St. Pete Beach: Ybor City

While we were in Florida, Andrew, Marvin (Abigail’s hubby and my foodie/brother-from-another-mother) and I spent an afternoon in Ybor City, the home of Cuban cigars in Florida. Today, it’s a small district outside of Tampa full of cigar shops, coffee shops, boutiques and night clubs. (Apparently the nightlife is an attraction in and of itself; Andrew and I will have to check it out next time we’re in Tampa!)

Our first stop: lunch at the Colombia. It’s a historic restaurant with incredible food.  We started with a round on mojitos!

Deciding what to order was seriously difficult, so we decided to get three different things to share.  We had to get their signature salad and Cuban sandwich, then chose a Cuban combo meat (featuring roast pork, beef, black beans, rice, fried plantains and an empanada) and shredded beef in red sauce.

Here’s my plate, with a little of everything:

We polished off every. last. bite.

Even after all that food, we managed to have room (or maybe we didn’t) for dessert, a white chocolate bread pudding (which must be a thing in Florida, since it was on multiple menus):

Delightful! Even Andrew, who isn’t a big chocolate fan, wanted to lick the plate. Some of the best bread pudding I’ve ever had, I can tell you that much.

After lunch, we walked up and down 7th Street and finally settled on a cigar shop for Andrew to pop into.  He enjoyed a cigar and some Cuban coffee and I was thankful the place was equipped with multiple air purifiers so I could actually enjoy sitting near him.

Our last stop was Cuba! (Not really, but there is a tiny park there that ‘technically’ belongs to Cuba.)

On our way back to the car, Andrew grabbed a couple cigars for the road.  We actually saw them hand-rolling the cigars right there in the shop.

I’ll admit, the smell of a cigar is actually growing on me.  BUT!  That does not mean Andrew doesn’t have to brush his teeth twice and take a shower before he climbs into bed after smoking one…

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