The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

We were running a car rally today and it finished up in Masaryktown at the Cafe Masaryktown.  They handled our group of 16 very well and Loren and I went for a Cuban sandwich and a Havana Club with fries.

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The best part of the Cuban sandwich is the fresh roasted pork.  We both ended up taking half a sandwich home because they were so big and filling.  It was a lot of tasty food for $16.

Cafe Masaryktown
398 Broad St
Masaryktown, FL
352-754-2822

Cafe Masaryktown on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Cuban, Masaryktown
  • We were driving through downtown Safety Harbor looking for a different restaurant when we came across Marker 39 Floribbean Grill.   I think we’ve been in two other restaurants in this same location.  Hopefully, this one will stick around a while.  It’s a small space but we got there early so were able to get a table in the backroom.  We started off with the Nemo roll.

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    This little salmon appetizer was gone before we knew it.  Tasty little bites of ginger cured salmon with pickled cucumber.  It was fresh and light.   We could have easily eaten another plate or two of them.  Instead, Loren got a side salad and I had to try the shrimp bisque bowl.

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    Loren really liked the salad and the vinaigrette that came on it.  It had greens, cucumber, tomato, roasted corn, and sundried cherries.  The shrimp bisque was very creamy and had a deep, rich flavor to it.  It was garnished with a little bit of blue crab, but I sort of wished that there was a crispy texture element to go along with it.   For his entree, Loren decided on the ahi tuna.

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    It was seared and the inside was a nice rare.  I liked the crispy wonton on top and he liked the wasabi sauce, but said it really cleared his sinuses because it was so strong.  It was one of those things to eat in moderation.  I went for the Cuban Crisis.

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    This is the way roast pork should taste.  It was very tender and it was marinated and cooked long enough for all the flavors to meld together perfectly.  I also really enjoyed the plantains.  They added a bit of sweetness to the dish.  The rice, however, was overcooked and mushy and there weren’t enough black beans in the dish.  At this point, I was pretty full and Loren had to finish off the last of the pork, but we couldn’t pass up dessert.

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    Unfortunately, this didn’t quite live up to the expectation.  It’s a doughnut tossed in cinnamon sugar with a caramel sauce, bacon, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I think we’re used to desserts built for two and this was a single serving dessert.  Loren liked the bacon, but it just didn’t add anything worthwhile to the dish for me.  I think I would have liked it better if the bacon had been caramelized and was sweeter.  The doughnut was tasty, but compared to everything else we ate tonight, this just didn’t shine.  Total bill with a drink was $74 and worth every penny,  but for as often as we go out to eat, it is a little high for us to come back very often.

    Marker 39
    155 5th Ave N
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-791-1939

    Marker 39 on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5

    We don’t get out to Johnny Grits as often as we like because they were only a breakfast and lunch restaurant, but we were happy to see that they now serve dinner Wednesday through Saturday.  No surprise that they were busy this Sunday morning, but luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for a table.  The table next to us had the most amazing looking fried chicken benedict, but I’d been craving shrimp and grits so I had to just put that benedict on my list for next time.

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    Perfectly cooked shrimp on a bed of creamy grits and one of my favorite sauces.  It’s not spicy, but it has a wonderful blend of flavors in it.  The only thing I’m not keen on is the bacon.  Loren likes it, but I feel like it adds an odd texture to the dish.  Loren tried the grouper sandwich with a side of mac & cheese.

     

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    He said the grouper was cooked nicely, but the ratio or bread to fish was a little off.  It was a big bun.  It was also served in this metal pail that made it difficult to try to cut the sandwich.  A plate would have worked just fine.  I admit, I couldn’t keep my fork out of the mac & cheese either.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

    Johnny Grits
    857 E. Klosterman Rd
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    727-942-4748

    Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5

    BBQ


    When we’re looking for a meal that will yield leftovers, there’s nothing better than the Boss Hog Special at Ozona Pig.

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    It’s enough food for way more than 2 people.  Ribs, pulled pork, chicken & brisket, plus two sides and deviled eggs.  They do a really tasty job with their BBQ.  The ribs were smoky and tender.  None of those made it home.  The pulled pork was also very tender and we just kept nibbling until we forced ourselves to put the rest away.  If you want to taste a little bit of everything, this is the way to go.  Total bill with a drink was $31.

    The Ozona Pig
    311 Orange St
    Ozona, FL
    727-773-0744

    Ozona Pig on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: BBQ, Ozona
  • It was a cool night and I wanted some comfort food so we headed out to Southern Fresh in downtown Safety Harbor.  It seems quite a few other people had the same idea tonight.  Since it wasn’t warm enough to sit outside, we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.  It’s a bit loud inside when it’s this full, but it’s so worth it.

    Loren chose the salmon salad for dinner and I got what I always get, the fried chicken.

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    They don’t have a large menu, in fact, I think it’s exactly the same as the first time we came here.  They’ve chosen to do a small number of menu items, but they do them right, every time.  The salmon was perfectly cooked and seasoned.  The salad has mixed greens, capers, grilled asparagus, tomatoes and a tasty balsamic vinaigrette.   The fried chicken is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  It’s cooked to order so it’s hot and fresh.  Real mashed potatoes and gravy plus roasted veggies round out the deliciousness.  And then, who could pass up dessert?

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    There’s not a bit left on the plate when we’re done.  It’s an angel food cake with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.  Fresh and light, but oh so tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $36.  There’s a reason this place is busy.  The food, service and quality are consistent and great every time.

    Southern Fresh
    122 3rd Ave N
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-216-6341

    Southern Fresh on Urbanspoon

    Food5/5
    Service5/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value5/5
    4.9/5