The Nosh Cafe recently opened where the Central Park Deli was in Oldsmar. They have a good sized sandwich menu and Loren went for a half Amore roast beef sandwich and chili combo.
He said it was ok. The sandwich had roast beef, garlic mayo, tomato and red onion & topped with melted Provolone on Cuban bread. Nothing out of the ordinary about it. I ordered the Cuban sandwich with a side of potato salad.
This is one of my new favorite sandwiches. It was so good. The meats on it had such a wonderful flavor. The Cuban bread was perfectly pressed and everything about it just worked. From the first bite to the last, I had happy taste buds. Even Loren said it was tasty. I liked the potato salad as well. We’ll definitely be back. Total bill with two drinks was $21.
4058 Tampa Rd, Ste 4
We stopped by The Sandwich on Main for lunch today. It’s a new little sandwich shop on Main Street in Safety Harbor. The dining room isn’t very big and we ended up sitting at the counter in the back. They have a wide range of specialty sodas and Loren liked the Hank’s Black Cherry, but since I normally just drink water, I was a bit surprised when the waitress brought me a cup of lukewarm tap water. When I asked for ice, the waitress apologized and said they’ve been trying for the three months since they’ve opened to get an ice machine but they still hadn’t found one.
As for the sandwiches, Loren got an Italian and I built my own ham & cheese.
We both found the sandwiches to be very plain and lacking anything distinctive that would make us want to return to the restaurant. Loren said the meats in the Italian were fine, but there wasn’t any pop of flavor from a vinegar/oil or Italian spice mix. I didn’t like the flavor of the provolone cheese on mine and there wasn’t quite enough lettuce and tomato on the entire sandwich. Total bill with a drink was $20.
The Sandwich on Main
308 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL
The weather’s finally beginning to cool down here, so we went over to Southern Fresh and had a very pleasant dinner out on the porch. They had a guitar player on the patio which completed the lovely atmosphere. Loren had to start off with the BLT soup.
How a soup can taste like a sandwich is beyond me, but this one does it. The broth has a wonderful flavor from the tomato and bacon and you get the crisp crunch of lettuce in each bite. It’s a tasty little soup. For his entree, Loren got the roasted pork with mashed potatoes and greens.
The pork was cooked perfectly. It had a nice smokey flavor and was tender and juicy. I had to steal a couple of bites. I went for their famous fried chicken with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes.
Normally, it’s two pieces of chicken, but the waiter said because the pieces were small, they were serving two thighs and a leg for the dark meat portion tonight. The chicken is perfectly seasoned and cooked. It’s got a nice crunchy exterior and very juicy inside. Some of the best chicken in the area. The roasted veggies and potatoes were good too. We both cleaned our plates, so that meant we could have dessert, right?? Tonight, they had just finished making a peach crisp.
I had mixed feelings about this dessert. On one hand, it was quite delicious. The peaches and crumb base were excellent. The only part that didn’t work for me was the candied lemon peel on top. Some bites were ok, but others were way too bitter. Overall, though, this was a great meal for $39.
122 3rd Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
We ended up at Gino’s Pizza for lunch today. Loren got a half Italian sub & salad and I went for the cheesesteak.
Loren said the Italian sub was pretty good. For half a sandwich, it was plenty to fill him up.
I found the cheesesteak to be a bit on the dry side. It was more than I could eat in one sitting. The roll was really big, so Loren ended up just eating some of the cheesesteak out of it. Total bill with a drink was $17.
3394 Tampa Rd
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
We went over to Surfside Cafe for lunch today. The first two things I tried to order weren’t available today for various reasons, so I finally settled on the elk burger that was on special.
Elk is very lean so it was a bit on the dry side. It had some spices in it and the overall flavor seemed very familiar to me, but I couldn’t place it. I don’t think it’s something I’d order again. Loren got a blackened chicken sandwich with some mac & cheese.
The mac & cheese was dry, just like the first time we’d ordered it. He said the chicken was tender, but not overly spicy. Total bill with a drink was $20.
Harr’s Surfside Cafe
3235 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL
We were looking for a quick late lunch after going to the movies this morning and ended up at Winghouse. There must not have been any sporting events going on today because the restaurant was pretty empty. We both went for some boneless wings and a basket of onion rings.
The wings were tender and the onion rings were crispy. What more could you ask for. There were actually more wings in there than I could eat at one sitting. Total bill with a drink was $25.
34900 US Highway 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We normally don’t even attempt to go to Bonefish on the weekend because it’s so crowded, but we decided to try early tonight & didn’t have to wait for a table. They had some lobster specials going on tonight, so after devouring the bread, we started off with some lobster rangoons.
