The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We ate at the Lazy Maguro Sushi Restaurant tonight in Palm Harbor.  It used to be Wasabi and our memory of that restaurant was the overwhelming chemical smell when we walked in.  The restaurant may have changed name & owners, but the smell is still there.  It’s right next to a pool supply store and from the moment you walk in, that’s all you smell.  I had a headache and my nose was burning by the time we left the restaurant.  Really, really unpleasant.

As for the food, it was just ok.  We started off with some Asian pork dumplings.

This was the best thing we ate here.  They were very flavorful and cooked perfectly.  I’d order these again… as take out… if I didn’t have to go inside to pay & pick them up.  Loren ordered a salad, but there’s no photo because the waitress never brought it out.

As for the sushi, we actually ordered a reasonable amount tonight.  Mostly because I wanted to get out of there quickly and not too many of their rolls sparked our interest.  We ended up with a KC Salmon Roll, a Buccaneer Roll, a Spicy Tuna Roll and a Salmon Lover’s Roll.

The rolls were just ok.  They had way too much green onion in them for me and for some reason I ordered two rolls that have cream cheese in them and that just overwhelms the flavor of the fish.  Total bill with a drink was $41.  The food could have been amazing, but you still couldn’t drag me back in here under any circumstances.  The chemical smell is just that overwhelming.

Lazy Maguro
36221 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
727-784-6020

Lazy Maguro Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere1/5
Value2/5
2.3/5
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  • Filed under: Palm Harbor, Sushi
  • Unseasoned


    Leo’s Italian Grill opened up 3 weeks ago in Palm Harbor so that was our destination for lunch today.  It’s a huge space with a patio, banquet room, and large bar area.  We were seated in a booth that seemed rather awkward to me.  The table was too long for us to sit opposite each other, so we sat in the middle & looked out at the other diners in the restaurant.   The experience didn’t get off to a good start when the waitress brought Loren sweet tea instead of unsweetened and just went downhill from there.

    Both our entrees came with soup or salad.  Loren chose the wedding soup & I got the pasta fagioli.

     

    Both were desperately underseasoned.  A little salt can go a long way.  This was the theme of the meal though, it was all very bland.  I certainly prefer non-chain restaurants, but I compared everything I ate to that at Olive Garden and the chain definitely wins out this time.  The bread sticks were really tough and thick.

    Even the dipping oil was lackluster.  I also noticed a definite lack of consistency in how the waitresses handled their tables.  When another waitress brought out the bread & oil, she explained what was in it.  When another table said the bread was hard, she brought them out a different basket.  When ours went to clear some plates, she asked if she could take the bread basket & I said yes because it was hard.  Her answer was oh, well, sometimes they just come out that way.

    We tried the calamari.

    It had a very thick coating of batter on it, so they were very crunchy and also in need of some seasoning.  The marinara sauce had an undercooked taste to it.  It was almost a metallic taste from the tomatoes not being allowed to simmer long enough.

    For his entree, Loren got the chicken piccata.

    Now, this is a dish he gets at a lot of restaurants and the key flavor you expect to taste is lemon.  It was non-existent in this dish.  In fact, the sauce tasted like eggs & butter.  He did say the chicken was very tender though.  I went for the eggplant rollatini.

    I’m not sure how to describe the taste on this.  It had a lot of mozzarella which I guess ended up being the predominate flavor.  The eggplant was very mushy and the ricotta also tasted like eggs.  There just weren’t any Italian spices or even salt & pepper to give it any flavor whatsoever.  I ate half of one.  Needless to say, this isn’t a restaurant we’ll be returning to.  I’d choose Olive Garden over this any day.  It was a very disappointing $29 lunch in both food and service.

    Leo’s Italian Grill
    33286 US Hwy 19 North
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-786-9110

    Leo's Pizza & Italian on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value2/5
    2.0/5

    Loren & I headed over to MecaFresh for lunch today.  They had a chicken and portobello special that sounded good to me, so I gave it a try with a bowl of lobster bisque.

