The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Archive for the ‘Dunedin’ Category

Joseph’s Little Italy in Dunedin has changed their name to Julian’s Little Italy.  Looks like the exact same place and staff.  We went in with our coupon and needed to spend $40 to get the $25 off.

The restaurant was fairly busy for a Sunday night, but we should have known something was wrong when our waitress didn’t even come take our drink orders until we’d been sitting there for almost 15 minutes.  The service only got worse from there.

This was a long night of waiting.  Our waitress would disappear completely from the dining room and when she would come out, she’d either walk right by our table or would be completely inefficient in what she would bring out at any given time. 

We started off with the meatball appetizer.

Flavor-wise, it was pretty good, but texture-wise, the outside was tough.  They were definitely overcooked.  Loren ordered a dinner which came with house salad, three bean appetizer and soup. 

He really liked the dressing on the salad and even though he thought he didn’t want the three bean appetizer, he liked it so much that he scarfed the entire thing.  The garlic bread brought to the table was pretty good, except for the burnt pieces hiding at the bottom.

After he finished his salad, we waited and waited for our soup to come out.  His drink glass was empty at this point at well. 

Our waitress brought my bowl of soup out, but not Loren’s.  She also said she’d refill his drink, but then disappeared again. 

The pasta fagioli was really good.  I didn’t realize I had ordered a bowl instead of a cup of soup, so I ended up with some leftovers.  It had good flavors and the veggies and pasta weren’t mushy, which was nice.  There were also pieces of sausage in it. 

Eventually, Loren’s soup and another drink came out.

His was a minestrone soup that had a lot of potatoes in it.  Again, nice flavors overall. 

As we waited for our entrees, several other parties came into the restaurant and to our amazement, the host kept seating them in our waitress’ area.  I was stunned.  There was another waiter working and he spent the majority of his time clearing the table of a big party of his that just left.  I wanted to warn the new patrons to not expect much in the way of service, but I bit my tongue.  Instead we watched them get ignored as much as we had been. 

Our entrees finally arrived and they were both lukewarm.  The mushrooms on mine were actually cold.  They had obviously been sitting in the kitchen for sometime before our waitress brought them out.  So disappointing.  Again, the flavors were pretty good, but I took the majority of it home so I could at least microwave it to a normal temperature.

I ordered the chicken marsala and Loren ordered the chicken with artichokes.  Both came with a side of spaghetti.

And then to top things off, when I asked for some boxes, our waitress walked off with my water glass.  Who does that?  I went to get a drink while we waited for her to bring our check and I realized it was gone. 

When we went to pay, the host asked us how our dinner was and we told him how bad she was as a waitress.  He was completely unaware.  I told him the other patrons in her area were already deeply disappointed as one couple had been sitting there for a good 15 minutes and she had yet to stop by their table. 

Total bill after the coupon was $27.  Unfortunately, the coupons include an automatic tip for the wait staff, because otherwise, we wouldn’t have left her a dime.

Julian’s Little Italy
916-A Patricia Ave
Dunedin, FL

Joseph's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • Spicy Rolls

    We were craving sushi tonight and went back to Tom Yum Thai & Sushi in Dunedin.  We both started off with some soup.

    Loren got the chicken and rice and I just couldn’t pass up the chicken coconut soup.  It’s one of the tastiest soups in the area.  The flavors all meld together wonderfully. 

    We decided on 4 sushi rolls, the Sea Monster, the Hamachi Lover, the Dragon Roll and the Rainbow Roll, plus some salmon.

    My favorite was the Dragon roll, shrimp tempura roll topped with avocado , mayo & eel sauce.  The shrimp was cooked perfectly and the avocado was fresh and tasty.   My next favorite was the Rainbow roll.   The other two rolls had spicy sauces on them that were a bit overwhelming.  Loren made a comment that all the flavor seemed to be in the sauces and that the rolls themselves were rather bland. 

    The rolls here are pretty big compared to other places.  We had leftovers even though we only ordered 4 rolls and that never happens.  At most other places, we know we’ve ordered too much when we get 6 rolls.  Total bill was $56. 

    Tom Yum Thai & Sushi
    104 Patricia Ave
    Dunedin, FL
    (727) 953-9898

    Tom Yum Thai & Sushi on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Thai
  • Expectations

    We were going to eat at Bonefish tonight, thinking we could get there before the crowd, but even at 5:30pm, they already had a 30 minute wait.  So, instead we drove into Dunedin to see if Walt’s Seasonal Cuisine was busy.  At it turned out, we were the first customers there for the evening. 

    Let me preface this review by saying the food tonight was absolutely better than we get at most places; however, my expectations when I end up paying $73 for dinner are a lot higher than if I’ve spent $30.  I didn’t feel that the experience tonight was worth the price.  Granted, it’s a lot of little things that added up to that feeling, but because my expectations were so high and we’ve had wonderful experiences here before, I just left somewhat disappointed.

    We sat down, ordered our water and iced tea and were served some bread and oil. 

    I know this is silly, but this was the first thing I thought was off tonight.  The bread was just served in this little bowl.  No napkin or cloth under or around it to help keep the warmth in.  It just came across as tacky to me.  Don’t get me wrong, the bread was warm and tasty, it was just the presentation that turned me off.