We both enjoyed these. Nice and crispy with a lobster cream cheese filling. I always have to get the corn chowder when we go to Bonefish. It’s one of my favorite things on the menu.
It’s very thick and creamy, but just have a wonderful overall flavor. I’m glad I got both the appetizer and the chowder since my lobster roll was somewhat disappointing.
I get that lobster rolls shouldn’t have a lot of mayo on them, but they do need some. This was just very dry and I didn’t like the raw onions in it either. The lobster pieces were really small and felt like the leftovers from other lobster dishes versus having lobster chunks being pulled specifically for this dish. Loren got the 10oz sirloin with the scalloped potatoes.
He said it was pretty good. The steak was cooked medium and was fairly tender. Total bill with a drink was $50.
2519 McMullen Booth Rd
Every so often we go back to one of the chain restaurants in town just to remind ourselves why we don’t eat there regularly. For whatever reason, the Chili’s in Oldsmar is one of the slowest restaurants we’ve been to. We started off with some queso and chips.
It was ok. We ran out of chips before we ran out of queso. We decided to split the chicken fajitas.
Nothing special here. They were just ok, but took forever to come out of the kitchen. The restaurant wasn’t very busy either which made the wait that much more confusing. Total bill with a drink was $23.
3701 Tampa Road
We went over to Cafe Alfresco in Dunedin for lunch today. The restaurant was packed and we ended up with about a 20 minute wait. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that they don’t have any place inside to wait and it was so hot & humid outside. I was melting by the time our table was ready. Loren decided on the buttermilk chicken sandwich and I went for a cheeseburger.
Both were tasty and the fries were nice and crunchy. This is one of our go-to restaurants when we want simple, tasty food. Total bill with a drink was $23.
344 Main St
We went to lunch with a friend of ours today and he hadn’t been to the Surfside Cafe yet, so that was our destination. They had a shrimp burger on their specials menu today and we each got one. He went for the grilled and I went for the fried with sweet potato fries.
My expectation was that it was going to be ground up shrimp with lots of filler, boy, was I wrong! This was made with whole shrimp, no filler and a nice, crispy exterior. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and it had a nice crunch. The tarter sauce served with it had a distinct fresh dill flavor to it. Very yummy! The grilled version was identical except for the breading on the outside. Loren decided to try the blackened grouper sandwich.
He was very impressed with it as well. He commented how he’d been so disappointed in grouper sandwiches in general lately that he’s been ordering mahi more often than not. He said this sandwich put him back on the grouper bandwagon. Fresh, perfectly cooked, and lightly blackened. I got the distinct feeling he’ll be ordering this again. This was our second visit here and everything was delicious. I expect we’ll be back many more times. Total bill for the three sandwiches & two drinks was $34.
Harr’s Surfside Cafe
3235 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL
Salt Rock Tavern recently opened up in Oldsmar and from start to finish, this was not a pleasant experience. For some reason, they chose not to use the entrance in the front of the building, instead choosing to use an unmarked door on the side. We really weren’t sure we were in the right place when we walked in from the parking lot. It was 5:30pm when we got there and though the inside looked spacious and rather empty, we were told there was an hour wait unless we wanted to eat on the patio or at a communal table in the bar area. We went ahead & chose an outside table.
Our waiter brought over a lukewarm carafe of water and two small glasses. Since I drink water with my meals, I had to ask for a larger glass with ice. Loren ordered the crispy chicken sandwich which came with fries.
The Texas toast was quite a bit bigger than the piece of chicken and the name “salt rock” aptly applied to this sandwich. The chicken was coated in what tasted like large crunchy rocks of salt. Loren actually thought it was bacon at first, but since bacon wasn’t listed on the description and it had no bacon flavor, I have to assume it was just salt. Quite inedible in my opinion. My meatloaf sandwich wasn’t much better.
It was almost as salty as the chicken sandwich and had a strong fennel flavor to it. I’m guessing the meatloaf was made partly with sausage. There just came a point where I couldn’t ingest any more salt. The fries weren’t hot or crispy and tasted like they had been sitting in the kitchen for quite a while.
The layout of the patio was also poorly planned. While we were out there, a typical Florida thunderstorm came through drenching the one table of people that were at the edge of the seating area & sending everyone at the bar running inside. There wasn’t an overhang between the restaurant and the side of the patio we were on, so the waiter got wet every time he had to go back inside. Their satellite TV went out with the first raindrop. We won’t be back. Total bill with a drink was $18.
