Spanish restaurant in Tampa still dances with tradition

 Ybor City’s Spanish and Cuban restaurant, the Columbia, was founded by Casimiro Hernandez Sr. in 1905. The Spanish traditions of the restaurant have been carried through family generations for over 100 years.

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“I enjoy the food here,” said Columbia customer Mark Anthony Puglio. “The food here is excellent. It always has been, since I was young.”

Continue reading “Spanish restaurant in Tampa still dances with tradition”

Goody Goody, a slice of Tampa’s history to reopen

TAMPA, Fla.– Tampa’s longtime residents will once again take a bite of a burger, or a slice of pie, from the iconic Goody Goody restaurant. Former co-owner, Mike Wheeler, recently sold the restaurant and hopes its history continues.

“One of the motivating reasons of my selling it was that I wanted to see the Goody Goody remain a Tampa tradition,” Wheeler said.

The restaurant is now owned by businessman Richard Gonzmart.

“To sell it to somebody that we felt had high integrity and knew the restaurant business,” Wheeler said. “I think we found just the right person.”

Richard Gonzmart, the co-owner of Columbia Restaurant, used to visit Goody Goody, bringing food home to his family every Sunday. Michael Kilgore, chief marketing officer at Columbia Restaurant, says preserving the business was Gonzmart’s rescue mission.

“He wanted to try to preserve it and so as soon as it happened he started talking to Michael Wheeler about trying to buy the rights to it,” Kilgore said.

Goody Goody was first a drive-in restaurant, giving curb-side service from 1930 until 1984. The curb-side service was removed in late 1984.

A design has not been drafted yet, but it will continue as a family dine-in restaurant. As per the menu, the famous burger “POX”, pickles, onions, and secret sauce, is impossible to replicate, making it unique.

“They’re so unique and different and it’s just not like the hamburger with lettuce and tomato that you find in so many places,” Wheeler said. “They always go with a special…it’s called a ‘POX’, which stands for pickles, onions, and X, that sauce.”

Yvonne Freeman, also known as “the hamburger queen”, worked the last 46 years until 2005 as the manager and the official baker of those delicious pies.

The new location will open in South Tampa sometime in 2015.

The Art of Hairdressing: Shear Talent and Personality

Rosalia Becerra Barragan is not a typical licensed hairdresser. Six years ago, her interests changed from fashion to hair, allowing her to better apply her creativity.

“Ever since I was very young I’ve always been creative and I’ve always been interested in doing hair,” she said. “First it was fashion and then hair really interested me a lot and it allows me to be very creative in my work.”

Everyone is unique, and hairdressers often create clients’ style based on their personality.

“It’s not only just color in a box that you’re going to mix together. You have to determine what their underlining pigment is to get to that result,” Barragan said.

Barragan’s client Laura Rodriguez comes every few months, and today she retouched her “peek-a-boos”.

“I would not trust anybody else with my hair but her,” Rodriguez said. “You feel beautiful… and like a million bucks when you walk out of here.”

Barragan studied at Woody’s Hair Styling School in Orlando and continues to attend advanced education to grow as a professional.

“Hair is always evolving. Fashion is evolving. So you have to keep up with what clients are requesting,” Barragan said.

She currently averages 120 clients per month. But Barragan said her greatest achievement is her clients’ happiness.

“When they’re happy, I’m happy.”

Located at 1128 SE Carlstrom Field Rd., Shear Talent Hair Design specializes in more than just hair. It provides manicure, pedicure and massage services as well.

Cooking event to teach USF students how to balance crazy schedules and eating healthy

Cooking with the Dietitians is an event hosted at USF to help students learn about eating healthy. Tips are given to students, by registered dietitians, to find ways to choose a healthy lifestyle on the second week of every month.

Dividing your plate into fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein is just one of the important topics in the presentation. Ashlea Kurmay, a USF student, attends these events and has learned the importance of cooking a healthy meal.

“Suffice for yourself by actually going to the grocery store and cooking an actual healthy meal and I think that this really helps teach students that,” Kurmay said.

Busy schedules and skipping a healthy meal are common among students in college.

However, Kurmay is proof that it’s not impossible to make small changes for a healthier lifestyle. She keeps an active schedule and stays away from drinks that have a great deal of one specific ingredient – sugar.

“I work about four to five times a week and I just try to eat really healthy and not drink like soda or anything with a lot of added sugar,” Kurmay said.

A vegetable like a bell pepper is recommended by Health Promotion Specialist Alex Kloehn, who works with USF’s Wellness Center. The vegetable usually does not get credit for its benefits because it is an uncommon ingredient for recipes.

Bell peppers have high levels of vitamins A and C and are a good source of fiber. Although they range in different colors, the red, orange, and yellow peppers carry more of these nutrients.

“Actually, a bell pepper has almost twice as much vitamin C as an orange.” Kloehn said. “So, it’s something that people don’t know. So, when you’re sick and you want to fight off that cold, try having a bell pepper instead of an orange.”

Kloehn is the head of the promotions department at the Wellness Center for any health presentation and can be available for a one on one discussion. The Student Health Services is also another option to find a professional dietitian and help you make a health plan.

“It would be great if people knew a little bit more about why fruits and vegetables are beneficial. And that’s one of our goals here with produce of the month,” Kloehn said.

The next event for Cooking with the Dietitians will be on October 8th.