Looks like we ate out 20 times in February and spent about $565 between the two of us. That brings the year total to 43 meals and $1125. Damn, we eat out a lot.
Here are the highs and lows from February:
Best Soup: Lobster/Shrimp Bisque from the Grind House Bar and Grill
Best Bread: Yeast rolls at the Boston Cooker
Best Presentation: Cobb Salad at Jack Willie’s
Best Salsa: Caramba’s
Best Service: Big Bok Choy Bistro
Best Dessert: Brownie sundae at the Grind House Grill and Bar
Worst Service: Chili’s
Worst Veggies: Acropol Inn Restaurant
Most Disappointing: Tiffany’s Restaurant
We were out geocaching today in Conner Preserve and one of the geocaches was called Cowabunga. It fit in with the California themed restaurant we went to, ZimZari.
They brought chips and salsa to the table and we ordered some guacamole too.
Loren said the salsa tasted like it was out of a jar, but the guac was fresh and tasty. It had chunks of avacado in it and wasn’t spicy, so I ate a bunch of it.
We ordered the tuna tacos and the filet mignon tacos.
I hadn’t expected my tuna tacos to be spicy, but there was definitely something spicy on them. Loren and I ended up eating one of each other’s tacos. He liked the mango that came with mine.
The filet tacos were good. They had crunchy fried onions on them. The rice and beans that came with both were ok.
I needed something sweet so we ordered the California Cannoli.
Now, I’ve eaten a lot of cannoli in my life, but none like this. These had just been taken out of the deep fryer so they were still warm. It had cannoli cream and bananas inside, plus whipped cream and some chocolate sauce to dip them in. They were pretty tasty.
Overall, the food was pretty good for a chain restaurant. It was definitely loud in there though. We spent $30 for an appetizer, two entrees, dessert and a drink.
3230 Little Road
I’ve been wanting Greek food for a while now and we finally decided to try the Acropol Inn Restaurant over on Sunset Point Rd in Clearwater. There were a bunch of cars in the parking lot, so that’s usually a good sign.
We started off with some Greek salads.
They were a rather simple Greek salad, just some lettuce, tomato, onions, Feta and a dollop of potato salad on the bottom. The homemade dressing was pretty good though. They bring the bottle of dressing to the table so you can have as much or as little as you want.
They also bring you a large basket of bread.
It was very fresh and soft, but would have been better if it had been warm. We decided to try their gyro appetizer.
There was a lot of gyro meat on the plate along with some garlicy tzatziki sauce. It was really tasty gyro meat. We ended up bringing half of it home.
Loren got the souvlaki platter with veggies and rice.
He said the pork was tasty, but not tender. It definitely hadn’t been marinated for very long. The red sauce on the rice tasted like tomato soup and the veggies were water logged.
I saw pastitio on the menu and had to have it.
It was a huge portion, half of it came home with me too. It was good, but it had the same red sauce as Loren’s rice and tasted like tomato soup. You could definitely taste the nutmeg in the meat. Not the best I’ve ever had, but it satisfied my craving. It also came with the same water logged veggies.
This wouldn’t be my first choice for Greek food, but for $26 we definitely got a lot of food.
Acropol Inn Restaurant
2552 Sunset Point Rd
We haven’t been to Big Bok Choy Bistro in Oldsmar since Christmas Day, so it was way past time to head back to one our favorite restaurants.
It’s a small Asian restaurant in a non-descript strip mall, but it has never disappointed us. Everything is fresh and the people who own it are extremely friendly.
You’re greeted at the door by their young son who seats you, hands you the menus, and then takes a step back and gives you a quick, full bow. He is the most polite, cutest child I’ve ever seen. I find myself watching him as he greets other customers and it just puts a smile on my face every time.
We’ve eaten here enough times, that they know what we like and how we like it before we even order it. I think they’re surprised when we actually order something different.
We both started out with wonton soup.
Hot, flavorful and perfect on a cold evening. I also like it when I’m able to order my entree without scallions and they automatically don’t put them in my soup either (the picture is of Loren’s bowl).
Loren ordered the garlic chicken. Normally he orders something either Szechuan or Hunan which comes with really hot, evil peppers, but he went a bit less spicy this time.
The dish had a lot of flavor and did have a spice element that was more than just garlic. Everything is so fresh here and has great flavor components. The garlic chicken comes with lots of broccoli and water chestnuts.
I ordered the teriyaki chicken.
I’ve been hooked on this dish since I ordered it the first time. The chicken is incredibly tender and has a nice teriyaki flavor. It also comes with fried or white rice, lo mein, broccoli, two dipping sauces, and a little side of pickled veggies. I don’t think I’ve ever finished the entire thing. There’s usually some noodles, rice and broccoli left over.
Our two entrees with soup came to $33. Everything is made to order and well worth the wait and price. They seem to do a lot of take-out business as well. One of the really nice things about them is that they’re very good at warning you about the spice levels or ingredients in the dishes. You can tell they really care about the food they serve and want their customers to have a great experience….which we always do.
Big Bok Choy Bistro
3730 Tampa Road #6
Loren picked me up for lunch today and I had a cheesesteak craving, so we headed over to Marina’s in Westchase on Linebaugh for lunch.
I’ve been to Marina’s a few times, but I don’t think I’ve ever had anything but their cheesesteaks. Today they had a 1/2 size on special with fries and a drink. That’s probably a good thing since their regular size cheesesteak is huge!
It was ooey and gooey and cheesy, but the bread wasn’t as soft as I like it. I think they use a different roll on the full size sub. Not the best cheesesteak I’ve ever had, but it definitely fills you up.
