The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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Cuban Restaurant

We ate dinner at Cuban Foodies tonight. I drive by this location all the time and never knew this restaurant was here. It’s right next to Lowe’s in Oldsmar. We split an empanada and then got a Cuban sandwich & Masitas.


All of the food was good. The empanada had a tasty filling and the pastry was flaky. The pork was tender, the plantains were sweet and the Cuban sandwich had a good mix of meats and cheese. Service was a bit slow & scattered, especially when a few more people came into the restaurant. Total bill with a drink was $20.

Cuban Foodies
13855 W Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL

Cuban Foodies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Went over to Oldsmar Smokin’ BBQ for lunch today.  We’ve driven by a few times and finally made it in.  And I’m glad we did!  I tried the two meat combo and Loren ordered the Skippy Sandwich.


You get your choice of meats with the combos so I choose ribs & brisket, plus mac & cheese and coleslaw.  The mac & cheese was one of their “competition sides” and it lived up to it.  Creamy with a great flavor & texture.  I’d definitely order it again.  The ribs were tender with a savory rub on them.  Just a hint of spice and absolutely delicious.  I ate all of them.  The brisket was also flavorful & tender.  After Loren finished his sandwich, he had to help me with the rest of the brisket.  His sandwich was also brisket with cheese, fried onions & a horseradish mayo.  He scarfed it up.  Total bill with a drink was $23  and we’ll definitely be back.

Oldsmar Smokin’ BBQ
120 Commerce Blvd
Oldsmar, FL

Oldsmar Smokin' BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Crabby Bill’s Westchase

We were heading to a different restaurant in Westchase for lunch & then noticed that they had opened a Crabby Bill’s, so we decided to check them out.  Not sure how long they’ve been open, but it wasn’t too busy for a Friday lunch hour.  We placed our order and waited what seemed like a very long time to get our food.  Loren ordered a salad with blackened grouper & I got the grouper cheeks basket.

The fish was good on both dishes.  Tender & flaky, just the way grouper should be.  The sides didn’t do much for me though.  The grilled corn wasn’t quite what I was expecting and the coleslaw was a little too tangy.  Total bill was $40 with a drink.

Crabby Bill’s
9648 West Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, Fl 33626
(813) 501-1005


Ford’s Garage

We went over to Ford’s Garage in Countryside for lunch today.  It wasn’t too busy, but they seemed to be seating everyone right on top of each other.  They have a wide variety of 1/2 lb burgers and a new limited edition menu of smaller burgers.  I decided to try one of those, the Cali Roadster, but was told I couldn’t add anything to it, even though I expected to pay extra for the cheese I wanted.  This is not one of those places where the customer is always right.

This was one of the least seasoned burgers I’ve ever had in a restaurant.  My first bite, I thought I was getting a mouthful of water.  It was so bland and more medium rare, than the medium that I had ordered.  Loren ordered the Model A burger and since he’s going low carb these days, he got it without a bun and with a side of asparagus.

He said his was flavorless too and he went straight for the salt & pepper shakers.  For $31, I expected a much better experience.  We won’t be back.

Ford’s Garage
26210 US Hwy 19 N
Clearwater, FL

Ford's Garage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Not Ready Yet

Pacini’s Italian Eatery recently opened up in Safety Harbor.  We drove by last Friday & they were packed, so we waited a few days and went on a Tuesday when they weren’t quite as busy.  It’s all outdoor seating, so luckily it had been an overcast day, so it wasn’t too warm.  We were seated with menus and then waited.  And waited.  Eventually, our waitress came by & took our drink orders.  And we waited some more.   In the meantime, there were other tables that got seated after us and they were getting their drinks and bread.  We eventually got our drinks, but we were never offered bread.  I really don’t like inconsistency in the way different tables are treated at a restaurant.

We ordered the calamari for an appetizer and then Loren ordered short ribs only to be told they didn’t have them as well as several other items in that section of the menu.  He settled for the beef tips and when he asked about soup (salad or soup is at an extra $2.50 charge),  our waitress said they didn’t have any soup either.  Needless to say, we weren’t impressed so far.  Then the kicker is a few minutes later the waitress comes back and says the fryer is broken so they can’t make the calamari either.  At this point, our expectations were not high for the rest of the evening.

After waiting quite a while longer, Loren’s salad arrived.

He actually liked the salad.  It was sort of a mini Greek type salad.  What we didn’t like was that the empty salad plate stayed on our table the entire time even though the waitress passed by multiple times.   The beef tips he ordered were ok.  The plate was mounded with rice and the beef tips were a bit past medium.

I decided to try one of their trios with cheese ravioli, chicken Parmesan and fettuccine Alfredo.

The fettuccine Alfredo was very creamy, but the pasta was a little over done.  The ravioli were fine, but the chicken Parmesan was overcooked and inedible.  I couldn’t even cut it with my knife.  We waited with dirty plates for another long while & someone other than our waitress came by and asked it she could take them away.  We weren’t sure if she was a manager or not, but we told her about not being able to get our appetizer or the entree Loren wanted and how tough the chicken was.  She said she’d tell the kitchen about the chicken and that was that.  Our waitress brought our check & we were done.  Knowing full well that we were dissatisfied with the meal, you would have thought they might have offered to discount the check or offered a dessert.  Oh well.  I don’t expect that we’ll be returning.   Granted it’s a new restaurant going through growing pains, but there wasn’t anything about the experience that made us feel a need to go back.  Total bill with a drink was $40.

Pacini’s Italian Eatery
997 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL

Pacini's Italian Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato