We went back to Woodstock on 5th tonight in Safety Harbor. They were really busy and we ended up at one of the high top tables right next to the kitchen. It was really uncomfortable sitting on bar stools, the table was small and we could see & hear everything going on in and around the kitchen. I just felt cramped and crowded. We started off with the white bean chili again and Loren got a salad.
They also served it with pita bread and apple butter this time, which they didn’t the last. The chili was thinner this time, which was good. It was really thick the first time we had it. It seemed to have a lot more chicken in it as well. For his entree, Loren got the Molly Hatchet, which was a grilled swordfish.
It was served with arugula and a spicy tomato puree, but Loren didn’t think it was spicy at all. He wasn’t a big fan of the arugula, but said the swordfish was cooked perfectly. I went for the Janis Joplin.
This was a seared salmon on top of spinach, zucchini, corn, & red peppers. It also came with a potato pancake that was really dense and flavorless. I didn’t care for the tomato vinaigrette on it either. Too much vinegar and was way too sour for me. The salmon was perfectly cooked though.
Overall, I just found the experience to be very uncomfortable. There seems to be a lot of people working there which made it feel even more crowded in such a small space. Though we both enjoyed the fish, the items served alongside didn’t impress. Total bill with a drink was $54.
Woodstock on 5th
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
We hadn’t been back to Dominic’s Italian Grille in a while because our last visit left something to be desired. Unfortunately, tonight’s experience wasn’t much better. The restaurant was pretty crowded and we ended up at a table right in the middle of the room. Loren’s dinner came with a salad & we started off with some Arancini.
The menu said the rice balls were stuffed with crab, but neither of us could find any. They were very dense and really needed some seasoning. Loren ordered one of the specials tonight, the braised short ribs.
It tasted like pot roast. He liked it, but the green beans were inedible. I ordered the chicken marsala.
The chicken was overcooked and not tender enough for me. The sauce was ok, but didn’t really pop. Again, I think it was a lack of seasoning. I like the pasta souffle that came with it. Service was rough all the way around. Our waitress disappeared for a while, someone took Loren’s drink and we weren’t sure if they were going to bring it back, we had another lady clear some plates, only to stack them in an unstable pile with one ending up in pieces on the floor. Total bill with a drink was $35.
Dominic’s Italian Grille
3163 Curlew Road
We went for a quick lunch at Athen’s in downtown Safety Harbor today. Luckily, we got there before the crowd because it was standing room only by the time we left. Loren got a Greek Salad with chicken and I got a gyro.
He said the chicken was flavorful and tender. My gyro was good, but I think I would have liked a little lettuce on it. It needed a little crunch since I get it without the onions. Total bill with a drink was $17.
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
Time for tater tots so that means Pete & Shorty’s.
A bacon cheeseburger for Loren and a mushroom burger for me. This was a two napkin burger. Really juicy and tasty. Oh yeah, and the tater tots were yummy! Total bill with a drink was $17.
Pete & Shorty’s Tavern
2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd
We went out to the Garden Grille Cafe for dinner tonight and had a waitress in training. Luckily, she had another waitress working with her whispering in her ear everything she forgot to do. We started off with some clam chowder and some calamari.
The clam chowder was a bit on the gritty side. They definitely needed to rinse the clams more. It needed some salt, but was ok otherwise. The calamari also needed some seasoning. Loren got a Greek salad with chicken.
He said the chicken was very tender and the salad was ok. I ordered a mushroom burger.
It was cooked way past medium and was pretty dry. They brought out the dessert tray and I was surprised at how many choices there were. We settled on a raspberry cake with cheesecake filling.
Unfortunately, this cake must have come frozen and was not thawed out properly. Parts of it were frozen solid, part of the cake was dry and the other part was wet. Not moist, but wet. The actually cheesecake filling was pretty tasty. Service was lacking in some areas as there were dishes left on our table way longer than they should have been. Total bill with a drink was $36.
