We went over to Rumba Island in Oldsmar for dinner tonight. They were pretty busy tonight & we ended up with a table in the bar area. Surprisingly, the noise level wasn’t too bad. I think the fact that the bar area is open to the outside makes a big difference. We started off with some conch fritters and my favorite little corn muffins.
The conch fritters were really good. They were tender and just a little spicy, nothing that overwhelmed my taste buds. Overall, they just had a really nice flavor and texture. Loren got the tuna rumba salad for his entree.
He said the tuna was cooked a nice rare and had good seasoning. I went for the kbobs & shrimp which came with a salad.
The shrimp were cooked ok, but the batter had very little seasoning. They were just kind of plain. The kbobs weren’t tender enough for me and some of the chunks were bigger than bite size and really hard to cut with a butter knife. I also got the island rice and mashed sweet potatoes which were both tasty. Total bill with a drink was $43.
Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
This is the third time we’ve eaten at Bascetti’s in Dunedin and after tonight, I’m not sure that we’ll be returning anytime soon. The restaurant does some things very well, but is severely lacking in others. My biggest complaint tonight was the service. For the most part, it was just non-existent. We ordered an appetizer and I assumed the waitress would bring out bread while we waited for it. No such luck. We just sat there for quite a long time waiting on the sausage and crab cake appetizer to arrive.
All the photos are pretty bad because it was so dark at our table. This dish was pretty tasty. Lots of crab and just a hint of sausage flavor. I probably wouldn’t have guessed that there was sausage in it because it was very mild. The sauce with it was sort of a tangy salad dressing. Once we had completely finished the appetizer, we sat and waited some more until our waitress brought out the bread.
The dipping sauce is usually the best part of the bread here, however, tonight, it was ice cold. It must have come straight out of the fridge and was not at all what I was expecting when I took my first bite. It was very disappointing and I would have asked the waitress to heat it up if we had seen her again before we had finished eating the bread. Once we were done with it, she brought out my chicken soup and Loren’s salad.
They really need to get smaller bowls or put more soup in them. The presentation of the soup just immediately made you think they were being skimpy with it. It had a nice flavor, but I found the chicken pieces to be overcooked and sort of dry/grainy tasting. Loren didn’t mind it as much as I did. Usually, I complain that restaurants are too quick to bring out the next course, but that was definitely not an issue here tonight. Service was painfully slow. At one point, our waitress said she was going to refill drinks and she didn’t return for at least 15 minutes. Eventually our entrees came out. Loren ordered the chicken piccata.
He really enjoyed this dish. The sauce was light and tasty, the pasta cooked well and the chicken was tender. He was all mmm, mmm, mmm, while I was less than enthused by my Vodka Princess pasta dish.
This had overcooked rubbery shrimp and minuscule pieces of crab meat in it. I had to really search to actually find any pieces of crab. The sauce just wasn’t anything special and in my mind, the dish wasn’t worth $18. It wasn’t smooth and creamy enough for me. When the waitress came by and asked how it was, I was less than complimentary about the dish and she went back and told the kitchen. They offered a free dessert so we tried the chocolate fig torte.
This was really tasty. I probably wouldn’t have guessed that there was fig in it, though every so often you did get some seeds. It was chocolatety without being overwhelmingly rich. For me, this was the best part of the meal. I just felt like we spent way too much time sitting around waiting tonight. Like I said, they do some things very well, but consistency and attention to the small details just seems lacking. There’s just no reason we should have been in there for over 2 hours. Total bill with a drink was $49.
1568 Main Street
As I’ve said before, we like dining at quiet restaurants, so tonight we ate dinner at Pacific Thai in Oldsmar. I’ve become addicted to steamed dumplings to we had to start off with those.
These were really dense, but had lots of flavor. There’s just something about them that tickles all of my taste buds. Loren didn’t sway too far from his comfort zone and got some ginger beef tonight. He loves all the fresh veggies, though he said it wasn’t very spicy tonight even though he ordered it medium.
My massaman curry, on the other hand, was much spicier than I expected.
The thing about this dish is that the spiciness just builds up. After a while, my lips were tingling. It’s the sweet and spicy flavors that keep me ordering it though. Total bill with a drink was $32.
Pacific Thai Cuisine
4058 Tampa Road
It’s not often that we eat at the chain restaurants, but we found ourselves at Chili’s for lunch today. They didn’t seem all that busy for a Friday at noon, but the food sure took its good sweet time coming out of the kitchen. In fact, the manager stopped by our table and several others to let us know it’d be “just a few more minutes”.
Loren & both went for one of their lunch specials that came with a salad and half a sandwich.
