The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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    The Restaurants at My End of the Universe Tampa Bay restaurants

Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

We were driving through Ocala today and at the recommendation of a friend, stopped at the Ivy House for lunch.  It’s a good thing this place isn’t closer because I’d be eating there constantly.  This is what down home southern food should taste like.  We started off with the BBQ shrimp and grits appetizer.

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I could have eaten two bowls of these grits.  They were creamy, cheesy, and perfectly seasoned.  The shrimp was nicely cooked with a tangy BBQ sauce.  I’m pretty sure we licked the plate clean.  For his entree, Loren got the Krispy chicken salad.

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Perfectly cooked chicken with a tasty ranch dressing.  It also came with a roll and cornbread.  I ordered the Krispy chicken platter.

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It came with macaroni & cheese, a side salad, veggies, a roll & cornbread.  I was in heaven.  The chicken is drenched in butter and covered in Rice Krispies and baked to a mouthwatering tenderness.  The mac & cheese was creamy and tasty.  Everything on the plate was delicious.  We couldn’t leave without dessert.

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This monstrosity is the Hot Tin Roof sundae.  There’s a brownie buried in there somewhere, plus ice cream, whipped cream, strawberries and all sorts of sauces drizzled on top.  It looks like a mess, but it was tasty.  I was very impressed with the food and the prices were very reasonable.  I would absolutely eat there again.  Total bill with a drink was $44.

The Ivy House
917 East Silver Springs Blvd
Ocala, FL
352-622-5550

Ivy House on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.1/5

Mac & Cheese


I love mac and cheese and don’t often find too many that I like.  The steak & onion mac & cheese at Surf Shack is one of those dishes that I’ll order again and again.

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It comes to the table bubbling hot, so you better have a good conversation going because it’s going to be a few minutes before you can actually put any of it in your mouth.  The steak is tender and the french fried onions on top give it a nice crunch and flavor.  Loren had the tuna tacos.

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He’s had them before and he liked them.  Total bill with a drink was $21.

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

Surf Shack on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, Tampa
  • Wanted to start off my vacation with a sunset, so off to Indian Rocks Beach we went and ate dinner at Thai Pan Alley.  It took a while before our waitress came to our table.  We ordered the dumplings, the Kiss Me Beef and the Pad Broccoli.

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    The Kiss Me Beef had a lot of garlic and pepper in it, plus water chestnuts and carrots.  Loren liked it.  I thought the pad broccoli with chicken was a bit on the bland side.  The chicken was very plain and didn’t seem as though it was cooked with the vegetables.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

    And here’s that sunset:

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    Thai Pan Alley
    2300 Gulf Drive Ste 1
    Indian Rocks Beach, FL
    727-593-3663

    Thai-Pan Alley on Urbanspoon

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

    Breakfast


    We had a late breakfast at Athen’s in downtown Safety Harbor this morning.

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    Blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon for Loren and a delicious raisin French Toast with eggs and hashbrowns for me.  Very filling and the price was right.  Total bill with a drink was $14.

    Athens Restaurant
    226 Main St
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-726-3471

    Athen's on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.6/5

    After going to a movie this morning, we were looking for a quick lunch and found it at Sweet Caroline’s.  I thought I remembered a cafe there the last time we grabbed a dessert and sure enough, they had a selection of soups and sandwiches available.  Loren went for the turkey BLT croissant with a cup of creamy roasted asparagus soup.

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    The soup was a little thin, but he said it had a really good flavor.  He also enjoyed the crunchy bacon and the sandwich as a whole.  The cole slaw had a pineapple taste to it.  I ordered the chicken salad croissant with a side of the sweet corn chowder.

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    This is the way I like my chicken salad.  It had grapes and other sweet things in it and the crossiant was fresh and tasty.  The chowder was also on the thin side and needed some salt, but otherwise pretty tasty.  It just wouldn’t be right to leave this place without grabbing a dessert.

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    Loren went for the chocolate ginger cookie, but don’t be fooled, he had quite a few bites of my French eclair.  From the moment I walked in, I knew I was getting it for dessert.  A layer of pudding, a layer of whipped cream all tucked into a pastry shell and topped with dark chocolate.  Yum!  Total bill with two drinks was $29.

    Sweet Caroline’s
    3347 Tampa Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-781-1888

    Sweet Caroline's on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5