    The description of this sandwich was chicken and portobello mushrooms with onions and a mayo aioli. Unfortunately for me, there was a rather important key word left out of that aioli description… horseradish.   After a few bites, I realized there was horseradish in the sauce, but by then, the damage was already done.  That burning sensation built up in my sinuses and grew into a lovely headache that lasted for the next 6 hours.  Did I mention that horseradish is evil?  I don’t mind the taste of it at all, the panini was actually very tasty and I did eat it all.  There was no point in stopping after those first few bites, but I did regret it for the rest of the day.  And though the lobster bisque here is quite tasty, they’ve been surpassed by the bowl we had at La Trattatoria in Dunedin.

    Loren got a half roast beef sandwich & salmon salad.

    His had the same mayo aioli on it, but he likes it and doesn’t have the reaction that I have to horseradish.  He said the salad was a little wilted, but overall it was good.  MecaFresh is also now offering free frozen yogurt with  the purchase of an entree.

    My guess is they’re now competing with the Green Market Cafe that also offers free yogurt with a meal.  They only had vanilla, but for frozen yogurt, it was pretty good.  Total bill was $19 with a drink.

    MecaFresh
    3235 Tampa Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-773-8839

    Mecafresh Cafe on Urbanspoon

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

    Our plan tonight was to eat at Marley’s Monster Grill, only to discover they’re closed on Sundays.  Luckily, we had driven by Marathon Grille the other night & noticed they were open, so that’s where we ended up.  For some reason, I always thought they were a breakfast & lunch only place.

    They started us off with some bread.

    The bread was buried under a bunch of crackers & butter, but once we got down to it, we were happy campers.  I prefer my bread to be warmed, but even though this wasn’t, it was really tasty.  I actually think Loren ate more of it than I did.  A little plate of oil to dip it in would have been a nice touch rather than the butter.

    We started off with some stuffed mushrooms.

    The crab stuffing was very flavorful and we could have easily eaten a few more of these.  They were yummy.  My entree came with a Greek salad that I ate half of before I remembered to take a photo.  You’d think by now, I wouldn’t forget.

    I liked their Greek dressing.  Loren went for a Marathon salad for his entree which came with a side of pita bread.

    He said the chicken was very tender and the salad had a nice variety of veggies and greens.  He enjoyed it. I ended up taking the pita bread home with my leftovers because I definitely had leftovers.

    Pastitsio, that wonderful Greek lasagne that so many restaurants don’t get quite right.  This was a very tasty version of it though.  It wasn’t dry, the seasoning was just right, and the bechamel layer wasn’t too thick.  I’d order it again here.   Total bill with a drink was $28.  Compared to the $28 we spent for lunch today, this was the much better deal.

    Marathon Grille
    33675 US Highway 19N
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-787-4246

    Marathon Grille on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Greek, Palm Harbor
  • We ate lunch at Hurricane Grill today and the place was deserted.  Granted, it was about 2pm when we got there.  It’s amazing what the power of suggestion can do for you though.  We passed Burger King on the way to the restaurant and when I think of Burger King, I think of onion rings, so I had to order some.

    They were nice & crunchy with a mild beer battered flavor.  They were served with a honey mustard sauce that was tasty.  Loren ordered some chicken sliders.

    He said they were ok.  He got them with the mango BBQ sauce, but ended up dipping them in the remaining onion ring sauce.  I ordered some boneless wings, half with the raspberry sauce and half with honey mustard sauce.

    They really need to offer a smaller portion of boneless wings.  Ten really is too many for me.  I found the wings to be rather tough overall.  They’re just too crunchy for my taste.  I enjoyed the raspberry sauce; it had a nice sweetness that went well with the chicken.  The other one just paled in comparison.  I ended up bringing most of them home.

    Total bill was $28 with a drink.  For the price, I just don’t think it was worth it.

    Hurricane Grill & Wings
    33086 US Highway 19 N.
    Palm Harbor, FL
    (727) 771-2923

    Hurricane Grill & Wings on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    2.5/5