The Columbian Point restaurant is a hidden gem. If you’re driving too fast down the 41 (Washington BLVD) through downtown Sarasota you would definitely miss it. If you’re easily frustrated, the parking arrangement may deter you. But I encourage you to find a nice tight parking spot in the rear/back and give them a try. You won’t regret it.
I went to the restaurant on a Tuesday in hopes of trying it out for lunch but it was closed. I was determined to give this place a try so I returned a couple of days later in early August. There was a nice man at the counter, he told me that it was okay to use the back door to enter (I was relieved as it was safer). After I paid for my order he gave me a small piece of Columbian candy with my receipt.
I ordered The Regional Platter. Everything was cooked fresh to order, and still piping hot by the time I arrived the short drive back to workplace parking lot.
The portions were so large that I had leftovers from lunch. The egg was perfectly poached. It was not runny or too hard. The yolk was soft and the white of the egg as well that topped a bed of rice. The carne asada (steak) tasted was very flavorful and tasted as though it was marinated with mojo spices. The chorizo was perfectly seasoned, nice texture as well. I liked the snap on the casing. The rice was just right not over cooked or under cooked. The chicharron (pork rind) was a long generous slice, not overly salty; Not too oily or greasy. Crispy yet soft. The plantains were sweet and cooked perfectly. The beans were also a generous portion and cooked down in a nice broth. The corn cake was a miss for me and the only thing. However, it’s so trivial that it doesn’t take away from the dish at all. Even in all of it’s simplicity, it is comfort food! You don’t have to be Columbian to realize that, it resonates through the two dishes that we ordered.
Yes, I ended up bringing Randal for dinner (carryout) after he got off from work. Randal ordered Picada Al Punto! When he opened the carryout box that was barely able to close, it was like a treasure chest full of food! At the top there are wide but thin slices of green plantain sitting on a mountain of food. It was a plethora of comforting foods especially all of the different types of potatoes and starchy roots. Pork rinds,steak (carne asada), chicken, pork sausage (chorizo), blood sausage, green plantains, fried yucca, corn cake, french fries, yellow sweet potato. Beneath the bed of thin sliced green plantain, everything is also topped with fresh sliced tomatoes and limes. I avoided the blood sausage, though I am an adventurous foodie there still are some things that make me squeamish and blood sausage is one of them. We were easily all able to all share the platter as there was more than enough food. Everything was so flavorful, I loved the small cubes of chicharron, chorizo, the green plantains and the fried yucca the best! The kids favored the chicken, chorizo sausage and french fries.
We plan to go back soon and make a day of it at Payne Park or the Bayfront Park. If you’re in the area definitely check out this small gem!