The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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    The Restaurants at My End of the Universe Tampa Bay restaurants

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Sometimes it’s the silly little things that amuse us to no end.  Something that just catches you off guard and makes you giggle.  We went over to Athens in downtown Safety Harbor for breakfast and they had the Popeye omelette on their specials board.  What does Popeye love?  Spinach and Olive.  Loren had to order it just because it made us giggle.



Along with the spinach and olives, it also had bacon in it, everything’s better with bacon, right?  He really enjoyed the omelette.  I went for the blueberry pancakes and eggs over easy.



The pancakes were very tasty, but I forgot just how hot blueberries can get and burned my tongue on the first bite.  The eggs were perfectly cooked as well.  Our waitress was a little frazzled this morning, but other than that, it was a very enjoyable $15 breakfast.

Athens Restaurant
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL

Athen's on Urbanspoon



Always on the lookout for places we haven’t visited yet, we ended up at Pensare Italian Bistro in Dunedin for dinner tonight.  The place was packed and really loud.  We were seated in this little alcove and I felt like the sound just reverberated off the walls.  Our waiter came over and explained the specials and brought bread and oil to the table.



The bread was warm and crusty and the dipping oil was very flavorful.  We were optimistic about the rest of the meal only to be quickly disappointed when our appetizer arrived.



It was a fried platter of calamari, shrimp and zucchini.  The calamari was thin and like rubber.  The breading had no flavor whatsoever.  The shrimp were overcooked and the zucchini was burnt.  If our waiter had actually come back to the table in a reasonable amount of time, I would have sent it back.  Salads came with our meal and we both got the mixed greens.



Loren likes mixed green salads, I’m not a fan.  They also brought oil & vinegar to the table & you can have the waiter dress the salad or you can do it yourself.  Eventually, our entrees came out.  At this point, I felt like we had been there for quite a while. Loren ordered the Salmone Asparagi which was salmon in a lemon buerre-blanc sauce and asparagus.



He said it was pretty good.  I found the sauce to be a bit too tart and sour for my tastes. I went for the pappardelle bolognese.



This was not a good dish.  The pasta was undercooked and the sauce was flavorless.  It was just very uninspiring.  Our waiter disappeared at this point, I think he had tables out on the patio, so we didn’t see much more of him.  My expectations were so low at this point that I didn’t even bother with dessert.  We won’t be back.  Total bill was $59 with a drink.

Pensare Italian Bistro
799 Highland Ave
Dunedin, FL

Pensare Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • So Dry I Am

    We went over to Surf Shack for lunch today.  They were pretty busy, but we were able to get a table inside which was good because it was a bit warm out on the patio.  Loren tried the Hula Burrito again with a salad.





    I love how colorful the salad is.  As for the burrito, just like last time, he had to put some of the salsa from the chips & salsa on it to give it some flavor.  I ordered the West Coast tacos and added avocado to them.  For some reason, I just think a West Coast taco should already have avocado as one of its main ingredients.



    I did the upgrade for mac & cheese as my side and that was a mistake.  I’ve tried it here several times with mixed results, but the majority of the time, it’s just too dry.  There’s just not enough cheese sauce on it.  The tacos were ok.  They’re pretty plain, just chicken, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

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

    Surf Shack on Urbanspoon


    We eat out a lot and one of the things I’ve noticed is that a lot of places have gone to a very minimal presentation of their food, but that’s not the case with Pacific Thai Cuisine.  Their plating makes the food look that much more appetizing and it’s those little details that can take a meal to that next level.  Loren decided to try the Yum Beef tonight.



    He got it medium spicy and he was sniffling a little by the end, but really enjoyed the dish.  He loves entrees with lots of veggies.  I went for the Pad Se-ew tonight.



    It’s a very simple dish, but they do it well here.  It has that right mouth-feel, the veggies are crisp, the flavors subtle, and the noodles are cooked perfectly.  It’s just a pleasant dining experience from start to finish.  Must be why we eat here quite often.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

    Pacific Thai Cuisine 
    4058 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL

    Pacific Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Oldsmar, Thai
  • My dining experiences at Rumba Island in Oldsmar have been going downhill for a while and tonight was no exception.  They remodeled the interior since the last time we were there and now the entire restaurant is open to the bar area which made it a bit louder inside.  Not sure how that’s going feel once the summer heat sets in.  We started off with some grouper fritters and corn muffins.



    The corn muffins were yummy as usual.  That’s about the only consistent thing I’ve found here.  The grouper fritters were ok, but a bit on the spicy side for me.  Loren ordered a bacon cheeseburger.



    He liked it.  In fact, he usually has a pretty good experience with the food here.  I’m the one that ends up with the wonky entrees.  Tonight, I went for something I’ve had before with relative success, the BBQ salmon.



    One bite was enough to tell me that the salmon was not fresh.  I eat enough salmon to know that it shouldn’t have a fishy taste to it.  And just to be certain that I wasn’t being overly critical, I had Loren taste it and he agreed.  When the waiter finally came back to our table, I told him the fish wasn’t good.  He said salmon is a very fishy tasting fish and I politely disagreed.  If that’s what he thinks, then he’s obviously never had fresh salmon.  They took it off the bill and the manager came out as well, but I sort of got the impression from him that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with the fish either.  Total bill with a drink was $19.

    Rumba Island Bar & Grill 
    3687 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 475-5974

    Rumba Island Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon