The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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So Slow


We were driving back from The Fringe in Orlando and stopped at Harry’s Seafood in Lakeland for dinner.  We were seated very quickly in the back of the restaurant and then the waiting began.  Once our server finally showed up, he was an extremely polite and friendly guy, but unfortunately that doesn’t make up for the continuous waiting and incorrect things that happened with our meal.  Our waiter brought out some bread.

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It was warm and crusty and the herbed butter was tasty.  Good thing we had it because the wait was pretty long for our entrees.  Loren ordered the redfish with a side of collards.

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He enjoyed them both.  The fish was cooked well and not overly spicy.  I ordered the crawfish etoufee.

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When the waiter took my order, he asked if I wanted green onions on it or not.  I said no, but when it arrived it was covered in them.  I sent it back and from what was returned back to me, I can only surmise that someone just took it back to the kitchen & picked them all off of the same dish.  It was a bit spicier than I remembered from the last time I had it here.  I ended up taking half of it home with me.  We decided to try the chocolate bread pudding for dessert.

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This was an unusual dish.  It was brownie-yet-bread like and went very well with the sauce and ice cream.  We both enjoyed it.  It wasn’t overly chocolatey, but interesting.  Here’s where the waiting started again.  We actually watched another table get seated and then walk out when no one ever came to take their order.  Loren’s drink order was wrong and the amount of time we spent just sitting there waiting was ridiculous.  I don’t know if they were short staffed or what, but they definitely needed better coverage in the back area where we were seated.  Total bill with a drink was $44.

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill
101 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL
(863) 686-2228

Harry's Seafood, Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.1/5

We checked out Blue Dog Po’ Boys in Clearwater today for lunch.  It’s not a very big place, but the New Orleans flavors definitely packed a punch.  We started off with some gumbo.

Lots of deep, rich flavors and just enough spiciness to make it interesting. Loren kept pulling the bowl closer to his side of the table.  Since he wanted leftovers he ordered a whole muffaletta sandwich, the photo below is only half.

The waitress wrapped the other half and even with only half on the plate, he only managed to eat a quarter of it.  It’s huge.  He really enjoyed it though.  Lots of meats and the olive spread was tasty.  I went for a oyster po’boy with a side of sweet potato fries.

This was a pretty large sandwich too.  I ended up eating half and just eating the oysters out of the other half.  They were crunchy and tasty and the who dat sauce added some additional spice.  The sweet potato fries were crispy on the outside, soft in the middle and had a cinnamon sugar coating on them.  They could have been dessert.  But, alas, there was bread pudding for dessert.

Yummy, yummy, yummy!  It had a really tasty sauce on it and a nice texture and flavor overall.  We’ll definitely be back to eat here again.  Total bill with two drinks was $37.

Blue Dog Po’Boys
25708 US 19 N
Clearwater, FL
(727) 797-0500

Blue Dog Po' Boys on Urbanspoon

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

On the Bayou


I wanted to go down to Weedon Island Preserve today, so we ate lunch at the Cajun Café on the Bayou.  No surprises in what we ordered, I got the crawfish etouffee and Loren got some gumbo with a salad.

I love the food here.  It’s always so flavorful and fresh.  As much as I tell myself I’m not going to eat the whole plate of food, there’s nothing left when the bill comes.  It was a bit on the spicier side today, but oh, so good.  This time of year it’s also cool out so you can sit on the patio.  Total bill with a drink was $32.

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
8101 Park Blvd
Pinellas Park, FL
727-546-6732

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
4.0/5

Spicy


We were in the mood for some cajun food, so we headed down to Pinellas Park to the Cajun Cafe.  The level of spiciness seems to vary depending on who’s in the kitchen and today’s food was a bit on the extra spicy side.  Loren started off with a bowl of gumbo and I got a side of okra.

The okra was really spicy today.  There was an extra bit of cayenne in that batter.  OoooEeeee!  I had to get some ranch dressing to try to cool it down some.   Loren tried something new today, the shredded pork with a side of jambalaya.

The pork was the only thing we had today that wasn’t spicy.  It was very tender and had an almost sweet flavor to it.  It’s something I’d order, but probably never will because I come here for one dish and it’s the crawfish etoufee.

I love this dish.  It’s so rich and tomatoey and the crawfish have a buttery taste to them.  The spiciness builds up as you eat it, but it’s so good that it’s hard to stop.  But, I ended up taking some of it home because I had to leave room for the whisky bread pudding.

When it comes to the table, you tell yourself that you’re not going to eat that much of it, then you take that first bite and all bets are off.  It’s comfort food with the taste of vanilla and butter and just goodness all around.  We did end up taking half of it home and wished we had more when we ate it later that night.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
8101 Park Blvd
Pinellas Park, FL
727-546-6732

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.8/5

Salty


We ate lunch at Cuban Breezes today.  I don’t blog every time we eat here because we eat here a few times a month, but Loren’s Mahi Salad was just too pretty not to take a photo.

They make a nice piece of mahi here and it’s reasonably priced no matter what form you get it in.  He likes his blackened, but I always prefer mine grilled.  I stole a few of the tomatoes on his salad and they were really fresh and tasty.

I went for the prime rib dip they had on special with a side of rice & beans.

The roast beef is so tender and matches so well with the cuban bread.  My only gripe was that it was really salty.  I noticed it with the first few bites and then didn’t think much about it, but I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking lots of water.  Total bill with a drink was $21

Cuban Breezes
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL
813-814-9939

Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.2/5
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  • Filed under: Cajun, Oldsmar