Garden Grille Cafe
8425 Hillsborough Ave
We were over in Dunedin today & stopped for lunch at Delco’s. They still don’t take credit cards, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed their business down at all. There was a line at the counter the entire time we were there. This was the first time we’ve been back since they moved into their new space. We actually ordered the same thing this time as we did the last, a cheesesteak for me and a roast beef sub for Loren.
Loren still prefers the sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s, but I think the cheese steaks here are yummy. We both ended up taking half of our sandwiches home. I still find the way they handle the counter to be a bit odd. You place your order at the register, but you’re not supposed to pay until you leave. It just makes for a bottleneck up front that could be handled so much easier if you just paid when you ordered. Being able to pay with a credit card would also be pretty handy. Total bill was $17 with a couple of drinks.
Delco’s Original Steaks and Hoagies
1737 Main St
Woodstock on 5th recently opened up in the space where Crepeology used to be in Safety Harbor. It’s a really small building and I’m amazed at the quality of food they were able to put out of that tiny kitchen. There aren’t a lot of tables, but there is a patio out back and they had live music tonight. The whole restaurant and staff are decked out in a 60′s music theme and the menu items are all named after musicians and bands of the era. We started off with some of the white chili.
When it came to the table, we both thought it looked like a bowl of cheese queso dip. And to be honest, it would have gone great with some tortilla chips. It was very thick, creamy, and cheesy. It had a nice flavor to it, just a hint of heat and overall very tasty. For his entree, Loren ordered the “Grateful Dead”.
It was two tri tip grilled steaks with potatoes and green beans. The steak was cooked a perfect medium, seasoned wonderfully, and was very tender. I ate some of it because it was actually too much food. Drop the price a little and just serve one steak and it still would have been enough for an entree. I ordered the “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young”.
It was a pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms. One bite and I was hooked. The cream sauce was amazing. The only thing I really didn’t like were the wild mushrooms. Some of them were really tough and chewy. The pasta was cooked perfectly and I licked every last bite of that sauce off the plate. We also decided to try the desserts. We got the citrus cake and a strawberry mousse tart.
They don’t make the desserts in house, but instead get them from a local bakery. Loren really liked the citrus cake. It was moist and had a wonderful orange flavor. I found the crust on the tart to be a little hard, but the strawberry mousse filling was tasty.
Overall, the food was amazing; however, other aspects of the experience weren’t as great. It did take a while to get our food, but, it was definitely fresh and homemade. They have a very young and inexperienced wait staff. They were very sweet and pleasant with bubbly personalities, but seemed a bit over their head when it came to actually keeping up with their tables. The other thing we found annoying was that the door to the patio is in the small dining room, so there was a constant opening & closing of the door as people went in & out.
They post their weekly menu specials on their website and also serve breakfast & lunch. We’ll probably go back again as the food really was delicious. Total bill with a drink was $61.
Woodstock on 5th
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
We decided to try Red Robin over at Countryside Mall for lunch today. We thought we were going to miss the lunch crowd, but it was packed. We ended up waiting 15 minutes or so for a table. We decided to start off with some chips & queso.
It was pretty good. The flavor and creaminess was just right and it had a little bit of heat. There weren’t enough chips to start off with, but the waitress brought more. By the time the new basket of chips arrived though, our burgers were out. Loren got the Guac Burger and I got the mushroom burger.
We both agreed that these were some pretty tasty burgers. They definitely don’t skimp on the toppings either. There was a mound of mushrooms on mine. They also come with an endless supply of steak fries, though neither of us even finished the ones already on our plate. But, of course, you pay for all the freebies one way or another and the total bill with a drink was $31. A bit much for some burgers, even though they were pretty tasty.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
27001 US Highway 19 North
Loren was craving Chinese food tonight, so off to Big Bok Choy we went. The table we were sitting at was kinda dark, so my photos are a bit on the blurry side. But that didn’t change the tastiness of the food. I’m still on my fried dumpling kick, so we had to get some for an appetizer.
