City: St. Augustine, FL

Address: 98 St. George St

Date: August 12, 2016

Meal: Dinner

Tales from my Travels: We finally arrived at St. Augustine. We unloaded our stuff at the hotel and went for a short walk on the beach as the sun set over the city. We later drove to the Colonial Quarter. I had made a reservation in Columbia whose original site in Tampa is the oldest restaurant in Florida, dating back to 1905; after more than 110 years, this spano-cuban restaurant is still family-owned. For some infallible reason, I had been craving Spanish food for the last few days. Despite my having lived there for about twelve years, I never really was a fan of the Spanish cuisine. Maybe I was missing Europe. Maybe I needed some familiarity or to feel some connection to the past. Who knows? As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I felt at home. The walls were decorated with painted ceramic tiles, typical of Spain. By the entrance, there was a store that sold ceramic pitchers and other kitchenware just like in Spain. At the table, there was a little sign that proudly advertised the house’s sangría. Once we ordered our food, the waiter brought us delicious, warm, crunchy loaves of baguette. Outside, the nightlife was thriving. Yes, for a few hours, I felt at home. We all had a very hard time choosing what we wanted to eat. All vegetarian items were kindly marked with a green “V.” I was tempted by some tapas but in the end I choose the Eggplant Riojana (plantain-breaded eggplant with Rioja sauce and topped with Tetilla cheese, one of my favorite Spanish cheeses). My mom decided to go for the Ropa Vieja. Surprisingly, my dad took the longest to decide just because everything sounded so good. In the end, he ordered the Pompano “Lido Key.” When we took the first bite, I think we all moaned. Almost too good to be true. Nonetheless, my mom and I were not able to finish. About portion sizes: my dad’s plate was a reasonable size but my mom’s and mine were HUGE; portion sizes vary. Though all the desserts sounded fantastic (I was sorely tempted by the Brazo Gitano), my mom and I could not eat anymore. My advice: save room for dessert or you will regret it.


Columbia, puesta de sol
Sun Setting over St. Augustine
Columbia, menú
Columbia’s Menu
Eggplant Riojana

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