The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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After our trip to the Morean Arts Center, HotShop, and the Chihuly Collection, we still weren’t ready to eat dinner, but decided to get some take out from the Nola Cafe for later. 

We got the combination platter which had red beans and rice, gumbo and jambalaya, some beignets, and a bowl of crawfish etouffee.

Out of the combo, the gumbo was definitely the best.  It had a very smooth, velvety texture to it, plus some really nice flavors.  The red beans and rice was ok, and the jambalaya was smoky and kind of plain.  There was some spices in all three, but they weren’t overly spicy.  The crawfish etouffee, however, was really spicy.

The spice doesn’t hit you when you first put it in your mouth, but once it hits the back of your throat, you feel some heat.  Unfortunately, it had more heat than flavor going on. 

As for the beignets, I don’t know if it was the drive home or if they’re always this way, but they were kind of doughy.

They weren’t great.  Overall, nothing really stood out about the food.  It was ok, but I still prefer the Cajun Cafe.  The food here just didn’t seem as fresh and homemade as I was hoping for.  Total bill was $32.

Nola Cafe
300 Beach Dr NE
St Petersburg, FL
(813) 258-8778

Nola Cafe on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5

Ate lunch at Cafe Ten-O-One in St Pete before we headed over to the Morean Arts Center.  Downtown St Pete was pretty quiet today since Gasparilla was going on in Tampa. 

We both ordered burgers.  I got the cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and potato salad and Loren got the Bistro burger with tots and cole slaw. 

The kitchen seemed to be having a few issues today.  I had ordered my burger with just mayo, lettuce, and tomato, but there was everything on the bun on my plate.  Luckily, they had just put the wrong top bun on our plates and Loren had mine.  The other issue is that Loren’s Bistro burger should have had bacon on it and it didn’t.  Our waitress reduced the price of his burger and said they had a new cook that didn’t know what went on each burger yet.

As for the burgers, though, they were pretty good.  They had some nice flavors going on.  Good diner burger.  The sweet potato fries and tater tots were also crunchy and tasty.  I thought the potato salad had too much onion in it and the cole slaw was kind of dry.  Overall, for $17 it was a pretty good lunch.

Cafe Ten-O-One
1001 First Ave. N.
St Petersburg, FL
(727) 894-4238

Cafe Ten-O-One on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value3/5
3.3/5

Had lunch with my buddy Steve today, we opted for a convenient Mexican lunch at Estela’s on Roosevelt Boulevard.  It was a really nice day, but not hot, so we grabbed a table outside.  It was nice and quiet, and we were well-served. (sometimes when you opt for outdoor seating you get forgotten, not today)  Our drinks came quickly along with a complimentary basket of chips and salsa.

I grabbed a quick bite from the lunch menu, Steve “splurged” on the cerviche.  And… I remembered to take a photo! Not a great photo.  Not a  great looking plate.  But, it was tasty and quick.

My “Burrito Diablo” was not as devilish as it sounded.  Just a pork burrito topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a big ol’ glob of fresh guacamole and a side of rice.  Good stuff.  Steve’s cerviche was not what either of us expected it to be, it was more of a spicy cold soup kind of thing. (Our waitress corrected our “say-vee-chay” pronunciation to “saveesh”, maybe that had something to do with it?)  But, it was chock full of fresh shrimp, and Steve was pleased with it.

The guacamole was pretty good, but the salsa was a little disappointing.  Not bad, just not up to my usual standard.  Seemed like it either spent way too much time in a blender, or had a tomato paste base.  The taste leaned toward tomato paste.

Overall, this is a decent cheap Mexican joint.  I’ve been there a few times and it’s consistently good.  Sort of like Poblano’s near home, if it’s close and you want cheap Mexican, you can’t go wrong.  We got out for less than $15 each after the tip.

Estela’s Mexican Restaurant
(727) 578-5380
10478 Roosevelt Blvd N
St Petersburg, FL 33716

Estela's Mexican on Urbanspoon

Food0/5
Service0/5
Atmosphere0/5
Value0/5
0.0/5