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Visit below restaurant in St Augustine for healthy meals suggestion.
To preface, I have not been here since 6/27/2010 when my husband and I were waiting for our hotel room to be ready for check-in. I have to say, however, that I have been dreaming of my return to this restaurant since the moment we left it. All I remember is the decadent Godiva chocolate cake, but I know the rest of our meal was just as incredible. We had wonderful service, enjoyed the ambiance, and we brought home a souvenir from the shop inside of the restaurant and it reminds us of our wonderful honeymoon, much in part due to such a lovely dining experience here. We are finally returning next week and I will update at that time. UPDATE 7/8/15: My second experience blew my first out of the water. My husband and I wanted to maximize our one night in town so we spent a long time at our table. Not once did anyone make us feel that they needed us to scoot to give up our table. I had the Marilyn and Joe dish- incredible. We shared a pitcher of mojitos which was mediocre but tasty nonetheless, and we also had a pitcher of red sangria which was beyond delicious. We get key lime pie and Godiva cake to go. Everyone was friendly, helpful, welcoming and even during a very busy evening, the temperature and noise level were quite comfortable.
Conveniently located in the St. A's shopping district, Columbia offers your Spain-Spanish food at a very cool, history-rich ambiance. The 1905 decor is very cool, but if you want to stick to a practical conclusion-- Alright food on the pricey side.
Great tostones! And we have high standards for our tostones!
Great atmosphere and decent service The food is good, but it used to be much better. Its glory days are over. The few things they keep doing right are the Cuban bread, Spanish bean soup and their guava turnovers.
We were recommended to check this place out while we were in Jacksonville for the week. I feel like it would've got four stars had I not walked around the old streets of downtown St. Augustine and passed by several other places that I wanted to try. The service here was really slow. Overall I think it took us about 2 hours for dinner and it wasn't because we were taking our time. The food here was excellent though. I had a veal dish that was called tisnera or something along those lines. It was excellent and the sangria wasn't too bad either. It is worth checking out if you are in St. Augustine to be able to say you went there but I'm not sure if its worth much more than that. The prices are too high for what you get and the service is too slow.
uh... this place SUCKS. too long of a wait, over 45 min!! there were a couple of open tables, yet they still made us wait bc they didnt have enough staff to clear the tables. their "famous" salad was over dressed. it was tossed table side, in a cheap salad bowl, the condiments were a joke (olives, peppers still in their jars), was this supposed to impress us? the salad was boring! i had the seafood thing, with mussels, clams, chorizo. it came with cuban bread (which was the only GOOD thing about this meal, or maybe i was just STARVING from the long wait!) i forgot what my bf had, it was that unmemorable. The waiter was very nice, but the service was SLOW. the thing that really turned me off about this place was their lack of attention to certain tables (ie, MY TABLE). it was just me and my bf at our table, while the table next to ours had about 8 people. we were seated first, yet they got their food first! plus, we were only there for one day and bc the food/wait took so long, we missed out on some of the museums i really wanted to visit, which all closed at 5. we asked for the manager to complain about the service, and he seemed really bored and indifferent. but in the end, the manager comped our meal. (which doesn't make up for the time wasted, but at least we didn't have to pay for the subpar meal).
I decided to meet friends at this restaurant since they are Spanish I thought to find a cuisine nearby that they might like. I read some of the reviews on Yelp before I made reservations, and had some reservations, but went anyway. First of all the '1905' salad that seems to be their signature dish is 'just a salad'! Nothing to brag about. Two of our entrees came out cold, and had to send them both back to the oven. Consensus of all four people in my party was 'just OK'. Service although; was excellent, ambiance is very nice, and drinks were made very well.
We enjoyed the grouper special (en croute with a lemon creme sauce) and their traditional paella, having started with the house salad prepared table side, then finished with strawberries on angel food cake. Everything was delicious, and our waiter Mark was terrific. And try the Special Sangria! It really complements the food.
Took my wife here for her birthday. He had ate there before during an earlier visit to St. Augustine. This is a must visit. The food is amazing, the prices are very reasonable, the portions are plentiful, and the staff are magnificent! Oh, and they take reservations! How cool is that!
I visited this place as part of a large group that had reserved an entire room, and they were extremely accommodating. While we had a set menu, which was a slight bummer, I throughly enjoyed my meal. I ordered a chicken dish that was cooked perfectly and incredibly moist. Our servers were attentive, and my soda was never empty, though did have a slight frosty air to them, instead of talkative and all smiles. The atmosphere was wonderful, as the restaurant appears to have kept a good amount of the original structure in tact and has run with the Spanish theme very well. I would most certainly return here on my own, or with a few friends to dine on their regular menu.
Went there for our Anniversary dinner, we both ordered the same dinner chicken, rice, vegetables, it was by far the best, most moist breaded chicken either myself, or my husband had ever enjoyed, and my husband said he could have made a meal out of the rice by itself, it was that good!, the vegetables were stupendous! , this was my 2nd visit (as I was here once with my son & daughter -in-law) and the meal was just as good then, as it was this time. We also enjoyed delicious white sangria, our waitress was great, she was very knowledgeable about the menu, and gave great suggestion's on everything from the meal to the choice of drink. We will absolutely frequent The Columbia restaurant the next time we are in the St, Augustine area. And the price's were spot on!...
Food was good. Service was meh. Next time we'll pass on the sangria and drink beer. The sangria was only OK and a beer will have 10 times the alcohol.
This place is long on ambiance and service while we found the food to range from meh to tasty. We stopped by at 5 on a Sunday and were informed there was an hour wait for a table, so we went upstairs to the bar where we found plenty of seats and a very welcoming bartending staff who set us up straightaway with menus, napkins and drinks. It was clear that we were dealing with seasoned professionals working the bar. They were extremely efficient while also being friendly and personable. The menu is like a catalog it's so long but a lot is description of the offerings. We ended up with a tapas combo: lobster croquettes (delicious, large and with good sherry flavor), stuffed cremini mushrooms (nicely packed with spinach and cheese) and queso fundido (heavy on tomatoes and liquid and light on the cheese, the dud of our picks). We also got half a roll of Cuban bread served with cheese (on request). I'd return because the service and setting were so nice and maybe we just missed making the right selections. The dessert menu also seemed very enticing.
I just moved from cold Minnesota to beautiful St. Augustine Beach, FL last June of 2014. I knew all the great local food hang outs in St. Paul, so finding great food has been an adventure here. I feel like I have already made great head way, but to be fair my standards are pretty high. And then I found the Columbia --- thank goodness! We don't have much Cuban food back in MN so this place really woke me up. Loved it! I have already been to the Columbia several times now because I love it so much. What can I say, the service is stellar and consistent, the location is in the heart of the downtown area, but above all the food is outstanding. I have never ordered anything that I have not liked. I want to make special mention of the calamari. I am a connoisseur when it comes to Calamari and I would say the Columbia has the best in St. Augustine I have tasted. For newbies order the 1905 salad! They make it in front of you and it is delicious. It is like a Hibachi for salads...kind of. lol If you get the right waiter they will entertain you while they make it. Lunch time is a great time to come and try this place out because most of the prices are very fair for the quantity you get. They have a half cuban and 1905 salad special that is the best deal. You will not go away hungry!
The Columbia Restaurant provides a sophisticated atmosphere & exquisite food. Some of the waiters/waitresses come off as rather awkward, but the overall experience is worth your money.
The food is delicious and Marina was a great waitress For dessert we had bread pudding and fly on. The steak was a perfect medium rare he liked it
We arrived in town late, and since this was on our list of places we wanted to eat, we decided to try this place. The decor and building are beautiful. The hostess was less than enthusiastic (maybe because it was late?), but we were seated promptly. The drinks were excellent, the bread and butter were also excellent. It was lining up to be pretty good... then the appetizers came out. The chefs idea of seasoning must be to use copious amounts of salt. The chorizo was good. The calamari were limp, and the sauce was bleh. The Cuban black bean soup was a cup of black beans and some onions on top... no soup at all. The paella was a salty mess, most of our party couldn't eat more than a couple of bites. Also, I have had better paella at a diner. Certainly not what I am used to in the ironbound section of Newark, or from other Spanish restaurants. I will say based on other reviews, we must have hit a bad night.... as for us, we won't be going back.
We chose Columbia in St. Augustine because we had been to the one in Celebration, Florida. We made reservations and were sat on time. The service was very good but the food was not worth the price. The Pompano en Papaillot was very dry and not very tasty. The stuffed shrimp was nothing to write home about. The kids steak was bland and the kids Mac and Cheese lumpy. The best part of the meal was the dessert which was the bread pudding with the white chocolate. Our experience wasn't great this time but has been in the past. A must try at least once.
Great service. The Manager was Al Gomez he was a excellent at assisting us. Our waitress Valerie was a sweetheart too. Would recommend to anyone.
Simply put, deliciously amazing! Dinner of the year, and one of my top 3 restaurants to dine at! The Pollo Riojana is a chicken breast lightly breaded with Cuban breadcrumbs, homemade tomato sauce and melted cheese. This chicken doesn't need a knife to cut it because your fork melts right through! Unbelievable! The fresh made Cuban bread with Spanish bean soup for dipping will be the best you ever had. Wow, I wish I lived closer!
The service was great. We arrive at 830pm thinking they might get upset because its so late. But they treat us really well. The place was beautifully set up. The menu looks awesome. A lot of history in to this place. The music was nice. Defiantly an up scare Cuban restaurant that's for sure ... Especially when u see the price !! I ordered seafood paella. I was super excited ! I don't know if we arrived late has anything to do with it... It wasn't that great. It was mushy and salty and all the seafood was over cooked. Mussel was so over cooked it shrunked barely can find it. My boyfriend ordered some type of mixed meat dish. It was alright. Was not $28 good. Cuban bread is good. We ate a lot of those warm bread. Sangria wasn't that great. But then... I'm a vodka girl so I probably don't know what good sangria taste like anyways. Other than that the food , LOVE the place, LOVE the service. Will not go back because the food was not worth the price you paying for.
I was kind of surprised by this place. My friend recommended this place but never really indicated it was going to be an upscale restaurant. My wife and I happened to be in dress clothes, but we also had a 1-year old basically tagging along. I think if I had known ahead of time I would not have gone today. The parking was near impossible to find. We parked several blocks away because we could never find parking and everything seemed to cost money. There was a parking lot in the back apparently, but I still don't know that I could find it very well. It's down an alley and I believe it is free if it is validated afterwards. We had to wait about 30 minutes to get a seat. I would recommend a reservation next time for sure. Once we were seated it took another 15 minutes or so before a waitress even introduced herself. The menus were long and complicated and really focused quite a bit on the history. It wasn't very interesting to be honest. I wanted to focus on the food. There were tons of options. My wife ended up choosing the Chicken Salteano. I got the Paella "de la Valencia." We both got some toasted bread and some whipped butter that was very good. I tried a bite of my wife's food and it was pretty delicious. I was still waiting for my food because the Paella takes 30 minutes to cook. They should probably change that to 45 minutes. My Paella was very good. The calamari was delicious, the mussels were decadent and the clams added a wonderful flavor. There was definitely some kind of wine sauce I believe. The scallops and shrimp were wonderful as expected. On a final note we were sat by the kitchen door. I am pretty sure that is because we had a small child with us. This was both good and bad I suppose. We sat so long waiting to order and get our food that it was a bad thing. On a good note the kitchen door would open and wonderful aromas would pop out and make me even hungrier. Also, I ran out of water before the waitress checked on us. I needed to drink something and ended up drinking some of my wife's Sprite because I needed it to get some food down and I had drank all of my water. I don't drink soda. I would love to go again, but it was really expensive for us. It was a treat I suppose but I could not afford this place. It was 80 dollars after tip, entrees and parking.
I think this place has so many stars because many of the people who eat here probably have never had authentic Spanish or latin cuisine in the countries where the dishes originate from. If you want an objective review here it is..... Pros - great location, nice looking restaurant, good looking menu selection. Cons - They sometimes under or over cook even the most basic of ingredients such as rice, the ingredients taste like they were frozen, freshness of sea food and meats is a big part of Spanish and Latin cuisine and freshness is lacking there, the best meal I've had there was about a 5 out of 10.....maybe a 6 if you feel like being generous. Ultimately, this is a nice looking restaurant, in a good location, serving mediocre food.
Horrible experience.... Food was cold after waiting 1 1/2 hour for the obvious dish - paella.... Manager's face was obnoxious after I expressed concern. Just saying........
What can I say about this joint that hasn't already been said? I'm from Tampa, so I've been to the original one many times. This one is just as amazing. You don't come here to eat, really. You come here for an experience. Everything on the menu has a history, a story behind it. I didn't know the Cuban sandwich originated in Tampa until I dined here and read it in the menu. If you've never been, this is a bucket list item. The quality of the food is some of these best you'll find. After you gorge yourself, go to the gift shop and get a Sangria carafe to take home. Oh yeah, best sangria in North America. The Columbia is family owned for decades, and is a beautiful little slice of Spanish history that's not to be missed.
This restaurant is focussed on volume and speed. I have never seen a more obvious lack of regard for customer service. Food was ok.
Wow. This place has turned to merda. I been waiting 30 minutes for bread. 25 bucks for 5 dollar Cava. The waiter is adorable, that is the only thing that is making this bearable. I ordered tapas 30 minutes ago. How do I say WTF in Spanish. I know my bill is gonna be over $60, and I don't mind that if you can deliver what the other locations do.
I loved the atmosphere, the decor....the feeling I got being here. The bread was good, and we were ravenous, so maybe that helped. I got the Cuban sandwich and 1905 salad combo, and we all shared pitchers of mojitos. Being that it was only half a sandwich, it was huge and I was stuffed! Mine seem much crisper than anyone else's at the table, and I really liked that about it. It was really tasty, even though I'm not generally a ham eater. The1905 salad was WAY overdressed- I liked it despite that. So, they make the mojitos at your table. Delicious. I kind of wish they strained some of the mint out, since I don't like to chew on my beverages. And our waiter was hilarious and really helpful and nice. Lastly, I didn't think the prices were that terrible...but I'm from New York, where they tax you for breathing, so what do I know? We rarely go out to eat at a sit down restaurant for less than $50 for two of us.
Excellent food. Excellent service. I had the small 1905 salad. Perfect kick and start to my meal. My chicken dish was amazing with Cuban bread crumbs on "good" rice. Sauce was Manchego cheese, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Spanish wine. Finished with a small flan. Carlos treated me like a princess in spite of how busy he was. Don't miss this restaurant!
Mostly inedible. Yuca was hard, everything was greasy and hardly fresh. Server was attentive and the manager came over and apologized, offered complementary dessert and coffee.
Ok we came here b/c Mom wanted to AND only after we had a bad experience at Casa Maya. She has also been to the one in Ybor and the one in Orlando and insisted we eat here. We walked in and were told there was a 20 minute wait for 3, even though clearly there were a bunch of open tables for 4 sprinkled throughout the restaurant. We also had to ask if there was a bar (poor hostess training here). She should've mentioned there was one upstairs right away when we were told we had to wait, and then also at least make the suggestion that IF there were seats available up there it was first come, first serve with a full menu. Anyhow, we wondered upstairs, sat down at the bar and ordered a carafe of red sangria, which was very tasty. After that carafe, we had already looked at the menus and decided we would just stay there and eat. Dad ordered a snapper dish, mom ordered an Spanish/Italian style Eggplant dish, and I ordered shrimp with rice, we were famished at this point. Thankfully they brought us a huge chunk of bread each and we ate that as we ordered another carafe of Sangria. Food took longer than I would've liked to show up, but the place was jumping. I think the whole 3rd floor was a banquet/wedding/something. There was like a 20 top on our floor and a 30 top on the first floor, so this place does cater to groups. The food took so long I actually mentioned to my mom that we should've ordered a salad additionally and now we know why they were on a wait with open tables....kitchen was backed up. I sat on the end of the bar and had to request mom and dad move down b/c I was right by the door into the kitchen which is like being in the first row of a MMA fight. That door swang open a million miles a minute, 10 times a minute, I saw people get smacked, a girl slip and fall, it was just a mess.... Food finally arrived. Mine was like a C at best. Shrimp were salty, there wasn't enough sauce, and my rice stuck together like rice balls-clumpy, glutenous, and mushy. Not very good, but I was so hungry I wasn't returning it. Mom's eggplant, in my opinion, was very salty and undercooked. She rated her's a B. Dad's fish was again salty, cooked fine, but the veggies were grossly undercooked. Surprisingly, his rice was just right. Dad's rating was a B- maybe C+. Think there's work to be done here, maybe they need to go back to the drawing board a bit, get the 'special sauce' back. Anyhow, I'd skip it, I don't think I'd go back. Bill was $120 too!
This place is popular for a reason...its awesome! The place is classy, romantic, and comfortable. The food and presentation are great, and the Sangria is awesome. Me and my Girl had a great meal and a great experience here for her birthday dinner.
The restaurant has nice ambiance, and we have been to other columbia restaurants, so we were excited to stop here. We got the salad which was great! It took a while for our food to come and our server let us sit with empty drinks for a while, and they weren't that full. I got an appetizer for my dinner and my husband got a fish dinner. It was all pretty salty, we weren't that impressed. We will not be rushing back.
Great place. The interior was very lovely, with the sun breaking in slightly. The services was very friendly, and the food was great! I went with a group of 4, and everyone was very satisfied. I would return to this place again.
A $100 disappointment for 3. I have absolutely loved the Columbia's Ybor City location, and was so excited to dine here with my husband and son. I expected the equivalent to the Tampa location in terms of food, service and my dining experience. This is nowhere near the same. We arrived yesterday just after 5 for an early dinner. The hostesses were incredibly rude (one was snotty to my husband and another literally shoved past him to seat another table.) the food was terrible - over cooked, and noticeably skimpy portions - and the food took forever (a refill on my sangria took over 10 minutes). It's a real shame that Ceasar Gonzmart would roll over in his grave if he knew his name was associated with this mediocrity.
The food was great! Service awesome! The Paella was good but need more Spanish style and ingredients
We used to go here growing up (30, ahem, years ago) and we always loved it. Now that I'm taking my own kids to St. Augustine, we had to take them to the Columbia Restaurant. I'm glad to see it's still as awesome as I remember. It's a beautiful restaurant. We had the pitcher Sangria, red, and the pitcher mojito (really good!) and a pisco sour. The pisco sour was my husbands favorite drink ever. I had the palomilla steak which was citrusy and tender and the rest of us had various seafood dishes. I sampled the Grouper Jimmy and good rice (which was actually good) and the calamari, and all were cooked perfectly. You also get a loaf of bread to eat for yourself. Our server was nice and attentive. I found the food and service to be very good unlike some other reviewers. I'd give 5 stars if I had ordered something other plain old fries to go with my steak. They were not a good compliment to my meal.
