The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Archive for the ‘American’ Category

Panini’s Grill recently opened up in Westchase.  Silly me, I thought a restaurant named Panini’s Grill was actually going to serve paninis.  Instead, we perused the big menu and ended up ordering a chicken club and a cheese steak.

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As it turns out, this is just another generic chain restaurant.  Their claim to fame is some monstrosity of an overstuffed sandwich that has french fries and slaw on the sandwich itself.  Our sandwiches were ok, but nothing that would make us feel the need to return.  Total bill with a drink was $23.

Panini’s Bar & Grill
12227 West Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-855-4600

Paninis Grill on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American
  • We finally figured out the right time to visit the Brick House Tavern, 11:30am on a Sunday morning.  No crowds, no noise and the service was a lot better than the last time we were here.  Loren got the Blue Water Mahi sandwich while I ordered the crispy duck hash off of the brunch menu.

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    He said the mahi was perfectly cooked and the marinated cucumbers added an interesting flavor.   I kept stealing tots of his plate.  I wanted to like the crispy duck hash much more than I did.  Unfortunately, someone in the kitchen went a bit heavy on both the salt and pepper so it became increasingly more difficult to eat with every bite.  There was nothing actually crispy about the duck, but had the seasoning not been overwhelming, it would have made for a tasty dish.  Total bill with a drink was $31.

    Brick House Tavern and Tap
    28795 US 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 726-6352

    Brickhouse Tap And Tavern on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • Comments Off on Sunday Morning
  • Filed under: American, Clearwater
  • We found ourselves in Montverde this afternoon and stopped at Green Mountain Pizza for a late afternoon sandwich.  It’s a small pizza and sub shop and was packed with teenagers at 3pm.  Luckily, we were able to grab a table and wolf down an Italian sub and a steak & cheese.

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    The bread smelled and tasted like it was right out of the oven. Yum!  The Italian sub had lots of meats and veggies, but Loren thought it was missing something to tie it all together.  The steak & cheese had the ooey, gooey goodness, but needed a little more seasoning to make it perfect.  Overall though, not a bad lunch for $17 with a drink.

    Green Mountain Pizza
    17415 7th St
    Montverde, FL
    407-469-2279

    Green Mountain Pizza 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

    We don’t get out to Johnny Grits as often as we like because they were only a breakfast and lunch restaurant, but we were happy to see that they now serve dinner Wednesday through Saturday.  No surprise that they were busy this Sunday morning, but luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for a table.  The table next to us had the most amazing looking fried chicken benedict, but I’d been craving shrimp and grits so I had to just put that benedict on my list for next time.

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    Perfectly cooked shrimp on a bed of creamy grits and one of my favorite sauces.  It’s not spicy, but it has a wonderful blend of flavors in it.  The only thing I’m not keen on is the bacon.  Loren likes it, but I feel like it adds an odd texture to the dish.  Loren tried the grouper sandwich with a side of mac & cheese.

     

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    He said the grouper was cooked nicely, but the ratio or bread to fish was a little off.  It was a big bun.  It was also served in this metal pail that made it difficult to try to cut the sandwich.  A plate would have worked just fine.  I admit, I couldn’t keep my fork out of the mac & cheese either.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

    Johnny Grits
    857 E. Klosterman Rd
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    727-942-4748

    Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

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