The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Back for Lunch


We went back to Mother’s in Westchase for lunch today with a friend. It was a  beautiful day to sit out on the open patio.  Though we ended up ordering the same entrees we had during our first visit, we did try a different appetizer this time, the tuna tartare.

Other than the fact that this was awkward to share & eat, it was very tasty.  The plate was smeared with wasabi and the dish had tuna, avocado, wonton chips on top in a ginger oyster sauce.  I think it would have been easier to eat if the wonton chips were large enough to put a scoop of the tuna on.

Loren got the grilled chicken sandwich which has bacon, avocado, and melted cheese.  The chicken was grilled so it could be considered a “healthy” sandwich, right??

Our friend got the coffee rubbed beef on weck and said it was really good.  Loren had been hesitant to order it, thinking the coffee flavor would be too strong, but our friend said he didn’t even notice it.

I went back to one of my favorites, the citrus duck flat bread. This dish hits all the right flavor and texture notes for me.  Duck confit, goat cheese, mandarin oranges, pears with a little drizzle of ponzu sauce.  Yum!

Certainly not a cheap lunch though, $61 for the three of us & two drinks.

Mother’s
12227 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-814-1533

Mother's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.8/5

Italian for Dinner


We were in St Pete with friends for a show at the Mahaffey Theater and ate dinner at Gratzzi Italian Grille.  Luckily, we had made reservations because they were quite busy for a Wednesday evening at 5:30pm.  They started us out with some bread and herb infused oil, then soup or salad included in the meal.

The bread was ok; the crust a little too crunchy for my taste, but the infused oil had some nice flavors.  The salad had a variety of different things in it.  Both the Pasta e Fagioli and Italian Wedding soups looked very similar to each other, just with a few different ingredients.

Our friends ordered the Chicken Parmigiana and the Pappardelle Giuliana

The chicken parm was big enough for leftovers (we’ll get to that later) and the pasta dish had scallops in a roasted red pepper sauce.  They both said the food was good, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Loren ordered the cedar planked salmon and I ordered the chicken marsala with a side of Pappardelle Alfredo.

The salmon was nicely cooked and topped with blue crab.  Loren liked it.  The chicken marsala was tender and the sauce was good, but I’ve had more flavorful at other Italian restaurants.  The alfredo pasta was tasty, but not worth what I ended up paying for it.  (we’ll get to that later).  For dessert, we got the Lemoncello cake and our friends got the gelato.

The cake was really good.  Very strong, tart lemon flavor to it. Now, for those things we were going to get to later.  We were busy talking and not really paying attention as we paid the bills and left the restaurant.  Come to find out, they charged me the full entree price for the side of alfredo pasta that I ordered.  The waitress also didn’t bring the leftovers back to the table that my friend had from her dinner.  Drinks weren’t always filled quickly enough and Loren’s pretty sure his glass of tea was refilled with diet soda.  Overall, the food was ok, but nothing that would make us feel the need to return. And the mistakes with the check and leftovers definitely would keep us from recommending to others.  Our half of the bill was $77, $10 more than it should have been.

Gratzzi Italian Grille
211 2nd Street S
St Petersburg, FL
727-623-9037

Gratzzi Italian Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.6/5

Ooooooowwweeeee!


Oh, Cajun Cafe on the Bayou, you make such amazing food.

There was fried okra, spicy and crunchy, then some crab cakes, gumbo, and my go -to dish, the crawfish etouffee.  There’s also whiskey bread pudding that will get consumed later.  We were too full to eat it there.  We just love the flavors of everything they make here.  The etouffee is always delicious, sometimes spicier than others (this was one of those times), but I still manage to eat the entire thing.  It’s $50 well spent.

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou 
8101 Park Blvd
Pinellas Park, FL
727-546-6732

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.1/5

Turkish Cuisine


In Orlando today with my sister and we stopped at Cappadocia Turkish Cuisine for lunch.  Started with some baba ghanoush and fresh bread.

This made me so happy.  The bread was hot and fresh out of the oven and the baba ghanoush was tasty.  We pretty much licked the plate clean.  We shared a couple of entrees, the lamb shish kebab and the moussaka.

The lamb was flavorful and tender.  It came with rice and veggies.  The moussaka had a wonderful blend of spices in it.  It was also served with rice and just tickled all sorts of senses in your taste buds.  My sister had never tried kunefe before, so we got one.

It’s an unusual dessert.  It’s shredded phyllo dough around a stretchy cheese with a honey sauce.  I’m not sure what was on top of this one, usually it has pistachios.  It’s not too sweet and has a very different texture to it.  It’s hard to describe.  Overall, the food was very authentic and flavorful.  Total bill with a drink was $35.

Cappadocia Turkish Cuisine
565 North Semoran Blvd
Orlando, FL
407-985-2668

Cappadoccia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.6/5

Back Again


We can’t help it, we love the food at Craft Street Kitchen.  There’s always something new to try and it’s usually pretty darn tasty.  Tonight was no different.  We started off with the avocado hummus.

I’m not usually a big fan of hummus, but this was good.  The only thing I didn’t like about it were the chunks of bell pepper.  Other than that, it was rich and creamy and had pickled radish, mandarin oranges, and a corn relish.  We ran out of crackers before we ran out of hummus.  For his entree, Loren decided to try the SS Minnow.

It’s a mahi sandwich with a jalenpeno kraut on it.  He said it was reuben-esque and quite tasty.  I decided to try the crafty pasta.

I’m surprised I hadn’t tried this one before.  It was creamy and peppery from the arugula in it.  It had chicken and mushrooms, tomatoes & onions in a Madeira cream.  I would definitely order it again.  We also got a red velvet lover’s sundae to go.  No photos, but it was red velvet brownie cake with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and two chocolate covered strawberries.  So good!  Total bill with a drink was $47.

Craft Street Kitchen and Drinks
3153 Curlew Rd
Oldsmar, FL
727-314-4270

Craft Street Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
4.3/5