I just got back in town from a fabulous weekend in Orlando at Food Blog Forum! I’m sure you all figured that out though by my Instagram, Tweets, and Facebook picture posts! I’ll give you the low-down on the event itself soon, but today, I’ve got some FOOD to share with ya’ll!

While we were in Orlando, hubs and I got to sneak away one evening to have dinner with my in-laws. I googled nearby restaurants to visit and Columbia Restaurant popped up with great ratings… the restaurant is supposedly Florida’s oldest restaurant having been founded in Tampa in 1905. Plus it has Cuban food, tapas, Paella, AND Sangria – S.O.L.D!

I’m a Florida girl… you KNOW I love me some Cuban food! 😉

As I perused the menu (drooling over my computer screen), I noticed their “1905” salad. It looked oh-so-familiar and then it occured to me why! I had eaten there 6 years prior for my dear friend’s rehearsal dinner! It was at a location in St. Petersburg & I no clue they had opened up other locations! I instantly remembered how much I LOVED that salad…

I of course had to order the salad, and boy was I glad I did! It was EVEN better than I remembered.

Nothing worse than when you build something up in your head and it totally disappoints! But, not this salad… It was just as phenomenal as the day it first touched my lips.

LURVE IT.

I went home and HAD to figure out how to make it.

Lucky for me, Columbia Restaurant kindly had the recipe posted on their website! With a few tweaks it tasted just as good as the original…

Ya’ll have GOT to try this recipe. It’s redonkulous.

It’s a garlic & olive lovers dream.

And if you are near any of the locations of the restaurant… you should definitely give it a go! They give you piping hot cuban bread when you site down (save some to dip in your salad!!) & the Sangria is phenomenal!

Enjoy!

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Columbia Restaurant's "1905" Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Total Time: 15-20 minutes

A delicious Cuban salad with an incredibly addicting garlic dressing... it will have the crowd begging for more!

Ingredients:

For the "1905" Dressing:
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
⅛ cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin Spanish olive oil (Cold-Pressed)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:
4 cups iceberg lettuce, broken into 1 1/2" × 1 1/2" pieces
1 ripe tomato, cut into eighths
2/3 cup baked ham, julienned 3/4" × ⅛" (may substitute turkey or shrimp)
2/3 cup Swiss cheese, julienne 2" × ⅛"
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green Spanish olives
2/3 cup Romano cheese, grated
1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce®
“1905” Dressing (recipe above)

Directions:

For the "1905" Dressing:
Add the garlic, oregano, and white white vinegar to a small glass measuring cup and whisk until combined well. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until well combined. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper (to taste). Best to make 24 hours in advance to allow flavors to meld.

For the Salad:
Add lettuce, tomatoes, ham, swiss cheese, and olives. When ready to serve, add the Romano cheese, squeeze the juice of the lemon over the salad, splash on the worcestershire sauce and then add the dressing and mix until well combined. (I ended up having a little reserved dressing - lunch tomorrow!) Serve with some hot crusty bread.

Recipe Source: Columbia Restaurant