Yum, yum, yum. The filling was very flavorful and there were actually more than we could eat if we wanted to be able to finish our entrees. The leftovers made for a great snack the next day. We didn’t stray from our normal dinner order, there are just some things that are so good, it’s hard to pass up when we come back here. First some wonton soup, then the hunan chicken for Loren and the honey garlic chicken for me.
The hot peppers in Loren’s dish were bigger than usual, which was probably a good thing so he could pick them out of the dish. Even pulling them out, he was still sniffling a little from the heat. But, he loves how they enhance the flavor of the dish. My chicken was tender and the sauce is sweet, but not overly so. It has a tanginess that keeps me coming back for more. Total bill with a drink was $45.
Big Bok Choy Bistro
3730 Tampa Road #6
It was a dark and stormy night and sushi seemed like a perfect way to chase away the gloom. We headed over to Ocean Blue since it was close and I could hear the Super Crunchy calling to me.
Luckily Loren isn’t quite as enamored with it as I am, either that or he’s just afraid I’ll swat his hand away if he tries to eat too many pieces of it. I just love that roll. We also got a Mexican roll and a Rainbow roll. Both were delicious. Yeah, you didn’t think we stopped there, did you??
Loren had to have a spicy tuna and a Scott roll plus one more that I can’t remember. I think it was tuna or maybe salmon, either way, it was good. As always, everything was fresh and tasty. Loren also got a salad.
Oh, and remember that dark & stormy night? About the time we were finishing up, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain poured down. That could only mean that we had to order dessert, right?
Fried cheesecake is one of the strangest and tastiest desserts around. Soft and slightly frozen on the inside, crispy on the outside. Very tasty throughout. Finally the rain let up, our taste buds were happy, and our wallet was $62 lighter.
Ocean Blue Sushi Bar & Kaiko Japanese Restaurant
2475 McMullen Booth Road
We wandered around Universal Studios all morning and then decided to get lunch out on City Walk. We didn’t realize so many of the restaurants didn’t open until late afternoon. We finally ended up out on the patio at Pastamore. The waitress brought bread & dipping oil to the table first.
The bread was wonderful. Soft and warm and very tasty. The dipping oil, on the other hand was served in a rather large bowl and didn’t have any herbs in it. It was just odd. We started off with the fried calamari.
I felt the portion size was small for a $9 appetizer, but I had to remember we were in a theme park. Realistically, though, it was enough to share without totally spoiling our appetites for our entrees. The calamari was cooked well and had a nice crunchy exterior without being too chewy on the inside. The balsamic glaze and garlic aioli added a nice flavor, but the marinara sauce was pretty bland. Loren got the salmon salad.
He said the salmon was cooked perfectly and he enjoyed the salad. He likes olives and there were plenty in the salad. I went for the chicken marsala.
This was the lunch half portion, though to be honest, I didn’t realize that’s what I was ordering. Again, I had to remember theme park prices. The chicken was very tender and the pasta was just the right tenderness. The dish could have used a bit more of the marsala sauce, but overall, it was pretty tasty. I was also craving chocolate, so we settled on the chocolate sabayon for dessert.
It was a pretty little plate with a very tasty raspberry sauce. It was a light and fluffy sort of dessert, just what I was craving. Total bill with a drink was $47.
6000 Universal Blvd
The smell of cinnamon was just too much to pass up on our way through City Walk into Universal Studios.
I got a minibun, but Loren went for the Pecanbun which was more sugar and deliciousness than one person should eat first thing in the morning. But it was good. Total bill for the mini & the big bun was $8.50.
Universal City Walk
We went to the Matchbox Twenty concert at Universal Studios tonight and took in a late dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co in City Walk. We got there a little after 10pm and there was a good 45 minute wait for a table. The restaurant was pretty loud, but luckily we were seated in a back corner so it wasn’t too bad. The whole place is filled with memorabilia from Forest Gump and our waiter even quizzed us on the movie. Loren went for Lt Dan’s Drunken Shrimp.
It had shrimp and a very mild andouille sausage over mashed potatoes. He really liked it. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the mashed potatoes were smooth and tasty. He ate every last bite on the plate. I got the stuffed shrimp.
