Back to Winter Park today to meet my sister & niece and that meant eating at Keke’s. Usually we get breakfast, but we all went for lunch items today. My sister got the chicken sesame salad and my niece got a cheeseburger.
They both liked their dishes, but the cheeseburger was really messy. The burger didn’t quite fit the bun correctly and with everything on it, there were no amount of napkins that were going to help. I got the Chicken Marsala Panini.
It was also a bit on the messy side, but had a really good marsala flavor. The chicken was tender and it had big pieces of portobello mushrooms in it. I’d order it again.
Service was just ok today. They forgot one of the orders of sweet potato fries and took a while to bring the mustard my niece requested. Total bill was $36 with a drink.
Keke’s Breakfast Cafe
345 West Fairbanks Ave
Winter Park, FL
We were going to eat lunch at the Gaelic Dish in Dunedin, but it didn’t look like they were open yet. Or if they were, we couldn’t figure out how to get into the restaurant, so we ended up at Casa Tina instead. Loren likes the fresh salsa here.
He went for some beef tacos and I reverted back to my favorite dish, the chicken flautas.
We both like the freshness of the food here. Good flavors all around and I liked the fact that they didn’t put the guac, sour cream, and pico de gallo on top of my flautas. This way they stayed crunchy instead of getting soggy. Total bill with a drink was $23.
365 Main Street
If you haven’t been to Nauti-Nancy’s in Clearwater, I highly recommend that you head on over there and give your taste buds a treat. The place looks like a little bar, but the food that comes out of that kitchen is just awesome. Let’s face it, I’m a picky eater, but they manage to put a smile on my face every time we eat there.
We started off with the crab stuffed mushrooms.
Six little bundles of tasty crab and cheese. Loren liked the horseradish dipping sauce, but I wasn’t going anywhere near it. When we were looking at the specials tonight, I asked how spicy the shrimp creole was and the waiter brought out a sample. It was tasty, but a little too spicy for me. Loren ended up changing what he had planned to order and got it instead. We were thinking that’s a great way to get people to order a dish.
The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the dish had a wonderful blend of flavors. He cleaned his plate, but then again, so did I. I got the Crab Stuffed Tilapia with spinach and hollandaise.
I’m always a bit leary about ordering fish because so many restaurants over cook it. This was cooked perfectly. The tilapia was tender and served over rice and a vegetable mix that I loved. Eggplant, squash & mushrooms, plus the creaminess of the hollandaise. It was delicious. I all but licked the plate.
Then to top it off, there are the complimentary beingets.
Yum! And here’s the kicker. With a drink, the total bill was $34. We spend more than that at so many restaurants and don’t leave near as satisfied. Another thing I like is that they post their specials on their Facebook page.
700 Eldridge St
We ate lunch at Cuban Breezes today. I don’t blog every time we eat here because we eat here a few times a month, but Loren’s Mahi Salad was just too pretty not to take a photo.
They make a nice piece of mahi here and it’s reasonably priced no matter what form you get it in. He likes his blackened, but I always prefer mine grilled. I stole a few of the tomatoes on his salad and they were really fresh and tasty.
I went for the prime rib dip they had on special with a side of rice & beans.
The roast beef is so tender and matches so well with the cuban bread. My only gripe was that it was really salty. I noticed it with the first few bites and then didn’t think much about it, but I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking lots of water. Total bill with a drink was $21
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
BBQ was on the menu for dinner so we headed to downtown Safety Harbor and Brady’s Backyard BBQ. Loren’s a fan of the riblets, so he got those with some garlic red potatoes and greens.
He said the riblets were good, but he didn’t like the potatoes. I liked them, though. I ordered the brisket with a side of cornbread pudding, a try of potato salad, and some mac & cheese that they had on the menu tonight.
I like really tender and juicy bbq meats and the brisket just didn’t do it for me. I found it dry. Loren liked it though, so he ended up with most of it for lunch tomorrow. The cornbread pudding and potato salad are always delish, but I also found the mac & cheese to be a bit on the dry side too. It had good flavors and the wait staff were raving about it, but I just prefer mine a bit creamier. Total bill with a drink was $30.
