SAFETY HARBOR — Shawn and Mercedes Ofalt wanted to fill a sandwich shop void in downtown Safety Harbor.
Shawn grew up here and the couple moved back to the area about five years ago.
After months of looking for just the right spot, they found one well-suited for them to serve up homemade specialty sandwiches, soups and breads, Mercedes said.
They opened Sandwich on Main with their tastes in mind.
"We love sandwiches," she said.
They roast pork all night for their Cuban sandwich. The sauces used on the sandwiches are homemade. The cheddar and Portuguese muffin breads are baked in the store. Homemade vegetarian chili is simmered on-site, and Mercedes' mother bakes cookies and other confections there. Specialty sodas and craft beers also are available, Ofalt said.
A few popular selections from Sandwich on Main's menu, including the Tasty Tom, the vegetarian chili and homemade cookies, will be available at the 8th annual Taste of Safety Harbor on Monday evening at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa.
The Ofalts' cafe is one of 18 restaurants participating in Taste of Safety Harbor. Some, like Sandwich on Main, are relatively new on the Safety Harbor restaurant scene, while others, such as Crispers at the high-visibility corner of Main Street and Bayshore Boulevard, are well-established. Crispers plans to serve its Signature Summer Salad and Kickin' Crab Chowder, said managing partner Matthew Bruch.
Entertainment during the event will include pianist Erik Sanders, the Erica DiCeglie Jazz Trio, guitarists Bob Lever and Michael Marth, and musicians from Countryside High School.
Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite participating restaurant for the People's Choice awards.
"It's just a fun evening," said Susan Petersen, president of the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce. "It's a great way to ring in the new year."
Proceeds from the event will benefit a good cause: the Safety Harbor Bucket Brigade.
The Bucket Brigade aims to help residents of the Philippines, hit by a typhoon in November, get better access to clean drinking water. Sawyer Products, a Safety Harbor company, donated 10,500 portable water filters capable of cleaning 1 million gallons of water to help relief efforts.
The only problem is that a five-gallon bucket is needed for each filter.
The Rotary Club of Safety Harbor is hoping to raise enough money or get enough buckets donated for the filters.
Buckets can be donated at Safety Harbor City Hall or any Rotary office, said Jonathan Brewer, president of the Rotary.
"We'll make sure they get there," he said.
Jared Leone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jared_leone on Twitter.