Tampa >Columbia Restaurant
Disappointment. Maybe there was a time when the food here was good, but it isn't these days. You can tell from the physical beauty of the restaurant that someone loved it back in the day. We started with a $26.95 tapas which turned out to be three items in small portions - fried squid, meatballs, and an artichoke dip - none of them in the least remarkable, not even up to Applebees standard I would say. Then we got a meat paella, a sirloin tips dinner, and a seafood dish, most of which was left on the plates. I know the food was better when I was in Spain. The food was so pedestrian no one had any desire to actually finish their food. The service was sorely lacking - such as when the waiter took our used butter knives from our bread plates and just laid them on the table cloth when removing the bread plates - we were expected to use them again for our dinners. Most of the silverware was pretty dirty to start with. They do have a wonderful wine list and decor, but that's not enough when you are going to a restaurant to eat - first the food, then the service, then the embellishments.
Cold food. Dirty silverware. Dirty silverware and cold food for the prices that are charged don't add up for a good evening. Save your money it’s not worth it. As far as authentic Spanish food goes it was far from my expectations perhaps others not use to this type of food may find it more appealing
Very Poor Service. Food was good, but a wednesday luncheon took 3 hours. Waitress had to be asked repeatedly for refills straws etc. Meal was served piecemeal with some getting soup first and others after the main course. The place was crowded when we arrived, by the time we left, we were the only diners left and staff was setting up for dinner. This was a very disappointing.
Tourist Trap!. All the food tasted the same, bland, tasteless, salty, and disgusting. Nice presentation, good waitress, really bad food. I hope I will not get sick. I am writing this as soon as I got back to my hotel room because I want you all to be warned!
Great food, good service, good value. The Columbia has been around forever, and is still one of the better places to go for any size group. Can't speak to having children along, but they should do fine (so long a Mom and Dad keep them in check). Great selection and deserts.
NIce ceramic panels. I loved the outside ceramic panels -- although covering one panel of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza with a bolted bench is really stupid -- and I loved the ambiance inside. One of the few decent looking places in Tampa. My snapper was outstanding and reasonably priced. Unfortunately my wife got very sick the next day. I don't think it was the airplane food. So, not even two stars for Columbia.
0 because i cant give a -10 gave me and my party food illness. when i contacted the restruant i got no apology and was told they never had this kind of problem. when i told my story to others, others have told me they got sick there also was once told by a person whos father was a prominent baker in tampa the cooks used to make jokes about the dirtiest kitchen in tampa and city officials wouldnt do anything because the owners had so much pull in the city. DONT EAT THERE FIND ELSEWHERE IN YBOR CITY
Really bad food.
My family and I have been going to the Columbia on and off for at least 20 years. This year was no exception. The food this time was simply miserable. My husband's order appeared--and tasted--as though it had been sitting under a heatlamp for a couple of hours. His plantains were so tough that we thought he had accidently ordered banana jerky. My mother and I ordered tapas--hard to say what we were eating. The waiter, bless his soul, forgot our wine order and although we asked, never brought us the dessert menu. Alas and darn, this will be our last visit to the Columbia. No kidding.
Seriously, there are much better places to eat with as much if not more authentic atmosphere. Look for them in Tampa--I know I'm going on the hunt as soon as I can.
Big bucks for atmosphere. I have lived in Tampa for over 30 years and had eaten at most Spanish restaurants in the area except this one. This was primarily because everyone always recommended other Spanish restaurants and all personal reviews of the Columbia were less than complimentary. Well, now I know why. I had family coming from out of town so I thought the atmosphere and the show would offset the cost and mediocre food. I am disappointed to say it did not! The Sangria (regular because we don't think good Sangria needs brandy in it) tasted like a generic fruit juice and we had to ask for extra fruit (1 piece in each small white wine glass). The entrees were bland in taste and moderate in portions and did not come close to meeting the expectations of the menu or the price. It turned out to be a very expensive lesson. Also, I have been to Spain so I do have a fairly good idea of what the food should taste like. As for great Spanish food locally, might I suggest Viscaya in Carrollwood.
Spanish, not Mexican. I loved the food, service and decor. Advice - order and entree for lunch instead of a tapa. More food for the same price! the gaspacho was perfect, as was sangria. For a nearly empty restaurant, we were not seated for almost 10 minutes! The free bread was WONDERFUL! I want to go back.
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