The Columbia - Ybor City

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Sometimes in life, you take an experience over quality. I have been to the Columbia in Ybor City quite a few times. We frequent there for business lunches and it is in walking distance from our condo. We had a few bad experiences yet I keep returning. Why you ask? The Columbia is an absolutely beautiful, historical restaurant. I have yet to find another restaurant with it's ambiance. They also offer Flamenco show on Friday and Saturday night. Our dinners here are sometimes mediocre but the overall experience is usually awesome.

With my multiple experiences dining here, this is what I have learned. If you are going on a Friday or Saturday night, make sure you book reservations for dining during the Flamenco show. It is an extra $5 per person but well worth it. You cannot go wrong with ordering the 1905 Salad, a pitcher of Sangria and the white chocolate bread pudding. You are on your own for the rest, as we have yet to find an entree that has blown us away.

Always start out with a pitcher of Sangria. We have had every version that is offered on their menu, but the house is our favorite:
Next, you have to order the 1905 Salad. This by far is my favorite thing on the menu. USA Today named it “One of 10 Great Places to Make a Meal Out of a Salad”. It is made table side and is truly amazing. This time, we tried it with shrimp, but I prefer it the original way.
The filet Mignon Chacho: Filet Mignon, served with a rich sauce of bourbon, shallots and mushrooms. Flambéed table side with a 121 proof bourbon. Way too sweet for my taste. All I could taste was the bourbon. Sorry the photo is so dark, the Flamenco show had started.
The Bambino: 14-ounce NY Strip named after Babe Ruth. It is seasoned, grilled and brushed with the “World-Famous Original “1905” Dressing. With the Char on this steak, you would think it was full of flavor. But it wasn't. In fact, it had no flavor at all.

I have heard wonderful things about the Boliche Criolle at the Columbia. It was so beefy. It reminded me of beef stew. Another one in the "I will not order this again" books.
Dessert - You HAVE to get the White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Next to the 1905 Salad, it is the best thing on the menu.

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  1. Aw, that's too bad that you haven't found any main dishes you've liked at Columbia! We usually end up at the Clearwater location since it is closer to us, but we always enjoy it. Last time, Justin ordered one of their grouper dishes (can't remember what the name is) and I ordered the Pollo Riojana - both were really good! And their Cuban sandwich at lunchtime is also a treat...

    Are you going to head over to the 1905 day in September? We're thinking we will hit up the Clearwater location fro $5 pitchers/ 95 cent glasses of sangria and some arroz con pollo and salad, etc for super cheap!

    1. I will be there for sure this year for 1905 day! We will have to make a plan for it. So much fun. Last year, we waited too long and it was a 4 hour wait!!!


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