The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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BBQ


Went over to Oldsmar Smokin’ BBQ for lunch today.  We’ve driven by a few times and finally made it in.  And I’m glad we did!  I tried the two meat combo and Loren ordered the Skippy Sandwich.

 

You get your choice of meats with the combos so I choose ribs & brisket, plus mac & cheese and coleslaw.  The mac & cheese was one of their “competition sides” and it lived up to it.  Creamy with a great flavor & texture.  I’d definitely order it again.  The ribs were tender with a savory rub on them.  Just a hint of spice and absolutely delicious.  I ate all of them.  The brisket was also flavorful & tender.  After Loren finished his sandwich, he had to help me with the rest of the brisket.  His sandwich was also brisket with cheese, fried onions & a horseradish mayo.  He scarfed it up.  Total bill with a drink was $23  and we’ll definitely be back.

Oldsmar Smokin’ BBQ
120 Commerce Blvd
Oldsmar, FL
813-328-4469

Oldsmar Smokin' BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: BBQ, Oldsmar
  • We were heading to a different restaurant in Westchase for lunch & then noticed that they had opened a Crabby Bill’s, so we decided to check them out.  Not sure how long they’ve been open, but it wasn’t too busy for a Friday lunch hour.  We placed our order and waited what seemed like a very long time to get our food.  Loren ordered a salad with blackened grouper & I got the grouper cheeks basket.

    The fish was good on both dishes.  Tender & flaky, just the way grouper should be.  The sides didn’t do much for me though.  The grilled corn wasn’t quite what I was expecting and the coleslaw was a little too tangy.  Total bill was $40 with a drink.

    Crabby Bill’s
    9648 West Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, Fl 33626
    (813) 501-1005

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Seafood, West Chase
  • We went over to Ford’s Garage in Countryside for lunch today.  It wasn’t too busy, but they seemed to be seating everyone right on top of each other.  They have a wide variety of 1/2 lb burgers and a new limited edition menu of smaller burgers.  I decided to try one of those, the Cali Roadster, but was told I couldn’t add anything to it, even though I expected to pay extra for the cheese I wanted.  This is not one of those places where the customer is always right.

    This was one of the least seasoned burgers I’ve ever had in a restaurant.  My first bite, I thought I was getting a mouthful of water.  It was so bland and more medium rare, than the medium that I had ordered.  Loren ordered the Model A burger and since he’s going low carb these days, he got it without a bun and with a side of asparagus.

    He said his was flavorless too and he went straight for the salt & pepper shakers.  For $31, I expected a much better experience.  We won’t be back.

    Ford’s Garage
    26210 US Hwy 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    727-228-3673

    Ford's Garage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

    Pacini’s Italian Eatery recently opened up in Safety Harbor.  We drove by last Friday & they were packed, so we waited a few days and went on a Tuesday when they weren’t quite as busy.  It’s all outdoor seating, so luckily it had been an overcast day, so it wasn’t too warm.  We were seated with menus and then waited.  And waited.  Eventually, our waitress came by & took our drink orders.  And we waited some more.   In the meantime, there were other tables that got seated after us and they were getting their drinks and bread.  We eventually got our drinks, but we were never offered bread.  I really don’t like inconsistency in the way different tables are treated at a restaurant.

    We ordered the calamari for an appetizer and then Loren ordered short ribs only to be told they didn’t have them as well as several other items in that section of the menu.  He settled for the beef tips and when he asked about soup (salad or soup is at an extra $2.50 charge),  our waitress said they didn’t have any soup either.  Needless to say, we weren’t impressed so far.  Then the kicker is a few minutes later the waitress comes back and says the fryer is broken so they can’t make the calamari either.  At this point, our expectations were not high for the rest of the evening.

    After waiting quite a while longer, Loren’s salad arrived.

    He actually liked the salad.  It was sort of a mini Greek type salad.  What we didn’t like was that the empty salad plate stayed on our table the entire time even though the waitress passed by multiple times.   The beef tips he ordered were ok.  The plate was mounded with rice and the beef tips were a bit past medium.

    I decided to try one of their trios with cheese ravioli, chicken Parmesan and fettuccine Alfredo.

    The fettuccine Alfredo was very creamy, but the pasta was a little over done.  The ravioli were fine, but the chicken Parmesan was overcooked and inedible.  I couldn’t even cut it with my knife.  We waited with dirty plates for another long while & someone other than our waitress came by and asked it she could take them away.  We weren’t sure if she was a manager or not, but we told her about not being able to get our appetizer or the entree Loren wanted and how tough the chicken was.  She said she’d tell the kitchen about the chicken and that was that.  Our waitress brought our check & we were done.  Knowing full well that we were dissatisfied with the meal, you would have thought they might have offered to discount the check or offered a dessert.  Oh well.  I don’t expect that we’ll be returning.   Granted it’s a new restaurant going through growing pains, but there wasn’t anything about the experience that made us feel a need to go back.  Total bill with a drink was $40.

    Pacini’s Italian Eatery
    997 Main St
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-412-8053

    Pacini's Italian Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food2/5
    Service1/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value2/5
    1.7/5

    Gigglewaters


    Gigglewaters recently opened in downtown Safety Harbor.  It’s a restaurant, bar, and starting in July they’ll also be showing movies.  We parked out front where we saw the sign, but ended up walking all around the building because we weren’t really sure where it was.  Eventually we found the front door.   It’s the furthest left entrance if you’re standing in front of the building.  The first thing that hit us was how loud it was inside.  It was deafening.  Had there been a wait for a table, we wouldn’t have stayed, but since they had an open table, we gave it a try.

    We started out with the onion tanglers & you get to pick two dipping sauces.

    We got ranch and were going to get the kicked up queso sauce, but our waitress recommended the beer cheese instead.  It was good.  Thinly fried onions and both sauces were tasty.  Loren got a side salad, but wasn’t impressed.

    He’s not an iceberg lettuce kind of person and it was just a wedge of iceberg, cheese, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.  For his entree, he ordered the Brave Sir Robin.

    It was a grilled chicken sandwich with guacamole, bacon, and crushed potato chips.  Unfortunately, the bacon was missing.  He even commented that the sandwich would have been much better with bacon, but couldn’t remember if it was supposed to come with it or not.  He said the chicken & guac were good & he liked the bun as well.  I ordered the chicken & waffles.

    The menu said it came with maple syrup, so I didn’t think twice when I poured out one of the containers onto a waffle.  Come to find out, it also comes with a spicy chili sauce that’s meant for the chicken.  It was way too spicy for me.  A little head’s up would have been much appreciated.  The waffles were good, but I found the chicken to be a little over cooked & over crunchy for my taste.  It wasn’t near as tender as I would have liked it.  We also tried the bourbon pound cake for dessert.

    It didn’t look like much when it came to the table, but it was the tastiest thing we ate.  They grilled the pound cake and it had a bourbon caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.  The pound cake had a nice texture after being grilled and the whole thing just went together well.  Our waitress was great.  She was funny and on top on things.  The owner stopped by and asked for feedback since they just opened.  We told her about the noise and she said they already had a sound engineer in there once and was having him back again.  It was also a little warm in there and she said the air conditioner guy was coming back as well.  We gave her comments on the food and she seemed to take them all in.  New restaurant growing pains.  We’ll be back after they have some more time to work out all the kinks.  Total bill with a drink was $52.

    Gigglewaters
    737 Main St
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727.669.7077

    Gigglewaters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food3/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value3/5
    3.2/5