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 ‘Safety Harbor’ Category

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.

DSC00238

DSC00239

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?

DSC00240

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

Fireside Table recently opened up in the location where San Sushi Grille and Bella Kozina were in Safety Harbor.  I know they just opened because the waitress mentioned it many times during the course of our meal.  Perhaps that was her way of warning us that they weren’t quite ready for the public; though, that became quite evident by the lack of quality of the food and service.   Our waitress brought over some cheddar biscuits while we were looking at the menu.  They were by far the best thing we were served here.

DSC00232

They would have been better had they been warmed up, but otherwise they had a nice texture and flavor.  When I asked Loren what he was going to order, he said the roast pork and yellow rice, which I found odd since it wasn’t listed on my menu.  We asked the waitress and she checked with the kitchen and they said they did have it.  We weren’t sure if it was a new dish being added or one that was being removed.  (This should have been a warning sign).  Loren ordered it anyway with a salad as his side dish.   The waitress first brought out a Caesar salad and then had to go back to get the right salad.

DSC00233

He wasn’t even halfway through the salad when she brought out the entrees.  Well, she brought my entree and brought him some other dish that he didn’t order.  She brought that back to the kitchen, so he finished his salad while I ate my chicken and dumplings with a side of mac & cheese.

DSC00235

This was one big dish of mush.  It was very bland and had the same texture throughout.  There was very little chicken or dumplings; it was mostly sauce.  I’m not sure what the difference is between “fluffy cheese dumplings” and normal dumplings, but there certainly wasn’t anything outstanding about the ones in the dish.  The chicken was so overcooked and soft that you really didn’t need to chew much.  The mac & cheese was ok, but Loren did remark that it had a rather artificially looking color about it.  Eventually, his roast pork and yellow rice showed up.

DSC00237

This was also one big dish of mush.  Nothing like what he expected from the menu.  It could have been any type of cooked to death meat, I would have said it was chicken, but it was flavorless and just mushy.  It had this odd watery gravy all over it that was just awful.  He ate a few bites before giving up.  One of the managers stopped by and asked how things were.  She commented on how there are so many variations of roast pork and would he like her to bring him some garlic and lime.  He declined as there was absolutely nothing that was going to help this dish.   The prices were cheap, our bill was $18 with a drink, but with this type of poor quality food, I expect there will be a different restaurant here before too long.  We certainly won’t be back.

Fireside Table
3101 SR 580
Safety Harbor, FL
727-216-6178

Fireside Table on Urbanspoon

Food1/5
Service1/5
Atmosphere1/5
Value1/5
1.0/5

We went to dinner with friends tonight at Cuvee 103 in Safety Harbor.  It’s a wine bar and restaurant on the corner of Enterprise and McMullen Booth.  It had a pleasant interior, though I’ll never understand why restaurants feel the need to have a TV over the bar.  It really detracts from the atmosphere.  Our waitress brought over bread with a basil and an olive tampenade.

DSCN6375

I prefer warm bread, so this didn’t do much for me, but everyone else seemed to like the olive & basil spreads.  We started off with two of the appetizers, the fried goat cheese and the duck confit spring rolls.

DSCN6376

Both were good, but the general consensus was that the fried goat cheese was the better of the two.  They were crispy on the outside with a creamy pesto and goat cheese mix in the middle and served with a tasty red sauce.  The spring rolls weren’t rolled tight enough so the filling was rather loose.  It had a good flavor and the dipping sauce was a sweet plum ginger.  For our entrees, we all got something different.

The braised short ribs:

DSCN6377

The duck confit:

DSCN6381

The stuffed pork loin:

DSCN6380

The veal involtini:

DSCN6379

Three out out of the four were good.  The braised short ribs were definitely the best of the bunch.  They were very tender in flavorful sauce.  The duck was well cooked and Loren really enjoyed the stuffed pork loin.  It had a sausage stuffing and he licked his plate clean.  My dish, however, was less than stellar.  The veal was tough and the filling of spinach, mushrooms, and fontina did nothing to help the cause.  It just didn’t have any flavor.  And speaking of no flavor, the grilled polenta was pretty much inedible.  I think I managed to eat half of one.  It had absolutely no seasoning in it and was gritty and bland.  The white wine sauce was the best thing on the plate, but nothing was going to overcome the shortcomings of the dish.  For dessert, our friends got the creme brulee and we tried the chocolate cheesecake.

DSCN6382

DSCN6383

The creme brulee had a beautiful, crispy sugar crust.  The cheesecake was very light and fluffy with almost a mousse like texture.  Both dessert dishes were empty in minutes.  The restaurant has live music that started toward the end of our meal thankfully.  The music was nice, but a little too loud for the space.  It would have been difficult to hold a casual conversation throughout.  Our waitress made us laugh, though, not on purpose most of the time.  She didn’t seem to fit the ambiance of the restaurant and appeared somewhat frazzled at times.  She was pleasant and kept our drinks filled, but really did seem like a duck out of water.  Total bill with two glasses of wine was $136 after a $25 Restaurant.com coupon.

Cuvee 103
2454 McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL
727-726-0350

Cuvee 103 on Urbanspoon

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

San Sushi and Grill recently opened up where Bella Kouzina was on SR 580 in Safety Harbor.  We got there early and were the only ones in the restaurant, but by the time we were done, it was starting to fill up.  Loren started with a ginger salad and then we got a boatload of sushi.

DSCN6362

DSCN6363

DSCN6364

 

We tried the Mexican roll, the Kamikaze, the Rainbow, Snow Crab, and Lollipop, plus some salmon.  The fish was fresh and tasty.  I would have liked the shrimp in the Mexican roll to have been warmer.  It tasted like the shrimp was cooked and then had to sit while the rest of the sushi was prepared.  At other restaurants, the lollipop roll is served on a plate with a tangy vinegar sauce.  This one could have used that burst of flavor.  The snow crab roll was a little spicy, but not overwhelming.  Loren said the kamikaze roll had his tongue tingling.  They only had one sushi chef working while we were there, so it took a while a to get our food.  Overall, it was a good experience and we’ll likely be back.  It looked like they also had a Thai menu, so we may try that as well.

San Sushi and Grill
3101 State Road 580
Safety Harbor, FL
727-216-6178

San Sushi and Grill on Urbanspoon

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

Get Dessert


We tried going to BurgerMonger last week but couldn’t find a parking space.  This location on Enterprise Road is notorious for not having enough parking for all of the businesses in the little shopping center.  I think this space has turned over at least 4 times that I can remember.

You order at the counter and they bring the food out to you.  It’s set up and looks a lot like Five Guys with the open kitchen.  The food came out fast and was surprisingly very tasty.

DSCN6332

DSCN6333

DSCN6334

You just never know what to expect from these quasi-fast food restaurants.  Their claim to fame is the Akaushi Kobe beef that they use in their burgers.  It was a tasty burger.  They cook them well done unless you ask otherwise, which we both wanted medium and they were cooked a perfect medium.  Loren added bacon, cheese & a garlic sauce that he really liked.  I went with mushrooms, onions & cheese.  We also got the 1/2 lb of fries.  They actually could have been cooked a little longer.  They were a bit limp and not quite crispy enough.

What this place has over some of the others is a strawberry butter cake.

DSCN6335

This was awesome.  It had two big scoops of Hagen Daaz vanilla ice cream, sweetened strawberries and a tasty butter cake.  Worth every penny and calorie.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

BurgerMonger
2454 McMullen Booth Road, Suite 207
Clearwater, FL
727-726-4001

Burgermonger on Urbanspoon

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