So Long To Ya 2010

Well it’s been a great year for being a retired conservative……..let’s review.

The market recovered substantially

My taxes didn’t go up

The GOP is kicking but

Stuff is actually happening in Washington

FSU is State Football Champs

UF is in disarray

Children are all doing well

Health is holding ok

In short retirement is working out pretty well

And it’s my blog and I can say Merry Christmas on it without worrying about who might be offended by it.

So Merry Christmas and God Bless Us Everyone


Ybor City’s Columbia

Ybor City’s Columbia Restaurant is a treasure. It is over 100 years old making it the oldest operating Spanish restaurant anywhere except Spain. It reflects the Spanish culture well. The cuisine is divine, the service, impeccable and the ambiance makes a trip memorable. One can even attend a Flamingo Dancers floor show, which is worth experiencing at least once. It has been a part of my life for 40 years. I have taken people from around  the world including Japan to dine there and they always want to come back. My favorite spot is in the old bar which has old style cafe tables across checkerboard tile and is away from the main dining rooms. I have adopted/adapted many of the recipes and often cook them at home. I also love the table side ceremony of mixing sangria with fresh fruit garnish and the 1905 salad which we actually had at home yesterday. There are other Columbia restaurants in Florida  and the food is equally good but the ambiance can not quite match Ybor City. (I have been to them all).

It has a storied past that reflects the history of Tampa well, with its assortment of underworld Dons, Politicos and celebrities. It has private dining rooms equipped with secret exits and dumbwaiters that enabled clandestine get togethers of all types.

Attached is one of my favorite recipes for home preparation, if you should wish to cook it I have 2 tips . The reduction process is critical to the final taste, and fresh basil and parsley are as well.  It saves well in a Tupperware in the fridge and is easily reheated in the microwave, you won’t want to throw away the leftovers.

If you should be fortunate enough to go,try the fresh warmed Cuban bread, Caldo Gallego (Turnip Greens Soup), and a glass (or two) of Sangria.