The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Loren wanted a salad for dinner, so we stopped at Kostas Family Restaurant in Dillsboro.  They were pretty busy for a Monday evening.  Guess there are a lot of other tourists like us in town to see the fall colors.

Loren ordered a small Greek salad and one came with my meal.

It’s funny, I’m so used to Greek food around the Tarpon Springs, Florida area that it was odd not to see potato salad in the Greek salad.  The dressing was tasty though.  The yeast rolls were soft and yummy.

We ordered the spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer and Loren also got some hummus.

The spinach artichoke dip was really good.  The pita bread served with it was warm and soft.  This is one of those dishes you can’t stop eating.   Loren liked the hummus as well.  As usual, I had to try the pastitsio.

This one had all the right flavors.  The bechemel sauce was very creamy and yummy.  The only issue I had with it was that the edges & bottom were a bit overcooked.  Crunchy is not a texture I want in a pasta dish.  I don’t like green beans, but Loren tasted them and said they were good.  I think he said something to the effect of, “Mmmm… cooked in bacon”.  We also got some desserts to take back to the B&B for later.

I got the French Silk Pie, which tasted exactly like the ones you get at Village Inn and Loren got the baklava.  He said it was tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $35. 

Kosta Family Restaurant
489 Haywood Rd
Dillsboro, NC

Kostas Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon


They Get It

Always wanting to try new restaurants, we headed over to Dunedin tonight to eat at Bistro Atlantis.  It’s in the space where Walt’s Seasonal Cuisine used to be.  The menu is mostly Greek with a flair all their own.  Our waiter dropped off some bread and convinced us to try the Shrimp Atlantis appetizer.

The bread was good, slightly warmed and the oil had a hint of herbs and garlic.  The appetizer was a great recommendation, their signature dish as it were.  The shrimp was placed on toast points with a creamy, garlicy white wine sauce.  We would have been happy just to have a bowl of the sauce to dip bread in.  It was yummy.  I could do without the shrimp tails as it made it difficult to eat, but overall, a win in the appetizer category.

My first visit to any Greek restaurant, it’s a gimme that I’m ordering the pastitsio.

It came with sauteed veggies, rice, and a potato wedge.   It didn’t wow me, so I’d probably order something different next time, but it was ok.  It was a fairly big piece and I ended up with leftovers.

Loren tried the chicken Atlantis.

The very tender chicken was in a creamy, garlicy sauce, similar to the appetizer, but with artichokes, capers, sun dried tomatoes, basil and served over angel hair pasta.  He really liked it and ended up with some leftovers too.

Service was really good at the beginning, but sort of waned by the end of the meal.  The space could really use something to dampen the noise level.  It’s not a big room, has tile floors,  and when there’s a couple of big groups, it gets difficult to have a conversation.  Overall, though, this is one of those restaurants that, as Loren would say, “gets it”.  The food was fresh, had delicious flavors, was well seasoned, and they served some unique dishes you don’t see everywhere else.   Definitely a restaurant we’ll go back to.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

Bistro Atlantis
1140 Main St
Dunedin, FL

Bistro Atantis on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Greek
  • Mixed Review

    We ate dinner at Jimmy Ike’s Restaurant & Pizzeria tonight.  It’s on SR 580 just past Countryside Mall.  We both had things we liked and disliked about this experience and feel that a few tweaks would really make a difference.

    Loren’s first complaint was that his iced tea was a little on the bitter side.  Not undrinkable, but just not quite where it should have been.  We ordered calamari for an appetizer.

    The restaurant wasn’t all that busy, so we were surprised at how long it took for it to come out of the kitchen.  The calamari was very tender; however, the breading had very little flavor and wasn’t crispy at all.  It definitely needed both salt and lemon added to it.  Although the dipping tomato sauce that came with it was flavorful, it was very thin so it didn’t adhere to the food and you dripped it on the table all the way to your mouth.

    Our entrees came with soup or salad and we got one of each.  Loren got the mini Greek salad.

    He had to take about half the cheese off the salad.  It was buried in feta. The Greek dressing was pretty good.  I ordered the mushroom bisque soup which came with a roll.

    The soup was the best thing I ate all night.  I even joked that I should just stop there because I’ve been disappointed by entrees before.  It was very creamy and had a wonderful delicate flavor to it.  I really enjoyed it.  The roll was a little dense, but it was warm and tasty.

    Loren ordered the chicken souvlaki which came with fries and pita bread.

