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Published Sep. 29, 2005

(ran SP edition)

Cafe Monet, a small, pretty restaurant, serves big subs as well as wraps, salads and soup.

If you go to Cafe Monet, take a big appetite or a friend.

The restaurant serves some of the biggest subs you've ever seen, on soft hoagie rolls longer than the typical footlongs. The day we stopped in this small, pretty restaurant in sight of Tropicana Field, meat loaf subs ($4.95) were the special of the day.

We got one and started looking for what else to order. The helpful women behind the counter made sure we realized just how much food we were getting and assured us that the leftovers are just as good a day later.

We decided on the DaVinci Last Sandwich, with smoked turkey breast. When my 6-year-old said she didn't want meat loaf or turkey, the women quickly offered to make her a small sandwich all her own, even though it wasn't on the menu. She opted for roast beef and provolone au jus, for which the charge was $3.95. It was piled high with rare roast beef and was more food than she could eat in two meals.

Two thick slices of peppery meat loaf, which contained bits of green pepper, lay atop homemade, skin-on mashed potatoes, spread like mayo on the bun. Provolone cheese was melted on top. My husband and I shared half the sandwich, and he ate the other half for dinner.

The turkey sandwich, amply loaded with meat, was garnished with diced tomatoes, red onions, lettuce, sliced green olives and dill pickle slices. The mayonnaise was applied lightly. The menu says this sandwich comes with bleu cheese crumbles on the side. I couldn't find those in the bag when I got home and wish they had been there. This was a good sandwich, but the bleu cheese or a dash of vinaigrette would have given it enough oomph to be great.

Each sub came with a small side dish. We got potato salad and pasta salad. Fruit and tabbouleh also are available. The potato salad was made with bits of celery and celery salt in a mustard dressing. The pasta salad, including black olives, diced onions and tomatoes, was well coated in Parmesan cheese and Italian dressing.

All the sandwiches are named for artists. There's the Monet French dip ($5.95), the Van Gogh corned beef ($4.95), the Rockwell turkey croissant ($5.75) and Rubens Reuben ($5.95). The Michelangelo Italian ($5.25) has ham, salami, capicolla, pepperoni and Swiss cheese, and the Dali Spaniard ($5.95) is filled with ham, pork, capicolla and Swiss with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and green olives.

The Toreador fajita roll ($5.95), a flour tortilla with chicken, two cheeses, lettuce and pico de gallo, is served with a Mexican sauce. And the O'Keeffe vegetable roll ($5.75) has yellow squash, zucchini, green peppers and onions seasoned with lemon pepper butter on a flour tortilla with tomatoes, sprouts and a creamy cucumber sauce.

Cafe Monet, which opened last October, also offers salads, including Greek ($3.25), antipasto ($4.35), tuna or chicken salad ($4.50), fresh fruit ($3.95) and chicken Oriental salad ($5.75). For $5.25, you can get a small tuna, chicken salad or egg salad sandwich with a cup of soup.

Cafe Monet

1027 Central Ave.

St. Petersburg

Phone: (727) 894-7379. Fax: (727) 894-0384

Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Consumers: Two adults, one child

What we got: Meat loaf sub, smoked turkey sub (The DaVinci Last Sandwich) and a small roast beef sub

What it cost: $15.15

Time it took: 10 minutes

Pay with: Cash, major credit cards

Delivery: No