This was also a really tasty dish. The crabmeat stuffing was plentiful and had a good flavor and the shrimp were cooked well. It also came with rice and a piece of garlic bread. Service was quick and efficient and our waiter was really friendly. Total bill with a drink was $41.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
6000 Universal Blvd
We went to a movie this morning and then ate lunch at BJ’s at Countryside Mall around 2pm. I’m convinced that this place is busy no matter what time you go in there, but at least the roar of the crowd wasn’t as bad in the middle of the afternoon. The key, we’ve learned, is to get a table by the front windows, otherwise, you can barely hear yourself think in there.
The avocado egg rolls are the main draw for me here.
Crunchy on the outside, creamy and delicious on the inside. And it’s avocado, so it’s healthy, right? Right?? Doesn’t matter, they are just too yummy to pass up. For his entree, Loren tried their mahi tacos.
He said they were pretty good. He also liked the salsa and guac that came with them. I went for the burger melt.
They make a pretty tasty burger here. It was juicy and the bread was toasted just right. I ended up bringing half of it home. The skinny fries were nice & crunchy and Loren couldn’t resist scarfing a few. For $36, it was a very satisfying meal.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
27001 US Highway 19N
We decided on Indian food for dinner tonight and headed over to Desi Tadka in Oldsmar. Loren got some Mulligatawny soup and we split an order of keema samosas.
The soup had a nice flavor and wasn’t overly spicy. You could really taste the lentils in it. The samosa had a nice crunch and the filling was flavorful. We didn’t stray far from our comfort zone for our entrees. I get what I always get, the butter chicken and Loren got the Chicken do Pyaza.
And the meal wouldn’t be complete without some garlic naan. My dish was spiced perfectly, meaning very mild. Loren’s was a bit spicier than he had anticipated. The different Indian restaurants we go to are very different in their interpretation of medium spicy. We both had some leftovers tonight. It’s such a hard balance deciding whether or not to finish what’s in front of you because it’s so tasty or extend the tastiness and bring some home. The only issue we had was that the service was really slow. Total bill with a drink was $45.
Desi Tadka Indian Cuisine
3780 Tampa Road
We’d already eaten at two new places for us this weekend, so I decided to try for a third. We ate dinner at La Bella Eva over in Clearwater. It’s a small Italian pizza place in strip mall on Belcher. It was nice and toasty inside which was perfect on this rather chilly evening. We decided to try the potato soup.
My first bite was very flavorful, but cold. We had to send it back to the kitchen to get heated up. After that, though, things went much better. The soup was really good. Thick & rich with a wonderful flavor. Loren kept trying to slide it closer to his side of the table. The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. You know it’s good when Loren reaches for more before I get a chance to. We also got some calamari.
The calamari was a little chewy and needed some salt, but otherwise pretty good. You can get a medium or spicy sauce to go with it and we chose the medium. It wasn’t really spicy, but definitely had some red pepper in it. At this point, we both realized we had already ordered too much food, and then the entrees came. Loren got the linguine with meatballs.
He liked it. It was a rich sauce. I though it tasted like there was wine in it that hadn’t been fully cooked off. I got the eggplant rollatini.
It was like lava when it came to the table. The eggplant was cooked very well. It still had some texture to it and the cheese and sauce were tasty. Too many places overcook the eggplant to mush, but this was a really good dish. We both had leftovers and decided to split a Manhattan truffle for dessert.
Vanilla and chocolate ice cream covering a cherry & almond center and completely enrobed in dark chocolate. It was delicious. They had several different varieties of these truffles and I think we may have to go back just to try some of the other ones. Total bill with a drink was $38.
La Bella Eva
1469 S. Belcher Rd
I was in the mood for a sub for lunch, so we drove over to Largo to Cesarina Deli & Bakery. They have a big variety of cold and hot subs along with some Italian dishes. I went for the California cheese steak.
I couldn’t even begin to pick it up & eat it until I had taken half of the meat off. There was so much of it and it was really flavorful and delicious. It had a wonderful seasoning to it and the bread was fresh and tasty. I was only able to eat half of it. Loren went for the muffalata.
