The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Archive for the ‘Tampa’ Category

We were on our way back from Orlando and stopped at Yummy House in Tampa for dinner.  I’d read some reviews that said how awesome the food was, so we had to check it out.  It’s not a very big restaurant and it was packed.  We weren’t greeted when we walked in and that always bugs me.  From the get go, it just wasn’t a friendly environment, but the food was really amazing.

We decided to try the salt & pepper calamari since a lot of people had recommended it.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the name, but this dish had some amazing flavors in it.  The calamari was thick and tender with a wonderful crunchy coating on it.  The pepper in it was hot red pepper, which I ended up scraping some off since it was really intense.  Loren liked the combination of scallions and cilantro that it was tossed in.  Very, very yummy.  Our entrees came out almost immediately after the calamari, so timing of the meal wasn’t great.  I guess since the line at the door never stopped, their main goal is to get you in & out as quickly as possible.

Loren ordered the Kung Po chicken.

He said it had a depth of flavor to it that just kept him eating more.  The chicken was tender and it had zucchini, celery, peppers and peanuts in it, plus a few of those really spicy peppers too.  I ordered the orange chicken.

This dish had a really tangy sweet orange sauce and perfectly cooked chicken.  It was really good.  Our waiter asked us if we wanted rice and then forgot to bring it out.  When we asked about it, he finally brought it out, but I was a bit dismayed to find out that a bowl of rice costs an extra $2.

Service was strange here.  I’m not sure if the same server came to our table more than once.  We had different people taking our order, bringing our drinks, bringing our food, our bill, etc.  While they were at the table, they seemed friendly, but otherwise they all seemed rather aloof.  I think this is a restaurant where I’d order take-out because the food was delicious, but probably not want to eat inside the restaurant again.  Total bill with a very flat Pepsi was $30.

Yummy House
2202 W Waters Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 915-2828

Yummy House on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Chinese, Tampa
  • Prime Rib Day

    So, did you know that April 27th is National Prime Rib Day?  Prom was also going on tonight, so we needed to find a place that the kids weren’t going to be, so we settled on Cody’s out on Hillsborough.  I have a love/hate relationship with Cody’s.  Love the rolls & salad, but the entrees don’t always live up to expectations.

    They were pretty busy tonight and it took our waiter quite a while and two tries to get us a salad without onions and some rolls.

    The rolls were fresh and so good that we had to order a second basket.  Like I said, this is the best part of the meal to me.  Loren, being in the holiday spirit, decided to try the prime rib.

    He said it was pretty tender and he enjoyed it.  Surprisingly, he actually ate the whole thing.  I ordered the half rack of baby back ribs.

    Some of the ribs were tender, some parts were not.  They definitely don’t have the smoked taste and flavor you get from an actual BBQ joint.  I’m still working my way through the menu.  Eventually, I’ll find something I like.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

    Cody’s Original Roadhouse
    11202 West Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL

    Cody's Original Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Tampa
  • If you’ve even been to Cracker Barrel on a Sunday, you’ll notice that they really push the Sunday homestyle chicken special.  I swear everyone we come in contact with at the restaurant just raves about it, so tonight Loren decided to try it & I got the chicken fried chicken, which we normally get.

    The homestyle chicken comes with two chicken breasts & two sides.  Loren got mashed potatoes & collard greens.  The chicken fried chicken comes with one piece of chicken, gravy, & three sides and is 30 cents more.   The verdict?  The homestyle chicken was good, it had a much different crunch than the other chicken, but I didn’t think it was that much better.  The chicken fried chicken is always tender here and I like the gravy on it.  I’m also more about the sides anyway, so I’d rather have the three side dishes versus another piece of chicken.  I couldn’t eat two chicken breasts if I tried.  So, it’s a toss up really.  If you’re really craving chicken, go for the homestyle, but if you’re really just there for the mac & cheese, the other chicken with do.  Total bill with a drink was $26.

    Cracker Barrel
    13833 West Hillsborough Avenue
    Tampa, FL

    Cracker Barrel on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar, Tampa
  • We tried the Surf Shack when they first opened and went back again today for lunch.  The weather was gorgeous, so we sat out on the patio.  They had a good crowd for a Friday lunch and we both tried something different.  I opted for the Seafood Stack with a side of mac & cheese.

    The Seafood Stack was interesting.  I love fried flour tortillas and they added a nice crunch to the mix of shrimp, cod, and veggies inside.  The shrimp was a bit overcooked, but otherwise the dish was very tasty.  It was served over some rice, but really didn’t need it.  It was messy to eat though.  The cheese sauce on the mac & cheese was very thin, so it sort of settled on the bottom of the bowl, leaving the macaroni to be a bit dry.

    After munching on some chips & salsa, Loren got a Baja chicken burrito with a side salad.

    The ranch dressing on the salad had some spice to it.  The burrito, on the other hand, was a bit on the bland side.  Loren said it was just ok. With a drink, the total bill was $27.

    Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
    12217 West Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, FL
    (813) 475-5916

    Surf Shack on Urbanspoon


    Headed to Tampa tonight to the Straz Theater to see La Cage aux Folles and stopped at Guadalaja Mexican Restaurant for dinner before the show.  Loren usually goes through two baskets of chips and salsa here.

    For his dinner, he went for the beef fajitas.

    He said the beef was tender and tasty.  He had some leftovers, but since we weren’t heading right home, we didn’t take them.  I went for a beef chimichanga.

    It wasn’t very crispy and I didn’t realize it had pico de gallo inside.  I’m just not a fan of raw onions & cilantro, so the whole flavor profile was a bit off for me.  It’s strange because I ordered this same dish the last time & really liked it, so I’m not sure if they just changed the ingredients or they weren’t as strong the last time.  Total bill with a drink was $28.

    Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant
    4502 W Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL

    Guadalajara Mexican on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Mexican, Tampa