are made to order and those are brought to your table when ready.
Jeff liked the flavor of the roast pork, but felt that the rice was a little bland. The plantains were sweet and of course Jeff saves these guys for the end of the meal dessert. Also, the meal included FREE Iced Tea.
BBQ Rib plate – BBQ ribs with two sides (black beans and yellow rice). While I received three ribs, the cashier shouted to the staff “only two ribs per order, we are running out”. I guess we were lucky! The rib meat was tender and fell off the bone.
The BBQ sauce was not overly sweet and was different than ‘southern BBQ’, with more of a Latin flavor. The black beans were tasty and when mixed with the yellow rice, made a great side item.
While Pipo’s Café isn’t really our first stop for Cuban food in the area, it’s a great place to stop in and get a quick, hot, large portion meal. The service is very quick if you stick to the pre-made hot items and the portions were large making it a great deal. We would have liked to see the dining room a little more tidy, but we will attribute that to a busy lunch rush.
Pipo’s Café is located at 411 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33609