We were over in Clearwater tonight and ended up at Greektown Grille for dinner. It’s been a while since we’ve been here, but luckily we got here early and it wasn’t too crowded. They started us off with very yummy bread.
This was one of those addictive breads. We had to move the basket away or we weren’t going to eat any of our dinner. Soft and thick and just yummy. We ordered the crab and spinach dip appetizer.
Though neither of us could actually identify any crab in the dip, it was still very good. There weren’t really enough pita chips to finish the dip, but I don’t think there was any way we were going to finish it anyway. Loren ordered the seafood platter.
It came with calamari, flounder and shrimp along with some rice and horta. We had no idea what horta was and it turns out it was boiled greens similar to spinach. The rice was a little on the spicy side and the fish was covered in a lobster cream sauce. I ordered the seafood pasta which had the same lobster cream sauce on it.
My dinner also came with a small Greek salad. The seafood pasta had both shrimp and scallops, but there really weren’t a lot of scallops in it. Some little pieces and maybe one full sized scallop. There was something about the lobster cream sauce that I didn’t really like. I can’t put my finger on what the flavor was, but it just wasn’t vibrant enough. I know that’s a vague description, but there are sauces that sing to me and this one was just flat. Total bill with a drink was $50.
1230 Cleveland St
We hadn’t been back to Dominic’s Italian Grille in a while because our last visit left something to be desired. Unfortunately, tonight’s experience wasn’t much better. The restaurant was pretty crowded and we ended up at a table right in the middle of the room. Loren’s dinner came with a salad & we started off with some Arancini.
The menu said the rice balls were stuffed with crab, but neither of us could find any. They were very dense and really needed some seasoning. Loren ordered one of the specials tonight, the braised short ribs.
It tasted like pot roast. He liked it, but the green beans were inedible. I ordered the chicken marsala.
The chicken was overcooked and not tender enough for me. The sauce was ok, but didn’t really pop. Again, I think it was a lack of seasoning. I like the pasta souffle that came with it. Service was rough all the way around. Our waitress disappeared for a while, someone took Loren’s drink and we weren’t sure if they were going to bring it back, we had another lady clear some plates, only to stack them in an unstable pile with one ending up in pieces on the floor. Total bill with a drink was $35.
Dominic’s Italian Grille
3163 Curlew Road
Time for tater tots so that means Pete & Shorty’s.
A bacon cheeseburger for Loren and a mushroom burger for me. This was a two napkin burger. Really juicy and tasty. Oh yeah, and the tater tots were yummy! Total bill with a drink was $17.
Pete & Shorty’s Tavern
2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd
We decided to try Red Robin over at Countryside Mall for lunch today. We thought we were going to miss the lunch crowd, but it was packed. We ended up waiting 15 minutes or so for a table. We decided to start off with some chips & queso.
It was pretty good. The flavor and creaminess was just right and it had a little bit of heat. There weren’t enough chips to start off with, but the waitress brought more. By the time the new basket of chips arrived though, our burgers were out. Loren got the Guac Burger and I got the mushroom burger.
We both agreed that these were some pretty tasty burgers. They definitely don’t skimp on the toppings either. There was a mound of mushrooms on mine. They also come with an endless supply of steak fries, though neither of us even finished the ones already on our plate. But, of course, you pay for all the freebies one way or another and the total bill with a drink was $31. A bit much for some burgers, even though they were pretty tasty.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
27001 US Highway 19 North
It was a dark and stormy night and sushi seemed like a perfect way to chase away the gloom. We headed over to Ocean Blue since it was close and I could hear the Super Crunchy calling to me.
Luckily Loren isn’t quite as enamored with it as I am, either that or he’s just afraid I’ll swat his hand away if he tries to eat too many pieces of it. I just love that roll. We also got a Mexican roll and a Rainbow roll. Both were delicious. Yeah, you didn’t think we stopped there, did you??
Loren had to have a spicy tuna and a Scott roll plus one more that I can’t remember. I think it was tuna or maybe salmon, either way, it was good. As always, everything was fresh and tasty. Loren also got a salad.
Oh, and remember that dark & stormy night? About the time we were finishing up, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain poured down. That could only mean that we had to order dessert, right?
