A Muddled Lunch…

Posted by: Kristen Calhoun in Restaurant Reviews

columbia house dessertWe have started doing restaurant reviews for something fun on our WGV website. Instead of getting reviews from others, I decided to take matters into my own hands this time and find a restaurant that I have wanted to try. I’ve lived in the St. Augustine  golf course community for almost four years but have not explored much of the St. Augustine historic district other than shopping, of course! Several people have suggested the Columbia Restaurant for its amazing and authentic food and old world charm. I also have been told about the fabulous sangrias, which I personally am a fan of! So three of my girlfriends decided they would go with me to help with my blog…Thanks ladies!

We arrived for lunch around one and I was instantly impressed by the historic beauty. Christmas had visited the Columbia Restaurant. It was decked out for the holidays. A huge Christmas tree from floor to ceiling greeted us when we walked in. The floor was lined with Poinsettias. Without delay, my girlfriend took the initiative and ordered us a pitcher of white sangrias. The sangrias are white because they are made with champagne and simple syrup. Our server put a bowl of fruit into the pitcher and began “muddling” the fruit into the syrup, then dumped a split of Cristalino champagne on top. She served our sangrias in wine glasses with orange and lime slices with a cherry. Let me just tell you, they are even better than they look. I would highly recommend stopping in the Columbia House for white sangria while out exploring St. George Street. YUM YUM YUM!!!!!

I had not even looked at the menu by the time Gina arrived back with a delicious loaf of Cuban bread, one for each of us. At first glance of the menu, I was immediately drawn to the photographs of the first to sixth generations of Hernandez’s that have opened the seven different restaurants in Florida. The first restaurant was opened in 1905 in Tampa by Casimiro Hernandez Sr.

After finishing our first pitcher of sangrias, we decided to try the domestic sangria which was just as scrumptious as the white. It was time to order lunch. What a difficult decision. Everything sounded great. We ordered three different entrees, agreeing that dessert was a must! Being the fabulous friends that we are, we knew we could eat off each other’s plates. My first bite was Chicken and Yellow Rice “Sarapico” . I have never had better yellow rice. The seasoning was absolutely perfect!!! We also tried the Pollo “Riojana” which was similar. The chicken breast was topped with Rioja tomato sauce and Tetilla cheese. The third dish I tried was my favorite. It was Roast Pork Loin “A la Cubana”. The pork loin was incredible and the black beans were dangerously delicious. If Gina hadn’t shown up at the right time to take our plates away, I may have not had room for dessert.

We moved onto coffee and Godiva Chocolate Cake. It’s a dark chocolate cake layered and topped with Chocolate Mousse, drizzled with caramel sauce. I’m so glad we didn’t miss out on that! I would give Gina, the food and the sangrias 5 stars. You have to try it!!!!!


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