The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

Categories

Search Site


Meta


Archives

    view my food journey on zomato!

Archive for the ‘Mediterranean’ Category

Looking for a new Mediterranean restaurant and ended up at Mirage Restaurant in Clearwater on Gulf to Bay.  Normally, we’re not too keen on buffets, but this one was surprisingly fresh and tasty.

The buffet had a variety of salads and dips, my favorite being the babaganoush.  There were several different rice and vegetarian options, stuffed grape leaves, plus chicken and beef kababs.  We tried a bunch of different things and the meats were all very tender and everything had a good mix of flavorful spices.  The baklava for dessert wasn’t too sweet and had a warm cinnamon flavor to it.  The restaurant itself is just a big open dining room, plus a patio out front.

Total bill was $47 and we’ll definitely be back again.

Mirage Restaurant
2284 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL
727-724-3604

Mirage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.9/5

Tasty Lunch


We went back to Cafe Mezze Mediterranean in Oldsmar for lunch today.  We were surprised that there wasn’t anyone else in the restaurant.  I guess people haven’t found it yet; but the food is definitely worth a visit.  For lunch, they have a appetizer & entree special for $10.

Loren got a salad with the vegetable stew with lamb and I got the gyro with babaganoush.

28940523324_e7f07bcd91_o

29566035225_e99a1960b7_o

29566039775_6bb91050e9_o

This was a lot of food for lunch and I had leftovers.  Everything was very flavorful and cooked perfectly.  I really liked the babaganoush.  It was creamy and light with a subtle smokey and lemony flavor.  The gyro was delicious and Loren said the lamb was tender in the stew.  For $21, it was a very tasty lunch.

Cafe Mezze Mediterranean
4013 Tampa Road, Ste 19
Oldsmar, FL
813-510-4080

Cafe Mezze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5

We decided to check out Cafe Mezze Mediterranean in Oldsmar for dinner tonight.  It’s at the other end of the parking lot from Flamestone and the food was tasty.  They started us off with some bread & we ordered the fried calamari.

DSC01890

DSC01891

The bread was thick and good for dipping in the oil.  Loren thought both the oil and calamari needed a bit more salt.  The calamari was perfectly cooked in a light batter.  It was served with a taratora sauce.  It had sort of a mayonnaise consistency, but not a strong flavor of any kind.  We both ordered kebab combos.  Loren got the adana & kofte and I got the lamb & chicken.

DSC01892

DSC01893

They were all very flavorful and delicious.  The meats were tender and it was served with some veggies, a cabbage type slaw and rice that neither of us could stop eating.  Although we were both pretty full, I couldn’t pass up the kanefe.

DSC01895

We’d had it at a different restaurant before. It’s crispy shredded phyllo dough with a soft cheese in the middle, pistachios and a honey sauce.  It’s not overly sweet, but has a bunch of different textures to it.  It’s so good.  It does take 15 minutes to cook, so either order it early or let your meal settle first so you have room for it.  So good.  Total bill with a $10 off coupon (check their website for latest coupon) was $40.  We’ll definitely be back again.

Cafe Mezze Mediterranean
4013 Tampa Road, Ste 19
Oldsmar, FL
813-510-4080

Cafe Mezze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5

There are some restaurants where after the first bite you just know that you’re going to come back again.  That was our reaction at Zaytoun Mediterranean Grill.  When a basket of fresh baked pita is placed in front of you and steam actually pours out when you rip into it, you know life is good.

DSC01390

It was so light and fluffy that I couldn’t stop eating it even though I knew there was a lot more food heading our way.  We decided to try the stuffed grape leaves.

DSC01391

I’m usually the picky one about stuffed grape leaves, but I really liked these.  They were served cold and had this intense lemon flavor throughout.  The filling was rice, parsley, onions and tomatoes and it was soft and flavorful.  Loren thought the rice was a little too soft, but for me, they were perfect.   We also got a bowl of the lentil soup.

DSC01392

It needed a touch of salt, but otherwise very good.  We decided to split the mixed grill platter.  It had grilled kufta, steak, chicken, rice and veggies.

DSC01393

There was plenty of food for two.  The meats were all tender and full of flavor.  The beef was a little too spicy for me, but the kufta and chicken were so good.  They have a signature dessert on their menu that you order 30 minutes ahead of time.  It’s called a knafeh.

DSC01394

It’s shredded dough with homemade cream served with pistachios and drizzled with an orange honey syrup.  We didn’t know what to expect.  The exterior is crunchy and there’s this smooth cream on the inside and the whole thing has this warm honey taste to it.  It was different than anything we’ve had before and with each bite, you savored all of the flavors and textures.  It wasn’t overly sweet either.  We ended up taking half of it home.  Overall, the food was excellent.  It did take some time to come out of the kitchen, but it was worth the wait.  I just wished they were located closer to where we live.  Total bill with a drink was $44.

Zaytoun Mediterranean Grill
10970 Cross Creek Blvd
Tampa, FL
813-345-2515

Zaytoun Mediterranean Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5

We were driving through Westchase earlier today and I noticed a new restaurant on Countryway Blvd called Fresh Bites, so we headed over there for dinner.  It’s a little Mediterranean restaurant that boasts of fresh, natural ingredients.  You order at the counter and then they bring the food out to you.  We started off with the cucumber yogurt salad which came with pita.

20140112_11

 

This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.  It was a bowl of very liquidy, creamy spiced yogurt with slices of cucumber in it.  I was expecting it to be thicker with cut up cucumber in it.  It just dripped off the pita.  For our entrees, we ordered the beef shawarma and the lamb grilled kafta kabab.

20140112_13

20140112_12

 

Our inexperience with Mediterranean food and the fact that the person who brought our food to the table didn’t clearly specify which was which meant we actually ended up eating each other’s order instead of our own.  I had ordered the lamb kebab, but ended up with the shawarma.  We didn’t realize it until we were done eating and I happened to look at the menu and realized mine should have been the one with the rice.  The plates were both overly filled with salad.  For the price, I would have expected more meat on the plate.  They also came with roasted veggies and hummus.  I liked the taste of the kababs and the rice.  Loren cleared the plate.  He likes hummus and that kind of leafy salad.  It all had that very distinct middle eastern spice flavor to it. The shawarma was wrapped in pita, though we didn’t order it as a wrap.  It was cooked with onions and tomatoes, but again, there was just very little meat to it.  I think vegetarians would enjoy it here.  Normally, I drink water with my dinner, but I ordered the fresh lemonade.  It had an unusual taste to it.  It was very sweet, but I’m thinking maybe it was partially sweetened with honey.  They seemed to be doing a very good take-out business though.  Total bill with a drink was $35.

Fresh Bites
11665 Countryway Blvd
Tampa, FL
813-336-4936

Fresh Bites on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service1/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.1/5