    Another couple came in at this point and sat at the bar.  I overheard their conversation with the waitress to discover that Walt had the night off.  Later in the evening, I heard the couple ask the chef if he was calling for help when he had his phone out and he said no, he was just looking up a recipe.   So, maybe the key to dining at Walt’s is knowing that Walt is in the kitchen.

    Loren started out with a house salad and I got the soup which was butternut squash with blue crab.

    Loren liked the ginger dressing on his salad.  He said the nuts on the salad were both sweet and spicy.  My soup had very subtle flavors, in fact, too subtle for my tastes.  It was very thin and the crab was overcooked.  It was a little rubbery. 

    At this point, we heard the waitress telling the other customers what the special was tonight.  Don’t you hate it when you’re not told the specials and you get to overhear them at another table after you’ve ordered?

    For his entree, Loren chose the surf and turf which is steak and scallops and he ordered asparagus as his side.

    The steak is where the chef shined tonight.  It was perfect.  A nice sear on the outside, cooked a perfect medium and was incredibly tender.  Loren loved it.  The scallops were sliced thin and had a mango vinaigrette on them that completely overpowered the flavor of the scallop. 

    I ordered the crab crusted grouper with garlic mashed potatoes.

    It had a sherry butter sauce on it that I couldn’t taste at all.  It was a thick grouper filet that basically had a crab cake on top of it.  Individually, each piece was pretty good, but the crab cake had very strong flavors that overwhelmed the grouper. 

    For dessert, we tried the chocolate cake.

    Let’s face it, first bites are everything and this one just didn’t wow.  The cake was very dense, but not overly moist.  It was good,  but I’ve had better.  And since I’ve been picky all night, I just felt like some homemade whipped cream would have been much better than stuff out of a can. 

    Service tonight was also lacking.  My water glass was completely empty for quite a while and Loren’s iced tea also got down to the bottom.  Plates weren’t cleared as quickly as they should have either.  Again, it’s all about expectations.  If I’m spending $73, I want the entire experience to feel worth the money. 

    Walts Seasonal Cuisine
    1140 Main St
    Dunedin, FL

    Walt's Seasonal Cuisine on Urbanspoon


    Constant Roar

    We went to Dunedin tonight to take photos of the sunset and ate dinner at Casa Tina.  I really wish they would do something about the acoustics in the restaurant.  It’s so loud in there that you can barely have a conversation across the table.  And being Friday night, they were busy, so it was even louder.

    Loren likes their salsa.  It’s fresh and tasty.  I think the chips should be warmed though.

    And since I wanted warmed chips, we ordered the Monterey Nachos minus the jalapenos.

    I really liked this dish.  Layers of black beans, queso fresco, Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream.  It had an almost buttery flavor to it.  In fact, I liked it so much that I ate way more than I should have and ended up not eating most of my dinner. 

    They were out of Loren’s first choice for his entree and the waitress suggested things that were similar, so he ended up with the Arroz Cabezon.

    Neither one of us could really describe the flavor.  It was sort of familiar, but not quite.  He didn’t really like it all that much.  He also thought it was supposed to come with guacamole, yet all that was on the plate was a small slice of avacado.

    I ordered the chicken and cheese flutes.  This is probably my favorite thing on their menu.

    Loren got my guacamole since I found it a bit spicier than usual.  The flutes were nice and crispy on the inside and have a wonderful chicken cheese filling.  Unfortunately, because I ate so many nachos, I ended up taking half of it home.  Total bill with a drink was $44. 

    Casa Tina’s
    365 Main Street
    Dunedin, FL

    Casa Tina on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Mexican
  • Spicy BBQ

    I saw the sign for the Dunedin Smokehouse earlier in the week so we decided to try it out for dinner tonight.  I’d heard it gets pretty busy on the weekends and they don’t have a very big parking lot, so we went early and there wasn’t a crowd.

    It isn’t a very big restaurant inside, but they do have patio seating as well.   We went inside and grabbed a booth since it was cold out.  Unfortunately, there are TVs on the walls above all of the booths and they had the volume up way too loud for the space.  Even after I asked if they could turn down the volume on the one over my head, it was still pretty loud in there.  I’m sure with a crowd you could barely hear yourself think.

    We decided to split the Big John combo so we could try out the different items on the menu.  It came with pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and ribs. 

    The combo came with two sides so we got some garlicy greens and sweet potato cornbread.  I also ordered a side of potato salad.

    The best thing on the plate to me was the brisket.  It was tender and had a decent flavor.  Next would be the pulled pork.  I thought the ribs were charred way too much, I couldn’t even eat them.  The chicken was ok.  I didn’t really like any of the BBQ sauces either.  Even the “sweet” ancho sauce had a bit too much bite for me and the mango honey mustard sauce didn’t really have any mango flavor, just mustard. 

    As for the sides, they didn’t do it for me either.   If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know by now that I’m not a fan of spicy food and all of the side dishes had some sort of peppers in them.   Actually, I’m not sure what was in the potato salad, definitely dill, but something spicy as well.  Loren said the greens had more texture in them than he’s used to.  He thought they had been sauteed instead of boiled.  He seemed to like them though.  I took one bite and all I could taste was some type of red pepper. 

    All in all, not the best BBQ experience we’ve had.  Total bill was $31.  I doubt we’ll be back.  There are definitely better BBQ places around. 

    Dunedin Smokehouse
    680 Main St
    Dunedin, FL

    The Dunedin Smokehouse (Coming in October) on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Dunedin