The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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I grew up in New England and there are some foods that immediately bring back the flavors I grew up on.  The Boston Cooker in Oldsmar does it best with one simple dish, fried Ipswich clams with bellies.   But, let’s not start there, first there’s the yeast rolls.

As soon as you sit down, someone comes to your table with a pan of fresh out of the oven yeast rolls.  They’re hot and light and so delicious.  And they keep coming by your table to offer you more.  I’d love to say I stopped at one, or even two, but I finally made myself stop at three because otherwise I’d never eat my dinner.

Then there’s the chowda. (yes, that’s how you say it)

Thick, rich creamy clam chowder.  It has great flavor and we all but licked the bowl clean.  Next up, the salad.

The salad is served family style and they’ll bring you more if you want it.  It’s got a light, creamy dressing on it.  Not quite ranch, not quite Ceasar, but very good.

Ok, at this point, we’re already pretty full, and then come the entrees.  Loren got the Mahi special. 

It had a dijon, horseradish, and breadcrumb coating and he got garlic mashed potatoes for his side dish.  He said the fish was really flaky and tender.

I ordered what I always order when I come here.  The Ipswich clam dinner (with bellies) and steamed red potatoes.

Just one bite of these and I’m back in New England.  There aren’t that many places that serve clams with bellies and it’s a taste straight out of my childhood.  Loren wanted to take pictures of the silly, happy face I kept making every time I bit into one. 

Everytime we go to the Boston Cooker, I always wonder why we don’t go back more often.  We’ve always gotten great food there and it’s not that expensive.  Two entrees with sides, soup, salad, rolls and a drink for $42.  Plus a stroll down memory lane of the flavors I grew up on.

Even the artwork reminds me of  home.

Boston Cooker
3705 Tampa Road Unit 6  
Oldsmar, FL
813-855-2311

Boston Cooker on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: Oldsmar, Seafood
  • Rainy Friday


    Did a quick lunch run today between downpours and decided a Cuban sandwich with some black beans and rice would hit the spot. 

    Since Cuban Breezes is right around the corner, I called ahead & picked up lunch within 15 minutes.  Even though they were busy with the lunch rush, they had my order ready when I walked in the door. 

    Let’s face it, Cuban Breezes puts out a nice lunch for $6.50.  Their Cuban sandwich is tasty; ham, pork, cheese, pickles and mustard pressed in their yummy Cuban bread.  I could just eat the bread alone and be happy.  And I have to have their Havana sauce on everything.  It’s sort of like a ranch dressing, but oh so good.    The beans and rice are very filling.  For me it’s usually a choice of finish the sandwich or finish the side dish. 

    Cuban Breezes
    13980 W. Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL (it’s on the Oldsmar/Tampa line)
    813-814-9939

    Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: Cuban, Oldsmar
  • When in Rome


    My friend Cathy and I went to the movies this morning and saw “When In Rome”.  One of those chick flicks I can’t drag Loren to.  We enjoyed the movie, it was cute and so was Josh Duhamel as the leading man. 

    Since it was starting to rain, we wanted to grab lunch close by so we headed over to Eve’s Family Restaurant which is in the same shopping center as the AMC Theater in Oldsmar.

    Eve’s is a local place that seems to have a big clientele from the retirement community across the street.   

    I ordered a Belgium waffle with blueberries and whipped cream.

    The waffle was ok, but nothing spectacular. I would have liked it more crispy throughout.  The edges were good, but it was kinda mushy in the middle.  I don’t think I’d order it again. 

    $5 for the movie, $7 for the waffle, and good conversation with my buddy Cathy.  Not bad for a rainy Saturday morning.

    Eve’s Family Restaurant
    3150 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    727-787-6886

    Eve's Family on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • Don’t you hate it when you get scheduled into meetings where the one that was supposed to end at noon ends late and your next one starts at 1pm?   I needed a quick lunch, so ordered some take-out from China Taste in Oldsmar again.  Surprisingly, this is the first repeat visit to a restaurant I’ve had this year. 

    Had to order the crab rangoons again.  I just can’t go here without getting them and decided on the Beef with Broccoli lunch special.

    One of the things I like about China Taste is that you almost always have leftovers.  Their beef and broccoli is tasty.  Personally, I like the broccoli not quite so crunchy, but I usually don’t eat all of it anyway.   

    For under $10, got my crab rangoons, rice, entree, a drink, made it to my 1pm on time and have leftovers for tomorrow.  This is why I have their take out menu in my purse and phone number on speed dial.

    China Taste
    13887 W. Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-818-0881

    China Taste on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: Chinese, Oldsmar
  • I brought my lunch to work today, but as it got closer to lunchtime, I just didn’t want what I brought.  So, called up the hubby and we went over to Hin Lee II in Oldsmar.

    Since I have a hard time passing up sushi, I had to order a Mexican roll.

    It was ok.  No where as good as the one we had at Thirsty Marlin the other night.

    The lunch specials at Hin Lee are fairly inexpensive.  I ordered some shrimp lo mein and Loren got the Kung Bo Chicken.  Both come with an egg roll and fried rice.

    I like egg rolls and these were ok, but they didn’t taste fresh.  It was like they had made a bunch up awaiting a lunch crowd that never came. 

    My lo mein was an even bigger disappointment.  Again, it just didn’t taste fresh.  The shrimp were overcooked and the fried rice tasted like it had been sitting there for a long time.  It also had a lot of soy beans in it, which I really don’t like.  I wish their menu listed all of the ingredients so I didn’t have to spend half my time picking things out of the dish.

     Loren seemed to like his Kung Bo chicken, but he said the sauce was more like a sweet and sour sauce rather than spicy though.

    All in all, I would have been better off saving my $22 and eating the Fluffernutter sandwich I brought to work.

    Hin Lee II
    4013 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-814-9988

    Hin Lee Chinese on Urbanspoon

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  • 2 Comments
  • Filed under: Chinese, Oldsmar