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Archive for the ‘Tarpon Springs’ Category

Quiet Here


We went over to Johnny Grits in Tarpon Springs for dinner tonight.  At first we weren’t sure they were open since the restaurant was empty.  We like quiet dinners though.  We started off with the fried okra.

There was way more on the plate than we could have eaten.  They were crunchy and tasty, but a little bland.  Loren got the buffalo chicken sandwich and I went for the fried chicken benedict.

He said the chicken was tender and it wasn’t overly spicy.  The chicken on the benedict was good, but the poached eggs were overcooked.  If the yolk doesn’t come oozing out, it’s just not right.  Overall it was ok.  We’ve definitely had better here.  Total bill with a drink was $25.

Johnny Grits
857 E. Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
727-942-4748
Johnny Grits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Hearty Brunch


We got over to Johnny Grits around 11:00am this morning and had about a 15 minute wait.  By the time we left the wait was up to 35 minutes.  This place is packed on the weekends for breakfast.  Loren’s not much of a breakfast person, so he went for the smoked turkey club with a side salad.

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It was a big sandwich and he actually ended up taking half of it home with him.  Perfectly toasted bread, smoked turkey and crunchy bacon.  He was a happy guy.  I decided to try the fried chicken benedict.

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I opted to change the jalepeno cheddar sauce they normally serve with it to hollandaise instead.   Two perfectly tender fried chicken breasts over fresh biscuits with poached eggs and fried potatoes.  It was delicious and very filling.  There’s no coming to Johnny Grits without ordering a side of grits.  We choose the andouille, onion and cheese and added some mushrooms.

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Other than adding a little salt, the grits are yummy here.  Smooth and creamy and a perfect size for two.  Total bill with a drink was $25.

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

Johnny Grits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5

We were happy to discover that Johnny Grits now opens for dinner Wednesday-Saturday until 8pm. We got there around 7pm and they weren’t very busy which made for a nice, quiet dinner experience.  We started off with the pasta purses and the andouille sausage, onion and provolone grit skillet.

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These little bundles of goodness are stuffed with three cheeses and a pear puree that added a hint of unexpected sweetness to every bite.  They were served in a bacon and tomato brown butter sauce.  I would have liked more sauce on the dish, but otherwise they were pretty tasty.

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The grits had just a little bit of cheese on them. 🙂  Nice flavors, but the onions weren’t cooked quite enough and it definitely needed more salt.   Our entrees came with soup or salad and I couldn’t pass up the mushroom soup.

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After tasting the soup, I think Loren will think twice next time about ordering a salad.  It was delicious.  Creamy with chunks of mushroom and an amazing flavor.  Yum!  For his entree, Loren tried tonight’s steak special.

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The steak was cooked perfectly, but overall the dish was under seasoned.  The wine sauce just didn’t have the depth of flavor he was hoping for, but with a little salt & pepper added, he ate every last bit that was on the plate. I went for the southern chicken hash and was a little surprised at what actually came out of the kitchen.

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The menu described it as a pan seared chicken breast with diced potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, caramelized onions, in a sherry wine cream sauce.  That’s not quite what showed up, though I didn’t complain because what was on the plate was quite good.  The mashed potatoes were homemade and quite happy to be dunked in the cream sauce which was delicious.  Besides a few missteps on seasoning, the food was quite tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $43.

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

Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5

I honestly didn’t think we’d have an hour wait at 3pm on a Sunday, but it looks like Rusty Bellies in Tarpon Springs is busy no matter the time of day.  We wondered around the sponge docks for a while and then got seated out on the porch which was perfect.  Our waitress brought over some hush puppies while we looked at the menu.

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I had to make myself stop eating these or I was never going to eat my dinner.  They weren’t overly seasoned which is the way I like hush puppies. Quite addictive though.  It was a chilly afternoon, so we started off with a cup of crab corn chowder and a cup of seafood gumbo.

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Loren was amazed at all of the seafood in the gumbo. It had a little kick to it and he really enjoyed it.  The crab corn chowder was quite tasty.  Everything in it was cooked perfectly and it had a nice flavor.  For his entree, Loren tried the grilled grouper souvlaki pita.

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He said the tzatziki sauce was a bit too runny, but other than that, he said the fish was perfectly cooked and tasty.  I saw whole belly Ipswich clams on the menu and I was sold.

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Mmmm.  I love fried clams and these did not disappoint.  Crispy little bundles of memories growing up in Massachusetts.  For my sides, I got the potato salad and corn pudding.  I’d easily order this entire plate again.  And although we were both stuffed, I just couldn’t pass up the homemade orange pineapple cake.

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This was moist and flavorful with sweet bits of citrus and a creamy frosting.  We ate every last bite of it.  Total bill with a drink was $51.

Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill
937 Dodecanese Blvd
Tarpon Springs, FL
727-934-4047

Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill 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