Fried cheesecake is one of the strangest and tastiest desserts around. Soft and slightly frozen on the inside, crispy on the outside. Very tasty throughout. Finally the rain let up, our taste buds were happy, and our wallet was $62 lighter.
Ocean Blue Sushi Bar & Kaiko Japanese Restaurant
2475 McMullen Booth Road
We went to a movie this morning and then ate lunch at BJ’s at Countryside Mall around 2pm. I’m convinced that this place is busy no matter what time you go in there, but at least the roar of the crowd wasn’t as bad in the middle of the afternoon. The key, we’ve learned, is to get a table by the front windows, otherwise, you can barely hear yourself think in there.
The avocado egg rolls are the main draw for me here.
Crunchy on the outside, creamy and delicious on the inside. And it’s avocado, so it’s healthy, right? Right?? Doesn’t matter, they are just too yummy to pass up. For his entree, Loren tried their mahi tacos.
He said they were pretty good. He also liked the salsa and guac that came with them. I went for the burger melt.
They make a pretty tasty burger here. It was juicy and the bread was toasted just right. I ended up bringing half of it home. The skinny fries were nice & crunchy and Loren couldn’t resist scarfing a few. For $36, it was a very satisfying meal.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
27001 US Highway 19N
We’d already eaten at two new places for us this weekend, so I decided to try for a third. We ate dinner at La Bella Eva over in Clearwater. It’s a small Italian pizza place in strip mall on Belcher. It was nice and toasty inside which was perfect on this rather chilly evening. We decided to try the potato soup.
My first bite was very flavorful, but cold. We had to send it back to the kitchen to get heated up. After that, though, things went much better. The soup was really good. Thick & rich with a wonderful flavor. Loren kept trying to slide it closer to his side of the table. The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. You know it’s good when Loren reaches for more before I get a chance to. We also got some calamari.
The calamari was a little chewy and needed some salt, but otherwise pretty good. You can get a medium or spicy sauce to go with it and we chose the medium. It wasn’t really spicy, but definitely had some red pepper in it. At this point, we both realized we had already ordered too much food, and then the entrees came. Loren got the linguine with meatballs.
He liked it. It was a rich sauce. I though it tasted like there was wine in it that hadn’t been fully cooked off. I got the eggplant rollatini.
It was like lava when it came to the table. The eggplant was cooked very well. It still had some texture to it and the cheese and sauce were tasty. Too many places overcook the eggplant to mush, but this was a really good dish. We both had leftovers and decided to split a Manhattan truffle for dessert.
Vanilla and chocolate ice cream covering a cherry & almond center and completely enrobed in dark chocolate. It was delicious. They had several different varieties of these truffles and I think we may have to go back just to try some of the other ones. Total bill with a drink was $38.
La Bella Eva
1469 S. Belcher Rd
We prefer small, quiet restaurants, so tonight we headed over to Laziz Indian Cuisine for dinner. We started off with the Onion Bhaji.
This was the first time we tried it and it was really tasty. It had a little bit of spice, lots of flavor, and a nice crunch. I also ordered a cucumber & tomato salad.
We’d eaten most of it before I remembered to take a photo. I’m always surprised that something so simple tastes so good, especially as a contrast to spicy food. No surprise with what I ordered, it’s the butter chicken for me every time. Loren got the Chicken Jalfrezi and we also got some garlic naan.
Our taste buds were really happy. The flavors are just so wonderful in these dishes. We even managed to have some leftovers, though it was hard to keep from eating every last drop of it. Total bill with a drink was $41.
Laziz Indian Cuisine
2475 N McMullen Booth Rd
When we were at Sabai Thai last night we noticed that a new Greek restaurant just opened up next door called Taverna Skara. It’s a light and airy looking restaurant and they weren’t busy at all when we got there. They brought pita and olives to the table while we looked at the menus.
Loren said the olives were really good and I enjoyed the pita, though I would have liked something to dip it in. We decided to try the fried calamari for an appetizer.