Loren got the chicken & guacamole sandwich and I got a Philly cheesesteak. It was a bit on the salty side and really difficult to eat as it all just wanted to slide off the roll. There’s just something so generic about the food at all of these chains and this Chili’s is just notorious for being way too slow when you only have an hour for lunch. Total bill with a drink was $20.
3701 Tampa Road
We spent the day at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. I didn’t get any photos, but we ate lunch at Croissant Moon in Islands of Adventure and dinner at Pat O’Briens in City Walk.
Nothing’s cheap in the amusement parks. Lunch was $30 for a couple of sandwiches, salad and a piece of cake. The food was fresh, but nothing to write home about.
Dinner was also $30, but it was really good. I got the crawfish etouffee and Loren got the taste of New Orleans trio which had a bowl of gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans & rice. I’d definitely eat at Pat O’Briens again. We sat outside and it was really dark, but they had portable heaters going so at least it was warm.
We prefer small, quiet restaurants, so tonight we headed over to Laziz Indian Cuisine for dinner. We started off with the Onion Bhaji.
This was the first time we tried it and it was really tasty. It had a little bit of spice, lots of flavor, and a nice crunch. I also ordered a cucumber & tomato salad.
We’d eaten most of it before I remembered to take a photo. I’m always surprised that something so simple tastes so good, especially as a contrast to spicy food. No surprise with what I ordered, it’s the butter chicken for me every time. Loren got the Chicken Jalfrezi and we also got some garlic naan.
Our taste buds were really happy. The flavors are just so wonderful in these dishes. We even managed to have some leftovers, though it was hard to keep from eating every last drop of it. Total bill with a drink was $41.
Laziz Indian Cuisine
2475 N McMullen Booth Rd
We were looking for a quick dinner before heading out to a concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall, so we stopped in to the Beef O’Bradys on McMullen Booth & Enterprise. It’s impossible to hear yourself think in this restaurant. Guess it’s more about yelling at the TV’s than actually talking to the person you’re with and we weren’t even in the bar area.
Loren tried the Santa Fe Salad.
He said it was ok. I’d have been all about eating the bowl, but I don’t think he even ate any of it. I went for a boneless basket with a side of onion rings.
The onion rings were a disappointment. They weren’t crunchy at all. The chicken wasn’t as tender as I’d have liked it to be, but there was definitely more than I could eat in the basket. The spicy sauce for the onion rings was way too spicy for me. It seemed to take a really long time to get our food too. Total bill with a drink was $25.
2471 N McMullen Booth Rd
Safety Harbor, FL
We went over to Salsa’s for lunch today. Loren got some chicken fajitas and I went for the shrimp chimichanga.
The chimichanga was cooked well this time. It had a nice, crispy shell, even after being drenched in cheese sauce. Loren said the fajitas were pretty good too. Simple, filling lunch for $19.
Salsas Mexican Restaurant
3970 Tampa Road
We didn’t realize there was an art festival going on in Dunedin today, so we had to drive around to find parking before we could get to Café Alfresco. Luckily, they still had some tables available for dinner. Loren decided to try the Cajun seafood pasta tonight.
The dish had mussels, scallops and shrimp in a tangy, spicy sauce. He said it was tasty. I tasted it and it was a bit too spicy for me. I went for the chicken marsala.
Though the marsala sauce had good flavor, the chicken itself was very under seasoned. I rarely add salt to my food, but this had to have some. The pasta was good with the sauce, but the veggies were a bit on the crunchy side. We both ended up with some leftovers. Total bill with a drink was $34.
344 Main St
When we were at Sabai Thai last night we noticed that a new Greek restaurant just opened up next door called Taverna Skara. It’s a light and airy looking restaurant and they weren’t busy at all when we got there. They brought pita and olives to the table while we looked at the menus.
Loren said the olives were really good and I enjoyed the pita, though I would have liked something to dip it in. We decided to try the fried calamari for an appetizer.
This was a mixed bag of tender and chewy pieces of calamari. It seemed as though the pieces that kept their coating were fairly tender, but other pieces ended up being overcooked. The dish definitely needed salt and I didn’t like the way it was served in the cone. It made it very hard to get pieces out and dripped oil and crumbs all over the table.
For his entrée, Loren got the pork souvlaki platter.
It had pork, rice, pita, Greek salad and tzatziki sauce. He enjoyed it and ended up with way more pita and rice than he could eat. The tzatziki sauce had an interesting flavor to it. I can’t quite put my finger on what was different about it, but there was something. I tried the pastitsio.