Salt Rock Tavern
3689 Tampa Road
Harr’s Surfside Cafe recently opened in the space vacated by MecaFresh. It’s owned by Harr’s Surf & Turf next door. They don’t have a very large menu, but I couldn’t resist the lobster roll & chowder combo.
Though I did think the lobster roll was a bit on the small side, it was all fresh perfectly cooked lobster meat with just a hint of celery and mayo. This is the perfect lobster roll in my opinion. Nothing to get in the way of the lobster. The chowder also had some nice flavors going on. Loren ordered one of the specials, the spicy pastrami.
I made him get the mac & cheese as his side dish. Though it had a very cheddary flavor, it wasn’t quite creamy enough for my tastes. He said the pastrami wasn’t very spicy, but overall the sandwich was good. Total bill with a drink was $23.
Harr’s Surfside Cafe
3235 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL
The Sea Dog Brewing Co opened up recently in Clearwater. Though we’re not drinkers, their menu looked interesting enough to draw us in. The restaurant is big and open and a bit on the loud side. We started off with the calamari and some clam chowder.
Both were very good. The calamari had a nice crunch, but was also tender. I didn’t like the kalamata and caper aioli that came with it though. I’m not a fan of olives, but Loren liked it. The clam chowder was very creamy and had nice chunks of clam in it without any grit. Nothing worse than getting clam chowder with gritty clams. Loren thought it was a little too thick, but I thought it was perfect. For his entree, he got the pot roast dinner.
He said the pot roast was very tender and tasty. He liked the potatoes, but wasn’t quite as thrilled with the broccoli rabe. I saw whole belly clams on their appetizer menu and ordered that as my entree with a side of mac & cheese.
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t order either of these items again. The clams were very crunchy with very small bellies. The quality just wasn’t there. The mac & cheese is made with a beer cheese sauce that was very overwhelming. Not a flavor that I liked at all. Our waiter ended up taking it off the bill since he realized that I just didn’t like it. He recommended that I try the lobster mac & cheese next time as it’s made with a different cream sauce. We finished off the meal with the apple crisp.
When it came out, it was nothing like we had expected. It was more like a slice of apple pie than what I had imagined a crisp to be. The apples were very tart, but they actually blended well with the soft crust, ice cream and caramel. I expect that we’ll try the food here again. There were a lot of other things on the menu that peaked my interest. Total bill with a drink was $55.
Sea Dog Brewing Co
26200 US Hwy 19 N
We usually spend our Sunday mornings at the movies and then head out for a late lunch. Today it was Star Trek and Thirsty Marlin. We started off with some calamari.
We order calamari almost every place we go, and this was surprisingly good. It had a crunchy and flavorful batter and was pretty tender. It came with marinara sauce, but I got a side of ranch which made it even better. For his lunch, Loren ordered the blackened mahi sandwich.
He said the fish was cooked well and had good flavors. I went for a steak philly and onion rings.
Though the first few bites were good, I found the saltiness became overwhelming after a while. It just continued to build until I couldn’t take anymore. I didn’t like the onion rings at all. They lacked the appropriate crunch and were also overly salted. I did enjoy the cole slaw though. Total bill with a drink was $37.
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
I received a coupon in the mail for $8 off two entrees at Outback, so we headed out there for dinner tonight. They were also doing a 4-course special, so we both opted for that. The kitchen was backed up, so it took a while to get our bread and soup and salad.
We both chose the clam chowder which was quite a bit spicier than I had anticipated. It was creamy and had good flavors though. What we didn’t know, until the bill came out, was that there was an upcharge for the clam chowder. I’m always a little miffed for things to show up on the bill that we weren’t told about ahead of time. Our waitress said she didn’t know there was an upcharge.
There are a limited number of choices on the 4-course entree menu, but that wasn’t an issue for Loren. He got the 6 oz sirloin with a baked potato.
Though the presentation left a bit to be desired, he said the steak was cooked a perfect medium. He enjoyed it. Normally, I order the Alice Springs Chicken, but it wasn’t one of the options, so I tried their new Honey Mustard Chicken.
That was a mistake. There’s a distinct difference between lightly charred and burnt. This fell into the burnt category. I tried to eat around the crispy parts. The main reason I didn’t send it back is that Loren would have been finished with his meal before something new could come out of the kitchen for me. We’d already been waiting a long time so it wasn’t worth the effort. The waitress asked if I wanted to bring the leftovers home and I told her no, couldn’t she see how burnt it was? The manager came over and was very apologetic and took it off the bill. Let’s face it, something that looks like this never should have made it out of the kitchen. For our last course, we got one of each desserts offered, the cheesecake and carrot cake.
