We were going to a movie later this morning, so decided to get breakfast instead of going out for lunch afterward. We drove into downtown Safety Harbor and settled in at Athens Restaurant. We got there at just the right time too. Right after we sat down the place got mobbed with customers. Loren went for an omelette and grits and some OJ.
The omelette was perfectly cooked and he enjoyed the grits. I went for some french toast, scrambled eggs and home fries.
At first glance, I thought they had put my scrambled eggs inside the french toast, but I quickly realized that was just the edges of the cooked egg batter that the french toast was dipped in. The french toast was light & fluffy and both the eggs and potatoes were cooked well. For $15, it was a quick, tasty, inexpensive breakfast.
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
We got a bit of a cold spell this week, so I was craving soup for lunch. The lobster bisque at MecaFresh was calling to me so I went for the soup and half of their bacon, ham & cheese panini special.
I’m not a big bacon fan, but there actually wasn’t that much on the sandwich, so all I really tasted with a bit of saltiness. The panini was tasty though. The bisque was hot as lava when it came to the table, but once it cooled down, it was smooth and delicious. Satisfying my soup craving for a while. Loren got the soup/salad combo.
This was some sort of Mexican bean soup. It wasn’t very spicy, but he said it had some good flavors. Perfect for a chilly day. They offered us some frozen yogurt today too.
Loren finished every last bit of his. He said the vanilla flavor was just yummy today. Total bill with a drink was $20.
3235 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL
We drove out to Tarpon Springs for lunch at Nana’s Restaurant today. We thought we’d miss the lunch crowd, but they were still busy at 1pm and out of most of the specials. Loren went for a southwestern chicken salad with a cup of black bean soup.
Their black bean soup is thick and rich and very tasty. Not spicy, but full of flavor. He said the salad was very good too. I went for a ham & cheese on sourdough bread and a side of home fries.
Sometimes the simple things are just the best. I love toasted sourdough bread and it went perfectly with the ham & cheese. There’s a reason this place is always packed. The food is fresh and homemade and the prices are good. Overall, a very tasty little lunch for $21.
857 E Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
Just kidding, it was a lot of sushi from Mike’s Sushi in Palm Harbor.
Well, you see, we have to get a “make your own roll” with salmon, avocado, & cucumber, as well as a Rainbow Roll and a Mexican roll. Those are the basics. Gotta have them, always delicious. Then we decided to try the lobster roll, which was really good by the way. Loren always needs something spicy so he got a Crazy roll. We also decided to try a shitake roll this time. It was ok, but probably not something we’d order again. Loren also wanted some salmon.
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that we started off with some Shumai, which are shrimp steamed dumplings.
These were awesome. Delicious little flavorful bundles of goodness. I wanted more, but I knew there was an abundance of sushi coming, so I held back. For me, I’m starting to favor Mike’s Sushi over Ocean Blue/Kaiko, mostly because of the variety at Mike’s. Both have fresh, delicious rolls, and although nothing will ever top the Super Crunchy at Kaiko for me, the overall roll options at Mike’s bring me in more. Total bill with a drink and a salad was $66.
33855 Us-19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
Loren was craving a steak tonight, so we headed out to the Longhorn in Palm Harbor. The wait was about 40 minutes, but we figured anywhere we went on a Friday at 6pm was going to be busy. The Longhorn currently has a Steakhouse Dinner for Two deal going on. It includes an appetizer or dessert, salads, and two entrees for $25. While we waited on our appetizer, we dug into the bread.
This is the way bread should be. It was warm and slightly chewy and oh so yummy. We just kept eating more & more of it. Luckily, our calamari appetizer arrived before we completely stuffed ourselves on bread.
The calamari was cooked pretty well, but any longer in the fryer and it would have been tough. It had a nice crunch and the smoky tomato ranch dipping sauce was awesome! I need to figure out how to make that at home.
They really had the timing down perfectly tonight. As soon as we finished our appetizer, the salads came right out and our entrees were served just as the waiter was clearing the salad plates. As busy as they were, I was happily surprised to not be sitting around wondering where our food was. Loren went for the Renegade steak & baked potato.
He said the steak wasn’t quite tender enough, but was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The 6 oz size was just the right amount for him too. I went for the salmon with a side of sweet potato bites.
I’ve found my new favorite side dish. These things were amazing. They had a sweet, maple syrupy aroma, but had the texture of a tater tot. It was almost like a butterscotch candy, but not overly sweet. Yummy! The salmon was perfectly cooked and very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the rice. It was way too spicy for me. I don’t know what kind of peppers were mixed into it, but I took one bite and my mouth was not happy.
We don’t go to too many chain restaurants, but we both agreed that this was one of the better dining experiences we’ve had recently. The restaurant was large and crowded, but they’ve figured out how to control the noise level so we could carry on a conversation. The service was attentive, but not intruding. Each course was served and plates were cleared in a timely manner and the food was very good. Total bill with a drink was $30.
35645 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL
Surf Shack was our destination for lunch today. The weather was gorgeous today so having the big door open out to the patio was great. Loren likes the chips & salsa here.
I wasn’t able to stop eating the chips either. They’re sort of like Doritos and somewhat addictive. They had salmon tacos on their specials for today, so Loren decided to try them.
He said they were pretty good. He also liked the Shangai cucumbers that came as a side dish. He said it was amazing how something so simple could be so tasty. Normally, I get tacos here, but I decided to try the mushroom burger instead.
It was one big burger! It was juicy and cooked a perfect medium, but it desperately needed some additional seasoning. A little salt & pepper would have gone a long way to take this from a good burger to a great one. As is, I was more aware of the taste of the bun than I was the taste of the burger itself. Overall though, it was a pretty good lunch for $20.
Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
We were looking for a quick, inexpensive lunch after going to a movie, so we headed over to Daddy’s Grill in Oldsmar. The lunch crowd was just finishing up as we got there. Loren got a club sandwich & fries.
He said it was pretty good & ended up taking half of it home with him. With all the layers, it really is like having two sandwiches. I went for a mushroom burger & macaroni salad.
I like the burgers here. It was cooked a nice medium & was juicy. It could have used a little more seasoning though. The macaroni in the macaroni salad was way overcooked & on the mushy side this time. For some reason, though, neither one of us liked our server. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but there was just something very abrupt and not overly friendly about her. Total bill with a drink was $17.
3682 Tampa Road
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