The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

Poor Service

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
Dunedin, FL

Bascetti's on Urbanspoon 


Spicy Thai

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
Oldsmar, FL

Pacific Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon 

  • Filed under: Oldsmar, Thai
  • 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
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 814-7769

    Chili's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • 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.



  • Filed under: American, Orlando
  • Spicy Dinner

    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
    Clearwater, FL

    Laziz Authentic Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Clearwater, Indian