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Columbia Restaurant November 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.

On our last visit to St. Armand’s Circle, we made a pit stop at the Columbia Restaurant ~ an iconic venue which dates back to 1905 in Ybor City:

Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world.

We ate at a mini version of the Columbia, the Columbia Cafe, at the Tampa History Center.  The restaurant on St. Armands Circle is much bigger.

I ordered a Sparkling Sangria ~ it looked more refreshing than it tasted.  Next time, I’ll opt for Red Sangria.

As on our previous visit, we ordered Black Beans and Rice.  (You know those jokes about beans and “gas”?  Yup.)

All meals (and snacks) are accompanied by fresh baked Cuban Bread, which tested my resolve to be gluten free.  (Yup.  My resolve faltered.)

Since remaining gluten free was no longer an option, we ended our “snack” with a basket of hot Churros served with 3 dipping sauces ~ chocolate, caramel, and guava.

(The chocolate and caramel each got one vote.  The guava demanded a recount.)

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Jill Weatherholt - November 27, 2018

That looks delish! I love black beans!

nrhatch - November 27, 2018

Me too! Black Bean Soup, Black Bean Salsa, Black Beans & Rice ~> Nice!

2. mysticaljourney - November 27, 2018

That’s such a great place. I hope you get to enjoy the flamenco dancers at some point. Thanks for the pics. Makes me miss home.

nrhatch - November 27, 2018

Oh, I didn’t know about the flamenco dancers. Are they at the original restaurant in Ybor City?

mysticaljourney - November 28, 2018

Yes. In that same one. I believe it’s in the weekends.

3. Ally Bean - November 27, 2018

I like eating different cuisines when the restaurant is a good one. Your meal looks and sounds like it was delicious. Lucky you!

nrhatch - November 27, 2018

The meal is extensive, but leans toward carnivorous. The other item on the menu I’d like to try ~ Black Beans & Rice Cakes. 🙂

4. Tippy Gnu - November 27, 2018

I’d pass on everything but the Cuban bread. I’m a sucker for bread, too.

nrhatch - November 27, 2018

Good bread = YUMMY!

5. rivergirl1211 - November 27, 2018

Oh, you’re killing. Cuban bread AND Churros? I’m wiping the drool…

nrhatch - November 27, 2018

Being Gluten Free makes navigating menus challenging ~> so much easier to say GO FOR IT!

rivergirl1211 - November 27, 2018

Tastier too!

nrhatch - November 28, 2018

I can’t argue with you. As a vegetarian, my “go to” meals when eating out almost all feature wheat: Pasta, Pizza, Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Mac & Cheese, Cheese Fondue, Etc.

And, of course, good bread!

6. L. Marie - November 27, 2018

How lovely! Looks like a fine meal.

nrhatch - November 27, 2018

The menu is extensive with a 1905 Salad that gets rave reviews.

7. Kate Crimmins - November 27, 2018

All looks good. Love beans too and bread. I couldn’t go gluten free unless my life depended on it. Then I’d be cranky.

nrhatch - November 28, 2018

Being vegetarian, for me, is simple since I don’t want to eat most animal products.

In contrast, I am having a tough time staying GF ~ the perceived benefits no longer outweigh the mealtime sense of deprivation, desolation . . . and general crankiness. 😛

So I’m experimenting again.

8. Piglet in Portugal - November 27, 2018

I love sparkling Sangrias!

nrhatch - November 28, 2018

The “standard” sangria served at the Columbia is terrific. But the sparkling white sounded and looked better than it tasted. It just didn’t “hit the spot.”

Hope your holidays are filled with sparkling moments!

9. Tiny - December 2, 2018

I have one of their restaurants right on the other side of the street. It’s great! If you ever come here, would be fun to have lunch (or dinner) and a drink there!

nrhatch - December 2, 2018

Good idea! We’ve been over the Sunshine Skyway only 3x this year ~ once to Tarpon Springs and twice to St. Pete Beach. We are overdue to hook up with you and the residents of Sand Key Park. The other place near you I would like to visit is Frenchy’s Rockaway on the Beach. Our last visit there was 8 years ago!

ACK! Time is flying too fast.

Tiny - December 2, 2018

Just let me know when!! I’ll be Sweden over the holidays, but then here a lot.

nrhatch - December 2, 2018

Will do! Ses nästa år!

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