Such a beautiful place, such bad service. I got what I expected at this tourist hotspot. A historic and ambient restaurant with frustratingly slow service and mediocre food. We got mojoto a from the bar that had almost no syrup(fixed by asking for more). Water and bread took ages ( it was delicious though). We had some tapas and the 190-whatever salad which felt stingy. Everyone seemed to be having a good time though- maybe they don't have very high standards!?
The service is always great and the food is always amazing. About the only thing I could possibly complain about is their paella which was a bit dry/bland the one time I tried it. Otherwise its always been a great place to take friends and family to!
We went on a Friday night and this place was packed. Reservations are strongly recommend. Service and food overall was very good. My pork was thickly sliced and very dry, the reason for the 3 stars. I am used to Cuban and Puerto Rican food so this was very disappointing. My husbands beef was done right. If you are hanging out in the St. George area this is an okay place to go to.
It is sad for me to write this review as I had such high expectations for The Colombia. I called in advance to ask if they had chicken soup(which is classic in any Cuban restaurant) and they did not. I figured it was OK as the menu stated (on Yelp) that they had Caldo Gallego. My boyfriend wanted soup as he wanted something warm and brothy since he had a head cold. Once we sat down and got the menus, our waitress, Beth, proceeded to advise us they did not have 'Caldo Gallego' so he settled for the Spanish bean soup. Your menu should not state you have something if you do not. We then ordered the 1905 salad and the mussels as an appetizer. My boyfriend could not eat the salad as it was too salty and the mussels were served cold. The bread was very doughy and dense & did not represent Cuban/Spanish bread. If they are trying to 'Americanize' Cuban bread, then you got it right...maybe your bakers should come to Miami to the dozens of Cuban bakeries that make fluffy, light white Cuban bread, for some tips. Finally, the Ropa Vieja was another disappointment. It was very 'red' and looked like they had just thrown ketchup on the meat. A true Ropa Vieja is simmered in red wine, tomatoe sauce, onions and spices (garlic, onions, green peppers)...this concoction had none of those flavors just a few slivers of onion. I'm giving them 2 stars...1 for good service, Beth was very attentive & the 1 for ambiance but truly, it broke my heart that this has become a tourist trap that lacks authenticity. Thank God for the bottle of Cabernet I ordered so I could at least enjoy a glass of good wine to relieve my sadness.
We returned to Columbia for the 2nd time and throughly enjoyed our meal, the ambiance and our service. Our waiter, Brad, was top notch, with recommendations, timeliness and attitude. He even made a very minor mistake and it didn't matter because he took responsibility and fixed it immediately. Absolutely, the best Aroz Con Pollo I've had in the U.S... We can't wait to go back...
My first time in st. Augustine and this place came highly recommended from a regular customer of mine in Jacksonville, I am so glad we decided to go here! The food was amazing and the service was excellent. We sat at the upstairs bar to wait for a table and decided to just eat our dinner there. The scallops tapa is killer and the sampler platter including black beans, rice, pork, empenadas, Yuka root (sp?) and pot roast with a chorizo filling was the ultimate. Two of us shared these items and a flat bread; we were stuffed! They serve mojitos by the pitcher and our bartender (I wish I remembered her name) went out of her way to make us a pitcher of strawberry mojitos! I will be back on my next trip down!
A very big resturant. Make reservations if you can. The wait can be long during high season. Our wait staff was excelent. She knew the menu well. I had the La Completa Cubana. A combo of Roast Pork a la Cubana, Boliche Criollo, Empanada de Picadillo, platanos, yuca, black beans and yellow rice. A great dish except for the roast pork. It was dry, though the sauce helped. My wife had the same roast pork as I, but as the dinner with the same result, dry. We paid our dinner with Don Casimiro wine, a private label produced by Rutherford Ranch vintners. We had the Cabernet. A good choice. I finished with the homemade recipe of Key Lime Pie. Not bad a little too sweet, but good.
Lots and lots of recommendations to take the folks here during Night of Lights. They offer online reservations so I thought this was going to be at least 3*--I was mistaken. Even with reservation I had to wait an additional 20 minutes for table. The hostess will not receive and awards for their friendliness. Server was super friendly and based upon guests at other tables, this is a group outing kind of place with lots of large tables and lots of large dining rooms. The 1905 salad story is a great way to sell salads. It was not bad and now we know the secret recipe (spoiler alert, it's Worcestershire sauce). The entrees of shrimp salteado, ropa vieja and baked grouper with crab cakes were all decent and that's all I will write about that. Dessert was good--churros were dipping sauces. I thought the chocolate sauce was pretty good and the guava sauce was interesting.
The snapper Alicante was seasoned perfectly as were the side dishes. The mere history of this place really captured my interest. The level of service for my party of 30 was extraordinary. The sangria also did the trick (stay away from the margarita).
On a day visit to St. Augustine, first City in the nation, went to The Columbia Restaurant to end our day and am glad we did (1) the service was excellent (we had Donna as our server- she was the best!!!), (2) the food was amazing - so good that I didn't want to finish my seafood pasta (so I could have leftovers for later)
The decor and ambiance are excellent, and the service was very good as well. The staff was receptive (at our table and the bar upstairs), and the wait estimate (we had a reservation) was accurate. The queue for a table appeared to move quickly, and the spot definitely is a tourist trap. Apparently they are the oldest Spanish (the kind from Europe) restaurant in the US. I'm a vegetarian and prefer spicy food. The food itself, however, was absurdly bland, and ultimately we barely dented either of our dishes. We ordered the egg quiche (though on the menu it's a tapas, it's a meal in itself for one person), as well as the eggplant Parmesan. The quiche was unpalatably bland. The eggplant was technically prepared well (not bitter or salty), but ultimately lacked inspiration. They don't carry hot sauce (apparently this is a New World invention, and the menu is too authentic to include it), so we tried to use their tomato paste/ sauce as a substitute. Fail. I'd consider trying other items on the menu (given a voucher or a significant coupon since most dishes are at least $20,) but will definitely take my own hot sauce, just in case.
We just enjoyed spending my birthday here again this year! Farid is one of their top waiters! I just had a wonderful interaction with Susan, the manager! The personnel from the top of the ranks to the lower levels will give you cause to keep returning. The food exceeds every expectation & we are always proud to introduce our friends to this culinary favorite! The red snapper or grouper is always a good choice. We love to come here with all our company! Don't forget to have the 1905 salad or a pitcher of sangria.
We decided to take the whole family down to dinner in St. Augustine... It was well worth the trip! The bread that comes out first is one of the highlights and they are well known for it - fresh and a delicious, the crust was perfect and the inside was melt in your mouth delicious! The Sangria is wonderful, very fresh and a nice balance between tart and sweet... Very refreshing. Hubby had the 1905 Salad and said he would have it again. The Cuban sandwiches are delicious with ham that was perfectly cooked and flavored. On top of all of that, our waiter was fantastic - his name is Farid. Ask for him... He knows his stuff! He was able to suggest entrees and he did such a wonderful job we didn't even pick our own desserts, we had HIM pick them for us - we had the white chocolate bread pudding and the coconut pineapple cake... Both were desserts we will dream about for a long time! Definitely give The Columbia a try... We are so glad we did and are already planning a return visit!
Food was excellent as well as the drinks. I had a pina colada that was fantastic. They serve warm bread and real butter that is delicious. The 1905 salad is a "must have". The paella was good but not great, but they have so many items on the menu I'm confident there are many great ones to choose from.
Located in historic St Augustine, Colombia Restaurant represents one family's dedication to presenting authentic Cuban themed cuisine in an inviting atmosphere. From a start of Cuban bread and mojitos the meal progresses to entrees with a Cuban flair. You can't go wrong. Save room for desert though!
Friends raved about this place, but our experienced was killed by our waitress. We asked for "sample" of Sangria. She came back with two full glasses. I've never had Sangria, but it tasted like watered down red wine. She disappeared for about 15 minutes and returned after we had our food. We asked for new drinks. We oredred the Garrafon Margarita which was pretty good, but the El Floridita Daiquiri tasted like pure grapefruit juice. The Pollo Manchego was delicious, "Good Rice" was better than Good. However, the Chicken Salteado tasted like takeout Chinese food next to a dry cleaner. I guess the iron skillet wasn't hot enough to keep the veggies and chicken from becoming soggy. Shoulda got the Paella I really wanted to like this restaurant.
Good spot for lunch in old Saint Augustine. We came in on a summer weekday without a reservation without reservations and were seated quickly even as a group of 10. Have the gazpacho! Spicy but cool.
The Columbia is my favorite restaurant on the planet. 1905 salad is to die for, and the white sangria will make you want to slap your mama. I've never had anything here that was less than wonderful, and the atmosphere is beautiful and relaxing. Do yourself a favor, go!
This was my first Columbia and I've always loved it and craved it. Of course now that we live in Orlando- we tend to frequent the Celebration location. But back to St. A's--- the food has always been good but not always the service. I know, from growing up right in the middle of a tourist town, that that's probably the biggest reason. Simply trying to feed hordes of tourists all day, on a daily basis, is a gargantuan effort so some things can slip. I love LOVE the decor in this location and always want to snag my fave spot- a ground floor table right next to the fountain. Add some sangria, roast pork a la cubana and hot buttered cuban bread and it's nirvana. I can't even begin to count the times I've been here over the last 25+ years and it STILL reigns as simply one of my favorites.
The Columbia Restaurant is a beautiful place, with a well rounded menu that stays true to it's Spanish and Cuban roots. Being from Miami, I have eaten both cuisines my whole life, and I was definitely impressed with the food. We were in for lunch on a weekday around 1pm, and were sat immediately. The service was friendly, and sitting at a table near the upstairs bar was beautiful, with a nice view of one of the prettiest restaurants I've been to in Florida. We started out with a pitcher of sangria, which was delicious. I loved the individual wrapped slices of warm bread, the best bread I had in Saint Augustine. I ordered the lobster and chorizo flatbread appetizer (amazing, could have eaten 3!) and the 1905 Salad. I loved this salad, and after reading mixed reviews about it, I'm glad I tried it, because it was really delicious. I usually don't like iceberg lettuce, but I really enjoyed this salad. My boyfriend had a fish dish (I forgot what kind of fish!) but it was prepared with artichoke, hearts of palm, and tomatoes. The fish was flakey, and had a perfect crusty sear on one side. The other side of the plate with filled with typical yellow rice with peas (not my favorite, but that could be because I've eaten so much of this in my life.) The price was reasonable for what we ate and drank, I certainly wouldn't call it cheap eats, but then again, sometimes cheap eats aren't always so delicious! I would love to go back if I'm in Saint Augustine again, because there were a good 20 other items on the menu I wanted to try! I
My friends took me here on my recent trip to Jacksonville. Wow! The eggplant "Riojana" was delicious! There are a few other vegetarian options so I'd recommend this place for the veg crowd. There is also a good gluten free menu. Service was great. Everyone was friendly and helpful being it was my first time there. Can't wait to eat here again!
My lunch in the Columbia Restaurant courtyard was excellent. I shared two tapas (crab cakes and black bean cakes) and had the Cuban mahi mahi sandwich - all delicious. The bread was awesome, too. Our waiter enjoyed saying "my pleasure." Delightful!
Food is great but even more important is the customer service. I needed to buy something from the gift shop but waited too long and it was closed. The manager opened it up and got the item for me and even cooler he gave it to me for free rather than wasting our time for a $2 charge. One disclaimer though they cannot handle large parties.
My husband and I went there because some of our friends gave us a $50 gift certificate as a wedding present. In the end, we were glad to be there on someone else's dime, because the best part of the experience was the service. The food was utterly lackluster, and overhyped by a lot. The only thing I remember about this experience was the really odd Bloody Mary my husband got - pepper vodka that overpowered everything else.
Mussel's with chorizo excellent. Snapper house speciality and pork loin were delicious. Much better experience and service from our last visit here.
The food is good and all, but you could probably get me to roll over and beg for the red sangria. No, I'm not embarrassed to admit that.
I was pretty excited about eating at this place during our last vacation. This restaurant has been a Florida tradition since 1905 so I thought I was in for a special treat. Unfortunately, I discovered that this place is more hype than anything else. We started off with the black bean cakes appetizer which were dry and had a weird texture. My dinner entree was the Palomilla which was so dry. The only thing edible was the spanish saffron rice. I wished afterwards that I could've ordered just a bowl of that! My friend had the Cuban roast pork which was dry as well and lacked any true flavor. The only redeeming part of this dinner excursion was the pitcher of sangria that we ordered. It was prepared tableside - Imported Sangre de Toro - Spain's best selling red wine and Torres brandy. If I find myself back here, I will come for happy hour and enjoy ther Sangria but that's all. Enjoy the scenery and drinks but do yourself a favor and eat elsewhere.
Great salad and very large servings! The restaurant is very popular so go early.
I just had lunch at Columbia restaurant in St Augustine and i must say that I am most disappointed for the following reasons: Upon entering, the hostess was rude in ushering us to a line that apparently existed but was not clearly visible with lost of people casually chatting to each other - after i had mentioned that we were joining a party that was already seated, she took almost 7 minutes to find out at which table they were located. The waiter however was very attentive... I ordered the paella - it was the worst that i had ever had or seen... it was merely yellow rice with a few pieces of chicken that you need steel teeth to chew threw. I informed the waiter and referred him to the menu which indicated the exact contents of the paella (fish, chicken & other meats) and asked why this was so, all he said he would inform the manager. I got absolutely no response whatsoever.... My wife ordered the sliced steak... I tasted it... a Macdonald's burger patty is better than what she received. I would never go back nor recommend this establishment to anyone...
Lunching at the Columbia in St. Augustine has become a tradition for my husband and I when we visit a few times a year. We love everything about this location. The building, the vibe, and the food. Today we went on a Sunday and I have never seen it so busy but still our wait was less than 10 minutes tops. We love the Queso Fundido and order it every time. Today I ordered the Pollo "Riojana" and the chicken was like butter. I have never tasted anything like it before, it comes with yellow rice that was near perfection in flavor and quantity. My husband had El Combo de Cuba and everything was excellent. Our daughter had Sarapico and the again the portions were just ridiculous.
Once we were seated, this place was phenomenal. The bartenders were a bit rude when ordering a drink during our wait. Danica was our waitress and she rocked! I ordered the 1905 salad with shrimp. Definitely recommend! Overall this was a really cool place with lots of history. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
Now what you have here is a restaurant that offers high class fair, at an even higher class price that truly is hit or miss. You will LOVE the architecture, and the location, and the waiting staff, but the food is what is truly important. I loved my waitress, she was a sweetheart, but when my pollo came out it was dry... Extremely dry, even when it had been swimming in a sautÃ© pan, and later being bathed in the sauce that decorated my plate. We were suggested this restaurant from a local working at a clothing store nearby, who again, was a complete sweetheart. Which happened to be the redeeming factor of my whole visit to Downtown Saint Augustine: if you can look past the hobos, teenage kids and drunk people, you will find many locals running the stores and walking about with golden personalities. The area, awesome; the people, even better; the food I had today from Columbia,.. I can't say as much.
A little bit touristy, but very enjoyable. The appetizers were nothing special, but we enjoyed the entrees and the sangria. Service was very good. A foodie will not be impressed, but it worked for our family.
Some people like to hate on this place, but I've always had a positive experience here. I've had the paella over a leisurely lunch with my family. Most recently, it was a Sangria and Snack break one lazy Sunday afternoon with friends. Either way, It's been great! The wait was long when I went last time, but we opted to stalk a place at the bar. We were able to sit within minutes. Bring on the Sangria and 1905 salad! We also had empanadas and black bean cakes. Both were tasty. We left room for the gelato at Cafe Del hidalgo!
1905 salad! OMG nothing is better than the 1905 salad. Everything I have tried at the Columbia is out of this world but I really love their 1905 salad prepared tableside. My first visit to the Columbia was with my mother on Thanksgiving. We splurged and had the tapeo mixto; three tapas to share. We both had the 1905 salad (which came recommended by my friend- a native Floridian) and for our entrees I had the Filet Mignong Columbia and she had the Filet Mignon Chacho. It was like butter, the steak was so rich and smooth it just melted in my mouth. For desert the Guava Cheesecake and the Brazo Gitano. It was the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. Oh, and I almost forgot about the pitcher of Sangria....oh so yummy! I have returned to the Columbia only one other time because sadly I moved away from Florida. Next time I am ever in Florida I will definitely head to the Columbia Restaurant- my favorite eatery in St. Augustine.
Three of us went for a late lunch yesterday about 2 pm and had no wait at all being seated. However, I was told there usually is quite a wait. Atmosphere was nice. Our waiter was wonderful. The food was fantastic! I ordered the citrus marinated mahi mahi, which came with yellow rice and plantains. My friend ordered the half Cuban sandwich with half salad. The salad dressing is tossed with their special dressing at the table, and it is also excellent.
Meh. Nothing special at all. My filet was extremely undercooked and nothing I tasted was "spectacular".
Everything we had, including salad, appetizers, and the paella, was superb. I highly recommend the Coca de Langosta, which had a delicious smokiness. The menu was huge which can be daunting, but our server was very helpful. On a hot day, the Sangria de Cava really hit the spot.
Where to begin? This was my first visit to Columbia restaurant and my impression is that it is OVERRATED. My wife and I stopped in for dinner at about 8pm. The wait was only about 10 minutes but once seated, we waited longer than that at the table for someone to acknowledge us. I went to the front to speak with the hostess to find four employees laughing and inattentive to what was going on in the restaurant. I explained my disappointment with the lack of a greeting and one of the staff at the stand brought us water. Out waitress, who was very busy with 5 tables did come greet us shortly after and took our order. It was clear throughout the rest of the dinner that she was getting no support from any other staff. The food was disappointing for the cost. I expected better after the reviews friends have given me before. Perhaps it was just this location, which is possible as I never observed a manager walking the floor greeting customers and providing support to wait staff. I may visit another Columbia restaurant in the future but most likely not this one.
Service was excellent. Our waitress Rachel did an amazing job and made sure everything was to our liking. The 1905 salad was ok...didn't feel like it was anything special though. Was too drenched in dressing. We got the paella campanella(sp?). The rice and veggies were expertly prepared and delicious but the meat was overdone and dry. The server recommended a reisling wine that paired quite well with the dish.
food was OK and the service was good. Our appetizer took a long time and the waitress and manager apologized a few times. would recommend you try this palce it is a good meal
Do not go here if you are hungry. It took close to an hour to bring out 4 tapas. This was after the 45 minute wait for a table. Even after our tray of drinks was spilled on my wife and the ridiculously long wait for tapas, management was unconcerned with our displeasure
The Columbia located in St. Augustine, Florida, was awesome. If you want a romantic evening with your SOS or just hanging out with friends, you won't be disappointed. The restaurant has various large tropical plants surrounding this venue inside and out. Fine dining is what you get. The Sangria is awesome. They make it right at your table in a pitcher. Ooooh!!! It's so delicious. The pitcher serves about 4 wine glasses. There is seating upstairs and downstairs. Everyone was friendly. Tracy was our waitress & she was helpful with menu selections. The menu serves steak, chicken, and pork to name a few. Their "good rice" is to die for. I can't end my review without talking about the attached gift shop. You will notice when dining a lot of items are used in the restaurant there stone ware and seasonings. I truly enjoyed the Columbia and am anticipating my return. I encourage you to check it out.