For me, the cheesecake was the best part of the meal. It was creamy and the raspberry sauce was good. Loren liked the carrot cake. Since we no longer had two entrees on the menu, I didn’t use my coupon and the final bill ended up being $21 with a drink.
31988 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
Sometimes it’s the silly little things that amuse us to no end. Something that just catches you off guard and makes you giggle. We went over to Athens in downtown Safety Harbor for breakfast and they had the Popeye omelette on their specials board. What does Popeye love? Spinach and Olive. Loren had to order it just because it made us giggle.
Along with the spinach and olives, it also had bacon in it, everything’s better with bacon, right? He really enjoyed the omelette. I went for the blueberry pancakes and eggs over easy.
The pancakes were very tasty, but I forgot just how hot blueberries can get and burned my tongue on the first bite. The eggs were perfectly cooked as well. Our waitress was a little frazzled this morning, but other than that, it was a very enjoyable $15 breakfast.
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
We went over to Surf Shack for lunch today. They were pretty busy, but we were able to get a table inside which was good because it was a bit warm out on the patio. Loren tried the Hula Burrito again with a salad.
I love how colorful the salad is. As for the burrito, just like last time, he had to put some of the salsa from the chips & salsa on it to give it some flavor. I ordered the West Coast tacos and added avocado to them. For some reason, I just think a West Coast taco should already have avocado as one of its main ingredients.
I did the upgrade for mac & cheese as my side and that was a mistake. I’ve tried it here several times with mixed results, but the majority of the time, it’s just too dry. There’s just not enough cheese sauce on it. The tacos were ok. They’re pretty plain, just chicken, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. Total bill with a drink was $22.
Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
My dining experiences at Rumba Island in Oldsmar have been going downhill for a while and tonight was no exception. They remodeled the interior since the last time we were there and now the entire restaurant is open to the bar area which made it a bit louder inside. Not sure how that’s going feel once the summer heat sets in. We started off with some grouper fritters and corn muffins.
The corn muffins were yummy as usual. That’s about the only consistent thing I’ve found here. The grouper fritters were ok, but a bit on the spicy side for me. Loren ordered a bacon cheeseburger.
He liked it. In fact, he usually has a pretty good experience with the food here. I’m the one that ends up with the wonky entrees. Tonight, I went for something I’ve had before with relative success, the BBQ salmon.
One bite was enough to tell me that the salmon was not fresh. I eat enough salmon to know that it shouldn’t have a fishy taste to it. And just to be certain that I wasn’t being overly critical, I had Loren taste it and he agreed. When the waiter finally came back to our table, I told him the fish wasn’t good. He said salmon is a very fishy tasting fish and I politely disagreed. If that’s what he thinks, then he’s obviously never had fresh salmon. They took it off the bill and the manager came out as well, but I sort of got the impression from him that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with the fish either. Total bill with a drink was $19.
Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
We went to a movie this morning and stopped for a quick lunch at Daddy’s Grill afterward. Loren got a bacon cheeseburger and I went for the ham, egg & cheese breakfast croissant.
The burger was perfectly cooked and I really enjoyed the ham on my croissant. For $16 with a drink, it was a quick and tasty lunch.
3682 Tampa Road
We went back to Woodstock on 5th tonight in Safety Harbor. They were really busy and we ended up at one of the high top tables right next to the kitchen. It was really uncomfortable sitting on bar stools, the table was small and we could see & hear everything going on in and around the kitchen. I just felt cramped and crowded. We started off with the white bean chili again and Loren got a salad.
They also served it with pita bread and apple butter this time, which they didn’t the last. The chili was thinner this time, which was good. It was really thick the first time we had it. It seemed to have a lot more chicken in it as well. For his entree, Loren got the Molly Hatchet, which was a grilled swordfish.
It was served with arugula and a spicy tomato puree, but Loren didn’t think it was spicy at all. He wasn’t a big fan of the arugula, but said the swordfish was cooked perfectly. I went for the Janis Joplin.
This was a seared salmon on top of spinach, zucchini, corn, & red peppers. It also came with a potato pancake that was really dense and flavorless. I didn’t care for the tomato vinaigrette on it either. Too much vinegar and was way too sour for me. The salmon was perfectly cooked though.
Overall, I just found the experience to be very uncomfortable. There seems to be a lot of people working there which made it feel even more crowded in such a small space. Though we both enjoyed the fish, the items served alongside didn’t impress. Total bill with a drink was $54.
Woodstock on 5th
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL