The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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We were out doing some shopping this afternoon and the Sunset Grill was close to where we were going.  This was our first time here and I’m pretty sure we were the youngest customers in there.  They definitely cater to the Top of the World crowd since that subdivision is right around the corner.

They have a big menu, plus daily specials.  Loren ordered a buffalo chicken sandwich with a side of their chicken rosalini soup.

The soup had a nice homemade flavor.  The noodles were soft and just the right size for scooping up with the spoon, plus it had big chunks of chicken and some carrots.

The buffalo chicken sandwich, though, did not impress.

Loren said the chicken was overcooked.  Like it had been cooked once, and then cooked again.  He only ate half of it.  He did like the pickle though.

I ordered a cheeseburger with a side of fries.

I ordered it medium, but it was pretty well done.  It tasted ok, but was kinda dry.  I liked the coleslaw and the fries were ok too.

When we first walked in the door, I saw the dessert display and knew I had to try the “Chocolate Confusion”.

It was pretty good.  It had a chocolate cookie base, a layer of fudge, a milk chocolate layer (actually, I’m not sure what the light color layer was, it really didn’t have any flavor, but it had a nice creamy texture), then a chocolate cake layer and a thick ganache frosting. 

Lunch was $21.  There wasn’t much about it that really impressed us.  I don’t know that we’ll be back anytime soon.

Sunset Grill
2328 Sunset Point Rd
Clearwater, FL

Sunset Grill on Urbanspoon

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: American, Clearwater
  • We didn’t head out to eat until about 7pm, so we wanted to go somewhere close.  We hadn’t been to the Tuscano Grille in quite a while so we headed over there for dinner.

    We were able to get a table without a wait which is always nice on a Friday night.  They had live music on the patio tonight as well.

    I’m always happy when they bring warm bread to the table.

    Loren didn’t think it had much flavor, but I really enjoyed it.  It was warm, had a nice texture, and was tasty, especially dipped in the oil.

    We ordered the Balsamic Glazed Calamari.

    The balsamic aroma was really strong. I’m not sure what the white sauce on it was, sort of a mayo, I guess.  The calamari had a nice flavor, but you really did need to dip it in the marinara sauce to cut the balsamic a bit.  The presentation was a bit sloppy and this is where the service began to decline as well.

    We rarely saw our waitress.  The busboy stopped by our table more often than our waitress did.  The dirty dishes from the bread and calamari sat on our table for a very long time.   When our soup and salad came out, they were still on the table and the person who brought the food didn’t bother to clear any dishes away.  Finally one of the busboys took the calamari dishes and I had to ask him to refill our drinks.  It wasn’t until they finally came to take our soup and salad dishes that I was able to get rid of the dish of oil for the bread and I only managed that by putting it on the plate with the soup bowl.  Call me crazy, but I just don’t think dirty dishes should be left on the table as you start to eat your next course.

    Speaking of the salad and soup…

    Loren chose the house salad with his meal and I got the mushroom soup.  The soup wasn’t pretty to look at, but it had a nice deep, rich mushroom flavor.

    Loren ordered the swordfish and it came with mashed potatoes.

    It was a very sparse looking plate.  He thoroughly enjoyed the swordfish though.  It was thick and meaty, well grilled and had an awesome flavor. 

    I ordered the veal scallopini which came with mashed potatoes and I substituted broccoli for the spinach it came with.

    I had a very similar meal at Restaurant Hapa earlier this month and theirs was definitely better than this one.  The broccoli wasn’t cooked enough for me and the potatoes were a bit thick.  The veal was tender, but the knife they gave me wasn’t sharp.  I’m still on the fence about the marsala sauce.  There was something about it that just didn’t appeal to me.  The flavor was too strong and Loren thinks it was because of the mushrooms.  It’s not that it was a bad flavor, just very overwhelming.

    We were stuffed at this point, but when I see a chocolate dessert on the menu, I feel an obligation to take it home.  We ordered a chocolate mousse cake to go.

    The menu said it came with a vanilla bean sauce, but guess you don’t get it if you don’t eat it in the restaurant.  Just stuff it in a box too small for it.   It was really tasty, though it could have done without the chocolate sponge cake bottom.  It sort of ruined the overall texture of the dessert.

    Total bill was $53.  We definitely got plenty of food, in fact most of mine came home as leftovers, but we just weren’t impressed by the service or the overall presentation of the dishes. 

    Even when we had finished our meal, one of the busboys came and cleared the dishes and boxed up my leftovers.  We sat there talking for a while before our waitress ever came to see us again.