This was a mixed bag of tender and chewy pieces of calamari. It seemed as though the pieces that kept their coating were fairly tender, but other pieces ended up being overcooked. The dish definitely needed salt and I didn’t like the way it was served in the cone. It made it very hard to get pieces out and dripped oil and crumbs all over the table.
For his entrée, Loren got the pork souvlaki platter.
It had pork, rice, pita, Greek salad and tzatziki sauce. He enjoyed it and ended up with way more pita and rice than he could eat. The tzatziki sauce had an interesting flavor to it. I can’t quite put my finger on what was different about it, but there was something. I tried the pastitsio.
This was a very good version of the dish. The flavors were all there, the pasta was tender and the béchamel sauce was creamy and had good flavor. My only criticism was that they melted some cheese on top that formed a hard crust. I just didn’t care for that. I also would have liked if it had been served with a small Greek salad. Most of the other entrees on the menu were served with a side or salad, so it seemed odd that the items on the Traditional Greek Entree list were not.
Service was very attentive, almost too attentive, but I’m guessing it’s because they’re new and there weren’t too many customers in the restaurant. Overall, the food was good and we’ll probably be back again to try some other dishes. Total bill with a drink was $43.
2454 McMullen Booth Rd
We had a AAA coupon for 25% off at Olive Garden that expired today, so we headed over there for a late lunch. We weren’t sure how busy they were going to be on Christmas Eve, but when we got there at 1pm, we didn’t have to wait for a table. We started off with soup, salad and breadsticks.
I think we could have stopped right here and been very full and very contented. The breadsticks were fresh and soft and both the salad and soup were yummy. I like the pasta fagioli soup here. It has a nice blend of flavors and textures. For some reason, we felt the need to order an appetizer.
Calamari & stuffed mushrooms… oh so good! They prepare a really tender calamari here. The mushrooms were also flavorful and filling. As if this wasn’t enough food, we ordered entrees as well. Loren got the braised beef tortelloni.
It was definitely more tortelloni than beef, but he said it was very good. I ordered the fettucine alfredo.
This is my favorite dish here, though it could have used a little more sauce on it. It’s very creamy and the noodles are cooked perfectly. There’s a reason we don’t come here very often; we eat too much. We both took home some leftovers. For a chain restaurant, they really do prepare the food very well. After the coupon, the total bill was $26.
29461 Us-19 N
When I’m in the mood for tater tots, we head over to Pete & Shorty’s. Loren got a pork tenderloin and I got the Chalet burger, both with tots, of course.
At first Loren said he didn’t really want tots, but he ate every last one of them in his basket. As usual, the pork tenderloin was way bigger than the bun and the burger was nice & juicy. For $18, my tot craving was satisfied and my taste buds were happy.
Pete & Shorty’s Tavern
2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Our last few ventures to Cody’s Original Roadhouse have been less than satisfying. Though we usually enjoy the salad and yeast rolls, the entrees have been hit or miss. Tonight’s dinner, though, was much improved. The salad and rolls were fresh and tasty.
This is usually the best part of the meal for us. I was good this time though and didn’t order a second basket of rolls. It was tempting though. Loren went for the chef select NY Strip with a loaded baked potato.
The steak was cooked a perfect medium and was very tender. He only ate half of it and took the rest home. This was definitely one of the better steaks he’s had here. I went for the 1/2 rack of baby back ribs.
They were very tender tonight and the portion seemed larger than usual. Fall off the bone with a sweet and tangy bbq sauce. I actually had some leftovers as well. This is the first time in a while that we actually left here satisfied. Total bill with a drink was $35.
Cody’s Original Roadhouse
26210 US 19 Clearwater, FL
We ate dinner at Pappas Ranch down on Gulf to Bay tonight. It wasn’t very busy for a Saturday night, but it was so loud that it made it difficult to carry on a conversation. Although their appetizers are good, we decided to skip them tonight and go straight on to dinner. Loren got the 6oz sirloin with a baked potato.
He enjoyed the steak and said it had good seasoning. The baked potato was fresh and tasty too. I got the catfish tacos.
These were very difficult to eat because of the sweet mango cole slaw and chipotle-lime mayo. They just got to be too goopy after a while. The fish wasn’t crispy either, so that just added to the mushiness. The fries were pretty good though. Total bill with a drink was $26.