This was a very good version of the dish. The flavors were all there, the pasta was tender and the béchamel sauce was creamy and had good flavor. My only criticism was that they melted some cheese on top that formed a hard crust. I just didn’t care for that. I also would have liked if it had been served with a small Greek salad. Most of the other entrees on the menu were served with a side or salad, so it seemed odd that the items on the Traditional Greek Entree list were not.
Service was very attentive, almost too attentive, but I’m guessing it’s because they’re new and there weren’t too many customers in the restaurant. Overall, the food was good and we’ll probably be back again to try some other dishes. Total bill with a drink was $43.
2454 McMullen Booth Rd
Our first visit to Sabai Thai was all about sushi, so we decided to try their Thai offerings today. I really liked the dumplings last time, so we had to get another order of those.
They’re very dense, but full of flavor. I could eat a plate full of them and be quite contented. The food comes out really fast here. I’m not sure if it’s because there weren’t very many customers or the kitchen is just on super speed. Loren got the ginger chicken.
He said it was very good, but didn’t have any heat to it even though he ordered it medium spicy. He said the reason he normally orders this dish is because it comes with lots of fresh veggies. I went for the Pad Lad Na.
The flavors were very mellow, but that’s pretty much what I expect from this dish. I would have liked the broccoli to have been cooked a little more, but overall, it was tasty. There was definitely a lot more sauce in this version than what I’ve gotten at other places. It was almost like eating a noodle soup. We both ended up with leftovers. Total bill with a drink was $28.
Sabai Thai Cuisine
2454 McMullen Booth Road
We haven’t been eating out much lately, mostly because both Loren & I caught a nasty little cold. Chicken soup, the occasional take out, and the couch were about as far as either of us wanted to go. But, now we’re back among the living and had a quick lunch at Cuban Breezes.
Loren got the masitas with a side of ultimate rice and beans.
Tender and tasty as always. I went for a mahi Cuban with a side of rice & beans.
The mahi was pretty thick today which made the sandwich a little difficult to eat. It just kept wanting to fall out of the Cuban bread. Nonetheless, it was cooked perfectly and with a side of rice and beans filled me right up. Total bill with a drink was $21.
13980 W. Hillsborough Ave.
We went down to Dunedin to take an end of year sunset photo and ended up at Casa Tina for dinner. We got there fairly early and they were too busy. Loren munched on the chips & salsa while we waited for our nachos to arrive.
The Monterrey nachos definitely were appealing to look at when they arrived at the table. All of the chips around the edges were burnt to a crisp. As far as I’m concerned, it never should have left the kitchen. We ate around the burnt parts and when our waiter finally stopped by the table to ask if we wanted to take the rest home, I showed him how burnt it was and he took it off the check for us.
For his entree, Loren got the chicken fajitas.
The fajitas were tender, but the veggies, especially the onions, weren’t cooked enough. For $18, it also seemed like a rather small portion. I got the chicken flutes.
They were less than great this time. They just weren’t crispy enough. The guac was really spicy this time too. Overall, the prices just seem to be getting higher here, but the food quality isn’t. Total bill with a drink was $36.
Oh, and here’s that final sunset of 2012. Good eatings to all for 2013!
365 Main Street
It was around 2pm when we got out of the movies and Loren suggested we give Ozona Pig another try. Unfortunately, we walked in and were told they closed at 2pm, so we walked across the street to Molly Goodheads instead.
We split a bowl of clam chowder.
This was so thick and rich and yummy. Definitely one of the better versions in the area. For his lunch, Loren went for a blackened mahi sandwich.
He said the mahi was cooked perfectly and the fries were nice & crunchy. I decided on an avocado burger and onion rings.
The burger was very thick & juicy, though not quite cooked to the medium I asked for. The onion rings were a bit on the salty side and needed to be a bit crunchier. The only thing I really dislike about Molly’s is that they allow smoking on the patio and even though we were inside, as people walked in & out the door, you could still smell the smoke. Total bill with a drink was $26.
400 Orange Street
If you read this blog regularly, you know we’re incapable of ordering a little bit of sushi. We tend to go overboard and I’ll admit, it’s always me that says, let’s order one more. But, leftover sushi is good too. ;-) We went back to Mike’s Sushi tonight.
Let’s see, we got a Rainbow roll, a Mexican roll, Blue Moon roll, a scallop roll, a spicy tuna for Loren and a make your own with salmon, avocado and tuna. The Blue Moon is a fried crab roll that’s really tasty. There was something about the scallop roll that I didn’t like this time though, it had a strong vinegary flavor. The waitress also forgot to bring it to the table, but I was sure we had ordered six rolls. Overall, it was pretty good and we had some to eat the next day. Loren also got a salad & a drink and the total bill ended up being $52.
