The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We were driving around looking for a place to eat lunch and when we saw all the cars in the parking lot of the Largo Family Restaurant, we decided to stop & try it.  Our first impression was that they really needed two people working the front of the house.  The cashier was also the host, so while he was taking people’s checks, he motioned us over to a dirty table & said someone would be with us soon.

This is the type of restaurant that’s hard for me to review because the entire experience was relatively unremarkable.  We ordered a cheeseburger and a roast beef wrap.

Both of them were fairly bland and generic.  Service was a bit slow, but otherwise ok.  It was just an experience that left no impression at all, even on the wallet.  Total bill with a drink was only $13.  I’m guessing the crowd is there because the prices are reasonable, but it’s not a restaurant that we’d make a special trip to go to.

Largo Family Restaurant
788 Missouri Ave N
Largo, FL
(727) 584-7330

Largo Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Largo
  • 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 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.

    Baltic Amber
    552 Clearwater Largo Road
    Largo, FL

    Baltic Amber on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Largo, Polish
  • The first thing we noticed when we sat down in a booth at Athenian Garden was that the table height was not quite right.  Either Greek folks are way taller than we are or someone just wanted lots of room to be able to clean under the booths.  It was funny because another customer came in after us and sat down at a booth and said she felt like a little kid getting to sit at the grown up table. 

    I started out with some shrimp bisque and bread.

    The bread was fresh and had a great texture, the only thing that would have improved it is if it had been warm.  The bisque was very tasty.  Not a lot of shrimp in it, but it had a unique blend of flavors.  We ended up dipping the bread in the soup and it was awesome.  I did feel as though the soup needed to be served at a higher temperature.  It was luke warm at best.

    Greek salads came with both our entrees.

    I would definitely recommend the salad.  The dressing was tangy, but not overwhelming.  I really liked the potato salad on it and it had lots of feta and veggies as well.

    Then came the entrees.  Loren ordered the stuffed tomato and pepper.

    Unfortunately, the entrees didn’t live up to our expectations based on the salad and soup.  It was pretty bland.  He said the stuffed tomato was better than the pepper.  The sauce didn’t have a lot of flavor and the mixture inside just wasn’t very flavorful.

    I ordered the pastitsio and it also didn’t impress.

    Again, the meat mixture inside was just very bland.  Most pastitsio dishes I’ve had usually have a hint of nutmeg in them, something to differentiate it from just plain ol’ pasta and cheese.  This had nothing.  The sauce was fairly bland and the dish was just lacking.  I think there was just so much flavor in the Greek Salad that we expected everything to have that burst of flavors.

    For $27, we definitely got plenty of food.  If we go back again, we’ll try some other dishes, but we’d definitely get the salad again.

    Athenian Garden
    12670 Starkey Rd
    Largo, FL
    (727) 518-8888

    Athenian Garden on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: Greek, Largo
  • We’ve been enjoying the Indian restaurants we recently started dining at and found another one in Largo.  This was our first visit to Deeya Indian Cuisine and we both really enjoyed it.

    Loren tried all of the sauces and liked them.  He didn’t think any of them were too spicy, but since his idea of spicy and mine are very different, I only tried the one sweet one in the middle.

    We tried the Keema Samosa appetizer.  It was a deep fried pastry filled with mildly spiced lamb and peas.  Sort of like an Indian empanada.  It had some interesting flavors and I liked it with the sweet sauce.

    Loren ordered the Chicken Kadai, which had chicken, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. 

    He didn’t get it very spicy, but he did say the spice built up after a while.  He liked the flavors in it.  I ordered the butter shrimp.

    I ordered it mild and it was really good.  It had a creamy tomato sauce with just a hint of spice.  And we had to get some Naan bread to help scoop up the remaining sauce.

    This was nice and fluffy.  Really nice texture and flavor and great with the sauce from my entree.  Total bill was $38 and this is definitely a place we’d visit again.

    Deeya Indian Cuisine
    5166 East Bay Drive
    Largo, FL

    Deeya Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Indian, Largo
  • Being a largely “work from home” business, my boss likes to get us together every other Friday for a lunch meeting.  These lunches rarely last less than two hours, and have dragged on as long as 4 hours on occasion!  But, we always try to go someplace with good food, a good view, or both.

    Since is was cold as hell this week, and raining today, we skipped the beach (we do love lunch on the beach!), and went to Los Mariachi’s for a cozy meal.  The chips and salsa are free, tasty and plentiful, and Los Mariachi’s has a nice inexpensive lunch menu with prices in the $5.00-$8.00 range.  I almost always get lunch special #1, the “Speedy Gonzoles” (a taco, an enchilada and rice or beans), but today I opted for their lunch Fajitas for about $7.00.  They skimp just a little on the meat, but plenty of everything else, especially flavor!  I was quite satisfied, as always.

    The boss paid for this one, but the total for my lunch with tip wasn’t more than about $12.

    Los Mariachis
    9100 Ulmerton Rd
    Largo, FL 
    (727) 584-9739

    Los Mariachis Mexican on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Largo, Mexican