Pappas Ranch Steakhouse
2630 Gulf to Bay Blvd
After going to see SkyFall at the movies, we went over to Smokey Bones on Gulf to Bay for a late lunch. From the moment, we walked in the door, the smell of BBQ surrounded us. It smells so good in there. We decided to start off with the Southwest spring rolls.
They had some heat, but were pretty tasty. The only issue was that our entrees came out almost immediately after the appetizer did. They definitely lose some points for timing. Loren ordered the 1/3 rack of ribs with a side salad and baked potato.
He ordered the St Louis ribs, but the bill says he got baby back ribs. He couldn’t seem to tell the difference, but he said they were very good. He cleaned his plate and started eyeing mine. I went for a combo of baby back ribs and pulled pork with onion rings and mac & cheese.
The baby back ribs were delicious. The sauce was sweet and the ribs were very tender. Before I ordered, I had planned on taking the pulled pork home as leftovers, so I didn’t eat much of it. I did find the pulled pork kind of dry though. The onion rings were the big disappointment on the plate. They just weren’t crunchy. The mac & cheese was like lava when it came to the table and still steaming when I put part of it in the leftover box. It had a good flavor and was really creamy. Loren had talked about chocolate cake the night before, so we couldn’t resist ordering a slice.
It was delicious. Moist and chocolatety and perfect with the scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum! Total bill with a drink was $56.
2693 Gulf to Bay Blvd
A new Thai restaurant just opened up on the corner of McMullen Booth & Enterprise. Sabai Thai Cuisine is a cute little restaurant with a variety of Thai dishes and sushi. We started off with an appetizer platter.
I’m a sucker for a plate of fried appetizers. The shrimp were really good and my favorite on the plate. I’d definitely order the dumplings again, they had some nice flavors. The eggrolls, spring rolls and curry puffs were also tasty. Since we ordered the appetizer platter, we only ordered four sushi rolls. Surprising, huh? We ordered a tuna and avocado, a salmon and avocado, a Mexican roll and a spicy tuna roll.
Their sushi menu is pretty standard without a lot of specialty rolls. The sushi was a bit on the bland side, except for the sauce on the spicy tuna which was really spicy. Loren took a lot of it off before eating it. The shrimp in the Mexican roll wasn’t as warm as I would have liked it. I’m guessing it was done before we had finished our appetizer platter and they just didn’t bring it to the table soon enough. I wasn’t a fan of the texture of the tuna roll either. It was like it was chopped up and as such had a mushy texture. We’ll probably go back again to try the Thai dishes. I’m not sure that this was the best location to open up another Thai restaurant though, especially with Ban Thai right across the street and Ocean Blue just across McMullen Booth. Total bill with a drink was $42.
Sabai Thai Cuisine
2454 McMullen Booth Road
We checked out Blue Dog Po’ Boys in Clearwater today for lunch. It’s not a very big place, but the New Orleans flavors definitely packed a punch. We started off with some gumbo.
Lots of deep, rich flavors and just enough spiciness to make it interesting. Loren kept pulling the bowl closer to his side of the table. Since he wanted leftovers he ordered a whole muffaletta sandwich, the photo below is only half.
The waitress wrapped the other half and even with only half on the plate, he only managed to eat a quarter of it. It’s huge. He really enjoyed it though. Lots of meats and the olive spread was tasty. I went for a oyster po’boy with a side of sweet potato fries.
This was a pretty large sandwich too. I ended up eating half and just eating the oysters out of the other half. They were crunchy and tasty and the who dat sauce added some additional spice. The sweet potato fries were crispy on the outside, soft in the middle and had a cinnamon sugar coating on them. They could have been dessert. But, alas, there was bread pudding for dessert.
Yummy, yummy, yummy! It had a really tasty sauce on it and a nice texture and flavor overall. We’ll definitely be back to eat here again. Total bill with two drinks was $37.
Blue Dog Po’Boys
25708 US 19 N
It’s not often that emailed offers work on me, but when I got the limited time $16.90 offer for a pound of stone crabs from Bonefish Grill, I just couldn’t resist. I haven’t had stone crabs in quite a few years and we figured there probably wouldn’t be a wait on a Tuesday night, so off we went. We started off with bread and calamari.