Brady’s Backyard BBQ
340 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL
July 4th is one of those days where you end up driving around until you find some place that’s open for lunch. We ended up at Peggy O’Neill’s in Oldsmar. There were a few people in there, but the servers were no where to be found. It didn’t seem like anyone was watching the front of the house even though there was someone behind the bar. After about 15 minutes of sitting there, our waitress finally showed up to bring us menus.
They were having a burger & fries special for $4, so we both ordered that.
The burgers were tasty, cooked a little past medium, but otherwise pretty good. The fries were ok. It’s hard to complain about a $4 burger, but I was a little miffed that they charged us an extra 50 cents for each burger. I’m not sure if it was for cheese (though I swear the special was for cheeseburgers & fries) or if it was for the lettuce and tomato. I guess I just feel like if you’re being asked if you want something additional with your food and there’s an additional cost associated with it, no matter how small, that you should be informed. I wouldn’t have thought twice about a $5 burger that just included everything. With a drink, the total bill was $12.
Peggy O’Neill’s Irish Pub & Eatery
13910 W. Hillsborough Ave
Believe it or not, I think we actually ordered the right amount of sushi from Mike’s Sushi this time. Either that or we were both really hungry. The “Ooops” came when I tried to pick up a piece of the Rainbow roll only to discover the roll hadn’t been sliced. We both started laughing and when the sushi chefs saw it, they started making jokes about how it’s a new way to eat sushi, just pick it up like a candy bar and bite off the end. I think the whole restaurant got a good chuckle out of it.
As for the sushi, everything was really fresh and tasty.
The shrimp in the Mexican Roll was fried perfectly and the fish in all of the other rolls was very good. Besides the Rainbow & Mexican rolls, we got a scallop roll, a Pink Dragon which is a California roll topped with salmon, a Crazy Roll which is spicy tuna with avocado, crunch & smelt roe, and a “make your own” with tuna, salmon, avocado and cucumber.
I know I say the same thing every time we come here, but it’s just worth noting that we really enjoy those sushi restaurants that don’t drench everything in sauces. It’s those pure, clean flavors that tickle the taste buds and at least with this visit, tickled the funny bone a bit too. Total bill with a drink & a salad was $57.
33855 Us-19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We ate lunch at the Surf Shack in Westchase today. It was too hot to sit outside on the patio and luckily they had the big doors closed and the air conditioning cranking inside. They bring chips & salsa to the table and there’s something about the chips that I really like. They’re almost Dorrito like. I tried the Orange Chicken Bowl.
It was spicy and had quite a few things in it that I didn’t really care for. The menu said it had “house veggies” in it. Unfortunately, the term “house veggies” could mean anything and the ones in this dish weren’t ones that I liked. The whole dish just fell flat for me. It tasted more processed than fresh and the chicken wasn’t very tender. Loren tried the hula pork burrito.
He didn’t care for it much. The pork had very little flavor and the pineapples in it added both a texture and flavor that didn’t work well together. I thought the whole thing tasted sort of watery. There just weren’t any prominent flavors and he ended up putting some salsa on it just to give it some taste. Neither of us would order these dishes again. Total bill with a drink was $20.
Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
We’ve lived in Florida long enough that hunger wins out over rain any day. We had just gotten out of a movie and even though it was pouring out, we braved the weather and ended up at the Marathon Grille for lunch. Loren tried the chicken keftedes (at least I think that’s what it was) which came with a Greek salad and potatoes.
They were little chicken patties of tastiness. Lots of Mediterranean type spices in a flavorful little package. He really liked them along with the salad. I got a gyro with Greek salad.
It was very good. There were cucumbers & tomatoes on it (I had them hold the onions) and the tzatziki sauce was tasty. Most of the places that I get gyros from have lettuce on them, but I kinda liked the cucumbers. My only complaint was having the Greek salad served on the same plate. The dressing just went everywhere and I had to save my gyro was getting soggy. Since the rain decided to whip up to a frenzy about the time we were finished, we decided to try some dessert.
It was a tasty chocolate cake which we ate slowly to savour every bite and avoid getting drenched by Tropical Storm Debby. Total bill with a drink was $26.
33675 US Highway 19N
Palm Harbor, FL
I’ve been craving German food for a while so we headed off to the German Restaurant in Holiday. They were pretty busy when we got there and as it turned out, I think all the tables showed up right before us, so it took quite a while to get our food tonight. This definitely isn’t a place you go for a quick meal. We both started out with bread and the potato sausage soup.
