The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Italian Lunch


We went over to Zerillo’s Italian Grill for lunch today.  The restaurant was pretty empty for lunchtime.  We haven’t been here for quite a while since our last experience wasn’t that great.  We started off with some garlic rolls.

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I think these were the best part of the meal.   They were fresh out of the oven, soft and warm and very garlicy.  Good stuff.  The tomato sauce had a nice flavor to it as well.  For his lunch, Loren ordered the chicken parmesan which came with a stuffed shell and I ordered the chicken marsala which came with pasta.

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I should have reread my last blog post about this restaurant before I ordered.  The waitress asked what kind of pasta I wanted and I said fettucine alfredo and just like last time, she never indicated that there was a $4 upcharge for it.  Either tell me what kind of pasta comes with the dish or let me know it costs more for what I ask for.  Other than that, though, both dishes were pretty good.  The chicken was tender and the sauces both had a good flavor.  There was a lot of food and we both had leftovers.  At one point Loren attempted to use the salt shaker only to discover the salt was one big clump inside the shaker.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

Zerillo’s Italian Grill
11653 Countryway Blvd
Tampa, FL
813-855-5178

Zerillo's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.4/5

So Dry I Am


We went over to Surf Shack for lunch today.  They were pretty busy, but we were able to get a table inside which was good because it was a bit warm out on the patio.  Loren tried the Hula Burrito again with a salad.

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I love how colorful the salad is.  As for the burrito, just like last time, he had to put some of the salsa from the chips & salsa on it to give it some flavor.  I ordered the West Coast tacos and added avocado to them.  For some reason, I just think a West Coast taco should already have avocado as one of its main ingredients.

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I did the upgrade for mac & cheese as my side and that was a mistake.  I’ve tried it here several times with mixed results, but the majority of the time, it’s just too dry.  There’s just not enough cheese sauce on it.  The tacos were ok.  They’re pretty plain, just chicken, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 475-5916

Surf Shack on Urbanspoon

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

$5 Burgers


I went to lunch with some co-workers today at Maloney’s Irish Pub in Westchase.  I forgot to get a photo, but on Wednesday’s all their burgers are $5 and come with fries.  I got the mushroom swiss burger and it was really tasty.  Definitely check it out if you’re in the area on a Wednesday.   Total bill $5.35.

Maloney’s Local Irish Pub
9540 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 749-0859

Maloney's Local Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.6/5

Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen just opened up in Westchase where Chico’s used to be.  They made some changes to the interior, knocking out the front wall & putting in a garage door for an open entry to the patio.  There’s also a huge TV at the back of the restaurant.  I’m sure this place will get crowded during sporting events.

They brought chips & salsa to the table.

Loren said the salsa was ok.  They season their chips here, so they had a little spice to them.  We started off with some dumplings.

I liked them and the sauce was a spicy sweet.  I thought the filling was tasty.  We both went for tacos tonight.  Loren got the filet tacos and I got the west coast tacos and added avocado (wouldn’t you think a west coast taco would include avocado?) and a side of mac & cheese.

Overall, the tacos were just ok.  The avocado wasn’t quite ripe enough.  I don’t know what it was, but there was just something lacking about them.  The mac & cheese was pretty good.  The cheese sauce was a bit on the thick side, but otherwise it was ok.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 475-5916

Surf Shack on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.9/5

The thing that has impressed us the most about Indian cuisine is the amazing depth of flavors in the dishes.  Unfortunately, our trip to the Bollywood Cafe in Westchase didn’t live up to our expectations.

They had a large menu plus a smaller portion lunch menu which we ordered from.  Loren got the chicken 65 burger.

He said the bun was stale and though the chicken was spicy, it lacked any deep down flavors.  I ordered the butter chicken which came with rice or naan, but I went ahead and ordered both.

The first thing I tasted was the rice and to me, it tasted like Minute Rice with butter on it.  Not a good start.  Then I tried to break off a piece of naan to find it hard as a rock and completely inedible.   The chicken did not have a good texture and the gravy just lacked flavor.  It was a complete disappointment.  The waitress did bring me another order of softer naan, but given it’s temperature, I would have to guess it was placed in a microwave to soften it up. 

The dining area wasn’t very big and they had the music up way too loud for a Sunday afternoon.  When the waitress asked how we enjoyed our experience, we told her we won’t be back.  If you want authentic Indian food, there are much better places in town to go.   Good thing we got the lunch portions.  Total bill was $14.

Bollywood Cafe
9648 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 926-4000

Bollywood Cafe on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value3/5
2.5/5