The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Since the line at Yoder’s was out the door, we drove over to Troyer’s Dutch Heritage for dinner instead.  This place is huge!  Besides the restaurant, there’s also a bakery and gift shop.  From the moment we walked in, it had a very corporate, commercialized feel to it. 

We were able to get a table without a wait.  Our waitress was very prompt about taking our drink orders and then returning quickly to get our dinner order.  They had a buffet, but we both decided to order off the menu. 

Loren chose the roast beef dinner and for his two sides he got mashed potatoes and gravy and the salad bar.  As soon as he sat down from filling his plate at the salad bar, our entrees arrived.  This place is all about moving quantities of people through quickly. 

The fresh rolls were probably the best part of the meal.

They had a pretty big salad bar.  Loren said he just had to try a mustard egg.  He didn’t think much of it.  Said it was pretty dry. 

As for the roast beef and mashed potatoes, he said they were ok, but nothing special.   They touted their mashed potatoes as “real” mashed potatoes, but I swear they had something other than just potatoes, milk and butter in them.  That’s my definition of real mashed potatoes.  If you add dried potato flakes or anything else to them, the consistency, taste, and texture is altered past the point of them tasting like real mashed potatoes.

I ordered the 3 piece dark meat broasted chicken with creamed corn and sweet potato casserole.

I didn’t really like either of the side dishes.  The corn was very bland and tasteless.  The sweet potato casserole had a flavor in it that I couldn’t quite identify.  It just didn’t satisfy.  The chicken was ok, but I didn’t like the taste of the coating on it.  Healthier that way, since I didn’t feel compelled to eat the skin, but I would have liked more overall flavor.  Honestly, I think the chicken from the deli at Publix tastes better.

We got a slice of apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert.  The waitress split it into two plates.

The pie was ok, but definitely not sweet enough.  The top crust was pretty good because it was sprinkled with sugar, but the filling was bland and the ice cream was soft serve.

Total dinner ran us $31.  While we were eating, Loren said the food tasted like what you’d get at the old Morrison’s Cafeteria restaurants.  It was all just very bland and tasted like it was just being churned out in large batches to feed the masses.   I didn’t feel like I was eating at a down home restaurant, but rather at a corporate franchise.

Troyer’s Dutch Heritage
3713 Bahia Vista St
Sarasota, FL

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Awesome Pie

We had planned to eat dinner at Yoder’s in Sarasota on the drive back home from Naples; however, the line was out the door when we got there.  Knowing we still had another hour or so to drive home, there was just no way we were going to be able to wait in that line for dinner.

Instead, I ordered a couple of pieces of pie from the carryout window.  They aren’t joking when they say get there early if you want pie because I finally had to ask the lady which pies they actually still had after running through a few that I wanted and being told they were sold out.

I ended up with a slice of chocolate cream pie and a slice of black raspberry pie.

I didn’t find the chocolate cream pie to be anything special, though the crust was very good.  The pudding and cream were just very generic and didn’t have any outstanding flavors.

The black raspberry, on the other hand, was quite amazing.  The crust was light and flaky and the filling was perfectly sweetened.  I took one bite and scarfed the rest of it in short order. 

I’d love to go back down and try the food.  The baked pies are definitely the way to go.  Two slices was almost $10, so a little pricey, but the black raspberry was definitely worth it.

Yoder’s Restaurant
3434 Bahia Vista St
Sarasota, FL
(941) 955-7771

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  • Filed under: Dessert, Sarasota
  • Diner Sixty West opened up recently down on Gulf to Bay and for the month of October, they’re offering some half priced breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. 

    Loren ordered the open face roast beef lunch that came with mashed potatoes and gravy.

    He wasn’t too impressed with it.  He said the roast beef was lunchmeat more than a freshly cooked roast beef and the mashed potatoes tasted like instant or at least a mixture of instant potatoes and real potatoes.  The gravy also didn’t bring much flavor to the table.  But for under $4, it really was a lot of food.

    I ordered the pancake platter which wasn’t part of the 1/2 price deals.

    As far as breakfasts go, it was pretty good.  Both the pancakes and eggs were cooked well and the ham was tasty.  We also decided to try the strawberry shortcake.

    We had some mixed feelings on this one.  It was definitely a made from scratch cake, but Loren said he thought it had an odd taste, which could have very well been buttermilk.  It wasn’t a very moist cake and could have definitely used something, either ice cream or the sweetened juice you get with frozen strawberries.  It was a big piece of cake and we ended up taking half of it home.

    Total meal ran us $17. 

    Diner Sixty West
    2525 Gulf to Bay
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 437-0255

    Diner Sixty West on Urbanspoon


    Two for one fajitas on Sundays at Chico’s Wood Fired Grill on Linebaugh is a great deal.  Loren got the steak fajitas and I got the chicken.

    There’s enough food for both of us to make 3 fajitas each plus a little extra left over.  Comes with all the fixin’s, lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream.  Fresh and tasty, still steaming when it gets to your table.  You could hear the sizzling throughout the restaurant as almost every table had at least one pair of fajita pans heading their way.

    And, as if we hadn’t eaten enough, Bubba’s brownie just sounded too good to pass up.

    A warm fudgy brownie topped with vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauces.  Mmmm….  It was tasty.

    Total dinner ran us $23. 

    Chico’s Wood Fired Grill
    12217 W Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, FL

    Chicos Woodfired Grill on Urbanspoon


    We didn’t feel like driving too far for dinner tonight, so we headed over to Panos Kouzina.  On my quest to try new restaurants, we haven’t been back to our old favorites for a while.

    The food here is consistently good, they give you plenty of it, and their prices aren’t bad at all.  Both our entrees came with either soup or salad and some bread.  We both opted for salad tonight.

    My only complaint was that the salad had chopped onions on it.  I’m not a fan of raw onions on anything and it took a while to pick all these off the salad.  The ranch dressing was very thick, but tasty, and the bread was thick and warm.  I’d forgotten how good it was.

    Loren got the chicken souvlaki with a side of fries.  He said the chicken was very tender.  The tzatziki sauce here is really garlicy. 

    I ordered the chicken marsala with a side of fettucine alfredo.

    The marsala sauce here is very sweet.  Loren said it tasted like molasses, but I didn’t think it was that harsh of a flavor.  I enjoyed it.   The dish came with two good sized chicken breasts that were incredibly tender.  This is how chicken should be cooked.  The fettucine alfredo was thick and creamy with a nice flavor.  I had plenty of leftovers and yet, I still ordered dessert.

    How was I possibly going to pass up this chocolate lovin’ spoon cake?  The waitress described it as a “prison dessert” because you eat it huddled over with your arms around it ready to poke anyone with a fork who tries to get too close to it.  It was pretty darn good.  It had a thick, rich mousse and tender chocolate cake.  What’s not to like?

    Total dinner was $33 and I’ve got leftover chicken and even a little cake for tomorrow.

    Panos Kouzina
    3101 SR 580
    Safety Harbor, FL
    (727) 797–2667

    Panos Kouzina on Urbanspoon