The sausage took over the flavor of the soup, but it was yummy. There’s nothing quite like fresh, home made soup. From here the long wait began. We were beginning to think they had lost our order when they finally brought it out. Loren got the Rinder Roulade.
He said it had some interesting flavors. There was a pickle in the middle, which they actually warned him about, saying it gets really hot and doesn’t cool down quickly. The only thing he really didn’t care for was the cabbage. He thinks it’s too tart. I’m pretty predictable when it comes to food here. The Jaegerschnitzel and spaetzel were the two things I was looking forward to.
The portions are huge and I ended up taking half of it home. I did find it a little on the salty side, but overall it just has such a nice flavor and texture. Comfort food at its best. And there’s no coming here without a slice of the Black Forest cake.
Cream filled chocolate cake goodness. Delicious! Total bill with a drink was $46.
The German Restaurant
2616 US Hwy 19
A new Beef O’Brady’s opened up on Enterprise recently so we checked it out for dinner today. It still smelled like new paint and the music was a bit too loud, but otherwise, the experience was pretty good. Loren went for an O’Brady Burger with fries.
He said it was juicy and had a pretty good flavor to it. The fries were crunchy and quite yummy. I went for a patty melt and added some grilled mushrooms to it plus a side of onion rings.
I was happy with the burger. Just like Loren’s, it had good flavor but the sour dough bread was toasted a bit unevenly. The onion rings were really good. We both devoured those. They had a great crunch and flavor. Total bill with a drink was $23.
2471 N McMullen Booth Rd
Safety Harbor, FL
We decided to stop at Fratelli’s Italian Restaurant for lunch today. They have an inexpensive lunch menu with a lot of different dishes from sandwiches to pastas and pizza. Both the food and service have been hit or miss here, but today everything was ok. Loren got the meatball sub with fries.
The meatballs are pretty tasty, but the fries were just ok. They really weren’t very crispy and that’s the way he likes them. I got the cheese manicotti.
It was like lava when it got to the table, so I had to munch on the bread while it cooled. The bread was very buttery and had a nice texture. It’s a dense bread which makes it great for dipping in the sauce. The two manicotti were cheesy and tasty. I wish they would add more lighting to this restaurant though. It just looks like a dark bar when you walk in. Total bill with a drink was $15.
Fratelli Italian Restaurant and Bar
120 Commerce Blvd, Ste 1
Tasty Thai Cafe just opened up in the Publix Shopping center near Ruth Eckerd. The space used to be Zeno’s Grill but they definitely made some nice improvements to the decor. It’s a small restaurant, but it’s very inviting. We started off with some spring rolls.
Loren didn’t think they had much flavor, but I liked them. They had pork and veggies in them and had a nice crunch. For his entree, Loren tried something different and got the Yum Beef.
He ordered it medium spicy and originally said it didn’t taste all that spicy to him, but it did build up after a while. He said it was ok, but lacked some seasoning. I ordered the Lad Nar and had the same thought, the seasoning just wasn’t there.
I had to add salt to mine and that’s something I rarely do. It just lacked flavor. The veggies and chicken were cooked well and the noodles were tender, but it just didn’t have enough seasoning. I’ve had the same dish at other Thai restaurants and unfortunately, this one just didn’t live up to the others. They’re a new restaurant and they gave us a promotional coupon for a buy one, get one free dinner, so we may try them again. Total bill with a drink was $28.
Tasty Thai Cafe
1530 McMullen Booth Rd, Ste D4
From the moment we walked into the Thirsty Marlin, the overwhelming smell of bleach was in the air. It was not a pleasant, clean smell; it was a hit you in the face chemical smell that burned your nose and ended up giving me a headache. It was awful. We should have just turned around and left because the food didn’t make the experience much better.
We started off with some onion rings.
They had a good crunch, but were overly salty. Loren tried the tuna salad.
He liked it. The tuna was fresh and he enjoyed the wasabi dressing. I tried the lobster quesadilla and it was not good.
I didn’t like the tortilla, the texture was off. I ended up just opening it up & eating the pieces of lobster inside but the lobster tasted like imitation crab with some spices on it and the cheese just overpowered everything. Definitely not something I’d order again. If we go back and the chemical smell is still there, we won’t stay next time. Total bill with a drink was $35.