Bonefish really does make some of the best calamari in the area. It’s tender and comes with an Asian dipping sauce that’s really tasty. It’s both sweet and spicy. The bread was fresh and warm and delicious as well. Loren got a salad and I got some of their crab corn chowder.
Their corn chowder is really thick and creamy with lots of crab in it. It’s almost a meal in itself. Loren got the mahi for his entrée.
He said it was perfectly cooked and tasty. He didn’t care for the carrots side dish though. He said they were too sweet and too hard. I, of course, got the stone crabs with some drawn butter.
I didn’t like the fact that they were served cold, so the waitress took them back to the kitchen to get heated up. Cold crab just doesn’t work for me. Otherwise, though, they were just how I remembered them. It cracks me up (no pun intended) that a pound of crab is only 5 claws, but I was so full from the calamari, chowder, and bread that it was fine. Our server was very attentive and friendly. Total bill with a drink was $55.
2519 McMullen Booth Rd
Nauti Nancy’s was the destination for dinner tonight. I guess we’re the odd ones since we prefer to eat in the air conditioned restaurant instead of out on the patio. We started off with the fried ravioli.
They were filled thick with ricotta cheese and very yummy. I would have liked them a little crispier though, but otherwise very good. We both ordered off the specials menu tonight. Loren got the surf and turf.
It was salmon cakes and prime rib with veggies. He said it was pretty good, but he liked the salmon cakes more than the prime rib. I went for the salmon cakes which came with rice, veggies and covered in hollandaise.
It had a really nice flavor, especially when you mixed everything together. My only complaint is that I would have liked the salmon cakes to be a bit more crispy. The entire dish was just one note in the texture department. They had bread pudding on the menu tonight and we just had to try it.
It was delicious with lots of wonderful flavors. I’d definitely order it again. They also brought out some beignets, but by that point, we were both so full that we barely managed to eat one of them…. and yet we did.
This really is one of my favorite places to eat. The prices are reasonable and the food is always so fresh and delicious. Total bill with a drink was $38.
700 Eldridge St
I was craving some avocado egg rolls, so we headed out to BJ’s at Countryside Mall. Parking is somewhat of a nightmare over there with the movie theater; but surprisingly, we didn’t have to wait for a table. That’s not to say that the volume of noise in the restaurant wasn’t deafening though. I really wish they were able to dampen the sound level in there.
The avocado egg rolls lived up to expectations. These things are so yummy. Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside with just the right amount of spices.
Loren continued on the avocado path and got a California chicken sandwich with fries.
He said it was ok, nothing to write home about. The crispy fries were tasty though. I went for one of their October specials, the bratwurst sandwich with sweet potato fries.
This was a pretty flavorless bratwurst. Even with the onions and mustard sauce, it just didn’t really pack a punch. The sweet potato fries came out after the bratwurst, but at least they were fresh and tasty. Total bill with a drink was $36.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
27001 US Highway 19N
We ate dinner at Ocean Blue Sushi tonight. This is the place we go when we want simple, fresh, and tasty sushi. Ok, I actually come here specifically for the Super Crunchy roll, but everything else is good too.
Loren started off with a salad and then we got a Mexican Roll, a spicy tuna, a California roll, a lollipop roll, a Scott roll and a Super Crunchy roll.
The rice and fish here are very fresh and the rolls aren’t drenched in sauces that hide the flavor of the rolls themselves. Instead it’s just a tasty simplicity that you rarely get from a lot of sushi restaurants. It’s not about being fancy or bigger, it’s just about being good. And the Super Crunchy roll just has the flavor and texture that makes it one of my favorite foods in the area. Loren likes the spicy tuna and Scott Roll. I don’t like the texture of the tempura chips in the Scott Roll and I’m too wimpy to eat any of the spicy rolls. We both really enjoy the cucumber wrapped lollipop roll. It’s just a burst of fresh crunchiness and a little zing. Total bill with a drink was $52
Ocean Blue Sushi Bar & Kaiko Japanese Restaurant
2475 McMullen Booth Road