It's nice to see white table cloths. We ordered a dish inspired by Chinese in the 1800s and a traditional Cuban sandwich. Good bread came before we ordered. Both entrees were great, It's a beautiful place, it's clean and the history as part of the menu is a nice touch. Though we didn't order salad the mix it table side and it looks great.
The Cuban sandwiches have deteriorated greatly. They used to make a real good one, however the ones we had yesterday were far from the real thing. First, a note to the chef, Cuban sandwiches DO NOT have salami! Good Lord! What were you thinking? Second, for $12.99, I expected the real thing with about an inch thick ham and pork not the minuscule portion I got. Also, let's have Swiss cheese in it, and pickles? How about toasting it with butter? Please, call it something else, but don't call what you are making a Cuban sandwich!
Great meal!!!! Try the 1905 Salad, Cuban sandwiches, Marilyn & Joe plate and finish it off with the Coconut/pineapple cake!! Farid was a great waiter, providing excellent recommendations and making the entire experience a fabulous experience! We will be back for sure!!!
Busy Labor Day in St. Augustine. Columbia was hopping but they seated our party of 8 quickly. I saw other reviews noting terrible service. However, our server, Jaime, was fantastic, attentive, and cheerful. The complimentary Cuban bread was warm and slightly sweet. For my lunch, I ordered the Half and Half: half Cuban and half 1905 a salad. The 1905 is as good as people say. They toss it table side, squeezing lemons into the dressing right before tossing. The dressing is a perfect mix of garlic and lemon. The Cuban, on the other hand, was just mediocre. The pork didn't have as much seasoning as say The Black Bean Deli in Orlando. Nevertheless, everyone at the table enjoyed their food and the portions are decent for the price. The manager, Travis, also came around to check on us. Between him and Jaime, we felt well taken care of. A nice place to stop for a meal.
One of the best Cuban cuisine I ever had + service! Excellent location + kid friendly. Everyone makes you feel very special.
Living in Miami where there is a plethora of Cuban restaurants, we were not especially impressed. If you are looking for a place that is decent where you can bring your whole family including a screaming baby, this is for sure the place to go. Extremely family friendly including other guests. The staff is used to logging around baby carriages and has no problem helping you get around the place . There are three levels the bottom being the busiest and the most noisy. The top floor has the least seating, but it is still loud enough to get the feeling that you are around lots of people. All floors are set up to accommodate large groups. The service is pleasant enough and the service is also agreeable. Our waiter was appropriately attentive. It is true that you need a reservation and the place is always packed. (This being a main reason that we were so interested in trying it out.) Also true, the Cuban bread is quite soft and tasty. The specialty salad`s main topping is woschtescher sauce, so while plenty of reviews rave about it, if you don't dig this flavor this salad is out of the question. The paella is quite tasty, but if your thoughts are on sharing, go for the tappas. We were pretty disappointed in the desserts. The bread pudding was replaced by a mango sponge cake and the Godiva chocolate cake was dry.
Came here at the recommendation of someone from work. Very good meal and great ambiance. Good wait staff and very little wait. The regular sangria was just ok. Would not order again. The empanadas were good but the special tortellini dish was incredible!
Our dinner at The Columbia Restaurant was perfection. We tried having dinner here several months ago during the height of tourist season but an hour wait is simply not an option when dining with a toddler. Last week we found ourselves in the area again and decided to finally check this place out for dinner. The service was fantastic Perfect, actually. Our server was the perfect mix of friendly and professional. The Cuban bread brought to the table was warm, fresh, and soooo good. The black bean patty appetizer was really good. They're basically black bean croquettes. Why haven't I seen this dish anywhere in Miami?!?! It would be such a hit! It was served with a side of guacamole and sour cream which was a bit confusing to me. Those are tex-mex sides and this is a Spanish/Cuban restaurant. We pushed them to the side and focused on the delicious patties. The black beans were really good. As in, my toddler ate them up and said that they were *almost* as good as Abuela's. THAT my friends is very high praise. The pollo manchego was also delicious. We knew this dish would be enormous and my husband and I are not big eaters, so we split this. Even sharing it I couldn't finish my half. The "good rice" as they call it was delicious, as were the veggies on the side. The chicken itself was amazing. Just the right amount of cheese and tomatoes. Yum!
Great food, excellent service, lovely ambiance. Will definitely come back here on our next trip.
Nice experience, several 4 star elements but just not consistent enough for me to give the 4th star. Pretty famous place I guess, since 1905? Lots of Spanish influence in decor (go figure). There were some folks dressed to 9s others in their shorts and t shirts. I'm not going to tell you about everything good, just the a couple highlights and couple low lights. Sangria made table side in an attractive ceramic carafe..orange, cherries, citrus, Spanish wine, Spanish brandy - fun!One of the tapas we ordered were mushrooms stuffed with artichokes, and Parmesan cheese, delicious. Another tapa was a red pepper stuffed with chorizo and with a red cream sauce, OMG. The two items that didn't hit mark were the crab croquettes, so spoiled by Dutch croquettes and have had much better at another Spanish tapas house, they were too small, a little dry (even though deep fried) - bigger meatier with a dipping sauce would have helped and the Godiva Chocolate cake. Not sure how Godiva feels about them using their name on a dessert that is average at best. A moist piece of chocolate cake with piped on chocolate mousse is pretty weak. The key lime pie was fantastic the service was attentive and efficient.
Honestly I don't see how you could appreciate good food and not like this place. Yes, it is expensive, but that's just the type of restaurant it is - better for a celebration or special occasion than a typical night out. The waiter adds the finishing touches to much of the food right in front of you. We like the 1905 salad, the paella and the steak (don't remember the name) that they sear at your table. Try it out for your next celebration dinner.
Never had anything bad here. Service is excellent and atmosphere is awesome. Very historical. I always get the Spanish bean soup and 1905 salad. Half soup and salad. Weekends are busy but never had to wait more than 15 minutes. Heard their homemade sangria is good but haven't tried it.
Best Spanish food around. I love everything about The Columbia Restaurant. Beautiful atmosphere. I've had everything on the menu and the food is always amazing! Table side service is a great touch. No place like it around.
The Columbia has jumped the shark. This is so sad for me to write as this was a magical place to go with my parents and grandparents growing up. 30 years on and I guess my taste buds have matured with the rest of me-and this place really sucks. The Floridita Daiquiri tasted like Windex-the 1905 salad was so overdressed it was swimming in garlic and oil, and my favorite-the black bean soup-was more like a can of Goya beans poured over Minute Rice than the fine and elegant soup of years ago. The service sucked, but that is to expected from tatted up Flagler students. Anyhow-I mourn another part of old florida that gone "across the creek."
For over 100 years the Columbia has been a staple of dining throughout Florida from its table side 1905 salads and sangria to its fine dining meals you can't go wrong. Serving one ofcthe better paellas in the state as well having a beÃ utiful old world atmosphere The Columbia will never let you down.
We went on a very busy Saturday and it was worth the wait. If we hadn't been so hungry and waited 45 mins for the table, we would have tried the paella but were warned it was at least another 30 min wait for that dish. guess we will have to return to St Augustine.
This is my mom's favorite place to eat in St. Augustine, so whenever I visit my parents, we usually end up here at some point. Pros: Excellent bread. They serve the bread to you as a starter and their sandwiches are made with the bread. It's always on fleek, crusty on the outside, moist and slightly chewy on the inside. I could go there and just eat bread and be satisfied. Cuban Sandwich. Served on that good ass bread. Nice distribution of ham, pork, pickles, etc. Comes with tasty plantain chips. Add a bowl of bean soup for $3 and get several servings of bread and you've got your self a good meal for under $15. Paella Valencia. Traditional paella with hefty amounts of clams, scallops, chicken, chorizo and shrimp. Amazingly flavorful bomba. The problem with this dish is consistency. I've had it where everything is perfect and the rice is amazingly crusty, and I've had it where there was no crust. Even when it's poorly made, it's delicious, but when it's perfect, it's more of an experience than a meal. Churros. The churros themselves are nothing to write home about, but the sauces are all great. The chocolate is dark, the caramel is boozy and the guava has all of the deliciousness of the fruit, but none of the graininess and it's not too sweet, which I appreciate. Service. Always great service. This place has a real hard on for making the wait staff make things at the table. They mix drinks, salads, toppings for soups, etc. It must get annoying, having to make pitcher after pitcher of sangria or whatever. I feel for them. Still, the service is always prompt, warm and friendly. Cons: Sangria. It's half simple syrup and half wine with a shot of some thing poured in. Too sweet, not enough booze. Total waste of money. 1905 Salad. This salad is good, but it annoys me that they make such a big deal about it. Gazpacho. Bullshit. Tastes like green bell pepper juice. Avoid. The menu. I don't need a fucking history lesson about your family in Ybor City and how they came to appreciate iceburg lettuce. Every item has too much fluff and some items have half a page devoted to them. The 10 page menu could easily be 2 pages and a cocktail list. All in all I recommend it.
Recently dropped an $80 tab between 2 people here on 8/08/15. So with 40 bucks a head I was hoping to be a little more impressed. The pros - Carlos the server - The seating we had on the first floor "courtyard" near fountain Cons - $20+ plates of Pollo Menchango? was below average (Good rice is flavorless and the "baby" asparagus cooked too dry) - White Sangria is Brandy and champagne mixture - The wait time is chaos on a Saturday night Overall, I'm not quite a fan of this place. Glad I at least tried it but far from a favorite.
Good atmosphere, good people and great location. Real Spanish cuisine almost feels like you're in Spain!
Always a good choice. But it can be a real tourist trap. The Cuban bread is awesome. So is the 1905 salad. Try the mahi Cuban.
Great selection of popular spanish dishes. If you want to order paella wait times can be from 45mins to an hour depending on how busy they are. Service is ok. Efficient with drink refills. Ambiance is cool with the fountain in the courtyard.
Easily my favorite restaurant in St. Augustine. The interior is gorgeous, the dishes and sangria are amazing, and each waiter/waitress we have ever gotten has always been friendly and attentive. Coming from Miami, paying $18 for ropa vieja seems pretty steep, but the quality of food and atmosphere is worth it.
Phenomenal dinner. Went there last night with a group of 15 people. Service was great, tapas were wonderful and dinner was amazing, with table side made salads & dishes. Sangria de Cava is a must have. Everyone enjoyed their dinner. Only downfall was we were too full to have dessert! Im no expert on Columbia /spanish food, but i know Food, and that was great food.
If you must eat in the tourist section you can't do better than the Colombia. Very friendly service, awesome warm bread and good Ropa Vieja! Didn't get to try the Sangria.
Best Cuban bread ever! I went at lunch time and had the Spanish Bean Soup and 1905 salad...oh, and red sangria. Very pleased with all. Beautiful decor, great service, and amazing food!
Outstanding decor, easy booking through open table, great staff. Salad was great, food average, menu was good.
Amazing atmosphere good food but if your Hispanic it's not really up to par with authentic Hispanic food. I would strongly recommend the server Jakob he is easy going and always has amazing suggestions. One of the best servers I have ever had and I was a server so I am hard to please
Our waiter was awesome. He was polite, informative, knowledgeable about the menu, and quick with service & keeping our glasses full. The restaurant has been there for over 100 years and is full of history. I absolutely loved the paella and the Croquetas de langosta. The only complaint I had was that the gazpacho was not was full of flavor as I would have liked. But besides that I loved everything about this place. I can't wait to go back again.
The salad was outstanding, the sangria good and the bread appitizer with ham and cheese very good. Everything else was just OK or not so good. Very touristy and everything is branded Columbia and you can purchase everything including the plates you eat on, which is weird. On a very busy night we received very good service, which was impressive.
Had a late lunch yesterday with some friends. The restaurant has nice ambiance despite its size - splitting it up into levels and areas makes it seem more cozy. We tried the salad which is prepared table side and we all shared it - worthwhile. Citrus flavors mix well with the greens and the Worcestershire sauce is genius...albeit a little saltier than I normally would have liked. What it did though was bring out the flavors in the cheese, tomatoes and ham.... For the entree I had the Cuban style pork which was a generous portion of succulent pork accompanied by rice and beans, plantain and tasty gravy. It came together well and the roasted garlic flakes were tasty and crunchy, giving added texture to the meal. Others had shrimp and beef dishes and all were equally good. A nice place to visit.
Went here last night for the first time with my boyfriend, who has been many times before, and everything was excellent! The atmosphere was great and the food was cooked and seasoned to perfection. It seems the only low reviews are coming from people who ordered Italian and non-Spanish dishes at this restaurant, or think Spanish food = Mexican (news flash, Spain is in Europe) - this makes little sense considering the town you're in and the nature of the restaurant. If your food was bland, you're probably not eating a Spanish dish! As for this Catalan girl, I thought everything was excellent and a true taste of Spanish cuisine - the chicken and mussels al a Barcelona is highly recommended by me.
Great food. Have been enjoying this place much of my life. Sunday Brunch is to die for. Only thing I would change is the grouchy woman at the hostess desk who has yet to be friendly the last few times I encountered her
Great salad and sangria. Havana sandwich was just okay as were the crabcakes. Black bean soup good! Liked the atmosphere and service.
Nice atmosphere, a lot of elders here though lol. I ordered the seafood Paella, and the first few bites were really good but I think the rice made it really filling so I couldn't eat anymore. If you go here you must indeed order their Sangria!!! It's too good, I love the white ones.
Top five places in St. Augustine. Good service and great food, the table side made caesar salad is wonderful. Best place to take a large family
Ordered Pincho tapas = Tiny portion but great. 1905 house salad = a must try is so tasty, simply delicious! Paella Valenciana = too salty, too much pork/ chicken rather than seafood, did not like. Sangria = Too bitter, real Sangria doesn't have lime on it as it kills the grape flavor which is already a bit bitter but not too much just right. Location = Perfect, centered in the middle of everything. Service = 5 stars for Hostess, 1 star for server, inattentive. Overall, great place, will definitely go back will not order the Paella and will ask for another server.
Went with a large group. Service was great. Food was good, but it came out a tad on the cool side. Love the atmosphere. Would come back again when I'm in St. Augustine.
I will NEVER go back! The hostesses were less than friendly, the food was cold, my drink was terrible. I was looking forward to my visit, but we were very disappointed with the whole package. Can anyone say tourist trap? Maybe some time ago it was a great restaurant, they have lost touch. Don't waste your money.
In short, I loved the decor and the restaurant- food and experience. I had the Original Columbia 1905 salad, and I loved it. The marinade enhanced the taste of the swiss cheese and baked ham. My husband got a cesar salad and couldn't stop eating mine. For my entree, I got the el Combo de Cuba- yellow rice and black beans, roast pork, boliche, empanada, and fried plantains. There was so much food I couldn't not eat it all. Honestly, my favorite from the meal was the beans and rice and the empanada. They were bursting with flavor. I normally think of beans and rice as meh- just another side dish. With this dish, I ate more of the beans and rice than the other samples. I believe that says a lot!
The mineral water and Mojito were the best part of the meal. I took 12 hours to think about dinner at Columbia Restaurant before posting a review; which only let to more fury about how awful this meal was. The service was slow to get started; but they were somewhat busy that night. The Devil Crab Croquettes were bland. Adding salt and hot sauce made them palatable. Entrees: we ordered the Snapper "Alicante" and Paella "A la Valenciana." We were told the Paella would take 45 minutes to prepare and that was fine with us. 45 minutes later; the snapper arrived and our server said the Paella was going to take longer than expected. She didn't want the snapper to get cold so she served it to us with an extra plate to share. We're cool and said it wasn't a big deal. Snapper "Alicante"; which is a family recipe since 1935, tasted like something you would have expected in the 1950's. The snapper was overcooked and had little flavor. The "rich gravy" tasted like came from a packet of gravy powder mixed with water. I'm not sure where the other ingredients went because we couldn't taste any garlic, olive oil, peppers, onions, white wine or spices. The presentation looked awful. 15 minutes later; a manager brought out the Paella. He apologized for the wait and said they added more protein to make up for the delay. It looked like a soupy mess and my wife immediately requested it be sent back. Paella should have a crispy bottom. 10 minutes later; the revised version arrived and was palatable, but far from exceptional. Call me picky; but $29 paella for one should be prepared properly. We ate half and ordered a key lime pie to go. By the time we arrived at our car, we started to feel awful. Our stomachs were not happy with what we had ingested and the more we thought about the food; the worse we felt. The key lime pie is sitting in the refrigerator. I'm getting queasy again just thinking about it. We love food, restaurants, chefs, cooks and people who are passionate about their work. We would prefer to write a positive review; but couldn't put much of a positive spin on our experience at Columbia Restaurant.
Second experience at this location that had very poor service. We waited 1 hour before being seated, only to wait an additional 10 minutes before our server greeted us. Needless to say, we were ready to order when she finally greeted us. We were looking forward to the hot delicous traditional cubian bread to hold us over until our food was ready. Unfortunately, we recieved cold hard bread at the same time our entrees were served. Our server had a major attitude when we asked for fresh bread and upon delivering our check. This was our second experience with poor service at this location. Though the food is typically good, I value my time too much than to be treated with such disrespect. I will not longer recommend this place to any of my friends and/or family.
Decent food. The server was very nice and personable but was slow in getting our drink and food order when it did not seem busy. Sangria was great but food was good but overpriced.
The mojito was wonderful. The Delmonico steak was even better. Service was friendly and we were trying to get to the ghost tour so they made it very quick and easy. Still sticking with a great service attitude. I would recommend this to anyone.
The bread was really good. They practically give you half a loaf to enjoy. So I had to hold myself back from gobbling up the whole thing. I had the garbanzo bean soup as a starter which was super yummy. Lastly I had the 1905 salad which was rated well by USA today. It was a good salad but not amazing. The ambiance was super cute and the service was great.
The Food and atmosphere are great, but it is expensive for a family to dine at Columbia. I recommend it for a special occasion.
Amazing food, amazing service. Definitely make a reservation, everyone else had a two hour wait! The paella and tapas were incredible!
The mojitos were a bit sweet and weak, otherwise this place would have gotten 5 stars! The specialty salad was delicious; I was envious of my table mates when my Caesar arrived. We split the paella, which was prepared perfectly. Ended the meal with the key lime pie which was just ok. Not great, not terrible. Will return!
