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Ybor & Ikea

by Meghann on July 25, 2009

For not having any plans I think Derek and I found plenty of fun things to entertain us in Tampa today. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚

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!

1 Leianna July 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I love Ikea, they put one next to Mall of America a couple of years ago and I have since bought coffee table, pillows and dining rooms chairs there!
Farmer’s Market looks fun too!

2 Tammy Eros July 25, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I love IKEA as well, but there are none nearby…at least none that aren’t a few hours or more away. That Cuban food sounds wonderful!

3 VeggieGirl July 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I love IKEA!!

4 Spotty Prep July 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I’m seriously homesick for Tampa now πŸ™ I used to volunteer at that farmers market in high school!

5 roseyrebecca July 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

I went to a Farmer’s Market today too!! Your lunch looks delicious!! I LOVE Ikea!!!

6 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) July 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Sounds like a great day!

7 Matt July 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Sounds like a great day! I am a sucker for Cuban sandwiches!

8 Paige @ Running Around Normal July 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Your food looks great! Haha and I love the Ikeas ice cream cones. Looks like it was a great day weather-wise, too.

9 biz319 July 25, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Love Ikea, but my husband went ONCE with me and I’ve gone solo ever since!

Love the icecream too!

10 Christina July 25, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I’m totally craving soft serve right about now!

11 JB July 25, 2009 at 8:37 pm

black bean cakes, guac, plantain chips. uhhhhhh………YUM! and farmers markets are the best! sampling fresh fruit is always fun. i like seeing the odd produce and hybrid fruits at farmers markets.


12 Deva July 25, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I love IKEA, and I’ve only been once. There’s one near me, but I haven’t made it up there yet!

13 Madelin July 25, 2009 at 9:58 pm

That’s Ikea for you! It’s enough to tire anyone out. I always need a rest after I go there!

14 homecookedem July 25, 2009 at 10:37 pm

We ate their when we stayed in Ybor City for a night before our honeymoon cruise left from Tampa in early June! It was recommended by one of my husband’s friends who is from their, otherwise we would never have known about it! And we ordered those black bean cakes and the deviled crab croquettes too! We didn’t get any cuban bread though… πŸ™ Their sangria was so delicious!! Glad you liked it!!!

15 broccolihut July 26, 2009 at 12:56 am

Whoa–farmers’ market, Cuban bread, and Ikea, all in one day?! This is too much.

16 Courtney July 26, 2009 at 1:13 am

YAY! Ikea πŸ™‚ I wish my Farmers Market had SAMPLES.

17 name July 26, 2009 at 2:42 am

You look great, and I love abbie. You should really cut your nails short, think they would look much better. PS are you bow legged?! Just wondering. Have a great weekend!!

18 Lily July 26, 2009 at 3:15 am

Sorry in advance for the repeater Q, but do you typically eat anything before your AM runs/workouts? Just curious!

Also…Abbie could model for IAMS…I’ve been meaning to suggest her dog modeling career for awhile

19 Lauren July 26, 2009 at 7:48 am

Coconut waffles sound awesome! I just blogged about a whole wheat waffle recipe I came up with, and I’m already brainstorming ingredient additions – do I hear shredded coconut and/or coconut milk?!

The black bean cakes look yummy too. I love Cuban food, and would love to find a good Cuban restaurant in Boston.

20 tlconrad July 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

i love ybor city. in february my husband and i took a day trip there. it was so fun and neat and cute. i dont know that i would want to be there after dark, it may be dangerous. my husband loves cigars so he picked up a few from the old cuban men rolling them… he said they were fantastic, but i will take his word on that one. one day he asked me if it bothers me that i work so hard to be healthy and he smokes cigars and drinks beers… its fine as long as he is semi healthy. anywho, i digress…

there is this greek restaurant i can not remember the name of but it is like on the one corner and you cant miss it walking down the street. it is EXCELLENT!!! i love greek food and i just wanted to recommend it.


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