The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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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

Lunch Combos


Had lunch at Chico’s in Westchase today.  Loren and I both got one of the lunch combos plus some chips and salsa.  He got the salad and taco combo and I got the salad and chimichanga combo.

I ordered ranch dressing but it was spicy.  So not what I expected from ranch dressing.  I ended up getting some honey mustard dressing instead which was much better.

The chimi was very crunchy and cheesy.  For $6/each, the lunch combos offer plenty of food for a good price.   Add in the chips and a drink and the total bill was $18.

Chico’s Wood Fired Grill
12217 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-814-2023

Chicos Woodfired Grill on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.2/5

Tasty Thai


We ate lunch at Siam Thai in Westchase today.  The restaurant was completely empty at noon on a Sunday.  We weren’t sure if that was an omen or not. 

We both started off with some soup.  Loren ordered the chicken and rice and I got the Tom Kha.

They were both fairly big bowls of tasty soup.  The Tom Kha had a wonderful lime flavor,  but there were way too many chopped onions in it.  We also ordered some egg rolls.

Crisp and crunchy with a slightly spicy dipping sauce.  Between these and the soup, I didn’t even need an entree.  Loren ordered the ginger chicken and I got the masaman curry with shrimp.

Both were tasty.  My only concern with my dish, though, was that I tried to order it without certain items and was told that couldn’t be done.  I was able to pick around the things I didn’t like, but if you’ve got peanut allergies, stay away from this dish because they weren’t willing to make it without them.

We both ended up with some leftovers.  Total bill was $36.  There wasn’t anything that really distiguished this place from any of the other Thai restaurants that we’ve eaten at.

Siam Thai Restaurant
9546 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-475-6999

Siam Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
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  • Filed under: Tampa, Thai, West Chase
  • We ate lunch at Burger 21 in Westchase today.  This is definitely not your average burger joint and we neither of us ordered an average burger either. 

    Loren went for the Ahi Tuna burger and fries.

    It was lightly fried, but still rare enough in the middle.  It had avocado, pickled cucumbers, lettuce and tomato on it.  I might have to get one for myself next time, it was pretty tasty.  The fries were crispy and yummy too.

    I opted for the special this month which was the gyro burger and I’m never one to pass up sweet potato fries.

    The lamb burger was very juicy and flavorful.  It had a tzatziki sauce, plus lettuce and tomato on it.  The sweet potato fries were cut very thin and were wonderful dipped in the apple cider sauce.  They had a bunch of different sauces on their sauce bar; the Thai ketchup and honeycomb mustard were good too. 

    And on the way out, I couldn’t help but get a chocolate cherry bomb milkshake to go.

    It was a little thin for a milkshake, but the chocolate cherry flavors were tasty.  The only downside of the restaurant was the price, $29 for the two of us.   The food was good, no doubt about it, but we could absolutely do better than burgers and fries for $30.

    Burger 21
    9664 W. Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, FL
    (813) 475-5921

    Burger 21 on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    3.3/5