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Question About The Columbia in Ybor

I had posted a few days ago re: where to take my boyfriend for his 30th birthday dinner in Tampa, and after a ton of wonderful suggestions he's decided that since Mise en Place is not open on Mondays that he'd like to go to the Columbia. I've made reservations for the show as well as I figure it may be worth a watch, but I'm wondering is there anything on the menu that we MUST order? I've seen a ton of posts about the salad, but what about entrees? Thanks!

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  1. just fyi....if you're a AAA member, i think you can see the show for free (up to 4 people)....if i remember reading my last AAA magazine correctly.

    1. Thanks! :) I am a AAA member! :)

      1. The Red Snapper -- I prefer the Adelita stye, but they have several variations -- and the Cuban roast pork are my favorites.

        Bob

        1. The 1905 salad. It's the only thing I *love* there and consistently hear good things about from others.

          Have fun!

          1. I agree with Bob about the 1905 salad. When I go to Columbia, I order the orginial 1905 salad as my entree and a pitcher of Sangria Cava (yes, I share it!) Everything else I've tried on the menu is pretty mediocre, although a Cuban relative recently visiting from California thought the chicken croquets were very good.

            1. We were actually there last night as my father in law was buzzing through town and the only room he could get was at the Hard Rock. Tampa is jammed full right now!
              Anyway, the food was good. We always get the 1905 salad so for a change we ordered the chopped salad. It was good, but not as good as the 1905 ; ) One salad was more than enough for me, my husband, and daughter. I had the snapper Adelita, my husband had the jesse Gonzalez(basically stuffed shrimp though the shrimp were huge and cooked perfectly) and my daughter had the Mar y tierra. Next time I will get my daughter's entree. It was a nice piece of tenderloin, 2 crab cakes, rice, and veggies. Everything was good and not tourist trappy. We had a really nice young waiter too. The highlight for me though was the white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. It was so good everyone was sneaking bites off my plate!

              2 Replies
              1. re: rhnault

                Definitly go for the pitcher of deluxe champane sangria. Tapas are good here as well. If he likes steak,,avoid the one they flame at the table. It was the only entree I didn't like due to the fact that the waiter put to much 151 on the dish to get it to flame. Everything else we tasted was good!

              2. I almost always get the Boliche "Criollo" or Ropa Vieja. Both of these are delicious. The last time I went, I got the Mahi Mahi "Cayo Hueso." I definitely suggest a pitcher of sangria (any of the 3), which they also make at your table, much like they do with the 1905 salad. If you get an entree and a salad, you won't need the tapas because the rest is a great deal of food.

                I think the Columbia Restaurant is one of the biggest things I miss about not living in Florida anymore. It's difficult to find good Spanish/Cuban food in the Baltimore area.

                1. i really like the flaming steak "chacho." It is bourbon that flames, not rum. But then i like bourbon. snapper adelita and alicante are both very good. all the hot soups are boss. mar y tierra is a safe bet. the chimichurri sauce is nice. shrimp aljillo for app. i allso enjoyed the shrimp criolla recently--- hot with chunks of sweet plantain.

                  1. Columbia has always had the best black bean soup in Tampa, even when they went through that period when most of their food wasn't particularly good. Their black bean soup rocks.