    Tuscano Grille
    2544 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL

    Tuscano Grille on Urbanspoon


    Since we only had breakfast today, we were both hungry for dinner.  Loren wanted Mexican food, so we tried Senor Loco’s over on Gulf to Bay.  The last time Loren was there, the service was terrible, but we figured they wouldn’t still be open if it hadn’t gotten any better.

    They brought chips and salsa to the table and we ordered some bean and cheese dip.

    Both the salsa and the bean dip had a little kick to them.  Not over the top spicy, but you definitely knew jalepenos had been used.

    Loren ordered some steak fajitas.

    There was enough that he was able to make 4 fajitas.  He said they were pretty good.  I ordered a chicken chimichanga.

    Maybe I’m just picky, but I expect a chimichanga to be crispy on the outside.  This was more like a burrito, just barely dipped in the fryer.  It did have a lot of chicken inside though.  The beans and rice were typical, nothing overwhelming about them.  I do have to say, the tomatoes were really fresh.  It’s not often anymore that you get a tomato that actually has flavor. 

    Overall, there was nothing spectacular about the restaurant.  The service was ok, the food was ok, and the total bill was $31. 

    Senor Locos
    2680 Gulf to Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL

    Senor Loco's on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Clearwater, Mexican
  • We got a $10 coupon for Bonefish Grill in the mail today, so we headed out there for dinner.  Talk about immediate results from a mailing campaign. 

    Luckily, we went out for dinner a little later tonight because when we got to the restaurant there were a bunch of teenagers just finishing up and leaving for prom.  We timed it just right and were able to get a table without a wait.  I gotta say, those kids were really decked out in their suits and gowns.

    We were both pretty hungry after a long day for Loren at the autocross track and me at the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration.  We started out with the Singapore Calamari.

    I gotta say, this was some of the best calamari I’ve had in a while.  It was really fresh and had a nice crunchy coating on it.   It was mixed with peppers and served with a sweet and spicy Asian dipping sauce.  The dipping sauce was too spicy for me, but Loren liked it.  

    I have to add a note in here about the service and attention to detail.  Two plates were placed on our table stacked on top of each other for the appetizer.  When the appetizer was brought to the table, the waiter went to pass out the plates and noticed one had something on it and immediately went back to get us another one.  I know this seems like common sense, but too often something like that isn’t even noticed by the staff at other restaurants and we would have had to have said something about it. 

    I got a cup of their corn chowder with lump crab.

    There were some big chunks of crab in the soup which was really nice.  I’m a big fan of corn chowder and this is a wonderful version of it.

    Loren got a salad with his entree and they brought out some bread and olive oil to dip it in.

    The bread was nice and crusty on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside, just the way it should be. 

    For our entrees, we both ordered off of the specials menu.  Loren got the Deluxe Mixed Grill, which was a sirloin steak, scallops and shrimp.

    He said the shrimp were overcooked, but everything else was done just right.  They gave him some scalloped potatoes even though he had chosen a salad as his side dish and they served a chick pea garnish on both of our plates. 

    I got Lily’s Atlantic Salmon with jasmine rice.

    The salmon was served with spinach, artichokes and goat cheese.  It was really good.  By this point, I was pretty full, so most of it came home as leftovers, except for the chick peas, those just didn’t do it for me.

    With our $10 off coupon, the total bill came to$36.  Not bad for the amount of really good food that we got.  We don’t eat at Bonefish very often, but I’m not sure why.  Every time we’ve been, we’ve gotten great service and really tasty, interesting food. 

    Bonefish Grill
    2519 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL

    Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon


    We went out in the rain in search of lunch and ended up at Pickles Plus on McMullen Booth Rd.  Loren had been to the one in Clearwater before.  It was pretty crowded for a rainy Sunday at lunchtime.

    Loren started off with some chicken soup.

    It had a nice flavor to it and was very welcome on such a dreary day.  He ordered one of the specials for lunch, Jay’s Fried Chicken Salad.

    It was a big salad.  Lots of lettuce, fried chicken, tomatoes, boiled egg, bacon, cheese, cucumber, and of course, a pickle.   He ran out of dressing before he ran out of salad.

    I got a chicken salad sandwich with fries.

    And of course, a pickle. The chicken salad was pretty bland.  The fries weren’t crispy enough either.  They were too soft, like they’d been taken out of the fryer and left to sit for a while. 

    For $26, it seemed overpriced for what we got.  I’ve had better sandwiches elsewhere for less money.

    Pickles Plus
    2530 N McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL

    Pickles Plus on Urbanspoon