We are still learning to slow it down a bit, but right now sandwiches are a quick and easy go-to in the American diet. Thankfully that handheld meal does not need to be a giant lump of processed meat, between two pieces of Wonder Bread, topped off with cheese that comes in a wrapper anymore. Now we can appreciate real deli slices, fresh veggies, and gourmet bread served to our table with a friendly smile. If you have not visited Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria located at 2950 Central Avenue in Downtown St. Pete, you are missing out on a special spot for lunch and dinner.
A true Florida native, Tom Woodard, fell in love with the atmosphere and delicious food at the original Pom Pom’s in Orlando. After being Pom’s customer (and friend) for about ten years, she finally gave into his sweet smile and he opened up the very first franchise.
What is it? Pom Pom’s is sort of an East meets West colorful eatery with delectable sandwiches, salads, and a wide variety of loose-leaf teas. How can a simple sandwich be so special? Well, there is nothing plain about the ingredients they use. The meat and veggies are sliced on site, watercress is a popular component in many of the menu items (watercress is a green healing herb packed with nutrients and has more Vitamin C in it than an orange!), and the bread used comes from a top-secret source that is delivered fresh. (Good news: you can also purchase a loaf of the heavenly bread at Pom Pom’s – you’ll be glad you did).
Gluten free? No problem! Pom Pom’s is known for their gluten free bread because it does not taste like cardboard, it does not fall apart, and it toasts beautifully (did I mention it doesn’t taste like cardboard?).
The number one seller at Pom Pom’s is Mama Ling Ling’s Thanksgiving Sandwich, which is (you guessed it) Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich. Sure, it is not the healthiest option, but it is a yummy option that comes with a side of gravy to dip it in and, get this, plenty of folks order it on the gluten free bread (which goes to show how delicious that bread is!).
Other than the mouth-watering sandwiches, salads, and soups, Pom Pom’s offers a great selection of teas. Try the tea of the day when you visit Pom Pom’s. When I was there, I tasted “Princess of The Unicorns” and it made me feel like I was in a fairytale. Feeling stuffed up (or hung-over)? Ask your server to point you in the right direction of a tea that will help your symptoms!
Craving something a bit stronger than tea? Lucky for you, they also serve beer, wine, sake, “saketinis” (sake infused with tea), mimosas, and “teamosas.” Check out their monthly “Wine Down Wednesday” (all you can drink wine for only ten dollars?! Count me in!) or their weekly Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11 am to 4 pm.
Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria is simply a happy place and well worth the visit because of their vibrant vibe, awesome menu options, family-friendly environment (there is a kid’s menu too), and outdoor seating so you can enjoy the weather or bring your pup. Next time you are looking for a new restaurant to enjoy a meal, check it out.
Owner Tom Woodard described it best, “If Willy Wonka and The Mad Hatter got together and had a tea party it would be at Pom Pom’s.” What more could you ask for?
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