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“Good meal & great service!”

Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #36 of 1,046 Restaurants in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Family-owned and operated for over 112 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. Casual attire is fine, but we don't allow sleeveless shirts on men. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon "Columbia," and fresh seafood specialties. Don't miss Columbia's Original "1905" Salad(R), prepared tableside with our delicious, freshly-made dressing, a 100-year-old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to sample a fine Spanish wine like Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Relax outdoors on our patio, or inside our Mediterranean-style dining rooms filled with hand-painted tiles and family heirlooms. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays.
Palm Bay, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
229 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
“Good meal & great service!”
Reviewed July 20, 2012

We always eat at the Columbia restuarant when we are staying on Longboat Key. We love the food and usually have good service. This time we had excellent service which was very nice. We like to go a little after the lunch rush so it isn't as busy. The prices are much cheaper at lunch and you still get big portions. We always order the 1905 salad which is made tableside. We love it! We always say we could make a meal on just this salad and the wonderful Cuban bread they serve but every time we still order a meal. The waiter made a suggestion for something for my husband that he didn't even consider. He suggested Mejillones y Chorizo "Andres", mussels and sliced Chorizo, sautéed and simmered with extra virgin olive oil, onions, celery, tomato, basil, spinach and garlic cooked with white wine and lemon. It was delicious! I ordered the steak tips Salteado which is cooked in a very hot skillet. It has onions, peppers garlic, mushrooms and potatoes with chorizo and is served with yellow rice. Excellent choice also! Our waiter was very attentive and helpful. He brought us refills on our beverages and on the bread without being asked. We have been to this location before when the service was not so great but we can't say that this time. The desserts also look good but there is never any room left to try one. We even had leftovers to bring back to our cottage and enjoy the next day.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MommamurphyFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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    Food
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Roswell, GA
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“A flashback from childhood....”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

The only time I had ever eaten at Columbia was as a child at the original Ybor City location. Sadly, I was a much more picky eater back then, and I am sure I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I did this time!! Also, the memory that stayed with me from that meal as a child was the beautiful tiles on the walls and floor. Well, I was pleased to see that Columbia has included the beautiful painted tiles in this location as well!!! Now, on to our meal; I had the Gazpacho Soup, which was excellent!! I have not had Gazpacho in many years, and it was every bit as good as I had remembered, I also ordered the Empanadas filled with Picadillo. They were very good as well! The Empanadas are also served with a relish made with corn, peppers and onion. My Gary ordered the Black Beans and rice and an order of Ropa Vieja that included Platanos (Plantains). It was absolutely delicious!!! Oh, and I almost forgot, they serve you warm Cuban Bread before your meal arrives. It's so wonderful and crusty!! It's nearly impossible to find authentic Cuban Bread in the Atlanta area, so, it was a treat to have the real thing!!! We finished off our meal with an order of Flan and a slice of Key Lime Pie, which were both delicious!!! We brought home leftovers, as we just could not eat all of it!!!! I sincerely hope that we will be back in the Sarasota/Tampa area again, as the next time we go there, I really want to have the Camarones Criollo (Shrimp Creole). It's another of those dishes you don't find all that often. So, if you enjoy good Cuban food, go eat at Columbia!!!!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank carybenn53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston,TX
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best value by far”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

Amazing spanish/latin cuisine, nice setting, service, portions and good value. No wonder it was always crowded

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank ramonenrique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
“love the food and sangria”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

the soup and salad are the best on the Key. The sangria is worth every penny... enjoy the food and the atmosphere

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank HappyNudistCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta Gorda, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Go Somewhere Else”
Reviewed July 13, 2012

We've been there twice now and won't go back. The first time we tried two tapas dishes and they weren't great. Our friends convinced us to give this estabishment another try. We did and unfortunately our first impression was confirmed. We tried the chorizo tapas which was overcooked and floating in grease. The shrimp, artichoke crab tapas was a dish of mush. The crackers served with these dishes are jaw breakers. Lots of rice and chicken in their famed paella, not much seafood and no flavor other than some lemon. The seafood that existed in the paella was overcooked and rubbery. The Sangria had one piece of fruit it in and was made with something that tasted like watered down wine. The fresh baked bread was nice. The 1905 salad might have been okay if it wasn't swimming in dressing. My husband ordered the steak salido was extremely sick within half an hour after eating. The service was okay. There are lots of good restaurants on the St. Armands Circle, this just isn't one of them.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Restaurant, responded to this review, July 18, 2012
I can’t tell you how much we hate to read that you didn’t enjoy your food. Our management team spends a great deal of time in training everyone working in the kitchen about how important it is to follow our recipes. When I read a comment such as yours, we know that we have let you, our valued guest down, and I apologize for that. We are a family-owned restaurant, and our reputation is very important to us. We appreciate you taking the time to point out our mistakes so that we can correct them by talking with the employees in our kitchen. We stress to our employees that we MUST provide a great meal for everyone who chooses to spend their time and money with us, and I am sorry that we got it wrong on your visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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