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catciao Mar 4, 2011 07:12 AM

Headed down to Tampa next week (from NY) and would like to have dinner in Ybor City on Saturday night. I would love to have some good cuban food and am looking for a good spot. Have done some preliminary research online and know about the Columbia, but not sure if I want to go there for the just for the historic significance. What do you all think?

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  1. sweet_polly RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 07:30 AM

    I think The Columbia would be a great choice. It's a beautiful restaurant, service is usually excellent, and the food is quite good.

    1. rhnault RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 07:46 AM

      The Columbia has good food and is a beautiful restaurant.

      1. askdrtodd RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 10:09 AM

        Columbia = win.

        1. c
          catciao RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 11:42 AM

          seems like it's unanimous! Thanks for the input. Can I also ask about La Teresita?

          3 Replies
          1. re: catciao
            rhnault RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 12:13 PM

            La Teresita has good Cuban food. Columbia has Spanish food and some traditional Cuban cuisine. Both are old school and well established but to me the Columbia is more refined in regards to menu, service, and decor. I eat at both and have taken out of town visitors to both.
            You seem to want to do some culinary exploring so I would also recommend trying out La Cabana Antioquena on Armenia Ave. It is a Colombian restaurant and the food is fantastic.

            La Cabana
            8303 N Armenia Ave Ste 1, Tampa, FL 33604

            1. re: catciao
              andy huse RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 12:28 PM

              La Teresita is like a diner: cheap food, great people watching, nothing fancy. Open all night on weekends.

              The Columbia is a more upscale take on the mishmash of Cuban and Spanish food developed here in Tampa. Great wine list, cocktails, and food. I usually skip the paella and instead go for favoroites like the Snapper Adelita, Snapper Alicante, Filet Chacho, Veal Isabella, and so on. Solid tapas. Bread pudding for dessert, bug enough to split. and i never tire of the 1905 salad, Spanish bean soup, or Caldo Gallego.

              1. re: catciao
                redfish62 RE: catciao Mar 7, 2011 05:15 AM

                La Teresita is more Cuban than Columbia, which is a Spanish/Cuban type place, and is not as nice a restaurant.

                I actually prefer La Teresita's food, but if I have friends from out of town I am more likely to go to Columbia.

              2. c
                catciao RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 12:46 PM

                Well, since I'm taking my sons out, I'll probably go to the Columbia. Sounds like they have ambience galore and some signature dishes that are a must (and I loves me some bread pudding!!). Maybe I'll save La Teresita for another time, as it's a short visit and I'll be with family mostly.
                I never knew there was a substantial Columbian presence in Tampa. Learn something new...
                thanks again and I can return the favor if you all need any recs in NYC.

                3 Replies
                1. re: catciao
                  rhnault RE: catciao Mar 4, 2011 02:52 PM

                  My favorite meal at the Columbia is a half and half. Cup of caldo gallejo and 1/2 Cuban sandwich. 1905 salad for appetizer and bread pudding for dessert. If you like spirits they have tableside mojitos by the pitcher and Sangria. I like the cava sangria.

                  1. re: rhnault
                    Manderley RE: rhnault Mar 4, 2011 04:22 PM

                    i was just about to say make sure you have the cava sangria when i see my friend rhnault beat me to it! okay now my mouth's watering...

                    1. re: rhnault
                      sweet_polly RE: rhnault Mar 4, 2011 04:45 PM

                      The empanadas are awesome, too!

                  2. c
                    catciao RE: catciao Mar 5, 2011 06:50 AM

                    i can see it's going to be a smorgasborg! I LOVE empanadas, but then again, there's not much I don't like! I feel like I need to have the 1905 and the cuban while I'm there, for sure. I think we'll probably get a bunch of dishes and share. My husband and I are huge sangria fans, so that's a must, but he loves the mojitos, too, so that will be a hard call for him! Maybe my son will drive home!
                    Anyway, sounds delish to me and I'm looking forward to it. I'll make sure and let you all know how we fared when I get home...thanks again!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: catciao
                      Bumstead RE: catciao Mar 6, 2011 10:44 AM

                      be a shame to visit YBOR City and not sample the deviled crab. just sayin'... ;-)

                      1. re: Bumstead
                        sweet_polly RE: Bumstead Mar 6, 2011 02:45 PM

                        Yes...as long as you can find one NOT at Carmine's. WTF is that nastiness all about????

                        1. re: sweet_polly
                          sweet_polly RE: sweet_polly Mar 7, 2011 04:36 AM

                          Well, sorry...I think that sounded a little harsh.

                          Let this be a lesson to you, kids...don't drink and post! ;)

                          1. re: sweet_polly
                            rhnault RE: sweet_polly Mar 7, 2011 07:41 AM

                            Haven't we had the PUI conversation recently lol?

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