    This was a huge plate of food and he ended up with leftovers.  The chicken was very tender and he said it was peppery.  A little heavy on the feta again too.  Though he liked the fries, he said they were cut a bit too long and they weren’t crispy, so you almost had to eat them with a knife and fork.  They were too floppy to just pick up with your fingers.  He thought the dish would have been better if it had came with some tzatziki sauce as well.

    I ordered the pastitsio.

    I knew before I even tasted it that it was going to be dry.  The splatters of grease on the plate didn’t give me confidence at all that this would be a dish I liked.  It did have some good flavors to it, but the overall dish was just too dense and dry to eat.  I told the waitress it was dry and asked for a side of tomato sauce.  She was very apologetic and brought me the sauce and took the entree off our check.  Unfortunately, the sauce didn’t really fix the dish. I don’t know how to describe it, but when I combined the sauce with the dish, I got a spiciness in my mouth that I just didn’t like.

    Our waitress was very nice, but at one point she took away my drink to refill it and forgot to bring it back.  She also comped us a dessert and we got the Baklava cheesecake to go.

    It was really good.  Very creamy with pieces of baklava in it.  Loren thought it could have used a little drizzle of honey over the top.  Total bill after my entree was removed was $24.

    I’m not sure why, but even after all the things that weren’t right about this meal, I think we’d go back again.  I wouldn’t order the pastitsio, but I’d give this place another try.  I don’t know if it’s because they tried to make things right or that with just a few tweaks, the food had real promise.

    Jimmy Ikes Restaurant & Pizzeria
    2340 State Road 580 (Main Street) Unit H
    Clearwater, FL

    Jimmy Ikes Restaurant & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


    Tasty Gyro

    We ate dinner at the Olympia Greek Restaurant over by Fresh Market on US 19 in Clearwater tonight.  There are so many of these little Greek places in the area and they all seem very generic.  It’s pretty much Greek fast food. 

    I’m a sucker for pastitsio, so I had to try that.  It came with a Greek salad.

    The salad had a little bit of everything in it and the dressing was tangy and tasty.  The pastitsio was ok, but both it and the sauce lacked in flavor.

    The sauce really tasted like it had just come out of a can.  It was tart and definitely needed to simmer a lot longer to give it any depth of flavor.  The pastitsio had a decent texture, but just didn’t have enough spices in it.  Unfortunately, the rice was a bit overcooked as well.

    Loren ordered the gyro platter.

    There’s a mound of rice under the gyro meat, but out of everything we had here, the gyro was the best.  It had a nice flavor and texture and tasted very fresh.   Both meals came with pita bread & tzatziki sauce and I also ordered a side of potato salad, forgetting that there’d be some on the salad.

    I like the pita and tzatziki.  It was creamy and had a good flavor without being overpowering with garlic.  The side of potato salad was way more than we could eat.  I was expecting one scoop, not four, so this is definitely a side to share.  I also ordered a cannoli to go.

    It was disappointing.  The shell was too thick and not crunchy at all and the the filling was also too thick.  It had the consistency of cookie dough.   After the $5 coupon from their website, the total bill with a drink was $23.  If I was in the area and wanted a quick gyro, I’d try it again, but otherwise, there wasn’t much that would draw me back in.

    Olympia Greek Restaurant
    25821 US 19 Hwy N
    Clearwater, FL

    Olympia Greek Restaurant on Urbanspoon


    We were actually headed to Marina’s for lunch, then noticed Cafe Bresimo next door so decided to try it instead.  There were two women behind the counter and they were being kept very busy. 

    I ordered one of today’s lunch specials which had a gyro, chips, and a drink.  I also got a side of potato salad.

    The gyro meat was pretty good and the tzatziki sauce wasn’t overwhelming.  It wasn’t a very thick sauce or maybe it just thinned out once it got on the heated gyro meat.  The tomatoes weren’t very fresh though.  The potato salad had the consistency of mashed potatoes, but had a very good flavor.

    Loren ordered the Chicken & Guacamole pita.

    He didn’t realized there would be tzatziki sauce on it as well and he said it watered down the guacamole so you couldn’t really taste it.  Overall, the food was ok, but nothing really stood out.  It was similar to most of the little Greek places around town.   I think everything on the menu was under $7.   Total bill with drinks was $17.

    Cafe BreSimo’s
    12117 W Linebaugh
    Tampa, FL

    Bresimo's on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Greek, Tampa