My wife has never been to a Columbia and I thought she'd enjoy it. Our meal and service did not disappoint. Our waiter Rich was attentive but not overbearing. We had a good Malbec / Temperillo blend inexpensive tasty wine. A kabob app & 1/2 1905 . 1905 salad is so good. Warm bread with butter tasty. My neighbor table was having Paella and so gave it a try with chorizo as he recommended. I had Paella and wife had Chicken Saltbeado . Both were excellent. Huge portions which I gladly had for breakfast :). Only knock I have with as good as the salad was they don't offer to give you fresh ground pepper. Would highly recommend versus bar food some of the other tourist places serve. Spent $120 w tip. Too full for dessert .
Yummy! This place was gorgeous! We had a reservation and were promptly seated. Our table ordered some appetizers and red and white sangria. The white sangria was AMAZING! So delicious. The seafood croquettes and chorizo with crackers were great. They also give you a huge piece of hot Cuban bread with an ice cream scoop of butter. It was realllllly good! Finally our meals arrived. I ordered the roast pork. It was okay. I thought it should have been seasoned more. Others at our table ordered the diablo shrimp, paella, chicken and a few other things that got rave reviews. It was a great experience. Our waitress was attentive and never let our sangria glasses go empty.
We always go to the Columbia when in St. Augustine. But we were disappointed on this occasion. I had a special - bone in ribeye. It was not cooked to medium, and was tough - which is unusual for a ribeye. The presentation was was akin to a cut rate steakhouse and the steak was very thin. My wife had the mahi mahi which was supposed to come with yucca, but arrived with yellow rice. The server knew nothing about the wines. On the bright side the bread was excellent. We are going to give it one more try, but may have to find a new favorite.
I ate here because it is a friend's favorite restaurant. We were in St. Augustine for the day and stopped in for lunch. You have to keep in mind that this place is in the heart of the tourist area and that it has a gift shop. They have a target market, and it's more tourists than foodies. There was a 45 minute wait so we made a reservation for dinner so we could have time to wander around before things started closing. When we got there that evening, there was little to no wait. We were seated in the dining area on the main floor to the left of the hostess area. We got the cuban bread to start and I ate my whole half loaf, it was great. Our waiter was really nice and made great recommendations. My friend said we should all get the 1905 salad. It doesn't have any special ingredients, just iceberg lettuce, a dressing, ham, swiss cheese, and green olives, and I thought it was great how it was so tasty without having anything that notable. I was full after the bread and salad, but ordered an entree as well. The waiter recommended the Snapper "Alicante" so I got that instead of what I was going to get (Mahi Mahi). It was pretty good, came on a bed of rice with sun dried tomatoes and artichokes on top. I don't even like sun dried tomatoes, but I liked them in this dish. The seasoning on the fish was good but not overdone. My friends all liked their dishes as well. Our waiter was excellent and my water glass was never empty. It's a good meal, neat decor and ambiance, but keep in mind that you are paying for it. If you're looking for an "authentic" experience, this may not be the place for you.
Dear Lunch Goer, We ordered two children's menue items, I ordered the steak for my son and the Macaroni and cheese for my friend's son. The steak was CUBED and my son had to be forced to eat it. (for a dollar more I can get him the kids' steak at longhorn that is actual steak) The Mac and Cheese was just as meh. The shrimp wrapped in bacon that I ordered was so thickly battered that I couldn't taste the bacon. Service was slack at best. The best part of the meal was the 1905 Salad, the bread at the beginning of the meal, and the Sangria. There are so many other eateries in St. Augustine where you can really enjoy the fresh seafood of a coastal town with flavor without the over priced entrees. Skip It.
Made a reservation for lunch which I know is recommended but clearly wasn't needed today. The oriental lady at the front desk had her back turned and was reprimanding one of the other hostesses, something that should not occur in the front lobby, and moments went by before she even noticed our presence. When she finally turned around all we got was 'sorry. 2?' A hello would have been nice. She was very short with me and then threw menus at the other hostess and then gestured for us to follow. The other girl was much sweeter and I actually feel sorry for her. She apologized even though it wasn't her fault. I did request a manager upon being seated, just to inform them of what I witnessed, but was informed 'she's a little busy. She will be out in a few minutes' and clearly she forgot. Luckily our waiter was nice as well and the food was as good as I remember, but a bitter entrance can't be fully fixed.
Great food for not a crazy amount of money. The bread is the softest and warmest bread me and my girlfriend have ever had. This place is well worth your money and time.
Went in and sat at the table. Tablecloth was dirty. I looked down and there were dried pieces of food on the silverware and fingerprints on the glassware. I cannot comment on the food since we left to go somewhere cleaner.
Delicious. I'm never disappointed with anything on the menu. It's a fun place to go, too.
Columbia is a great St Augustine tradition. It's a large restaurant in downtown old city. The food, service, and drinks are very good and the atmosphere is top notch.
After going here, I find myself craving! Warning you will have an addiction after eating here! The food is amazing, the wait time is long, but totally worth it! So make sure to make reservations. I would highly recommended the "Joe & Marylin" a dish that was made for Ms. Monroe herself. And the Sangria is out of this world! The food is outstanding here! And now is a MUST every-time, I go to St. Augustine! You can also find "The Columbia" in a few different locations around the state as well. With the original being in Ybor City in Tampa. Plus the atmosphere is really cool, and very romantic.
There is nothing bad to say about this place. Awesome food , great service, friendly waiters, and everything is clean.
We came here on the recommendation of a friend and were not disappointed. The bread was divine, but what we really loved was the 1905 Salad. Simple and delicious...we were practically licking our plates and had the recipe for the dressing googled after 2 bites! Yummy place to eat after an afternoon wandering the historic St Augustine area we love.
This was an excellent experience. First off, our waitress provided exceptional service! She steered us in the right direction in regards to having some tapas and then sharing a paella. We started off with Empanadas de carne (delish!) and Champinones Rellenos (yummy) and ordered a pitcher of Sangria (mmhmmm)! We were loving everything. Then we ordered the Paella "Marinera"--which is a seafood Paella, combining their Valencia rice with prawns, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and calamares. Now make sure you order the Paella when you order your tapas because it takes 30 mins for them to make it (our Waitress gave us the heads up). Therefore our food came out in perfect time. The Paella was delicious!!! Definitely would get that again! For dessert, we ordered the Flan (it's a regular small portion), Brazo Gitano "Cien AÃ±os" (this was neat because it was flambÃ©ed but wasn't really good---we left that), and had the White Chocolate Bread Pudding (this was amazing--this was the best dessert!) We ate the leftover of the Bread Pudding the next day and it was even better than we had remembered! :) Price wise--it's a little on the pricey side, but not unreasonable. Definitely worth the experience at least once.
30 min wait for a table. Two speeds for service; slow and slower. Waited about 12 minutes to get our order in. No spiel f the menu. Food came out and wasn't anything special.
Ok, anyplace that brings out the makings for a pitcher of mojitos and makes it in front of you, is good in my book. Usually this place is a "no tank tops or muscle shirts" type of place, but one of us made it in with one, so maybe they are loosening their standards, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, lol. Mojitos were fantastic, each glass had a huge stick of sugar cane in it that you get to chew like a silverback gorilla. Fun! The food choices were fantastic, Didn't go for the more traditional cuban dishes, call me the cautious one of the group. But the grouper sandwich with plantain chips was still great. Had tastes of the other entrees at the table and they were equally as good. Now, the one issue. Flies. I don't believe they were as interested in landing on your plate or the food as much as they wanted to land on the patrons. It wasn't "walk out" bad, but it was definitely "hand me a flyswatter with my meal" bad. All in all, still a tasty side-trip. :)
Old school decor. Good red wine sangria. Apparently they have white as well, but I didn't see it until I had already ordered. Fun bartender that's been there for around 30 years. Bought some sangria mix in the gift shop downstairs just in case I get a craving this winter. This place was recommended by a few of the locals working in shops. I would love to come back and eat here when I'm in town next. Was with co-worker that wasn't interested in anything on menu so we each had a glass of sangria and ended up at Rhett's (see my review on that) instead. The menu here brought back good memories of Spain. There is a dish dedicated to Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio that looked interesting. Can't wait to eat here and update this review.
The food was average. The quality of the ingredients seemed average at best. Huge wine list but server had zero knowledge. Probably will not go back again.
I have love this restaurant for years. Typically its the salad and a pitcher of Mojitos that bring me in. But if you are a bit hungrier the Boliche is amazing.
Pretty sweet location right in the middle of the historical district, I bet they catch quite a few people just because it is ubiquitous and well located. We walked in because we were starving. Good food and good sangria, but found it to be still a bit overrated and overpriced for what you get. It can be characterized as a tourist trap... so just beware.
We tried the Tapas menu for 2 couples. Started off with a $9 mojito. Meh---lots of mint and lime juice, hardly any rum. Stuck with water after that. We ordered Pincho Mixta ("seasoned" grilled chicken, pork, and chorizo kebabs)---portions were 3 "tiny" skewers and the chicken was way overcooked and bland, no pork, and only 2 pieces of very tough chorizo; Empanadas de Picadillo (pastry turnovers "stuffed" with seasoned ground beef)---beef filling was tasty but portions were very small (2 small turnovers); Cakes de Cangrejo (2 blue crab cakes "loaded with crab meat and grilled") cakes were NOT grilled but fried, good flavor though but again, portions are small. Overall, this is a tourist TRAP. We received our food after a 45 minute wait (at least we had some Cuban bread and butter)Food is mostly bland, way over priced, and you definitely do not get a "bang for your buck." Service and ambiance are very nice, however. It is obvious that most locals do not eat here.Try the salads, probably the best items on the menu!
Interesting restaurant, clean and has fairly quick service. Reasonable prices, with a varied Cuban / Seafood menu. The Cuban bread is wonderful and served warm. I would recommend ordering the White Sangria to drink, it looks scrumptious. The Seafood Enchiladas and my husband's grilled grouper sandwich were both delicious. We split one order of the bread pudding with rum sauce, which was more than enough for two people. The rum sauce had great flavor and a hint of the rum. We will certainly be back.
The decor at Columbia was very nice, it would be a nice place for a rehearsal dinner or even a small wedding reception. It had a very nice casual vibe and the patio and fountain were a very nice touch. The food on the other hand wasn't as good as I expected. I have no idea why my expectations were so high, maybe because the prices were so high? I had paella and my friend had a steak. Mine was good, but there was something "out of a can" tasting about it. Couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it did not taste like a completely house-made dish. The steak was good, but it takes a lot to mess up a steak right? The service was just ok. Our waitress seemed a little busy, had that "you're bothering me" vibe. We weren't high maintenance at all, just wanted the normal level of service and I don't think she delivered. I don't think I'd go back unless I've tried all the other quaint restaurants in this cozy little area. Hopefully Columbia Restaurant isn't the cream of the crop for St Augustine.
Would not recommend if you have a child. They ignore tables with babies. Total discrimination. Restaurant was not even busy. We didn't even get waters. Rude
This place has a nice atmosphere, but I thought the food was just average for the prices they charge. I suppose everything in the soft, touristy center of St. Augustine is a bit overpriced, though.
I hate to give this restaurant a low rating as the folks there are great. Just honestly though, the food has always disappointed my wife and me. We live in St Augustine and every few years we figure we should give it another try and unfortunately leave disappointed each time. Maybe it's just not our thing.
I love this restaurant!!! The entrees and desserts are delicious and the decor is beautiful...it makes you feel like you are in another country. The service is great and the gift shop has many lovely items. When we have visitors we always bring them to Columbia and so far everyone has loved it.
Columbia restaurant seems to be a staple of historic St. Augustine. I remember coming here as a kid on a school field trip, and it'd been 20 years until I recently stopped in with some family. The Columbia definitely plays into the Spanish heritage of St. George Street, and the restaurant itself is beautiful. Once you walk into the building, you forget you're in America, and almost transport yourself to another land. Amazing ambiance, and a great place to enjoy lunch with family or friends. It does seem to be a bit of a tourist trap, however. If you come at peak times, expect a long wait. While I visited, the service was great, and the food was good. Not great, definitely not worth a wait, but good. For some reason, this place always ends up on "must-visit" lists while you're in St. Augustine. Don't really know why. The building is beautiful. The service was great. The food was good, but they're are DOZENS of amazing local restaurants in the downtown area that are way better. I would recommend this place for lunch, especially if you're sightseeing downtown. Dinner could be enjoyed elsewhere. I don't know why I'm being so negative in this review- considering I'm giving three stars. Definitely didn't hate my experience here. Everything was good. Maybe it's because this place seems to be over-hyped. I won't steer you away from the Columbia, it's a great place to eat. But there's a lot better in town.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in St. Augustine. I was a little concerned because it was Mother's Day, but the service was great even with the crowds. We did have reservations. I live in the area and figured just popping in on a weekend wouldn't be a good idea. As always, we got the 1905 salad. I can't recommend that enough. It's made table-side and it's always a treat. I had the Shrimp Criollo and it was delicious. We were too full to have dessert, but I love their Flan and Cafe con Leche. Maybe next time.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! SHAME on you Columbia for charging what you do and making mediocre food! What happened to your heritage? The GREAT COLUMBIA IN YBOR CITY? What a mediocre cubano! small and dry chicken croquettes. Unevenly cooked calamari, clumsy tostones - Go over to Lelos and sample well prepared restaurant quality tostones in a "cafetin". PLEEEAAASEEE! Do our heritage a favor and step up that kitchen. You can do better than you did.
After a orning spent at Fort Matanzas National Monument, we had lunch in old town St. Augustine at Columbia. The three of had the original 1905 salad to share. The salad was very good. For our entrees, we had cannelloni (stuffed with lobster, scallops, shrimp, and shallots. paella (with calamari, clams, mussels, shrimp, scalllops, chicken, pork, and spanish onions baked with yellow rice), and crab cakes. All three meals were excellent. Service was satisfactory. The 3rd floor, however, seemed a little warmer than the other 2 floors.
I like the feel of the Columbia so always try to stop in for a drink. The food is not my fave, so I usually pass.
Ok, The food was not bad at all.. I expected a full array of Spain cuisine dishes, instead there was more Cuban dishes .. There are two locations: Ybor city and St. Augustine, fl. It is a family owned restaurant so you get that extra special attention..
First experience at Columbia: Excellent. Second experience at Columbia: Odd. Their sangria is great. The food is pretty good. I loved their paella, and I'm usually not a fan. The food is good overall. The service... that was the strange part this time around. Our waitress would tell us stories, randomly. About her need for dresses that they don't have in Saint Augustine. That she really wants to visit Cuba, regardless of the government [mind you, I'm Cuban--please don't talk to me about how you don't care about the government and want to vacation there]. Then she told us how she wants to travel to Miami but thinks if you don't speak Spanish, you won't be welcome. Between these odd conversations, she would take our order, bring our food, ect. She also proceeded to rudely [albeit REALLY funny-ly] grab my friends' daughter's bread and break it apart with her bare hands when she saw the girl trying to cut her bread with a knife. Of course she very clearly indicated that her hands were CLEAN ["look! she said, look at them!"]. Lets just say, G [the young girl] was less than pleased with her experience at Columbia. The atmosphere and location are lovely. I love the inside courtyard and fountain in the center of the restaurant. It creates a nice ambiance. The restaurant is located right at the center of old St. Augustine. Again, food is pretty good. Service was INTERESTING and decor is pretty.
Columbia was a great "quaint" restaurant in the heart of St. Augustine. Our group of 4 enjoyed a wonderful meal and were served well with fast and friendly service. The waitress was happy to share her opinions on the meals and the food was wonderful
We came here to celebrate my mother's 50th birthday. The restaurant is beautiful. It has a lot of pictures from the earliest years of the restaurant and Spanish tile decor. The menu was extensive with a lot of choices, which it was hard to pick what to eat because they were great options. We all ended up ordering different entrees and of course sampled each others' plates. I had one of the Mahi Mahi dishes, the fish was great, but I loved the "Good Day" rice the best. It was similar to a "jasmine rice" and I didn't want it to end. The restaurant was a bit busy for a Wednesday night so our waiter was running arount a lot, but he remembered it was my mom's birthday and he sang to her in Spanish along with others and brought her a Flan dessert. We plan to visit this location on our next visit.
The wait was about 20 mins to sit but then the food was amazing! Will come back again! Made a mistake and posted early. After we said we were ready to go took an hour to get our check and pay to get out. And this was on a Monday I hate to see it on the weekend.
Paella. Minimum oil.
tastes like bad convention food except worse. and much more expensive. Don't be fooled by the pretty location and nice grounds. It's a classic tourist trap.
Love the original in Ybor City. Been here twice and there is a noticeable drop in quality from that location. Still the food is reliably good (if a bit pricey) especially compared with some of the more sketchy looking places in Saint Augustine. If you enjoy Spanish food it's definitely worth a stop - make reservations in advance if you can. Also make sure to get a 1905 salad which is made tableside.
There are so many restaurants in Saint Augustine to choose. It is rare to find one that is disappointing. In its location and ambience it is not surprising to find high prices. However, my meal was atrocious. Ordered the lunch Talapia with rice. The fish was old and very dry. The rice was loaded with salt. My wife tried some to verify my taste and spit it out. We got no satisfaction from the waiter and could not see the manager. We left a tip because it was not the waiters fault. He tried his best. Go to Harry's or any number to great eats.
This place is a great place to experience some different and unique flavors. Spanish, Cuban and South American influences are throughout the menu. The mojito and paella are excellent. This will definitely be a place we make sure ti visit when we are in St. Augustine.
This was my second time at Columbia Restaurant. I might try the original in Tampa next time I'm down there, but I'm not in a hurry to return to the St. Augustine location. The Cuban bread is good, don't waste your time with the sangria (is very watery), and stick with the traditional dishes like the flank steak and yellow rice with plantains.
I gave the Columbia another chance and sadly, regret the decision. Some friends were in town and they were dying to go for the mojito. The bartender was inattentive and my friend commented that it seems like the people who work there are all unhappy and had a very negative vibe at the bar. On to dinner. The server told me they do not serve flavored vodka, when clearly I had just had one at the bar. The bread and salad were served promptly, if only we had stopped there. The bread was the best part of the meal, warm and delicious. It took FOREVER to get our entrees and as the restaurant started to empty out, we wondered if our server had gone home and forgotten about us. I had the pork, my husband had palomillo. Mine was OK but lackluster. His was cold, chewy and had about 2 cups of diced raw onions on top of the dish. We had great company and conversation, so the evening was not a total bust until the bill arrived. Wow, that's almost a slap in the face to have bad food, bad service and pay over $70 plus tip per couple. This restaurant is x'd off the list for good!
Absolutely the best cuban food ever had!!!
This was a cool place to eat. Walked by it a hundred times and when we finally went in we were presently surprised. Great, friendly staff, good service and the food was really good. I got the combo plate with their 3 main dishes. Their Cuban bread is very good.
It's very tempting from the the outside and the inside decor is very nice. I was expecting a whole lot more, which I was kinda disappointed about. The spanish music lives up to the atmosphere and we were seated prompty with our reservation. I had the Pollo "Riojana" and it was ok. The chicken was slightly undercooked and it was kinda spicy in a way. Maybe that's how the way it was suppose to be, but I wasn't informed of that when I asked the waiter when ordering. Either way, it didn't stop us from having a good time for the rest of our trip.
