After a late season cold spell came through, our part of Florida has been in that between-season sweet spot recently, when the temperatures are not too hot and not too cold (cold being entirely relative, of course). My wife and I decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather and get lunch to go one day. So we drove by Julio’s Sandwich Shop in Lakeland. Julio’s has been in business since 1981. The current owners were there operating the shop – we were early, so it was still slow and they had time to chat with us a few minutes. The business was actually founded by a gentleman named Julio, but time and life changes gave them the opportunity to take over the business a few years ago. We enjoyed the conversation and the friendly attitude of the operators.
There is a drive-through window and a small area inside where you can go in to order your food. It was a lovely day so we ordered our lunch to go, intending to go downtown to eat lunch outside. For drinks we picked up a couple of bottles of Pure Leaf brand iced tea. We’re big tea drinkers and felt the Pure Leaf tea was a little bland, which is clearly not the restaurant’s fault, we just weren’t wild about it.
For lunch, my wife ordered an 8″ Cuban sandwich (there are also 5″ and 10″ options) and a deviled crab side. I ordered an 8″ turkey sandwich with a stuffed potato ball side.
The sandwiches were good – they were pressed, but be sure to ask for this, because sandwiches are not pressed unless requested. Plenty of ingredients on them and the bread was tasty. I ordered pickles and tomatoes on my sandwich. The stuffed potato ball was actually my favorite part, it was really delicious. Stuffed with what I believe was seasoned pork and flavorful but not spicy.
My wife had never had a deviled crab before and was glad to try it for the first time. In the case of both of our sandwiches, as some online reviewers have pointed out, the meat on the sandwiches appears to be processed sandwich meat. It’s not freshly cooked, which was especially noticeable on the Cuban sandwich, something that typically has freshly cooked pork.
With tip our total came to about $25. While the sandwiches weren’t made with the freshest ingredients, we enjoyed our lunch, and the owners made us feel appreciated as customers. Julio’s Sandwich Shop is on East Edgewood Drive, just west of Lakeland Highlands Road.