A new Polish buffet just opened up on Gulf to Bay. LucHouse is located at the opposite end of the strip mall with the Greyhound station, across from Hooters. The outside appearance makes it a little difficult to find. They’ve also got solid wood doors, so at first glance, it was hard to tell that they were open. When we got there, they weren’t very busy, just one other couple in the restaurant, but a few others showed up while we were eating. I was glad to see more customers since the food was very tasty.
They have the buffet set up with a wide variety of items including stews, sausage, meat and potato pierogi, meatballs, stuffed cabbage rolls, and other items along with a salad and soup bar.
Overall, the food had a lot of flavor. Loren tried a spicy stew and he said they weren’t kidding when they said it was spicy. Most of the food was very heavy and filling, so go with an appetite.
The only thing that disappointed was the dessert.
They had two cakes, an angel food which could have used some sort of moist topping, ice cream or strawberries for example, and another cake that I can only describe as rock solid. The hostess/waitress was very friendly. Total for two buffets and a drink was $25.
2779 Gulf to Bay Blvd
There were mixed reviews on Urbanspoon about Baltic Amber, but we decided to try it anyway. It’s a cute little restaurant. The walls are painted with scenes from the four seasons and they have a lovely patio out back. The biggest complaint we had read about was the service and after our experience, we agree wholeheartedly with all the other reviewers. From the moment we placed our drink order, we had a feeling it was going to be a difficult evening with our waiter. Loren ordered an iced tea and when it came to the table it was a very sweet green tea. Most places will tell you if the iced tea is not what you would normally expect.
The waiter brought bread to the table. It would have been better had it been warmed.
When we placed our dinner order, Loren asked for a side salad along with his dinner. The waiter looked very confused and pointed out that his dinner came with a carrot type salad, but Loren told him he also wanted a regular salad first. The waiter just nodded and went away. When our entrees were finally brought out, the waiter brought a large bowl of regular salad and the carrot salad that was supposed to be on the plate wasn’t there.
I don’t remember the name of the dish Loren ordered. It was like little meatloaves with mashed potatoes. Though they had a lot of flavor, they were burnt on the bottom.
I ordered the combo plate so I could try the different items.
For the most part, it was pretty good. The potato pancake was cooked perfectly. The pierogi were potato and cheese filled. They didn’t have a lot of flavor so I would have liked to have had more grilled onions with them. The kielbasa, though flavorful, had a really tough casing on it. I had a hard time cutting through it. I also would have preferred the mustard to have been on the side instead of already on it. I’m not a big fan of kraut, so for all I know it was perfect, but I found it to be way too acidic for me. The last item on the dish was the stuffed cabbage rolls with a wild mushroom sauce. They were also very flavorful.
Our waiter never checked back with us during the meal. Eventually, he came by and cleared some plates and then disappeared again. When he finally came back we ordered the apple fritters for dessert.
This dessert would have been so much better if it had been a bit sweeter. It came to the table piping hot, but the apple filling was so bland. At first we thought there was caramel on the plate, but after a few tastes, I believe it was a plum sauce. Still not enough sweetness in the whole dish.
As if our service experience hadn’t been poor enough so far, he managed to mess up the check as well. We had a Restaurant.com coupon which he took with him when he went to ring up the check and even stapled it to the check when he brought it back to the table. The problem was, he never bothered to actually take the $10 off the bill. Eventually, he got someone else to help with the register and we paid our $30 and got out of there. Though some of the food was very flavorful, it’s doubtful that we’d return due to the overall service experience.
552 Clearwater Largo Road
We had eaten Pierogis once before at a restaurant in Dunedin (it’s no longer there), so when I saw the Pierogi Grill in Clearwater, I knew we had to try it out.
From the decor, you’d never guess it was a polish restaurant. It’s all done up in pyraminds and Egyptian art. They also have a European store inside.
We ordered an appetizer, but the waitress either didn’t hear me or forgot because we never got it. Not like we really needed it though.
We both ordered the same thing, the sausage with 6 pierogis. It also came with sauerkraut which neither of us really likes, or so we thought. It was actually pretty tasty. Loren has officially taken sauerkraut off his list of “do not eat” foods. The sausage was really good, it had a nice texture and flavor. I ordered mine with the potato and cheddar pierogies and Loren got the spinach and pork. His were definitely better. They had a lot more flavor than the potato and cheddar. They had butter and onions on them, but I think they could have used more.
We should have just called it a night here, but instead I asked the waitress what was the best of the dessert pierogies. She said strawberry without hesitation, so we figured they must be good.
Wow, were we wrong. They were completely inedible. They use the same dough as the other pierogies and the filling had no sweetness whatsoever. They were so bland and doughy. Not even whipped cream could salvage them. The waitress asked how we liked them and I told her how bad they were. She admitted that she had just tried them for the first time that week and had doused hers in powdered sugar because there was no sweetness to them. She thankfully took them off the bill, so we ended up with a $25 dinner.
Go for the food, but go somewhere else for dessert.
1535 Gulf to Bay Blvd