First impression is a lasting impression. The building itself is amazing. My friend and I sat down glasses had SPOTS on them. Asked for new glasses, hope they were clean. Not sure as they had something in them when the waitress bought them to us. Our waitress was not a good one. Seemed sad, tired, apron was very, very dirty and just like she did not want to be there. Food is bad, had the Cuban sandwich and 1905 salad. Drink bad, had the sangria, water was better. Will not be going back, nor will I recommend this restaurant. My friend and I both have had better. Better service, better food and cleaner dishes. Columbia, please do better in the future.
One of my fav restaurants when I'm down in the ancient city. Waits can be insane, on which case I pass. I love any form of Latin cuisine. My recommendations for here are 1905 salad (made table side), chicken parm, tapas, paella and the guava pastry for dessert. Call ahead or be damned.
More than a year has passed since I've been here and the black bean cakes and gazpacho were as good as I remembered. Overall, still a standout spot. Minue one star on this trip, though, because the service was pretty lackluster and the food seemed to take forever to arrive. Our server never even checked in between our drinks/bread arriving until our entrees came. Still, highly recommend you check it out while in downtown St. Augustine.
Been to St. Augustine a million times and don't know why I never went here prior. The sangria was made right at the table and was fabulous, the Paella was great too. Nice Spanish decor. Will be going here on future visits.
Love the Columbia, been going there for 30+ years and have never been disappointed and I am Cuban, so that says a lot.
I've been a fan of the Columbia for a long time and have been to all of them in Florida. This one is very cool as its int he heart of St. Augustine. Sangira todos los dias!
The Colombia restaurant in Ybor City in the Tampa area is much better and I had a great experience at that location. I was expecting the same level of service when I came to this chain in St. Augustine. This is a small chain that focuses on Latin dishes and it is rather touristy yet fun. Despite many tables that appeared to be available, there was a 45 minute wait. My boyfriend and I decided to sit at the bar and ordered our food from there. We confirmed with the hostess that we could dine at the bar. There were 3 bartenders serving a relatively small bar and it took them some time for them to even acknowledge us. We waited for a long while and ended up getting spotty service from 3 different bartenders who could give a crap. After the long wait and having to flag them down for everything that we needed, they gave us the wrong order so my meal was sitting there and we had to wait again for my boyfriend's correct order to come out. My dish was okay and their food is very good overall. They should have comped my boyfriend for his meal. The restaurant service in Tampa is a lot more professional than the lousy and inattentive service we received in St. Augustine. If you go, then make sure NOT to sit at the bar if you want decent service. I don't like complaining about service because I used to waitress all through high school and college. I know that servers can have a bad day and that one bad apple shouldn't ruin the bunch. However, 3 inattentive bartenders for one small bar area is simply ridiculous.
I've been here a few times, this was the best, but it's always good. I was with a big party, the service was great! The 1905 salad was a good way to start, the eggplant in red sauce (don't remember the real name) was the best. Everyone was happy with their meal.
Went here for Christmas Eve dinner. We made a reservation in advance and I'm glad we did - the place was certainly hopping, and I can definitely understand why given our experience. Our server was extremely personable and while he had a full house in his section of the restaurant, he was attentive and on top of things. We ordered a pitcher of the house sangria for the table and it was mixed table side. I started with the Gazpacho AndalucÃa, which I was able to choose the toppings table side. It was fresh and the perfect start to the meal. For my main course, I had the Palomilla, which was the perfect size and had strong flavor. We also received our own personal mini loaves of bread to accompany the meal. Needless to say, no one left hungry (and my parents each took some leftovers home). This was my first experience at Columbia Restaurant and I would definitely return to this or another location. Thank you for the warm welcome in our first Christmas in St. Augustine!
Great experience! Loved the paella assembled by our table. The atmosphere is very nice, but can get a little loud. Staff were very helpful and attentive. Food seemed fresh and was very tasty. Definitely make sure you make reservations, even on a week day. You never know when the tourists are going to flock to this place. We walked right in and sat down while others had to wait over an hour. Can't wait to head back to try some other items on the menu.
Awesome food! Awesome wait staff! Awesome ambience! Ok reception staff. Make sure you make a reservation if you don't want to wait. Drinks are a little weak. Price is a high middle $100 for four people if you are not having alcohol. I recommend The Columbia!
The ambiance is what really does it for me. And I'd rather eat Cuban/Spanish food than hot dogs on George St. I guess the rumba calls me, being from Miami. The last time we were here we had a great waitress who went completely out of her way to make us feel comfortable. We had a little issue with the bill in which she said she'd pay the difference, having given us the wrong change. I don't mind when mix ups happen unless they deny you what you know is right. In this case, she quickly made it all better.
Just to preface....It would have gotten only 1 star if the manager did not come by to rectify the situation. Now that I said that let's start by saying Columbia Restaurant has been important to my family since 2000. My sister Nic B went to Flagler College in St Augustine, FL for her first year of college. When we went to St Augustine to look at the college and she got accepted we all went to celebrate at Columbia Restaurant. It's an upscale Cuban restaurant that has pages upon pages of items on the menu. Each appetizer and entree has a story along with the description of the meal. The inside of the restaurant has a fountain and just gives off the impression that you're in a quaint cafe in Cuba. My sister and I returned to St Augustine for her 29th birthday this past weekend. It was to go and see the old college that she spent her first year of college at. So naturally we had to revisit our memorable Columbia Restaurant. When we sat down we immediately ordered a pitcher of the Imported Sangria which is made tableside. All that "tableside" means is that they bring the pitcher which already contains the soda fruit and brandy in it and they pour a half bottle of wine into the pitcher. I asked the server (for the life of me I can not remember her name...) what kind of fruit was in the Sangria and she said "I don't know". I think she should have been a bit more knowledgeable. But hey that's me. We then ordered two Tapas. First the Devil Crab Croquettes. They were 6 mini croquettes filled with blue crab meat. It said it came with a hot sauce but we never got the sauce. We asked if it was supposed to have a sauce and the server wasn't sure. She left to get a sauce if any and never came back addressing the issue again. The second Tapa that we ordered was the Coca de Langosta. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS APPETIZER!!!!! It was the most fabulous flatbread I have ever put in my mouth. The flatbread was topped with Spanish chorizo, diced tomatoes, Maine lobster meat and Manchego cheese and then baked and drizzled with a pepper alioli. It was so delicious we wanted to lick the plate. Definitely a good combination of chorizo and lobster. For entree we shared the Pollo Riojana. It was breaded Chicken with a sauce on top and cheese melted, almost like the Cuban version of Chicken Parmesan. Served with rice and veggies. DELISH!!!! Prior to ordering dinner I got up to use the rest room and tell the server that I wanted to order dessert for my sisters birthday. She said that they serve a free flan for birthdays with a candle. I said I wasn't sure if Nic would want the flan or the White chocolate bread pudding so I said bring both and obviously I'll pay for the bread pudding. I said I wanted it to be a surprise so once we're done with dinner and you clear the plate just bring the dessert don't even bother to ask us what we want. She acknowledged and agreed. Once we finished the fabulous Pollo Riojana our server came to the table and asked if we wanted dessert. I looked at her trying to give her the "stink eye" hoping to refresh her memory. I said "Hmmm maybe flan or bread pudding but we'll have to think about it" She walked away and then came back saying "Did you decide?" My sister ordered the bread pudding. I thought she would remember by now so I didn't say anything. Out comes the bread pudding with out a candle. She placed it on the table with the check and said "No rush". I wondered did I not have the conversation I thought I did? Was I hallucinating? I left the table and saw her waiting for us to give her the credit card and I asked her "Didn't I ask you to bring it out as a surprise? What happened to the flan?" She replied "Oh shit well it's not that big of a deal, I'll bring some flan out now". I was appalled and said don't bother. I told my sister about how there was supposed to be a surprise and how bad I felt. We then heard our server talking about how annoying her table of two girls in the corner is. We couldn't believe it. I then asked another server if he could have the manager come over. He went to go tell the server and they continued to gossip without going to get a manager. Finally the manager walked by. His name was Fernando and I told him what happened and he was outragged. Fernando comped our entire bill and told us NOT to tip our server. I normally would never leave without tipping because I made my money off serving and bartending for 8 plus years but this was disgusting service. Everyone talks about tables but not IN FRONT of their table. So to sum up the review the food was delicious the service was DISGUSTING but the management rectified the issue and saved the day. Fernando you were my superman!!! And saved me about $85. Thanks!!
I've been coming to Columbia since I was a kid--both the St Augustine and Tampa locations--so it was nice to return with a friend to this one. The interior is utterly lovely and has more than ample space plus a feeling of serious, old-fashioned charm. That hasn't changed in the least. The waitstaff I found to be a little less experienced than I'd remembered from this and the Tampa and St. Pete Beach locations: the woman who seated us and our waitress were both nice enough but not on top of their game. They both would have been fine for an Olive Garden, but for Columbia they didn't do anything to make it feel more personal, go over the specials, or otherwise indoctrinate the guest to Cuban and Spanish cooking. I had the overall feeling that what had once been more of a fine dining experience now had become mostly about dealing with the typical hordes of tourists you find in St Augustine; the waitress made us feel a little rushed also near the close of our meals which is not what I expect at all for Columbia. Perhaps it's a trade-off: I was there in boardshots and a ballcap--a tourist myself--but while I enjoyed being able to walk in in this casual way, I kind of missed the more formal atmosphere of the Tampa Columbia. There was a loss of the special feeling of the experience you'd hope for with a really established place like Columbia. The food was fine but not too impressive overall: we ordered tapas and they were good, but not exceptional. My empanadas were quite good, but the gambas "al ajillo" were too heavy on garlic and too small a portion, even for tapas. Overall, I also felt things were a bit overpriced for the quality of cooking and the size of the portions. Next time I am in St Augustine, I intend to try The Floridian, which I've heard only great things about, and doesn't apparently carter towards a tourist experience over the sake of well-nuanced cooking. That said, four stars for now based on many other, better, experiences plus the fact my friend Justin tonight was very pleased with his dinner--he said it was four stars and I'll go with that, but expect a little better overall from Columbia next time.
Beautiful decor, but very large restaurant. More fit for a wedding party than an intimate dinner. Food mediocre at best.
We were in St. Augustine for a few days and my boyfriend had told me to "pack a nice dress" and told me to wear it on a Saturday night. He had made reservations at Columbia; we walked in just in time to hear the hostess tell the party in front of us that they would have to wait 45 minutes to be seated. I did feel a little bad as we were seated rather promptly. Lesson learned: make reservations. The Spanish architecture was beautiful, both inside and out. There were water fountains outdoors and lovely Spanish tiles inside. This place caters to a lot of tourists (they even have a gift shop). The service was remarkable and our food was great! We had the: The Eggplant "Riojana": Sliced eggplant breaded with ground plantain crumbs, smothered in rich Rioja sauce of tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives and red wine topped with melted Galician Tetilla cheese. Filet Mignon "Columbia": Broiled tender center cut Filet Mignon wrapped with wafer thin bacon and topped with Columbia sauce of mushrooms, ham, onions, tomatoes, green peppers and a touch of garlic, served with yellow rice. This is definitely a St. Augustine must if you're in town!
Went there for lunch yesterday, the hostess who sat us was terrible, she had an attitude, did not want to be there and was terribly dressed - her clothes extremely tight, gave us a very bad impression. She also sat an elderly couple next to us, they asked her a question, she pretended to not hear them and walked away - very rude!!!! The food was ok, the empanadas were very good and the cava sangria was ok. The rest of the meal bad. I had 1905 salad, iceberg lettuce drenched in oil - disgusting so much oil and very salty - loss the oil. My spouse had fish and it was dry and extremely salty. The rice was overcooked. Our server was nice, With so many people unemployed, you should find better hostess. Very expensive - lunch was over $75.00 for one appetize, a salad and some fish - Loss the salt shaker!!!!!!!
Do you enjoy restaurants that care about attention to authenticity and civility? Do you like a little old school flare with your gazpacho? If you do, then look no further than the Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine's old town. With walls bedecked in murals and hand-painted Spanish tiles, the restaurant has fountains and two stories of serving stations. This writer only wishes she could have infiltrated the kitchen walls to see firsthand the magic the chefs work with the calamari, which, incidentally, though boasted as "tapas" on the menu, truly act as main courses when ordered piecemeal. The waitstaff wear traditional starched whites and blacks. They might tempt you to try their perfect Malbec (and you should), but don't let them trick you into thinking they offer traditional tapas. Their tapas serving sizes are enormous, so if you thought you'd make a light meal out of a quick bowl of gazpacho and a couple tapas - you'd better bring some carry-out containers, because you will fill up quickly. Columbia serves ambrosial Cuban bread and wonderful salty butter before each meal. Consider this meal one, the delightful Malbec meal two. Your bowl of gazpacho (all the fixins, please) meal three... and if you can fit any more in you, then you are pre-ordained by higher powers, so go for it. Just beware: the calamari (sinfully good) stands alone as a true proper dinner. And don't forget to cruise the gift shop as you waddle out, fully satisfied and loving life. The measuring spoons are neat.
Love this place. I make a stop every time I'm in the area. Everything on the menu that I have tried has been very good. Also fun environment, drinks and staff. If you like tapas or Cuban food this restaurant is worth checking out.
Let's start by saying I've been to the one at Celebration and thought it was great. Also, we walked in with 10 minutes to go before last seating. So there could be some leeway for coming in late. That said, if I'm paying $25 for a plate, I expect it to be pretty good. Dinner was $100 after tip. That included 1 Sangria, 1 beer, 2 appetizers, 2 dinners, and a single dessert. I got the special, which would have been just OK had the rice been cooked. It was still pretty chalky in the middle. The veg in the rice tasted off as well. The seafood was cooked properly though, and the flavor was pretty good. I just didn't eat the rice. My girl got the roast pork and rice, a Columbia classic. The pork was actually kind of tough, and definitely didn't taste like much. Certainly not up to the roast pork I make at home. The appetizers were pretty good. The fried Baccala was tasty and even my non-fish-loving girlfriend had a second piece. The other appetizer wasn't memorable enough to make an impression apparently... For dessert we had the chocolate chip bread pudding. It was a less custardy version of bread pudding. Tasty, just not the hot custard love we were expecting. Overall, it was ok dinner, had it cost $60... but it didn't. It cost $100. There are far better meals to be had in the area for far less money, and on that basis, I give them 2 stars. Had I paid $100 and not had a single better meal in the area for the 4 days we were there, I could have gone 3 stars.
Great experience last Friday night! Salads and black bean soup were all tasty and our service was very good. Thereof us shared 3 tapas,all of which were excellent - garbanzos and spinach, Tuttle cheese and marinara, plus a nice size portion of scallops. Everything was hot and delicious. What a great way to end our stay here.
It was 1905 day at the restaurant. Everything on their selected menu was the same price it was in 1905 when the restaurant opened it's doors. The Russian Style Merluza I had was amazing. I'd definitely recommend it.
Went to their location in Tampa early this week it was 150%better than this one. I believe this chef did not use any seasoning.
After a hot day of wandering around the old town and fort of St. Augustine, we headed to Columbia Restaurant. My parents-in-law dined here once before, and had a very good experience, and was eager to share it with us. Like most of St. Augustine, the large three story white building that housed Columbia Restaurant was very Spanish influenced. With a red iron fountain in the courtyard outside, as well as the inside courtyard, and beautiful Spanish tile all around, this place was lovely and despite how tired I was, I was very excited for dinner. Unfortunately, the experience started off bad. I went to the hostess stand and requested a table for 4. The hostess gives a table number to a waiter, who proceeds to take us upstairs - to the 3rd floor. However, my father-in-law has leg problems and there was no way he could make it up 3 flights of stairs. The waiter gets the hostess's attention to tell her that we can't do the 3rd level, and she *snaps* at him. Right in front of us. When I give her my "look of death", and tells her that my father-in-law can't make it up all those stairs, she quite snottily tells me "well, I have a big party coming in and that's all I have". I would like to eventually call BS on this, as I later wandered around the lower level, and saw a few four-tops that were open. But at that time, I just continued with my glacial death stare, and she sighs and says "I have something on the second level", which slowly my father-in-law is able to do. We order a pitcher of sangria, which, while delicious, was remarkably small, however as my in-laws don't really drink, it was fine. The bread was hot and crusty and served individually, which I loved. When given water options, we were only given the choice between flat or sparkling, we ordered flat, thinking it was just regular tap...nope, it was an overpriced bottle of water - which was just enough for 4 glasses and no refills. *Sigh*. I ordered the Steak Salteado, as our server assures me that it was tastier and more tender then the Palomilla that I was on the cusp of ordering. After getting my order, I must say, I worry about how incredibly tough the Palomilla steak must be, because my chunks of meat were marginally more tender then jerky! Also, it was incredibly over-salted, to a point where it was almost spicy from the salt. The rest of the flavors wasn't anything spectacular, just green peppers, onions, tough beef cubes and even more tough pieces of chorizo in a boring brown gravy! I couldn't taste the "hearty red wine" nor were there any mushrooms in my dish, that had the presentation level of a Panda Express or some fast food slop-joint. Served with mushy yellow rice, that was the texture of Uncle Ben's, I was severely disappointed in my dish. My mother-in-law ordered the Ropa Vieja, and although she didn't say anything, I could tell that she too, was disappointed in her dish, especially after I told her how delicious Ropa Vieja can be. My father-in-law's "Diablo" seafood pasta dish had an odd piece of fish that was incredibly gamey, ruining the meal for him - even though the seafood was cooked well, and it was otherwise tasty. My husband's combo platter was a mix of good and bad. The pork chop was bland, as was the yuca. However the plantains were evidently pretty good, and so was the empananda. Although our server was very lovely, she was also managing two large parties, so she wasn't able to check up on us, except in a tearing hurry. As I said, the bottle of water had only 4 glasses worth of water in it, and with the saltiness of my dish, I quickly drained it, but I couldn't get any refills due to how rushed and busy she was. The quality of food, combined with the level of service and the rudeness of the hostess at the beginning of our meal, definitely makes this a "no go" for me. Considering the prices of the dishes, I expect that the flavors to be better, and that the overall presentation of our dish isn't just a ladle of sauce and meat poured next to a scoop of rice. Bleh. Very disappointed and very upsetting. Even though the decor is lovely and the sangria was delicious, I definitely won't be back!
Microwavable food taste better than that! Disappointed in the service, especially Flora (hostess). Why have her in the front? She was rude, would not make eye contact, not even a smile, nothing. An hour wait for our food, terrible and cold. The "Spanish" food is not authentic or the Cuban coffee= coffee and milk. The new manager apologized sincerely and gave us free desserts. Very nice guy, said there was a different chef that night. Seemed as if he received a lot of complaints that night. I felt sorry for him but I will never recommend it nor will I return.