He was only able to eat half of his too. He said the bread was crusted in some really tasty herbs, the deli meat was fresh and the olive spread was tasty too. Overall, some really yummy sandwiches. With a couple of drinks, the total bill was $19. I also ended up spending about $30 in the deli on some meats, olives, a really delicious cannoli, and some other baked goods. I had to buy some of this cake just so I could photograph it.
Definitely check this place out if you’re in the area. The subs are delicious.
Cesarina Deli & Bakery
2575 East Bay Dr, Ste 1
Always on the lookout for new places to eat, we ended up at Southern Fresh in downtown Safety Harbor for dinner tonight. They’re in the building across from the post office that used to house Brady’s BBQ, then Lulu’s. It’s a small space inside, but way too cold to eat outside tonight, though their patio area is very nice with a fire pit out front. The menu isn’t very big, though everything we tried was pretty tasty.
Loren started out with the BLT soup.
His first reaction was that it was a soup that tasted like a sandwich. He was really surprised and pleased with the taste. The combination of tomato, bacon, shallots, and romaine was completely reminiscent of a BLT sandwich. He’d definitely order it again. Everything is made fresh here, so there was a bit of a wait for our entrees. Loren got the salmon salad.
The salmon was cooked well and he liked the capers in the salad which added a unique little salty twist to the dish. He said it all mixed well with the candied lemon zest on top. I went for the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and roasted veggies.
The chicken was perfectly cooked. Nice & crispy on the outside and moist and delicious inside. My only criticism is that it could have used more seasoning. I found it to be just a little on the bland side. The mashed potatoes were peppery and could have really used some gravy. The veggies were a mix of carrots, brussel sprouts, onions, and zucchini. They had two desserts available tonight, so we got one of each.
The strawberry shortcake was on a sponge cake and had a fresh, not-too-sweet strawberry sauce on it. Loren scarfed the entire thing. I happily enjoyed my banana pudding. Overall, it was a very enjoyable meal. Total bill with a drink was $43.
122 3rd Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
Pacific Thai in Oldsmar has become one of our go-to places for a quiet, delicious meal. The food here is always fresh and quick and we both always leave with happy taste buds. I’m still on my dumpling kick, so we had to start off with some of them as well as some soup.
The dumplings are flavorful and just yummy. It was a chilly night tonight, so I went for some won ton soup and Loren got the chicken & rice soup. I did find the soup in need of salt, but otherwise it warmed me up very nicely. Loren decided on the nam sod tonight.
It’s a salad with pork, veggies, and nuts and he really likes it. I decided to try the broccoli with oyster sauce with chicken.
The veggies were cooked perfectly and the sauce had a nice flavor to it. It came with broccoli, carrots and mushrooms and Loren kept stealing mushrooms off my plate. I even had some leftovers. Total bill with a drink was $37.
Pacific Thai Cuisine
4058 Tampa Road
We were late heading out the door for dinner tonight, so wanted to find some place that wasn’t loud and didn’t have a wait. We ended up at Taverna Skara in Safety Harbor. We skipped the appetizers tonight and went straight for the entrees. Loren got the Yemista, which was a stuffed pepper and stuffed tomato.
He really enjoyed this dish. They were both very flavorful, filled with rice, ground beef and herbs. The pepper wasn’t spicy at all, in fact, he said it was almost sweet. He cleared his entire plate. I went for the gyro platter.
The platter came with fries, side salad, pita and tzatziki sauce. The gyro meat was good. It wasn’t greasy at all. I would have preferred the pita pieces to have been sliced larger. I like to roll up the gyro in the pita and it was just difficult with the smaller sliced pieces. I was most disappointed in the salad. It wasn’t dressed at all. There was oil & vinegar on the table, but I guess I just assume that if I’m in a Greek restaurant, that there’s going to be Greek dressing on the salad. Last time we were here, they started us off with pita and olives, but that didn’t happen this time. Total bill with a drink was $31.
2454 McMullen Booth Rd