The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We finally figured out the right time to visit the Brick House Tavern, 11:30am on a Sunday morning.  No crowds, no noise and the service was a lot better than the last time we were here.  Loren got the Blue Water Mahi sandwich while I ordered the crispy duck hash off of the brunch menu.

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He said the mahi was perfectly cooked and the marinated cucumbers added an interesting flavor.   I kept stealing tots of his plate.  I wanted to like the crispy duck hash much more than I did.  Unfortunately, someone in the kitchen went a bit heavy on both the salt and pepper so it became increasingly more difficult to eat with every bite.  There was nothing actually crispy about the duck, but had the seasoning not been overwhelming, it would have made for a tasty dish.  Total bill with a drink was $31.

Brick House Tavern and Tap
28795 US 19 N
Clearwater, FL
(727) 726-6352

Brickhouse Tap And Tavern on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • Comments Off on Sunday Morning
  • Filed under: American, Clearwater
  • Lots of Food


    We stopped at the Crispy Cajun in Clearwater for dinner tonight.  It’s a little restaurant putting out a lot of tasty food at very reasonable prices.  They were busy when we got there and people kept coming in both for take out and to eat in the entire time we were there. The menu didn’t feel Cajun to me because there were so many varied things on it from hamburgers to fried chicken to crab rangoons as well as the things I expected like jambalaya, po-boys and red beans and rice.

    Loren went for the jambalaya dinner which was enough to feed several people.

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    It looked like take out Chinese food to me, but the flavors were all Cajun.  He ordered it medium spicy and it had way more heat in it than I could eat.  It was a huge portion with andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken, vegetables and rice.  The sauce had a deep, dark flavor to it that Loren thoroughly enjoyed.  I went for the oyster po-boy and added a side of okra and red beans and rice.

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    The okra was cooked perfectly.  We just sat and munched on those throughout the meal.  The small portion was plenty for two, maybe three people.  The red beans and rice had a nice flavor as well.  As for the po-boy, my only complaint is that the tartar sauce on it overwhelmed the entire sandwich.  I couldn’t taste anything else.  I finally pulled out one of the oysters and it was very good.  If I ordered it again, I would get it without the tartar sauce.  The amazing part of this entire meal is that we got all this food for $23.  We don’t know how they can stay in business serving this much fresh, tasty food for such low prices.

    Crispy Cajun
    2097 Drew St
    Clearwater, FL
    727-441-8886

    Crispy Cajun on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value5/5
    3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Cajun, Clearwater
  • We decided to try the Mellow Mushroom for dinner tonight.  Friday night and the place was packed.  We had about a 30 minute wait before we got a table.  This is one of those restaurants where the acoustics are horrible.  Bare floors, open ceiling and you can barely hear yourself think, never mind trying to actually have a conversation without yelling across the table.  We definitely didn’t need it, but we started off with the spinach artichoke dip.

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    The dip itself was tasty, but I’m just not a fan of crunchy toast points.  I find them hard to eat.  I actually wasn’t sure that 6 pieces of bread were going to be enough, but it ended up being a good ratio of dip to scoop.  For our pizza, we went for a medium Holy Shiitake.

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    I really enjoyed this pizza.  It had shiitake, button, and portobello mushrooms, onions and a blend of cheeses plus a garlic and olive oil base.  It was had such a wonderful blend of flavors. The crust was perfectly cooked, not too crunchy, not too soft.  I would absolutely order it again, though probably to go.  Total bill with a drink was $20.

    Mellow Mushroom
    2630 Gulf to Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-723-2000

    Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere1/5
    Value2/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Pizza
  • We went to dinner with friends tonight at Cuvee 103 in Safety Harbor.  It’s a wine bar and restaurant on the corner of Enterprise and McMullen Booth.  It had a pleasant interior, though I’ll never understand why restaurants feel the need to have a TV over the bar.  It really detracts from the atmosphere.  Our waitress brought over bread with a basil and an olive tampenade.

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    I prefer warm bread, so this didn’t do much for me, but everyone else seemed to like the olive & basil spreads.  We started off with two of the appetizers, the fried goat cheese and the duck confit spring rolls.

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    Both were good, but the general consensus was that the fried goat cheese was the better of the two.  They were crispy on the outside with a creamy pesto and goat cheese mix in the middle and served with a tasty red sauce.  The spring rolls weren’t rolled tight enough so the filling was rather loose.  It had a good flavor and the dipping sauce was a sweet plum ginger.  For our entrees, we all got something different.

    The braised short ribs:

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    The duck confit:

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    The stuffed pork loin:

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    The veal involtini:

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    Three out out of the four were good.  The braised short ribs were definitely the best of the bunch.  They were very tender in flavorful sauce.  The duck was well cooked and Loren really enjoyed the stuffed pork loin.  It had a sausage stuffing and he licked his plate clean.  My dish, however, was less than stellar.  The veal was tough and the filling of spinach, mushrooms, and fontina did nothing to help the cause.  It just didn’t have any flavor.  And speaking of no flavor, the grilled polenta was pretty much inedible.  I think I managed to eat half of one.  It had absolutely no seasoning in it and was gritty and bland.  The white wine sauce was the best thing on the plate, but nothing was going to overcome the shortcomings of the dish.  For dessert, our friends got the creme brulee and we tried the chocolate cheesecake.

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    The creme brulee had a beautiful, crispy sugar crust.  The cheesecake was very light and fluffy with almost a mousse like texture.  Both dessert dishes were empty in minutes.  The restaurant has live music that started toward the end of our meal thankfully.  The music was nice, but a little too loud for the space.  It would have been difficult to hold a casual conversation throughout.  Our waitress made us laugh, though, not on purpose most of the time.  She didn’t seem to fit the ambiance of the restaurant and appeared somewhat frazzled at times.  She was pleasant and kept our drinks filled, but really did seem like a duck out of water.  Total bill with two glasses of wine was $136 after a $25 Restaurant.com coupon.

    Cuvee 103
    2454 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-0350

    Cuvee 103 on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5

    A friend and I were heading to a movie and stopped at First Watch for breakfast.  Luckily, we got there before the big Sunday crowd showed up.  We both ordered skillets.

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    I got mine with avocado and over easy eggs. The potatoes were perfectly cooked and the fruit on the side was fresh.  It was fresh and perfectly cooked.  That’s one of the things I really like about this restaurant.  Everything from the decor to the food is light and fresh.  It just has an overall different feel from so many of the other chain breakfast restaurants.  Something as simple as leaving a pitcher of water and coffee on the table makes it so much more convenient for both the waitress and us.  Total bill was $9.

    First Watch
    2569 Countryside Blvd
    Clearwater FL
    727-712-8769

    First Watch on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value3/5
    3.9/5