I lived in Jacksonville for almost 20 years and had been to st. Augustine many many times but had never eaten at the columbian. After moving to miami, I returned to st augustine for a visit and decided to give it a try. It was an amazing experience! Everything from the bread to the drinks to the atmosphere was exceptional! I ordered the mahi mahi and it was one of the best dishes I have ever had! St augustine has changed a lot over the years but this restaurant has always been called the best! Give it a try! Amazing!
Carlos our waiter really made our lunch experience extra special. Very helpful! Food was excellent and the atmosphere was incredible! LOVED IT!!! Will return on our next visit. Casual dress but you can also dress up and fit in.
It's a lovely replica of the Columbia in Celebration and the service was AMAZING! The food is great, although the rice isn't made like traditional Cuban dishes serve it. It's more mushy then you'd find at home, but I still love love love this place and would recommend it! Ooo la la, and that 1905 salad is to die for!!
Wonderful restaurant in the heart of St Augustine. Very good Spanish food and Sangria. Our server "Shana" was very pleasant and helpful.
Best black bean soup ever! MY husband dreams of it. Great service and great tapas. Can be a tourist trap so best to go on off hours.
One of my favorites!!! Always fantastic food & atmosphere!!
To start out, our waitress, Lindsey, was fantastic. Very friendly and happy. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to earn Columbia more than 2 stars. The bread seemed pretty fresh, they brought us half a loaf each and we snacked while we waited for our appetizers. We ordered the mushroom rellenos it was basically a mushroom stuffed with frozen spinach artichoke dip... Not fantastic. We also ordered the queso fundido; which wa basically chunky marinara sauce with a small amount of melted cheese on top and those little crustinis that you can buy in bulk at sam's club. Finally, for appetizers, we ordered the crab and shrimp alcochofa (artichoke) this was similar to eating queso from a can. We each took a bite and sent it back (we never send food back). We decided to split a meal and went with "Marilyn and Jo" this was a plate of Chinese beef and broccoli sauce with chicken and shrimp and the chewiest chorizo I've ever had. The rice was way over salted. Overall, the atmosphere was truly beautiful but the food is not worth a return trip to Columbia the restaurant. P.S. The paper towels in the bathroom are awesome.
I did not eat here! We only stopped in for an espresso at the bar! It took us forever to get any kind of acknowledgment from anyone behind the bar. Once we finally ordered, the bartender was kind of awkward. Their saving grace was that the coffee was really good & very strong. We were ready to go and our bartender was nowhere to be found. We let another bartender know we were ready and she gave us a little attitude and told us that she would find ____ (I don't remember her name).
First, the 1905 salad is quite great. Overall though, I wasn't really "wow'd" by this place. I mean, it was alright but not mind-blowing. I got the paella and it was incredibly bland, almost no flavor whatsoever. Perhaps Spainish quizine doesn't use any spices? It was pertty much chucks of baked, unseasoned fish and chicken with yellow rice... Perhaps I just got the wrong thing, but I wasn't impressed, especially for the price.
Stopped in for light lunch and had the Black beans with rice and onions. Absolutely delicious ! Ample serving... neither of us could finish it. Ambiance was great even at lunch & good service.
My favorite restaurant in St. Augustine. This time, my wife and I shared the pinchos mixtos (grilled chorizo/chicken, very flavorful with good quality sausage). I had the Mahi Mahi Cayo Hueso, which is making my mouth water twelve hours later as I write this review. We shared the white chocolate bread pudding for dessert - and I'm not a bread pudding fan by any stretch - but it was phenominal. Friendly, quick, attentive service, and the atmosphere enhances the St. Augustine experience as a whole.
I often wish we could vote half-stars on this site. I've given this restaurant an additional star, just to reflect their responsiveness. That's something I always appreciate. BUT the restaurant, overall, is still one I'd only rate 2.5. We were in Fl visiting family. My mom was excited about taking us here for "authentic"" food. We had looked forward to it. We were seated on time, and our server was attentive throughout the meal. She's the sole reason I gave this restaurant 2 stars instead of 1. Teh restaurant itself feels comfortable. But the food...First, we ordered their "famous" house salad. Turns out it's prepared tableside. The server was competent, but the salad was a toss of iceberg lettuce, and other vegetables. It had a lot of red onion. It was the most fuss I've ever seen over iceberg lettuce, and the end result was lackluster. To me, it had an overwhelming taste of onion. Both people at the table pulled their onion out of the salad and put it on the side of the plate. The main dishes were terrible. My partner ordered a pork entree. The plate wa uninspired, and the pork was so overcooked it was inedible. I had the chicken and yellow rice. The whole thing was mushy tasting. Neither of us finished our dish. Mom had a beef entree and didn't seem to love it, either. The flan tasted like something out of a box. I didn't want to be critical in front of Mom who had been coming here for years, but I wouldn't go back. Note: despite what the Columbia staff said, two of us at the table remember red onion in the salad, Not sure why this was the case with ours.
Wonderful service, but 3 different dishes came out cold. Could have been a glitch in the kitchen. The food was good, but not amazing. Great wait staff though.
This place always leaves me happy! Beautiful place in the heart of St. Augustine. Their filet and delmonico "sonny" steaks is where it's at for dinner. 1905 salad a must add to any meal!
My history goes back to Ybor City in the 50's. This one had nice decor, uninterested hostesses/greeters. The salad was excellent. His arroz con pollo was flat out disappointing and maybe a 3 of 10 unlike the old days. Her cuban sandwich was good but not as good as El Cubano in YC. Flan was good but not rich enough. Overall the experience did not meet the expectations based on memories formed at the flagship restaurant. That said, table service was EXCELLENT.
I have to say.... AWESOME with a capitol A. Muy beuno. Order 1905 salad with turkey; empanadas with extra 'salsa', cuban bread and lots of soft butter. I've been there dressed up to the hilt on New years Eve and been there in my bathing suit with beach coverup. They'll take your $$$ either way.
Really not worth the money. The quality of food was not bad but just not worth it. The same food could have been had from "pollo tropical" as well for half the price and with more quantity. All entrees are $15 and above. Would stay away. Not eating here again.
I've never had Cuban cuisine before nor had I ever had Spanish aside from Tapas, so I can't comment whether or not this was truly authentic. But what I do know was that it was tasty and I would recommend this place. The restaurant was HUGE, and was in a beautiful Spanish style building that had plenty of courtyards and fountains. The place has the feel of a better restaurant but nearly all the diners were in casual tourist attire. We had a perfectly nice waiter who was attentive but as others have said the service seems to be alltogether slow here (we had a very late lunch around 2:45 and it probably took a good 45 minutes for our food to come out). I had the day's special which was Mojito Chicken. Like I said I really don't know how authentic it was but I didn't care...it was moist, tender and I got about a whole bird on my plate. The special included a side of "good rice" which was a very apt description. My husband had some sort of breaded fish called the Russian which did taste fresh and came with a side of the yellow rice. He enjoyed his meal. As others noted below it definitely is a tourist type place, but who cares as long as you enjoy the experience? I was a tourist, and I left happy. It's a bit on the more expensive side for us (the entrees averaged between $11 and $20 for the most part) but it was a welcome treat and I would recommend it to anyone spending a day or two in St. Augustine.
Went for dinner in St Augustine and wanted to try something new. Went to the Columbian Restaurant. The food was excellent. It was a cuban restaurant and upscale., but you didnt have get dressed up. Our waiter was friendly and knowledgable.
Always geeat food when we eat here. This is the first time I have ordered the black bean soup, its my new favorite.
blah. I have yet to find a decent cuban restaurant since I have been in Florida...
The food was better then most of what St. Augustine has to offer especially in the tourist district... The kids chowed down on their kids chicken finger and macaroni and cheese, while my husband and I enjoyed the black bean cakes, a mahi cuban, and some sort of a scallop bake (not memorable)... A little on the pricy side but that was expected by the location. Would go back for dinner minus the kids. A+++ on Decor
I don't understand the glowing reviews. The hostesses had to finish their conversation before greeting us even as we stood in front of them. The waitress was very slow to arrive and was very impersonal. I ordered red sangria which tasted like grenadine with fruit in it. We ordered 3 tapas and a salad. We expected the salad to be delivered first and the tapas after as they were prepared but instead all 4 dishes arrived at one time after a lengthy delay. The food was not hot and there was not anything at all memorable about any of the dishes. Upon leaving visited the restroom which was a mess. Really - there are so many places in the area - try something else.
Would have given it 1 star for food but the ambiance is ok. Started out with a watery, tasteless, sangria. Followed up with a queso fundido that consisted of a dollop of cheap rubbery cheese melted on top of what tasted like a can of cheap tomato sauce. Main course was a bone-dry, lifeless, under seasoned puck of roasted pork served with a half raw piece of yuca and tasteless black beans and dry white rice. Awful. My husband had the fish which was also dry and the sides were underwhelming as well. Wold never eat here again or recommend to anyone! Terrible food with good service and ok ambiance.
The resturant is a great place to have a dinner party. The food is okay.
Everything about the Columbia is spectacular from its stucco'd walls to its tiled floors; this restaurant is a true Spanish delight! I love the little courtyard where we had our dinner. We sat in little wrought iron chairs next to a magnificent fountain. This little space surrounded by the walls of the restaurant was simply delightful. We had the server make Sangria with fresh fruit tableside which added to the overall enthusiasm of our delicious meal. I ordered the Paella 'A la Valencia' which took an extra 30 minutes to prepare. It was certainly worth the wait as this paella was full of clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, pork and chicken. And I am sure I left quite a bit of the other ingredients out. This was a tremendous amount of food, but somehow I managed to trundle through the behemoth meal, bite after delectable bite! I would also highly recommend the Sea Bass as well. This fish was baked under a blanket of tomato, potato and onions. YUM! Definitely make a reservation here as we have tried to simply walk in on a couple of occasions to no avail.
Went there with my in laws while on vacation last week, had a great meal. I had Boliche Criollo which was fantastic. I couldn't finish the whole thing. We also had the sangria that was made at the table. Great atmosphere, great food. Located in the middle of St. Augustine.
Our experience here was wonderful! The food was delicious and the bread was outstanding! Our waitress was very accommodating and sweet. It's a lovely looking restaurant and our whole experience was just terrific. The wine was excellent and the waitress let me try different samples until I found the one that I really loved. The restaurant has a lot of charm and style. I would highly recommend this restaurant for a lovely dining experience.
Very nice decor... but I should have figured that it'd be overrated. It's in the middle of the historical part of town and really... it's too expensive for what you get. Plus - I'm a little disgusted that they set the plates out early and there are a ton of flies that fly around and sit on the plates. gross.
Ate here on my last day in St. Augustine. Cute restaurant, well lit. Great ambiance. Had the sangria, but it was just okay. Had the empanadas and those were delicious. Ordered the seafood paella and it was pretty good, although it was a bit on the saltier side. Service was great and our waitress was very attentive and friendly. Overall, a pretty good place to have Spanish food while you're in the historic part of St. Augustine.
We've always had a great time at the Columbia restaurants. Over the past 20 years we've gone to the St. Augustine, Sarasota and the Celebration locations and each experience has been excellent. St. Augustine is by far, our favorite. The atmosphere of the restaurant itself is beautiful let alone the surrounding historic area. The food and service have always been wonderful and the Sangria's are almost too refreshing...lol. The only issue I would have with the Celebration location is that the tables are (or seem) closer together. It may have just been an extremely busy night. No matter the location, the Columbia has a customer for life.
I have never been wrong coming here. I just love everything about it. The food is good, mojitos are awesome and the gift shop is great.
One major reason to go here: The 1905 Salad. Other than that, this restaurant is delicious, in a beautiful building in the heart of the historical district of St. Augustine. However, none of that even remotely compares to the deliciousness of the 1905 Salad. This salad is comprised of iceberg lettuce, tomato, baked ham, swiss cheese, manzanilla [green] olives, white wine vinaigrette, romano cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. MMMMM. It is so delicious. Other than that, this place serves your quintessential Spanish fare... yellow rice, chicken, croquettas, seafood, paella, tapas, etc etc. The building the restuarant is housed in is absolitely stunning. Ask to sit in the room with the fountain. Black and white tiles cover the floor, outside light pours in through the large windows and the large fountain sits in the center of the room with tables surrounding. It is a great place for lunch during a trip to St. Augustine's historical neighborhood, the oldest city in America. The location is amazing, the food is delicious, and the 1905 Salad is perfection. Top recommendation for all of St. Augustine! Yum!
Despite being in the middle of a tourist trap in old town St. Augustine (no disrespect, St. A, the area there is gorgeous), I really like this restaurant. It's big, it's bustling, with sort of an old world decor. I usually get the half and half: half cuban sandwich and half 1905 salad. The bread served before the meal is really delicious: warm and crusty with a side of butter. There are several types of sangria available (and other drinks), but the best is the cava sangria made with champaign. This is usually a must eat for us when we are visiting.
We visited this place last Saturday for a quick snack during our visit to the oldest city in the US. I had been here before but not since I was in college. I remember it being much better then it was though. We were seated quickly and the place has a lot of history but history is not going to win you new customers. The service was very good but the food was just ok, nothing really popped out and said hey this is the best Spanish cuisine your going to have in St.Johns County. We had the Cuban Sandwich, Cuban Black Bean Soup, and the Spanish Bean Soup. It all just tasted very bland. Now the bread that came out was hot and delicious but too little to make a better impression. If your looking for good Spanish food in Northeast Florida look some where else.
My lunch was horrible. I had the Mahi Mahi sandwhich. Don't know how much trouble it was to make the fish turn the consistency of shoe leather; but, they should stop it. The coffee was weak. My husband had the seafood cannellone. Both of our dishes were tasteless. HOWEVER, I give it 2 stars because the ambiance is beautiful and I did see some dishes (especially their salad) that looked fabulous. They mix the salad at your table and I wish I would have tried that. ALSO, the waiter was fabulous attentive and charming.
Yum, YUM! We came here because Dorian had eaten here before with her parents on a day trip to St. Augustine, and I was pleasantly suprised. We made reservations and were seated promptly outdoors, like requested. We had a slightly drunken and leisurely early dinner and we shared smaller items versus ordering large entrees. We started with the 1905 salad, which I decided was kind of like a cuban sandwich in salad form. It was super garlicy and delicious, and the combo of ham, cheese, and olives was great. I would honestly come here again and just order the salad. Before we got our salad, we ordered a pitcher of sangria.....we opted to go for the non-traditional version, which included sparkling wine, brandy, and the array of fruits. It was pretty much the best thing ever. The bread that was served was out of control good; really flaky and ot of the oven fresh. Definitely a good way to start a meal. After salad, we shared some cheese dip with bread (I can't remember the actual name of it) but it was a really tasty spanish flavored sauce with cheese melted on top, served with crusty bread. I had some chicken croquettes and some crab croquettes.....the chicken were far more perfect than the crab, for my palette anyway. Dorian had a black bean soup, which was tasty and huge. Everything captured the essense of Spanish cuisine, and I'd definitely come back here again.
After looking forward to dining here, my husband and I were very disappointed. We ate here last year while visiting from Virginia and everything was great. This time, however, it left a lot to be desired. After taking our order, the server (Russell) said he'd bring out some bread and never did so we asked another server who promptly brought it to us but by that time our food arrived. The tapas were pretty good. We ordered rice with chicken to share (which we told the server) and didn't get an extra plate so I had to flag him down and asked for a plate. He never brought us one so again we had to ask another server. The rice and chicken was cold and the rice very mushy. We had also ordered a side of plantains which we never got. He never came back to check on us but I did see him checking on other tables. Finally he brought my husband a refill on his soda but by this time we were done and just wanted to pay and leave. I doubt that we would ever dine here again and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Drove from our hotel in Jacksonville for this let down....not cool.
I recommend this place for lunch. They have good prices and amazing. Great service
I was there visiting family and when we went to that restaurant, I had the best mahi mahi and yellow rice with peas. My leche coco martini was great too. I love the decor and ambiance of The Columbia as well as the food there. Keep up the good work and good cooking. I"ll be back next time I visit there. It doesn't get any better than this.
This is a nice tourist resturant for adults. The menu is very wordy and interesting to read while having some sangria made at your table. We had the Sangria de Cava and I would certainly have that again. My dining companions all made varied choices and I got to taste a little of their selections. The 1905 salad made at your table is good if you are a salad as a meal person. You can add an appetizer to that to at least get some protein, my companion added the Shrimp "Al Ajillo" and liked the shrimp. One of my companions got a selection of tapas and I had plate envy. She said that the Empanda de Picadillo was really great. I had Criollo Shrimp and I really didn't like it. This is a place to eat a leisurely meal with enjoyable companions that you can have good dinner conversation with. The food is not outstanding on its own, you have to bring your own entertainment with you. You will not get a quick meal here and personally I think this is a terrible resturant to bring children to.
We had lunch there on 03/08/13. I ordered the special of the day which was an oriental style stir fry with pork, ham, shrimp,rice and bean sprouts. We ordered salt cod fish balls and empanadas as appetizers My wife ordered a glass of Malbec wine and I ordered a Jai Alai IPA. When the waiter came back with our drinks he explained that they were out of the Malbec and substituted another for it. When we looked at the bill later, we saw that we paid a higher price than the one she ordered. Foul!!!! The appetizers were OK but the stir fry was greasy, salty and barely edible. I was only able to eat about 1/3 of it and had the rest boxed to take home but ended up throwing it in the garbage, As others have indicated, the best part of the meal was the warm Cuban bread and butter and the flan that we shared for desert. We have had lunch there in the past. Our last time was two years ago and it was wonderful. Either they are going down hill or we just ordered the wrong thing. Total bill with tax and tip came to $60 which we feel was a very poor value. Other than the wine issue, service was OK except that the waiter left dirty dishes on the table while we had our desert.
Excellent restaurant, wonderful Cuban cuisine! service is as you expected to be. Beautiful Spanish building. The menu is excellent and the price really affordable. I love the ropa vieja (shredded meat) with Moro. If you pass by this wonderful Spanish Joya "jewel" do not forget to pass by this wonderful restaurant.
I had fairly low expectations but was instead very surprised by the quality of the food and overall dining experience. In keeping with the St. Augustine tourist destination, there are some very "touristy" qualities about the restaurant. This is unfortunate, because if you can get past the tourist centered Florida-Cuban cliche, you will find an incredible Cuban-Spanish-South/Central American menu. The food immediately brought back memories of my visits to Central America. An outstanding dining experience.
I'd been to St. Augustine and passed up the Columbia three times before actually being in the mood to go in. Our server was wacky and sort of rude - well intentioned it seemed, but when she actually asked me "Are you really going to eat all of that?" seriously, I was pretty put off. She also referred to my boyfriend and I as "ladies" and said "I guess you like the taste of chlorine," when we opted for tap water instead of bottled. Come to think of it, she was indeed rude and definitely had a negative impact on the chances that I will return. The food was good. The 1905 salad was indeed delicious. I loved the yellow rice, but my chicken (Salteado) was overdone (better the next day... I did have plenty of leftovers). My boyfriend had El Combo de Cuba and liked it (the empanada was strangely sweet, but very good). I'd probably go back, but would like to try other places first. It's a landmark, and that was its greatest value to me.
