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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.