The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Archive for the ‘Safety Harbor’ Category

Brunch


Discovered Marker 39 in Safety Harbor serves brunch on Sundays so that’s where we headed today.  We got the Big Ass Bahamian Conch Wonton and the Cuban Breakfast tostada.

The wonton is an appetizer on their dinner menu.  Perfectly crispy wonton with a cracked conch salad filling served with citrus dressed greens and a soy ginger glaze.  It was tasty, but the filling seemed like more breading than conch.  The Cuban breakfast tostada is also similar to their dinner menu Cuban Pork Crisis dish.

For breakfast, they add a crispy tostada and two fried eggs.  The marinated pork is amazing.  So tender and flavorful.  The plantains are perfectly cooked with the right amount of sweetness and the tostada added that little bit of crunch.  Definitely a dish I’d order again.

The only downside was that the restaurant has a very small indoor dining space and there was a large party of rather loud women in there.  It was that or deal with the heat & humidity on the outdoor patio.  The food was great, it was just a little difficult to have a conversation.  Total bill with a drink was $29.

Marker 39
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
727-791-1939

Marker 39 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.7/5

Whistlestop


I hadn’t been to the Whistle Stop Grill in Safety Harbor in quite a while, so a friend of mine & I headed over there for lunch today.  It’s an open air casual kind of place and we settled in for a chicken sandwich and a burger.

The Cali-Style Chicken Sandwich has bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato & avocado.  My friend said it was tasty, especially with some sweet potato fries.  I went for the mushroom and onion burger with a side of onion rings.

The burger was big with lots of portabello mushrooms and onions on it.  It was cooked a perfect medium and had a nice flavor to it.  Total bill with a drink was less than $25 for the two of us.

Whistle Stop Grill
915 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
(727) 726-1956

 

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

Pizza


There are a lot of little restaurants tucked away on the side streets in downtown Safety Harbor and tonight we made our way over to Pizzeria Gregario. They must have had a line waiting when they opened because we were there pretty early and all of the inside tables were already occupied. Luckily, it was a beautiful evening and the outside tables were in the shade.

Their menu is on the wall as you walk in and then you order at the counter & they bring the food out to you.  Loren started off with a salad.

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Honestly, I’ve never heard him rave about a salad as much as he did about this one.  It had a little bit of this & that and seasoned perfectly as far as he was concerned.  I think he would go back just for the salad.  Loren made the mistake of getting a GuS soda which is supposed to be a not too sweet “grown-up soda”.  It was quite awful tasting.  We also ordered a side of meatballs.

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He liked them more than I did.  They were well seasoned, but I didn’t find them moist enough for my taste.  The sauce was a bit on the loose side as well.  It had the flavors, just not quite the texture I was after.  That little gator in the background was our table designation.  He looked like he was ready to eat everything brought to the table.  For our pizza, we went with the mushroom.

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It was ok, but neither of us would be tempted to order it again.  The crust was good, but it has a gremolata on top and with every bite the lemon zest overpowered all of the other flavors.  Lemon and pizza just isn’t a combination that worked for us.   Overall, the food was fresh, and we may go back & try a different pizza at some point.  If nothing else, Loren would be happy just to have more salad.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

Pizzeria Gregario
400 2nd Street North
Safety Harbor, FL
727-386-4107

Pizzeria Gregario on Urbanspoon

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

We were driving through downtown Safety Harbor looking for a different restaurant when we came across Marker 39 Floribbean Grill.   I think we’ve been in two other restaurants in this same location.  Hopefully, this one will stick around a while.  It’s a small space but we got there early so were able to get a table in the backroom.  We started off with the Nemo roll.

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This little salmon appetizer was gone before we knew it.  Tasty little bites of ginger cured salmon with pickled cucumber.  It was fresh and light.   We could have easily eaten another plate or two of them.  Instead, Loren got a side salad and I had to try the shrimp bisque bowl.

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Loren really liked the salad and the vinaigrette that came on it.  It had greens, cucumber, tomato, roasted corn, and sundried cherries.  The shrimp bisque was very creamy and had a deep, rich flavor to it.  It was garnished with a little bit of blue crab, but I sort of wished that there was a crispy texture element to go along with it.   For his entree, Loren decided on the ahi tuna.

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It was seared and the inside was a nice rare.  I liked the crispy wonton on top and he liked the wasabi sauce, but said it really cleared his sinuses because it was so strong.  It was one of those things to eat in moderation.  I went for the Cuban Crisis.

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This is the way roast pork should taste.  It was very tender and it was marinated and cooked long enough for all the flavors to meld together perfectly.  I also really enjoyed the plantains.  They added a bit of sweetness to the dish.  The rice, however, was overcooked and mushy and there weren’t enough black beans in the dish.  At this point, I was pretty full and Loren had to finish off the last of the pork, but we couldn’t pass up dessert.

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Unfortunately, this didn’t quite live up to the expectation.  It’s a doughnut tossed in cinnamon sugar with a caramel sauce, bacon, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I think we’re used to desserts built for two and this was a single serving dessert.  Loren liked the bacon, but it just didn’t add anything worthwhile to the dish for me.  I think I would have liked it better if the bacon had been caramelized and was sweeter.  The doughnut was tasty, but compared to everything else we ate tonight, this just didn’t shine.  Total bill with a drink was $74 and worth every penny,  but for as often as we go out to eat, it is a little high for us to come back very often.

Marker 39
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
727-791-1939

Marker 39 on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5

It was a cool night and I wanted some comfort food so we headed out to Southern Fresh in downtown Safety Harbor.  It seems quite a few other people had the same idea tonight.  Since it wasn’t warm enough to sit outside, we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.  It’s a bit loud inside when it’s this full, but it’s so worth it.

Loren chose the salmon salad for dinner and I got what I always get, the fried chicken.

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They don’t have a large menu, in fact, I think it’s exactly the same as the first time we came here.  They’ve chosen to do a small number of menu items, but they do them right, every time.  The salmon was perfectly cooked and seasoned.  The salad has mixed greens, capers, grilled asparagus, tomatoes and a tasty balsamic vinaigrette.   The fried chicken is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  It’s cooked to order so it’s hot and fresh.  Real mashed potatoes and gravy plus roasted veggies round out the deliciousness.  And then, who could pass up dessert?

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There’s not a bit left on the plate when we’re done.  It’s an angel food cake with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.  Fresh and light, but oh so tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $36.  There’s a reason this place is busy.  The food, service and quality are consistent and great every time.

Southern Fresh
122 3rd Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
727-216-6341

Southern Fresh on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service5/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value5/5
4.9/5