Very impressed with the Columbia restaurant. excellent service the waitress answered all our questions. The setting is beautiful. Food was amazing. Would go back again when I go back to Saint Augustine.
We always go to The Columbia when in St. Augustine. The atmosphere is awesome, and the food and service are excellent.
Although this Columbia is centered in tourist town St. Augustine it was just as yummy as the rest of the restaurants highly themed chains. The ambiance was on point as well as the amazing Latin inspired food. I will tell you that the wait is long so put your name on a list and walk around the small shops located in the same area. We waited about an hour but it was the best food selection available.
Our expectations were set fairly high for the Columbia based on the Locals telling us it's the place to go for great steaks, seafood & Spanish cuisine. We decided to try it out. First things first, the restaurant itself is a hidden gem on St. George street in St. Augustine. The ambiance was great- very Spanish feel from the tiles to the colors & architecture throughout. The bread, 1905 salad & the mojito are hands down the best items in the menu. We had several in our party- most ordered beef dishes, while some chose the paella or chicken. In fairness, I had high hopes for my basic Cubanesque meal...It's hard to mess up Palomilla, but...FAIL! Overall, not horrible, but they could have definately stepped it up given overall cost.
The food here was just adequate. I've had much better. And only pay with your credit card here if you want your server to add extra money on to the tip when they process it through to the credit card. I had to dispute the amount with my credit card company. Beware of this restaurant!
Yes, it is a very touristy place but the ambiance is lovely and decor is beautiful. The food is very good. I've been eating at Columbia since I was a kid. The Spanish bean soup is as good as it ever was, the 1905 salad is to die for. This trip I tried several of the tapas dishes. The stuffed paquillo peppers were delectable, the empanadas were delish, I was too full to enjoy anything else! A must have experience for every newcomer to St A.
I am being very generous with giving 2 stars here. I ordered the shrimp supreme and had to send it back because it was so salty. After I sent it back, they said they could not remake it because they would use the same batter. How could anyone even tolerate it? I don't even know. My glass of water also remained empty most of the dining time. I also want to mention how I had been to this same restaurant 2 years prior and absolutely loved it. Apparently a lot has changed. The only thing I actually enjoyed was the salad. I do not think I will return for a salad though.
One of my favorite places to eat. Whenever I am in St. Augustine I have to eat here at least once. Everything that my family has tried has always been excellent.
We were all hungry by the time we got to St Augustine and were looking for a good restaurant to sit down and enjoy a good meal. After looking through several restaurant menus along St George street, we settled for Columbia. The menu looked good and legit... coca de langosta? Authentic Spanish, let's try it. Galician Tetilla cheese baked with a Rioja wine sauce? Damn nice it sounds! But the goodness starts and ends in the menu. That cheese is probably not Tetilla, most likely plastic mozarella baked in a pool of industrial marinara sauce. The bread that came with it was hard and stale. The "coca de langosta" (Balearic flatbread with lobster) was tasty but not really a lobster flatbread, more like canned crabmeat on a Mexican tortilla. The picadillo empanadas were alright but unremarkable. My friend said that Columbia is like an "expensive fast-food restaurant". Everything came out so fast indeed, you would think they had it ready on the kitchen pass waiting for an order. The hot bread was nice, but the butter was a "I can't believe it's not butter"-type spread. The sangria tasted like cleaning product and cough syrup, fake and unpleasant, not much booze there. The restaurant itself looks like a dated 1950's-style tourist trap. Lots of families, babies, just not the kind of ambience my wife and friends look for when traveling. Service was good, though, efficient and pleasant. 3 mediocre tapas and 3 drinks, $45 dollars. Will never return!
It's ok. Building is real nice and how cool is the surrounding area!! Bean cakes were real tasty. Palomilla was average. The rice was clumpy as if it was sitting around awhile. Just an average place
Food was very good. I had Jimmy's pompano - could have been hotter. My husband really enjoyed his steak. Cooked just the way he likes it - rare. Service was horrendos. We had an 8:30 reservation but went early to hit the gift shop. We checked in at 8:20. We watched the older woman at the desk turn away 3 different couples - wait time one hour fifteen minutes. When you looked into the dining rooms there were lots of empty tables - one man said that to the woman - we have lots of reservations. They left too. At exactly 8:30 we were seated on the third floor. More than half the tables were empty. We sat 30 minutes with menus. Hostess came over to apologize that the server had a large table, he was making salad for them. When the server finally came over he said he didn't know he had our table. Got bread finally and slow with our Sangria. When dinner came he brought both pompano entrees from the menu because he didn't remember what I ordered!
My husband said this was the best meal he has had at Columbia. He had the "Joe and Marilyn". 1905 salad is always delicious and we all bought the salad dressing in the gift shop. Service was great. A favorite place when we visit St. Augustine.
I can't help it, I love the Columbia Restaurant becase I have been coming here for decades whenever I make a trip to the old part of St. Augustine. Yes, it is a bit of a tourist trap and the wait can be long at peak times, but I have never had a bad meal there. I was sorry to read the bad experiences of some fellow Yelpers, but that is not my experience. My husband and I went for a late dinner on a Thursday evening and were seated immediately. We started off with the sangria, which comes in a pitcher and is served at your table. He had "La Completa Cuban" which offered different tasts of Cuban cuisine (empanada, roast pork, black beans, etc.), and I had cannelloni filled with seafod - "7 Ports" or something like that. Both dishes were delicious and filling, and the Cuban bread they always serve was wonderful. I have to say the server was not as attentive as he could have been, but the atmosphere is just as I remembered, warm and inviting. The restaurant is in the heart of the old city, and I can't wait to go back.
I don't know if its because I'm from Miami and am surrounded by Cubans and their great food, but this place was underwhelming. I did like the ambiance and decoration of the place but besides that, nothing really wowed me. I knew I was in for a bad experience when I looked through the menu and found nothing that caught my attention. And that has happened to me like twice in my whole life. My favorite part about the whole meal was the cuban bread, and I can get a loaf of that at home for less than a dollar. Besides that, everything was just blah. Whether it was the lobster cannelone, ropa vieja, puerco a la cubana, or paella. I will definitely not be back here next time I am in St. Augustine and would rather look for another place to eat. I did find the rice to be pretty decent though.
Food was ok. The YELLOW Rice is to die for though. We sat at the bar to wait for our table and loved the Bar staff soo much, we never left. WE had many mojitos which were made to perfection. The food was good, not great, but good and satisfying! The People that worked the bar that night were REALLY FUN!!!
This is my third visit to the Columbia House and it will be my last. The quality of the food and service was extremely disappointing. I was embarrassed to have insisted to take my brother there for his birthday dinner. First of all, the service was terrible. It took over 15 minutes for a server to greet us and offer us drinks. The periods of "server interaction" we're few and far between. The food was mediocre. Three people shared Lula Mae's Choppped Salad, which was pretty disgusting. The artichokes and hearts of palm came from a can and had been sitting out for a few hours because the color of the veggies was GREY. The tomatoes were mushy and tasted like they should have been thrown in the trash days ago. For entrees, we ordered the Snapper Adelita; the snapper was mushy, if it was even "snapper". We also ordered the Steak Palomilla, which was barely cooked and so fatty it was chewey (it was hard to even cut pieces with a knife). The only good meal was the Pollo Manchego. Unfortunately we will not return to this beautiful restaurant. Two huge thumbs down. If you really want to go, just order a pitcher of Mojitos and avoid the food at all costs!
Had a friend visiting from DC who had heard about this place and insisted we had to try it. We found the building itself to be entirely charming- a beautiful Spanish-style villa with a courtyard, so we figured that with their prominent location in the center of old St Augustine and their being such an old restaurant with such a widespread reputation, the food would be really good. We were pretty disappointed. The gazpacho was watery. The 1905 salad consisted of soggy iceberg lettuce that certainly could have been much fresher. Shrimp dish flavorless, Cuban sandwich really so-so. Overall just very much over rated. Don't come here expecting great food. Had a cocktail, which wasn't bad. Come here for a drink maybe, to enjoy the scenery. But not for a meal.
Great classic restaurant, (don't go there as a serious foodie, just have fun) but the food is very good and the atmosphere is great. Excellent cuban sandwich and the 1905 salad is well seasoned and akin to an antipasto salad. The combo 1/2 cuban and 1905 salad is a deal for $9. Also, go for the imported Sangria pitcher, for $2 more it is subsantially more flavorful. We started with the regularl and could really tell a difference when we switched to the imported.
The only half way decent thing is the 1905 salad. And that's if the server doesn't over dress it, which is highly likely. The pork and chicken is always over cooked and dry. The service is slow and the place is crowded year round, so don't even think about having a conversation. Unless you need to up your sodium intake for the day, just keep walking, because undoubtedly the food will be over seasoned with harsh salt. Skip it.
Went here based on recommendation by a friend. Again, he led us correctly. Food was great. Atmosphere for holidays is was nice and inviting. I would recommend parking in the numerous public lots and walk a little to get there. Location is right along St. George St. Which has a ton of cool funky businesses to check out.
Not worth the money. I have tried going a few times and have always been let down. They do have good bread and the 1905 salad is good. The man handling the parking lot outside was a nightmare as well.
Nice atmosphere and a great place to have drinks served/made table side like Sangria etc. The food on the other hand was disappointing the Paella was over cooked and tasted like rubber, my daughters pasta was over cooked as was a fish dish. We have eaten at the St Petersburg location which the food served there was much better and in fact was an excellent meal. This was not, and they were not busy, better choices nearby.
i like this restaurant. It has great mojitos and their paella is good too.
My father-in-law, a local resident, treated us for lunch here. The beautiful spanish architecture was a feast for the eyes. We were very hungry. We were quickly seated. I was impressed by the acoustics as I incorrectly assumed a large room would produce loud conversations from neighboring tables. Not so. I ordered a dish that contained chorizo. I'll find out the name and edit this review. It was over the top delicious. I was so thrilled with my choice that I ate every bite on my plate. I neglected to offer my husband a bite. Perhaps my ravenous hunger took control over my sharing skills. ;-) He said is dish was great as well. YUM. Everyone was happy with their selections. We all drank ice tea. I wish I ordered he Sangria. It was recommended. I stuck with the tea as no one else was ordering alcohol. I don't want to be known as the "daughter-in-law who always orders a drink". ;-) Hint to Californians: When you order iced tea in Florida, you need to specify unsweetened. I have been to a few restaurants and received sweetened tea. (In California, iced tea is always unsweetened.)
We always love the Columbia restaurants. This was a beautiful restaurant and the food was great! We had the 1905 salads which are always amazing. The service was great and we got seating right away which was nice at lunch time on a Sunday.
I'm not sure how useful my review is, as I keep getting the same dish every time I go. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. . . and the Filet Steak Salteado definitely ain't broke! The sauce, the peppers, the great cut of meat, the rice. .. all mingle together to create one of the best dishes I've ever had. The servers are all great here. Busy, but still attentive and always friendly. Their cafe con leche is off the hook. .. The interior is really pretty with a lot of tile work and a cute fountain in the main dining area. I still haven't even sat in their outdoor area. .. great, I have an excuse to go back!
Very disappointing. The restaurant's ambiance was pretty nice, but the food was mediocre to bad. Service was slow, despite the fact that we were there late afternoon, not peak dinner hours. The Shrimp and Crabmeat Alcachofas appetizer was more artichoke than shrimp or crab. Both fish entrees were bland and way overcooked. Kids "steak" meal was nasty. Best part of the meal was the Cuban bread, which is made by a bakery, not Columbia. I love Spanish and Cuban cuisine, but I will not return here for it.
Great wine list at fair prices, very good variety. Food was nice & the place is a cool old building with plenty of room.
I didn't love it. First of all the menu is very complicated. Each dish has it's history plus a description, so it's like reading a book. I was afraid to order the paella because the menu says that it takes 30 minutes. I should've because it took just as long, if not longer. We had the calamari which were good. The bread, as other reviewers said, was awesome! My son had the chicken tenders and he loved those, my youngest the mac and cheese and he ate most of it. My husband had shrimp, chicken, beef and a mushroom sauce which was pretty good... The dish's name is Marilyn and Joe or viceversa. I ordered the pasta Diablo which has scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels and crabmeat. The shrimp were waaaaay too salty!! They were inedible. I didn't eat them, after I tried them. I told the waitress about it and didn't even get a discount. Thank God my son wanted dessert we had the chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, it was the highlight of our dinner! I wouldn't recommend it or go again. I thought it was too pricey and I still can taste the super salty shrimp!
This restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. I just love this whole building. We were there for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Our waiter was nice, and very attentive. I had the 1905 salad, which is huge and absolutely delicious. My husband had a Cuban sandwich, that he also really enjoyed. The portions were very large, and we left with enough for another lunch. Very satisfied with this restaurant. Word to the wise, however, if you plan to eat dinner here, make reservations. We came back for dinner a couple weeks later, and were told it would be an hour wait. Had I any sense, I would have waited the hour before eating somewhere else in town, which seems subpar compared to the Colombia.
Tapeo mixto was plenty for dinner for 2 and affordable. i'd go with the albondigas, croquetas de langosta, and alcachofas with crab and shrimp.
What a great place. I always stop here and spend an evening with White Sangria when passing through. The seafood is out of this world; great spices and texture!!! Great atmosphere too!
This restaurant has a menu to satisfy the cuban and spain palate. I enjoyed the roast pork with w/rice and black bean and yellow plantains on the side. Will definitely go back to try their signature paella and sangria.
This location is in the heart of the historic district, good place to stop and have a nice dinner or a quick lunch. I have also been to the one in st pete; and even at this location there is always a wait for a table. So when I went we just went straight to the bar, you can order food and drinks and its alot quicker. When I went on sunday I had a cuban sandwhich, because it was lunch I wanted something light. The cuban was ok, I have had better. But I would recommend the ropa viejia now that's a good meal. Ohhh and there bread is very good cuban bread and there sangria was absolutely amazing.
This place is a must see for all visitors. The service was outstanding and the atmosphere was one of a kind. The food was decent. Nothing to rave on and on about. I asked the waiter what was recommended on the menu. He was very knowledgeable about the menu and seemed very certain on items that were worth trying. I am sad to say the choices he chose were not classics of Columbia. I was sad to know they do not work hard to make their classics delicious. I had a pasta dish and my husband ordered a large steak. Both meals were decent and cooked nicely. Our appetizer was very delicious. we had a seafood flatbread. For dessert, we had the white chocolate bread pudding. It was a very hefty serving and delicious as well.
My hubby went to college here before we met and I've heard stories of this place. Finally got to have dinner here and loved it. Great menu, even many vegetarian options!! The hostess could have used a little more training in the being polite dept, but our waitress was top notch! Amazing decor and just fun all around. I had the black bean cakes. I wasn't overly impressed by them. But I did LOVE the 1905 Salad. Even bought some dressing in the gift shop.
This place is a real gem in St. Augustine!!! The ambiance is spectacular because it is so reminiscent of the old world & truly takes you back in time since it is over a century old. The Spanish/Cuban cuisine is delicious & the aroma that fills the air is truly magical. I absolutely love Spanish/Cuban food. My mother & I both ordered the half a Cuban sandwich & half a salad & chose the 1905 salad. I really enjoyed the sandwich but I absolutely loved the 1905 salad & the garlicky dressing definitely has to be one of the best I've ever had in my life. I'm not quite sure when I'll get back to St. Augustine but if I do, I'll definitely be stopping in for a 1905 salad because the combination of crisp iceberg lettuce, julienned ham, olives, Swiss & Romano cheeses mixed together table side with that heavenly garlic dressing is amazing.
A group of 13 of us went to The Columbia on Saturday, 6/27 for a birthday dinner for my father as this is one of his favorite restaurants. First, the good: David, our server was awesome. Very attentive, genuine, and nice. Now, the bad: by far the worst part of the evening was the temperature of the dining room we were in. I am not sure if the A/C was broken or what the reason is, but our portion of the restaurant was boiling. FYI-we were on the first level to the left of the hostess stand. Everyone, including the servers, was sweating. We were so hot that half of our table could not eat and was extremely uncomfortable. There were servers bringing glasses of ice cubes to the table since people were pretty much close to having a heat stroke. Also frustrating was the fact that the children at the table were served about five minutes after ordering while the rest of us waited an hour past the time the kids got their plates to receive ours. I am all for feeding the kids before the adults, but an hour in between is too long. All in all, we paid $350 to leave hungry and dizzy from the excessive heat.
OK - so I grew up eating at the Columbia in Tampa in Ybor City. That said, the one in St. Augustine is very dependable and good food, but NOT cheap! When in St. Augustine I'm always there for lunch as they offer a nice menu;dinner is a bit more pricy. I keep talking about PRICE, but realy service is good and food is always good -- plus you get a free flan if it your birthday .... it's always a birthday when I go!! HAHA
Very good Spanish food. I had stuffed shrimp with crabmeat. Their "good rice" is fantastic. If you like lemon and garlic, get it. My husband's roast pork was also good. 5 stars though? No. My gripe was the price. I feel that if you're going to spend $70 on a dinner for two, it should be amazing. It fell just short of that.
I like Columbia on the whole, because the atmosphere is great and I love wine and tapas. I just think it's overpriced based on the quality of the food. For the same price there are nicer restaurants right next door (Collage) that serve much better food. That said, every once in a while it's great to split a 1905 salad and a pitcher of sangria!
Recommended by a local...bummed to report it just wasn't all that spectacular. That said, I do not eat beef, pork, or chicken, so maybe their meatier offerings are the draw? I mean, it wasn't terrible or anything...but it definitely wasn't all that great. The caesar salad was acceptably caesar-y. Romaine, croutons, caesar dressing. The "1905" Salad was lovingly prepared tableside by our server, but it seemed more pomp and circumstance than substance. The person at our table who ordered it ate maybe half, so in my mind, that speaks for itself. She also ordered a cubano and didn't seem super enthused about that, either. I shared the caesar salad with my husband, and we also shared the mahi mahi cubano. Not a terrible fish sandwich, but a pretty generic fish sandwich nonetheless. The star meal at our table was the breaded mahi mahi with yellow rice and plantains. So maybe the entrees are better than the sandwiches? My tablemates tell me the cafe con leche was fantastic. The sangria was tasty as well. Our server was lovely and attentive, the atmosphere was old world fancy-pants (although no one seemed to mind my jeans). I get that this is sort of a St. Augustine institution, but overall, the experience was underwhelming. If I find myself in St. Augustine again, I'll be checking out other dining options before returning here.
Very attractive place. The food was good. It was mostly prepared very well and brought to the table perfect. The recipe was the weak point and only ok. They have a salad there that looks great, but we did not try it.