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
Let’s face it, we have a sushi problem. Loren tells me we ordered enough rolls and I always think we need one more. Trust me, tonight, we needed two less rolls because we had enough left over for another entire meal. Between the different sushi restaurants we frequent, I forget which ones serve large rolls. The ones here at Ban Thai are 10 pieces each, plus I ordered the Lobster roll, which is huge, and decided to try the Snow Crab roll, which is equally huge.
We got a spicy tuna, rainbow roll, and a salmon roll. The lobster roll & the snow crab roll were almost identical in taste, so I won’t be ordering both again. They’re both drenched in sauce too. All the sushi was tasty and was just as tasty for a late night snack since we had plenty left.
I don’t know if the regular staff was all off tonight or if the restaurant has changed owners. We come here fairly frequently and I didn’t see any faces that I recognized. In fact, the waiter that first came to our table had to go get someone else to take our order because he didn’t understand what I was trying to order. Total bill was $69.
Ban Thai Restaurant
2519 McMullen Booth Road
We ate lunch at Rumba Bar & Grill in Oldsmar today. We had tried a couple of other restaurants, but they were closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
My favorite thing about this restaurant is the corn muffins.
I don’t know why I like them so much, but it’s a good thing I do since most of the entrees I’ve had haven’t given me a reason to come back here again. Today I went for a cheeseburger and a side of crab mac & cheese.
The burger was ok, but definitely didn’t have the right ratio of burger to bun. The bun was actually too small which made it rather difficult to pick up & eat. The mac & cheese was very disappointing. It absolutely didn’t need the bread crumbs on top since it was already too dry to begin with. Loren went for the herbed mahi and a salad.
He liked it along with the Jamaican greens. Total bill with a drink was $24.
Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
Met my sister & niece in Orlando today & we ate breakfast at Keke’s Breakfast Cafe in Winter Park. This place is always packed. My sister ordered a Florida Belgium Waffle, which had strawberries, bananas and blueberries plus enough whipped cream to qualify it as a dessert.
She wolfed the entire thing down and was happy as could be about it. My niece & I went the less sweet route. She had a make your own veggie omelet and I went for a scrambler with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese.
It was all really good. This has been our go-to place for breakfast when we meet up in Orlando. Total bill was $35.
Keke’s Breakfast Cafe
345 West Fairbanks Ave
Winter Park, FL
We went over to Salsa’s in Oldsmar for a quick dinner tonight. I wanted some queso and they had a spinach version on the menu that we decided to try.
It was a bit on the addictive side. I kept thinking I was done, then I had to dip just one more chip, and then another, and another. Loren tried something different tonight, the Mole Poblano.
He said it was ok. It didn’t have a lot of spice to it, in fact, it’s something I’d probably order. I decided to try the Pollo Ranchero tonight. I admit, I’m a picky eater. There are a lot of foods I just don’t like and I rely on the menu description in order to make sure none of those things end up on my plate. So with this dish, I asked for it without jalepenos and cilantro, but the description neglected to mention the bell peppers and there were a lot of them.
How hard would it have been to list them along with all the other ingredients in the dish? After I managed to pick them all off, the dish was actually pretty good. The chicken was tender and I liked the combination of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and cheese. Total bill with a drink was $29.
Salsas Mexican Restaurant
3970 Tampa Road
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.
2202 W Waters Ave
We were headed to the Fringe Festival in Orlando and stopped at Dixie Belles Cafe for breakfast. It was a cute, clean little restaurant with friendly servers. Loren got some scrambled eggs, bacon, ham steak & pancakes while I went for some over easy eggs, hashbrowns & a biscuit.
The ham actually came with my breakfast combo, but I didn’t think I really wanted any meat with my breakfast so I put it on Loren’s plate. Then I tasted it and ended up eating half of it anyway. The ham wasn’t overly salty or sweet, it was just tasty. The pancakes were light & fluffy, so was the biscuit. Eggs were cooked fine and the hashbrowns were crispy on the outside & soft in the middle. Overall, just a pretty good and inexpensive breakfast. Total bill was $14.50.
Dixie Belles Cafe
7125 S Orange Ave