The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

Extra Crunchy


We went over to the Thirsty Marlin in Palm Harbor for dinner tonight.  Our experiences here have been hit or miss.  From the food to the service, you never quite know what you’re going to get.  The food tonight was good for the most part, but the service could have used some improvement.  Loren got a salad & we started off with a Rainbow Roll.

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The rainbow roll was tasty.  It wasn’t rolled quite as tight as you get from most sushi restaurants, but the fish was fresh and the rice had a good consistency.  It could have used a little more avocado on it though.  For his entree, Loren got the blackened mahi sandwich.

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He enjoyed it.  The fish was perfectly cooked and the blackened seasoning had a bit of a kick to it.  I went for the fried grouper sandwich.

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I found the coating on the grouper to be way too thick & crunchy.  It was hard to eat.  I ended up pulling most of the coating off and just eating the fish which was tender and flaky.

Our waitress was friendly enough, but compared to the one waiting the table behind us, she just didn’t offer up the things I wanted to know.  If there are specials, I expect to be asked if I want to hear them and at the end of the meal, I expect to be asked if I want dessert before the check is brought to the table.  Total bill with a drink was $41.

Thirsty Marlin
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
727-784-3469

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Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.7/5

Surf Shack has become my go-to place for mac & cheese lately.  The filet with mushrooms and onions is my favorite, but the spinach, bacon & goat cheese is pretty tasty too.

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The filet is unbelievably tender and the addition of the crunchy haystack onions on top gives the dish that little bit of texture it needs.  The pasta is perfectly cooked with a creamy Monterey jack & American cheese blend.  While I’m going the decadent route, Loren leans toward their salads.  This time he chose the chicken & walnut salad.

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The chicken was nicely cooked and the mixture of ingredients gives you a bunch of different textures and flavors, from crunchy walnuts to tangy dried cranberries and creamy goat cheese.  Then on occasion, we feel the need for something sweet… ok, on most occasions.

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Their brownie sundae should really be served in a big bowl because it is messy!  Vanilla ice cream, brownie pieces, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and whipped cream.  We made a huge mess, but it was tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $30.

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

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Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Dessert, Tampa
  • Casa Tina


    It was a rainy Saturday and Mexican food sounded good for lunch so we headed over to Casa Tina in Dunedin.   We were reminiscing about our first visit here when they were just a narrow, one room restaurant.  It’s expanded and grown several times over the years, but the food is still tasty.  We just missed the lunch crowd and Loren was ready to dig into some chips and salsa.

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    He said the salsa had a definite kick to it.  Fresh and tasty, but a bit spicier than he remembered.  He ordered the carnitas which came with beans and rice.

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    I tasted the carnitas and couldn’t stop eating them.  They were so tender.  Perfectly cooked tasty bites of pork.  I figured I should stop before I got forked in the hand.  Besides, the chicken flutes were calling to me.

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    This is one of my favorite dishes here.  Shredded chicken deep fried in flour tortillas.  It also comes with beans and rice.  I’ve learned to get the salsa & guacamole on the side since they’re both too spicy for me, but Loren loves them.  Our taste buds were very happy by the time we were done.   Total bill with a drink was $34.

    Casa Tina’s 
    365 Main Street
    Dunedin, FL
    727-734-9226

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    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.4/5
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  • Filed under: Dunedin, Mexican
  • Greek Lunch


    We stopped at the Greek City Cafe on SR 580 for lunch today.  We ordered at the counter and then grabbed a booth and waited for our food.  We could see the folks prepping the food behind the counter and knew they had no idea what was going on.  They brought out a configuration of food that had parts of our order and parts of someone else’s.  Then they came back & grabbed it all and eventually brought us out what we had ordered.

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    For Loren, it was a Greek salad with chicken and a bowl of lentil soup.  He said the soup was good.  The lentils still had some texture to them instead of being complete mush and the flavors were there.  He liked the Greek salad, but the chicken was pretty plain.   I ordered a gyro with feta fries.

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    The gyro meat was cut into very thick pieces instead of shaved.  The feta fries were interesting.  I would have never thought to put feta cheese on French fries, but they were tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $23.

    Greek City Cafe 
    2518 SR 580, Ste C
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-9600

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    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
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  • Filed under: Clearwater, Greek
  • Brunch


    We usually go to an early movie on Sunday morning and then grab a bite to eat afterward.  I like going to Daddy’s Grill because I can get breakfast until 2pm and Loren can grab some lunch.

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    Loren went for the pastrami sandwich and veggie beef soup.  They make a tasty soup here.  I was craving biscuits and they were perfectly with my ham, eggs and potatoes.  There’s nothing fancy about the food here.  It’s simple food, done right at a great price.  Total bill was $17.

    Daddy’s Grill
    3682 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 891-6556

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    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.2/5