Here we are again at one of our most favorite restaurants. We ordered 4 different Tappas. The Championos Rellenos which is a stuffed mushroom with baby spinach, artichokes, cheese, sprinkled with olive oil and lemon. The Coca de Langosta, was a flat bread with Lobster, chrizo, tomato and cheese. Scallops Casimiro, baby scallops cooked in garlic and olive oil with a light breading for a little crunch. Shrimp Supreme was jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon and fried. For dessert we had the Creama with Caramelized sugar. A cream pudding with a hard shell of caramelized sugar on top. My favorite of these were the Scallops Casimiro. Baby scallops, Cooked perfectly, very tender with a rich buttery garlic sauce. The Coca De Langosta was also scrumptious. Smothered with chopped lobster and just enough chrizo to give it a little salty bite with a kick to it. The Rellenos, stuffed mushrooms were typical of mushrooms prepared nicely and served hot. The Shrimp Supreme was my least favorite of the 4 but still very good. Wrapped in bacon and deep fried it could have come with less breading. The Creama was a sweet cream pudding with a hint of lemon and vanilla. It was prepared table side and fun to watch. The service is excellent and there was no waiting.
I love this restaurant for lunch or dinner, but I threw my girlfriend a wedding shower here and it was perfect!! We were accommodated perfectly and had a nice section of the restaurant! The food was delish & the service was spot on!
Every time we visit St. Augustine we have to stop here. The 1905 salad is incredible. Pair that salad with a Cuban sandwich and you have a lunch fit for a king. The restaurant is beautiful and the service is top notch. If you don't try the Plantain upside down rum cake, you aren't really living.
This location is on par with the others. I've eaten at the original in Tampa a few times and this one is just as good. It's a little pricey for what you get but between the environment and service it's worth it. We got the mussels, calamari, empanadas, cuban sandwich, and Spanish Soup. It was all good and flavorful and not too pricey compared to other stuff on the menu. The pitcher of mojitos were made table side and great. The service was excellent. The reason for taking off one star is the food could be a little better and more authentic.
This was a good stop during a recent night on the town in St. Aug. We had several different tapas, and I tried the "famous" 1905 Salad. The food was good, but it seemed to me that everything on the menu (their wine list, especially) was about 10% overpriced for what you actually got. That is the only reason I gave 3 stars instead of 4. Service was decent, and our server made sure my espresso had crema (call me a snob if you want). :) That was a bonus star in my book. This is a definite restaurant to try, but not one for a special occasion.
So good! Our server was great, although the food was a little slow. The Picadillo, Black bean soup, Spanish bean soup, and cuban sandwich was so worth it!!
On a recent visit to St. Augustine with a group of friends, we ended up at the Columbia for dinner. It was a Saturday night so there was a wait pretty much everywhere but calling just before 6pm got us an 8pm reservation. After killing some time shopping and getting drinks, we were taken upstairs to a table. Sitting upstairs was nice but felt louder than other parts of the restaurant (we were right up against the balcony-ish area overlooking the fountain downstairs). I started off with a glass of sangria (and by the end of the evening had had another) and it was fantastic. Not overwhelmingly sweet, a really nice balance. I ordered the vegetarian paella and by the time it came the drinks and bread had caught up to me and I barely ate any. Our waiter offered right away to box it up and I enjoyed it very much the next day. Our waiter seemed kind of frazzled but the place was packed and we were a table of 7. A few of us ordered paella and because the menu mentions that it can take 30-ish minutes, tried to give him a heads up. He basically said they were so busy it wouldn't matter, all of the food would take a while. He certainly wasn't wrong. It was probably closer to an hour after ordering that our food came. One person in our group had ordered an appetizer and had planned to make his decision on a entree after it arrived. It showed up at the same time as everyone else's dinner so that was disappointing. Overall, the Columbia is a fun place every once in a while. Don't stop in if you have some place to be afterwards. In my opinion, the prices are a little high for the quality of the food but there are certainly worse places to find yourself. If you do make it in, do yourself a favor and be sure to try the sangria.
What I am eating is this chicken and yellow rice. The chicken was bland. I asked the waiter I need lemon cause it was so bland. I also used the butter from the bread to make this also taste better, with salt & pepper. I did not say like hospital food. This restaurant is called Columbia restaurant in St Augustine Florida. Could buy a whole bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken or Popeyes. Would have been the same price, and taste better.
$113 for three horrible entrees and a rubbery fried appetizer. The hostess was rude and we had the pleasure of being seated under a dripping air conditioner. Also had to send back a glass of wine because the glass was so dirty you couldn't see through it. Try the "1905" Salad... but only if you enjoy a sloppy salad made at your table in a chipped up wooden bowl that was probably already old in the year 1905. We're locals and will NEVER eat here again.
I ate dinner at The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine, FL on 4/20/2015. It was my 1st time here. I did eat once at their sister restaurant in Ybor City back in 2011. I had their pollo manchego dinner for $21.00 which my server, Jaime, recommended. I also had their famous 1905 salad ($5.95 with entree). My pink lemonade was $3.00. The food was wonderful, especially their 1905 salad (I could have that every night). The location on St. George Street (a pedestrian street) is also very pleasant. Jaime, was a great server as well. Plus, I took photos.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The food was delicious. We hope to go back for lunch instead of dinner our next time around. The service was AWESOME!
We came here for lunch while spending the day in St Augustine. We got here at 3:30 so it wasn't super busy, which was nice. The staff is really friendly and we were served relatively quickly. The food is good but not all of it is fabulous. We got a pitcher of sangria which is amazing and their bread is so yummy. We got the queso appetizer which was a tomato and cheese and olive mixture and came with toasted bread. That was yummy. For the main course I had their strip steak dinner. It was okay but lacked some seasoning. I found myself wanting garlic and salt and pepper to help the taste. I did get the 1905 side salad. That is so good. It would have been a 3 star rating but the salad and sangria gave it a bump up.
Made a reservation at 9, was sat at my table 15 minutes later. Luckily I sat at the bar and enjoyed a margarita. We were given fresh bread to start with. We ordered the black bean soup as an appetizer, and I had ropa vieja as my entree. The black bean soup was served warm, but I truly believe it was just canned black beans poured over rice. I wasn't really that impressed with it. When I received my entree, it wasn't so warm. I don't think the food here is authentic at all. I've had ropa vieja at a cuban place around the corner from my house.. But this place did not get it right. I also ordered tostones to replace the sweet plantains, and they were oil logged. Asked for new tostones and they were also oil logged. It was a very busy night, so I can excuse the poor service. But I will not be coming here again. IT IS A TOURIST TRAP!
A favorite for many years, Cuban & Spanish cuisine &fantastic pastry. Beautiful location
I've never eaten inside the restaurant but just about every time I visit St Augustine, I grab some crab croquettes to go with a Cuban sandwich and black bean soup. It is DELICIOUS! Everything is always flavorful, hot, and hold together nicely in the to-go containers.
One of my favorite spots to eat in St Augustine. Fantastic cuban food, a beautiful atmosphere, friendly service, and the best sangria anywhere. Make sure to check out the gift shop downstairs. I picked up their cookbook on a previous visit and enjoy trying to replicate some of their dishes.
Growing up coming here I have great memories of the steak, beans and rice and Cuban sandwiches being something I looked forward to eating. Seeing the reviews so low I was nervous it had gone down hill or my old memories as a kid were skewed by the beautiful architecture of the dinning area with tile, sculptures and music to help me enter the atmosphere. It is still worth a visit, but not worthy of a 5 star review... Bread and butter was a good start and tasted great, but the sangria was not as good as I had hoped for. Perhaps the small version and not the pitcher suffers from letting the flavors settle? My wife went with with steak and onions and for the main course I went with a Cuban and my son the kids steak. My son had no complaints at the steak, but my wife was a little unimpressed by the steak. Claiming a lack of seasoning with the steak which i confirmed with the bite she shared wit me. Just tasted very bland by itself, but If you combine a decent amount of onions and rice with the steak into one bite it may fix the seasoning problem. My Cuban sandwich was also a little disappointing. Overall I felt as if it was not as tasteful as I would have liked and the bread was a little well done. It was not awful, just not all that great. Maybe the lacking stars I saw in the reviews are accurate and while the place is still a visual gem the quality of food has been impacted by tourism? Will give another taste soon, but for now this is only worth three stars.
This is the only Columbia restaurant left on this side of Florida. the flamingo dancing is in Tampa Ybor City location. The food is the same from location to location. Great spanish / Cuban food. The atmosphere brings you back to an older time. The presentation of the food is wonderful. The 1905 salad is not only delicious but fun to have prepared at your table side. The sangria is very refreshing on a hot summer day in St. Augustine. The "original Cuban" reminds me of when I lived in Tampa and went to the Ybor location. I have not found anything over the years that I did not like. Overall a great stop either St. Augustine or the other 6 locations.
I want to start this off with the statement, "our meal was great!" However, our waiter Daniel did not like me for some reason. He was very efficient and nice with everyone else at the table, but when it came to me, he was openly rude. Luckily, we all laughed and giggled about it and didn't let it effect our meal. I ordered the Cuban Sandwich, and it was really good. My wife had the Mahi-mahi and she was equally impressed with its freshness and lime flavoring. She was steered towards this choice by Daniel, which was wonderfully accommodating. When I asked for a suggestion, he rolled his eyes, sighed loudly and said something like he couldn't make a suggestion because peoples' tastes are all different. With this in mind, we do still highly recommend the 1905 Martini...the blue cheese olives were fantastic!!
Food is outta this world, service is great. Gotta try this spot while in St. Augustine, Fla. Killer salad with the Cuba Bread, super good. We went Tabas the whole dinner, very good.
We were so disappointed in our meal today. This is the 3rd time we have had problems. We ordered the tableside 1905 salad. The server made the salad at another patrons table. Another server made a tableside salad for the patrons right beside us and explained what he was doing and what ingredients he added. He did a great job, not our guy. Our food we ordered was not hot, i sent mine back and did not eat anything else. Just a huge disappointment. We will not return.
Worth dining here because it is so beautiful. Don't expect much food-wise, though. I recommend you order carefully, something they can't get wrong. Very low quality. Salads are flooded with dressing so get dressing on the side.
You have to visit this place. We are from the Tampa Bay area, and we have the original Columbia restaurants here, so I wasn't especially enthusiastic about dinning here. Not that our local versions are bad, but it's more of "been there, done that" type of attitude. I am so glad I was talked into going. First of all, the inside of this place is absolutely gorgeous! And not just the main dinning area, there are several other dining rooms that are equally as impressive. Wines choices were great and we ordered a few bottles. Everyone enjoyed the meals that they ordered, including the decadent desserts. Place was very busy, but the very efficient staff didn't even seem fazed and carried on in with smiles. If you are looking for a "Nice" place to eat among the vast sea of casual Florida restaurants, then this is a must-go dinning destination.
Great restaurant in the center of the old town. Awesome sangria, Cuban black bean soup was excellent. Great service beautiful ambiance. Very enjoyable.
Was very disappointed. Service was horrible. Took forever to get our dinner. My daughter ordered the Filet rare and when it finally made it to the table it had only been seared on one side. We had to ask the waiter from another table to get us drinks because our waiter didn't come back! Food was average at best. The 1905 salad was good , didn't finish any of the meal. Will not be going back and don't recommend.
Exceptional customer service and delicious food!
We had a beautiful lunch at Columbia. I ordered the Mahi Mahi Cuban sandwich. It was by far one of the best meals we had on vacay. The fish was well seasoned and came with flavorful grilled peppers, onions and mushrooms. Filling, bu not over filling. Hubby had Cuban sandwich and chickpea soup. Both were exceptional. Our server Colleen was prompt and friendly. The surroundings are beautiful. It can get a bit noisy because it is so open. Would recommend a meal here to anyone wanting a unique experience.
The better than average food couldn't save the terrible service. Visited on a Saturday night and sat at the bar, which seats about 12. We were ignored for 10 minutes, finally placed a drink order and waited another 10. Once the food was ordered, the service improved, but it always seemed like the 2 bartenders were inconvenienced each time hey had to help anyone. Food was good, not great. I would try again, just a different location.
Eh, its alright. Nothing great, and not nearly as good as the original in Ybor. Food is not great and service is average. We had the paella and it tasted like something made in the microwave. If it wasn't in this prime location it would probably have closed long ago. It has a good atmosphere but definitely not worth the price.
Bit of a tourist trap. Would not go again. More expensive than two dollar signs. Diner sized portions. With the options in this town I would definitely go some place else.
Becca was our server and she was tremendous ! Everything she mentioned sounded great! Two had fish, both very good, one had blackbean soup, the other black bean cakes. ALL had the amazing 1905 salad! All while it was poring rain outside! Great start to a St Aug visit.
Any Columbia wins in my book. However, has one up on a few because it's gorgeous. It's in the middle of rustic, old St. Augustine and has so much seating and the windows let a glorious light in. The first night on my recent visit, we just hit up the bar for some drinks. They have one of the best, house made white sangria. Ashley at the bar was top notch. She also had us try their watermelon margarita and it was so refreshing and flavorful, I could have sat there all night. The next day we returned for lunch and I was a little disappointed with the service. We were one of the first ones in the door and they were still setting up but they sat us upstairs without a great view. On top of that we waited over 15 minutes for our server and that was after I noted we had not received a server after the first five minutes of being sat. Oh well, the food of course made up for it. So if you are around, check out this Columbia, it's stunning.
Food was spectacular . Sangria was amazing. Appetizers were super!!! Service wasn't very good.
Lunch here with a large group brought my attention to all the well described menu items. I settle on the the chicken Salteado. I am more of a bold flavors guy and this dish had no pizzazz to me. The rice was mild. The chicken and veggies were mild. All good, mind you. Just no popping flavors or harmonious balance. I expected more when reading the menu. Service was excellent here and the heavily tiled interior was cozy, yet airy.
I've been here quite a few times over the last 8 years, and have never had a bad meal. Columbia is consistently good, not necessarily an easy thing to do given the huge amount of traffic that goes through this restaurant. Having cooked in institutional kitchens and restaurants, I know you can get mighty tired from the constant demand - and in lots of places the quality goes down a bit as the day / evening wears on. Not so at Columbia in my experience. This last visit was lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Had a great glass of sangria, black bean soup, scallop tapas, picadillo with white rice and fried plantains. All excellent. I especially like the way they cook their rice - its a short grain rice, always plump and never sticky. The highlight of this visit was dessert though. I'm almost always too "el stuffo" to have dessert, but had flan this time and it was absolutely the best flan I have had anywhere. Somebody knows how to do this dish really, really well. I will continue to make the trek to St. Augustine whenever I get the chance to eat at Columbia!
We go to Columbia frequently in Tampa, St. Pete, Orlando and Sand Key. I've never had a bad meal at any of the above mentioned locations. In fact, the food has always exceeded my wildest expectations. So when we tasted our favorite dishes at this location, it was a huge let down. The food was just ok... my paella was bland, my husband said the same about his ropa vieja. The bread, at least, was excellent. The sangria was overly sweet. They need to either cross train the chefs or talk to the owner about investing in some better quality ingredients. If you've been spoiled by any of the before mentioned Columbia's, do not expect the food to live up to your expectations! You'll note the lower Yelp ranking for this location... it's deserved. We should have known when they had no problem seating us last minute on a Friday night on a holiday weekend when every other restaurant around had an hour+ wait. The wait staff was very nice and helpful with local shopping/attraction recommendations; the decor is beautiful.
I've lived in Miami for over 15 years and so I've had my share of Latin food.. They have a 1905 salad that is absolutely delicious. The ropa vieja is heavenly and the Sangria alone would have me coming back. I've been several times and I haven't had a poor experience yet. I will definitely be back and I sure as hell hope they have plans on opening more locations!
Have received better food and service at a full service truck stop. We would not recommend spending the money. This crappy experience began upon walking up to the hostess stand to find two hostesses leaning against the podium and on their cell phones until one finally looked up at us and gave us a subpar "welcome." The hostess whom sat us looked like she just rolled out of bed and was very rude, she seemed very angry to be at work that day. While walking us to the table we could barely keep up with her. She flung our menus down and said "enjoy" sarcastically and continued to walk away just as quickly. We continued to watch her parade and seat other guests around the restaurant like somebody pissed in her Cheerios. We were greeted by our server fairly quickly as he was saying goodbye to some of his friends that stopped by on the way to continue their bar crawl. He presented our very extensive food novels aka menus and did not attempt to walk us thru them, upsell any beverages, or give any recommendations which would have been helpful. We heard a server next to us offer her table tableside sangria which we would have tried had he asked. We just had waters. We ordered a flatbread appetizer which came out very quickly. It was okay, came out hot and crisp, but nothing spectacular. We waited 45 minutes until our entrees finally arrived. Our server only checked on us one time to fill waters that sat empty for 15 min. During this lapse of time we could really observe the poor quality of service and the poor attitudes of 90% of the staff. We also witnessed whom we assumed to be the manager not providing much help or direction to the staff nor talking to any of the guests. One server was bussing and resetting his tables like a bull in a china shop and we could not help but watch as he crashed and banged the settings sloppily onto the tables. Which answers the question to the disarray our table looked as we arrived and not to mention the unpolished silverware. We ordered the seafood pasta with a spicy tomato broth. They were not stingy on the seafood however the sauce and all around flavor of the dish was underwhelming. We also ordered the Delmonico medium rare. The entire dish: steak, potatoes, and broccolini might as well have been thrown in the deep fryer, which would have likely resulted in a tastier dish and just as greasy. The steak was overcooked to a medium but still tender and not very flavorful...probably the last few seconds in the deep fryer. We waited 20 minutes for our server to come back and box our food. He eventually returned and boxed the food behind us very grotesquely. He never offered to put the side plate of grease-O-llini into the togo box with the steak and attempted to throw it away. I watched him sling the seafood dish into the box, and then finger fondled the pasta as it hung over the edge and back into the togo container. We received a bag with the two containers and a complimentary side of tomato broth slathered on the handle of the bag. We were never offered coffee or dessert and he brought us the check and didn't return. Another server noticed our frustration and grabbed the credit card from us and our original server brought it to us with a good night. Our farewell was as warm as our welcome as the two hostesses (including bad attitude Alice) couldnt even look up from posting on their Facebook pages their dismay to be working that evening, to say goodbye. We will not be returning to this restaurant nor recommending. Hopefully our server made it to the bar with his buddies and the hostess' evenings improved.
What a gorgeous restaurant...and authentic too. Sat at the bar for desert and wine and met Donna; the most enthusiastic bar tender ever! You'd think she is the owner (and speaks very highly of the owners). Someone next to us had Costillitas and it smelled delicious. If anything, go to the bar for wine and desert and get whatever Donna suggests (she's been there 23 years). Will go there again for sure!
Salty, salty, salty. Skip it. Pretty inside so check it out but eat at the Floridian