The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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    The Restaurants at My End of the Universe Tampa Bay restaurants

Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

My sister & I were in Winter Park today and stopped at Orchid Thai for lunch.  It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside and had soup and appetizers.

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I got the coconut soup and she went for the lemongrass soup.  The aroma of both were amazing.  The lemongrass soup was a bit spicy with lots of vegetables.  The coconut soup had a beautiful lime, coconut, lemongrass flavor to it.  Yum!  We settled on the Orchid Sampler and an order of the golden purses to munch on.

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The sampler had summer rolls, spring rolls, crispy shrimp, dumplings and curry puffs.  The dumplings and spring rolls were my favorite.  We both found the curry puffs to be a bit overpowering.  The golden purses are basically crab rangoons.  They had a nice crunch on the outside with a creamy filling.  It was a fresh, tasty lunch for $38.

Orchid Thai
305 Park Avenue North
Winter Park, FL
407-331-1400

Orchid Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
3.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Thai, Winter Park
  • Cuban Food


    We were down in Ruskin tonight and stopped at the Ybor Grille for dinner on the recommendation of a friend.  Loren started off with a salad and I devoured some bread.

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    The bread came with an olive butter that Loren liked, but since I’m not an olive fan, I just stuck with the warm, crusty, tasty bread.  I went for a Cuban sandwich and fries.

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    I liked the flavors in the sandwich and the bread was perfect, but would have preferred that it had been warmed all the way through.  The meats in the middle were still cold.  It was a huge sandwich and I ended up taking half of it home with me.  Loren tried the Lechon.

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    The pork was very tender and tasty.  Normally, I don’t like onions on the rice and  beans, but these were sauteed and added a nice flavor to them.  We ended up taking half of this dish home too.  For dessert, we tried the bread pudding.

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    Loren liked it more than I did.  It was served cold, which was off putting to me, and it had a dark, almost molasses flavor to it.  I just never knew there were so many variations to bread pudding.  It’s completely different everywhere we try it.  Overall though, it was a lot of tasty food for $28.

    Ybor Grille
    105 E Shell Point Rd
    Ruskin, FL
    813-641-7300

    Ybor Grille on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Cuban, Dessert
  • We were in Arcadia today and stopped at Wheeler’s Cafe for lunch.  It was a crowded little restaurant, but we were able to get a seat out on the porch.  Loren ordered the cheeseburger with a side of chili.

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    He said both were good.  The chili wasn’t spicy at all, but had a rich, tomatoey flavor.  I went for the country fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and fried green tomatoes.

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    The chicken would have been better had it been flattened before being fried.  It was a bit on the tough side.  The mashed potatoes were homemade and yummy and the gravy had just the right amount of pepper in it.  As for the fried green tomatoes, they were quite greasy, but had a good flavor.  I wanted something sweet so we got a piece of the chocolate pudding pie.

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    This didn’t do it for me.  The pudding was a bit too gelatinous for me and I’d much rather have real whipped cream than whipped topping.   Overall, the experience was just ok.  The food took a long time to come out and our waitress disappeared completely.  She never came back to the table to check on us.  Another waitress brought our dessert and check.  Total bill with a drink was $21.

    Wheeler’s Cafe
    13 S. Monroe Ave
    Arcadia, FL
    863-993-1555

    Wheeler's Cafe on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Dessert
  • We decided to try the Mellow Mushroom for dinner tonight.  Friday night and the place was packed.  We had about a 30 minute wait before we got a table.  This is one of those restaurants where the acoustics are horrible.  Bare floors, open ceiling and you can barely hear yourself think, never mind trying to actually have a conversation without yelling across the table.  We definitely didn’t need it, but we started off with the spinach artichoke dip.

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    The dip itself was tasty, but I’m just not a fan of crunchy toast points.  I find them hard to eat.  I actually wasn’t sure that 6 pieces of bread were going to be enough, but it ended up being a good ratio of dip to scoop.  For our pizza, we went for a medium Holy Shiitake.

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    I really enjoyed this pizza.  It had shiitake, button, and portobello mushrooms, onions and a blend of cheeses plus a garlic and olive oil base.  It was had such a wonderful blend of flavors. The crust was perfectly cooked, not too crunchy, not too soft.  I would absolutely order it again, though probably to go.  Total bill with a drink was $20.

    Mellow Mushroom
    2630 Gulf to Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-723-2000

    Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere1/5
    Value2/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Pizza
  • We made it to Lake City and had to stop for dinner.  We found Mike’s Cafe & Grille in a darkened strip mall.  I don’t know how they get any dinner business in this location.  There was just one other customer when we got there and we were alone the rest of the meal.  We got some potato soup to start off with, then Loren got the sriracha chicken salad and I tried the parmesean crusted chicken.

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    The soup had a familiar flavor, but neither one of us could place it.  It was very good.  Loren said the chicken wasn’t too spicy and had an almost sweet & sour taste to it.  My chicken was flavorful and tender.  The mac & cheese was very creamy with a unique taste to it.  I really enjoyed it.  And I needed just one more piece of chocolate cake before this vacation ended.

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    Tender & moist cake with a fudgy center.  Goodness all around.  Total bill with a drink was $36.

    Mike’s Cafe & Grille
    426 SW Commerce Dr, Ste 115
    Lake City, FL
    386-961-9911

    Mike's Cafe & Grille on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Lake City