When we are visiting Kissimmee, we usually go to Celebration, a disney designed planned community to eat at a very good Spanish restaurant - The Columbia was founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. It began in Tampa’s Ybor City, (pronounced EE-bore) as a small 60-seat corner café known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers. Casimiro Sr. took over the restaurant next door in 1919 and converted it into an additional dining room. His son, Casimiro Jr. also joined the business. Following the death of Casimiro Sr. in 1930, Casimiro Jr. took over ownership and operation of the restaurant. The restaurant in Celebration was started in 1997.
We usually share their signature salad, The Columbia Original 1905 Salad, as well as one of their entrées. This time we shared the Salteado - (The Columbia’s Traditional Method of Sauté) - Inspired by the Chinese who lived in Cuba in the 19th century, a very hot iron skillet with extra-virgin olive oil is used to sauté onions, green peppers, fresh garlic mushrooms, diced potatoes and chorizo. Splashed with a red wine. Served with yellow rice. - Choice of: Chicken, Beef or Shrimp.