33855 Us-19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We had a AAA coupon for 25% off at Olive Garden that expired today, so we headed over there for a late lunch. We weren’t sure how busy they were going to be on Christmas Eve, but when we got there at 1pm, we didn’t have to wait for a table. We started off with soup, salad and breadsticks.
I think we could have stopped right here and been very full and very contented. The breadsticks were fresh and soft and both the salad and soup were yummy. I like the pasta fagioli soup here. It has a nice blend of flavors and textures. For some reason, we felt the need to order an appetizer.
Calamari & stuffed mushrooms… oh so good! They prepare a really tender calamari here. The mushrooms were also flavorful and filling. As if this wasn’t enough food, we ordered entrees as well. Loren got the braised beef tortelloni.
It was definitely more tortelloni than beef, but he said it was very good. I ordered the fettucine alfredo.
This is my favorite dish here, though it could have used a little more sauce on it. It’s very creamy and the noodles are cooked perfectly. There’s a reason we don’t come here very often; we eat too much. We both took home some leftovers. For a chain restaurant, they really do prepare the food very well. After the coupon, the total bill was $26.
29461 Us-19 N
When I’m in the mood for tater tots, we head over to Pete & Shorty’s. Loren got a pork tenderloin and I got the Chalet burger, both with tots, of course.
At first Loren said he didn’t really want tots, but he ate every last one of them in his basket. As usual, the pork tenderloin was way bigger than the bun and the burger was nice & juicy. For $18, my tot craving was satisfied and my taste buds were happy.
Pete & Shorty’s Tavern
2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd
We went to a holiday dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Westshore Plaza with about a dozen people. The only reservation they could get was at 4:30pm, but we didn’t get out of there until around 8:30pm. I didn’t take any photos during the meal, but still wanted to comment on the food.
The bread on the table was soft and chewy and very good. We also got the fried calamari, fried zucchini, stuffed mushrooms and mussels for appetizers. I didn’t try the mussels, but the people who did seemed to really enjoy them. The zucchini was very good. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I’d definitely order it again. Both the stuffed mushrooms and calamari were good too. I think everyone at the table was full before our entrees came out.
Loren got the salmon oscar and really liked it. The salmon was cooked well and the crab and sauce on top had some wonderful flavors. I ordered the mushroom ravioli with braised veal in a marsala cream sauce. It was delicious. From the first bite to the last, the textures and flavors just danced in my mouth. It was yummy. Everyone at the table seemed to really enjoy the food. We also got dessert which I ended up taking over half of it home because it was huge.
This is what was left after Loren & I ate some and we gave some to another person at the table. It was a huge piece of chocolate cake with a Sambuca mousse. It was moist and rich and very chocolatety; however, I probably wouldn’t order it again. I didn’t know what Sambuca was before I ordered it (an anise flavored liqueur), but it seems that both Loren & I had the same reaction to it. It numbed the roof of my mouth and my tongue. It was a very odd feeling.
There were a few issues with the evening. There was one entree that didn’t come out until almost everyone was halfway through eating. I guess it got overcooked in the kitchen, so they had to prepare a new one. The restaurant is very loud and parking is a small nightmare, but granted this was the Friday before Christmas. I don’t know what the final bill was, but it wasn’t cheap. The prices are a bit on the high side, but the food was really good. We don’t get over to that part of Tampa very often, but we’d definitely eat at Maggiano’s again.
Maggiano’s Little Italy
203 Westshore Plz
Our last few ventures to Cody’s Original Roadhouse have been less than satisfying. Though we usually enjoy the salad and yeast rolls, the entrees have been hit or miss. Tonight’s dinner, though, was much improved. The salad and rolls were fresh and tasty.
This is usually the best part of the meal for us. I was good this time though and didn’t order a second basket of rolls. It was tempting though. Loren went for the chef select NY Strip with a loaded baked potato.
The steak was cooked a perfect medium and was very tender. He only ate half of it and took the rest home. This was definitely one of the better steaks he’s had here. I went for the 1/2 rack of baby back ribs.
They were very tender tonight and the portion seemed larger than usual. Fall off the bone with a sweet and tangy bbq sauce. I actually had some leftovers as well. This is the first time in a while that we actually left here satisfied. Total bill with a drink was $35.
Cody’s Original Roadhouse
26210 US 19 Clearwater, FL
A friend and I went to lunch at Big Bok Choy today for her birthday. We both got the wonton soup and chicken dishes.
I got the honey garlic chicken which is so tender and tasty. I don’t know how they get the chicken so tender. The sauce on it is both sweet and tangy. So delicious. Total bill for the two of us was $20.
Big Bok Choy Bistro
3730 Tampa Road #6