The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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Archive for the ‘Dunedin’ Category

A friend of ours posted a photo of their dinner from Clear Sky Draught Haus in Dunedin, so we decided to head over there for dinner.  As far as I could tell, there’s no signage on the building and the only way we knew we were in the right place was a very small sign on the curb.  We’ve eaten at other restaurants in this space and the biggest issue with the location is the very small parking lot.

They have a nice outdoor patio that’s pet friendly, but as we walked up to the hostess booth, we could tell the hostess was stressing.  I don’t think she was trying to be rude, but she came off that way.  She didn’t smile until she was ready to deal with us.  After we were seated, Loren said asking us to wait wasn’t a big deal, but the way she put her hand up in a “stop right there” motion was not a welcoming first impression.

The space inside wasn’t very big and they had it open to the outside which was pleasant tonight, but will likely be sweltering come summer.  We looked over the menu and so many of the items sounded amazing.  Calamari was on the appetizer menu so I couldn’t pass that up.



It seemed like a small portion for the price and unfortunately, it was both chewy and flavorless.  The only redeeming thing on the plate was the lemon ginger dipping sauce.  The batter desperately needed some seasoning, even a little salt would have helped.  For his entree, Loren ordered the mushroom crusted salmon.



Loren’s a lot less picky than I am about food.  If this had been served to me, I’d have sent it back.  The salmon was fishy.  I’ve eaten a lot of salmon and it just shouldn’t taste that way.  The manager came by and asked how things were and I told him the fish was not fresh.  He ended up taking it off the bill and also gave us a $15 coupon to come back again.  The customer service was good; the food, not so much.   Another manager came by and said something to the effect of the salmon wasn’t his favorite dish on the menu.  Makes you wonder why it’s on the menu, doesn’t it?   I ordered the Tuscan Chicken.



It was served with cappicola, goat cheese, and a mushroom risotto.  I liked the chicken, but would have preferred that it was a little more tender.  That became very apparent as I was trying to cut it with a butter knife.  I will never understand why any restaurant wouldn’t give you a real knife when serving beef, chicken or pork. The cappicola and goat cheese added an interesting flavor to the dish.   The mushroom risotto was unevenly cooked.  Nice flavor, but would have been better without the crunchy pieces of rice.  We decided to try the banana bread pudding for dessert.



The menu described it as a banana bread pudding with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.  I didn’t taste any caramel and there wasn’t cherry on top, instead it was a very unevenly heated dense banana bread.  The bottom was hot, the middle was cold, and the rest was lukewarm.   Overall, it was just a very disappointing meal.  Everything looked and sounded good, but the execution just wasn’t up to par.  Total bill with a drink was $37 after the salmon was removed.

Clear Sky Draught Haus
680 Main St
Dunedin, FL

Clear Sky Draught Haus on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Dunedin
  • Blue Sake recently opened up in Dunedin, so we headed over there for dinner to try out their sushi.  The restaurant looks nice and was well lit.  I’m not a fan of mood lighting where it’s so dark that you can barely see your food.

    We started off with the Golden Silk Shrimp and a cucumber salad.




    Loren liked the shrimp more than I did.  They’re wrapped in egg noodles and fried.  They had a nice crunch, but the shrimp was overcooked.  For our sushi, we got a tuna avocado roll, a salmon avocado roll, a Mexican roll and a Bonsai roll.



    Plus this cute as can be dragon roll.



    They definitely get points for creativity.  The little wasabi dragon head was just too cute.  Overall, the sushi was really fresh and tasty.  They had a large selection of rolls to choose from and their prices are in line with the other sushi restaurants in the area.  The funniest thing about the experience was when the waiter came to clear the plates, he said it was time to slay the dragon and then he squished it with another plate.  It made me chuckle.  Total bill with a drink was $61.

    Blue Sake
    1425 Main St, Ste I
    Dunedin, FL

    Blue Sake on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Sushi
  • Hearty Food

    We ended up at Cricketers for dinner tonight when the restaurant we were going to ended up being closed.  They were busy, but we didn’t have to wait for a table.  We started off with the bangers in batter.



    I’m a sucker for deep fried anything and these deep fried sausages were really yummy.  They’re served with gravy which just added to the tastiness.  I could have eaten another plate of these.  I couldn’t decide between the Irish stew and the chicken & vegetable pie, so Loren graciously got the Irish stew so I could taste it.



    It had a nice homey taste to it.  It had lamb and veggies and was covered with sliced potatoes.  He ate the whole thing.  The chicken and veggie pie was tasty too.



    It also had a nice hearty and rich flavor to it.  Both entrees come with two sides, so there was way more food here for me to eat.  I ended up taking half of mine home.  But, that didn’t stop us from getting the Cricketers 99 sundae.



    Sometimes the simple desserts are the best.  It was vanilla ice cream with caramel, chocolate, whipped cream and some chocolate wafers. Good stuff.  And we were sufficiently stuffed by the time we walked out of there.  Total bill with a drink was $46.

    2634 Bayshore, Blvd
    Dunedin, FL

    Mike & Lisa's Cricketers Pub on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, English
  • We ate an early dinner at Casa Tina in Dunedin tonight.  We didn’t realize there was an art festival going on, so it was a bit crowded in downtown.  Loren ordered the carnitas and I went for the chicken flautas.




    I had already started disassembling the flautas before I remembered to take a photo.  I had to scrape off the salsa and guacamole.  There was a time when I really liked the guacamole here, it was very mild.  Now, even just the little bit I left on the plate was too spicy for my tastebuds.  Loren was more than happy to have it though.  He said the carnitas were perfectly cooked and tender.  The flautas were nice and crunchy and the rice and beans were good too. Total bill with a drink was $35.

    Casa Tina’s 
    365 Main Street
    Dunedin, FL

    Casa Tina on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Mexican
  • For the last few years, we’ve tried to catch a sunset on the last night of the year.  Unfortunately, mother nature hasn’t been very cooperative.  Last year it was fog, this year the clouds were just too thick so we ended up just going over to Cafe Alfresco in Dunedin for dinner.  Quite a few other people had the same idea tonight and we ended up waiting about 20 minutes for a table.   They remodeled the restaurant recently and removed the high top tables and changed the seating a bit.  We ended up at a nice table in the back against the windows which was perfect for looking out at the holiday lights.

    We started off with some pot stickers, salad & bread



    The pot stickers had a tasty pork filling and the dipping sauce was sweet and spicy.  Loren ordered the grouper francese for his entree.



    The only thing he didn’t like about it was the overly eggy taste that the batter had.  He expected to get more flavor from the sauce and capers, but his first few bites all he could taste was egg.  The fish was perfectly cooked though.  I decided to try the pork osso bucco that was on the specials menu.



    The dish came with a wild mushroom risotto that was very creamy and tasty.  The osso bucco was extremely tender and flavorful.  It slide right off the bone.  Definitely a dish I would order again. There was enough food on the plate for at least two meals. I know what I’m eating for New Year’s Day.  And we had to close out the year on something sweet, so we ordered the Devonshire chocolate cake.



    It had layers of mousse and cake and all sorts of chocolately goodness.  A great way to end 2013.  Total bill with a drink was $56.

    Cafe Alfresco
    344 Main St
    Dunedin, FL

    Cafe Alfresco on Urbanspoon