Casa Santo Stefano is a page from Ybor City kitchens of yore

Jul 25, 2022 322

BY: Jon Palmer Claridge

I’m not sure if it’s because my grandfather was a sea captain who brought folks to Ellis Island or, perhaps, the horrific sight of Ukrainians rushing to escape their homeland in the face of war, but the tales of immigrants by Richard Gonzmart on the Casa Santo Stefano menu brought tears to my eyes. Most of us can’t even imagine the various struggles of immigrants over time and around the globe.

One of my favorite lines from the mega-hit Hamilton is, “Immigrants (we get the job done).” It was true in Revolutionary times and in Ybor City at the dawn of the 20th century. Families seeking a better life settled in Tampa. The Gonzmarts opened the Columbia Restaurant celebrating their Spanish heritage.

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