For not having any plans I think Derek and I found plenty of fun things to entertain us in Tampa today. 🙂
I had never been to Ybor City so Derek suggested we walk around the historic area of Tampa. You can imagine my sheer delight when we pulled up and discovered a Saturday Farmer’s Market occurring on the corner.
Of course Farmers Markets = Free Samples. 🙂
I tried a coconut waffle, some nuts and fresh fruit.
I also picked up fresh basil for 99 cents and 2 local beets for 50 cents. 🙂
We strolled along Ybor and check out the sights and stores. Around 12:30 we got a little hungry so we headed to a local favorite, The Columbia, for lunch.
The Columbia is a historical hundred and four year old restaurant that serves fabulous authentic Cuban food. It’s so popular the restaurant has actually inspired four other Columbias throughout Florida, but the one in Ybor is the original.
After our orders were taken each Derek and I were presented with a personal loaf of warm cuban bread.
Warm Cuban bread is A-MA-ZING. It doesn’t get much better then that. I had 1/2 of the little loaf throughout my meal.
For my meal I wanted something light. I started with a cup of the seasonal Gazpacho Soup.
The soup was very refreshing and a great cool treat on a hot summer day.
With the soup I ordered the Black Bean Cakes that were served with Guacamole and Sour Cream.
On the plate I had also stole some of Derek’s Plantain Chips and one of his Deviled Crab Croquettes. The black bean cakes also had a great fresh taste to them. I like how there was minimal bread crumbs and just straight up black beans.
I tried to add a little spice with The Columbia’s own Hot Sauce.
Unfortunately this hot sauce was weak! I doused my black bean cakes in it and had no heat at all. It was the only disappointment of the meal. Everything else was great and I would love to go back one day and try some of the other great options on the menu.
On the way out of Ybor Derek and I decided to hit up Ikea so he could purchase a new TV stand. Well… 2 hours and so much money later I was in need of one of their $1 Ice Cream Cones.
I’m happy to say the trip was a success!!
Some times hours of pondering, comparing and dealing with a crazy crowd of bargain hunters does pay off. I’m just happy we were able to fit the boxes in the trunk!
I’m not sure if it was Ikea, walking around Ybor, or my filling lunch but I feel like I need some rest. Some chill time is in order before the partying with Rascal Flatts begins tonight!