A Little Cuba in North Florida

As usual, we were working far too hard and “she” says, “We need to go out.” I agreed. There was cause for celebration and besides, we needed a break.

So with the completion of one last task on the book on which we have been working, it was time to head off to Cuba.

No, not really, of course. Cuba is a very long way from Florida’s First Coast. However, if you have a taste for Cuban cuisine, all you need do in Northeast Florida is go down to the corner of Hypolito and St. George in St. Augustine to the Columbia restaurant.

At the Columbia, even the most diehard Cubans will find something pleasing to their palette. Each time we have dined at the Columbia, either in St. Augustine or at the original restaurant in Tampa, we have never been disappointed.

I have written about their 1905 Salad in past blogs; I am convinced this salad would convert the most ardent meat-eater into a vegetarian. Oh! But wait! The salad contains the most delectable portions of ham and cheese. No need to convert…

Earlier tonight, when she asked where I wanted to go for celebrating nearing the end of production on this one book, I was ambivalent until she mentioned the Columbia.

 Suddenly, I thought of The 1905 Salad and a half-Cuban sandwich.  In a very short time, I was behaving like one of Pavlov’s dogs.

So we drive into town and the hostess hands us one if those buzzing things. At the same time, she says the wait is about 45 minutes.

My wife turns to me and asks if I wanted to wait that long. In the infamous response of Roy Rogers, I replied, “Durn tootin’.” She had already planted the idea in my brain and now I needed that 1905 Salad!.

The wait was long enough, tempered by a walk around the shops nearby. In what seemed like a long time, but was actually short, we were soon seated and ordering dinner.

Tonight, we will sleep well—right after I finish this blog…


©2011 J. Clark

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