Loren got the Italian sub. He said it was good, but lacked something. Then he doused it with oil and vinegar and that did the trick.
For $13, we got 2 subs, fries and a drink. Marina’s also has pizza and other Italian dishes. One of these days, I’ll try something other than the cheesesteak.
Marina’s Pizza and Pasta
12121 W Linebaugh Ave
I’ve been whining for weeks that I wanted to go see Wicked again (I’ve seen it twice), but that the ticket prices were way too high. There’s no way I was going to shell out $180/ticket. Then last night, TBPAC posts $49 tickets on Facebook. Seriously, $49, 8th row, I’m so there.
Since the show was in Tampa at 7:30pm, we needed to eat somewhere that was going to be quick, so we headed over to Cuban Breezes.
They had their Havana burger on special, so Loren got one of those with the ultimate beans and rice.
Cuban Breezes makes a pretty good burger. He scarfed it. I opted for the steak philly with beans and rice.
Their steak philly is different than a cheesesteak you get other places. It has it’s own special blend of spices, onions and peppers on their yummy Cuban bread. I smother the whole thing in their Havana sauce. Good stuff. The rice and beans were a little dry this time, though.
We were in and out of there for $15 in about 45 minutes. Got to Tampa in plenty of time. The show was great. The actress playing Elphaba had a fantastic voice and Richard Kline (yup, Larry from Three’s Company) played the Wizard of Oz.
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
Had an unscheduled lunch with the boss today. Conveniently, he chose a place near me this time. One of our favorite lunch places (yes, we have a lot of favorite lunch places), Brady’s Backyard BBQ in Safety Harbor.
I forgot to take pictures of the food, but I had my phone out while I was waiting for the boss, so you get an “atmosphere” shot.
Brady’s has been around for 4-5 years, and used to be in a quaint old house on 3rd street across from the post office. I liked that place, it had a homey feel to it. But, I guess it wasn’t the greatest place to run a restaurant, and the parking wasn’t the best. They moved a couple blocks to one of the strips along Main street a few months ago.
I love me some pulled pork, and some ribs (their rib tips are AWESOME), but a few months ago I discovered their brisket sandwich, and that’s what I had today. It’s pretty basic. A bun with two huge chunks of super-tender and tasty brisket. It’s gotta be a half-pound of meat, and it’s good stuff.
The small sandwich comes with chips and a pickle. What else do you need? Well, you need collard greens! Fortunately, their chip guy hadn’t shown up yet today, so we got to choose a side. Did I mention that their collard greens are top notch? Really, all of their sides are good.
The kicker for me, however, is their mango barbecue sauce. It is to die for! Very unique flavor, just sweet enough, just tangy enough… MmmMmmMmm!
The small sandwich basket is only like $7, you can’t go wrong. So, yeah. We like Brady’s. Best BBQ in this area. I like Hot Rod’s a little better, but I’d have to drive 20 miles to Lutz for that. Within 5 miles, nobody else challenges them.
Brady’s Backyard BBQ
340 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
Given the choice between going to the grocery store or going out to eat, I’m choosing a restaurant every time. Tonight’s choice was Cafe’ Alfresco in downtown Dunedin. The patio was really loud, so we sat inside.
Let’s face it, we both like soup.
I got the Sicilian white bean soup and Loren got a cup of the creole. The rice wasn’t quite done enough in his, but overall the flavor was good. My bean soup was very tasty.
We got the “must try” appetizer, the Feta Alfresco.
It’s feta cheese, lightly breaded in panko crumbs, fried golden brown
and served over red sauce with garlic cheese bread. Neither of us had ever had feta cheese this way. At first, the flavor seemed overwhelming, but the more you ate, the more it mellowed out. The garlic bread was good too. I doubt we’d order it again, though. As usual, we were both pretty stuffed at this point, but then came the entrees.
Loren ordered the salmon salad.
It was a huge piece of blackened salmon over a salad of lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and artichokes with a Greek dressing. He said it was very good.
I ordered the half portion of the chicken marsala.
It had a very nice marsala sauce. The chicken was very tender and the pasta was good. Both meals came with rolls that were really tasty too.
And because I just can’t pass up dessert, I got a slice of raspberry cheesecake to take home.
It was a hard choice between this and the death by chocolate cake. I’ll have to try the cake next time.
Appetizer, two soups, two entrees, dessert and a drink for $38. The food was fresh and had very good flavors. The only downside was that our waitress wasn’t very good at refilling drinks. Otherwise, it was a really nice dining experience.
344 Main St
Loren and I constantly play the “where do you want to go for dinner?, I don’t know, where do you want to go to dinner?” game. We finally narrowed it down to Mexican food and decided on Carambas Restaurant in Clearwater.
It’s a small restaurant, but most of the tables were filled when we got there. There was only one waitress, but she seemed to handle things pretty well. First up, some chips and salsa.
The salsa is not your typical tomato salsa, this one was more of a roasted pepper salsa. Loren thoroughly enjoyed it and finished all the chips before our entrees showed up.
I can’t remember the name of what he ordered. It was some sort of skirt steak with rice and beans.
He said the steak itself was nothing to write home about, but when you added the pico de gallo and guacamole, that’s what made the dish. He normally doesn’t eat all of the refried beans when we go out for Mexican food, but he scarfed these down. They had a nice flavor to them.
I ordered the Chicken and Shrimp Mexicano.
It was really tasty. The chicken was so tender and the shrimp were nice and fresh. It was all covered in a tomato/onion/garlic sauce. Not spicy at all which is just the way I like it.
Everything tasted fresh and had great flavors. It took a little time to get our food, but when the result is something that tastes this good, it’s worth the wait. Definitely one of the better $28 meals we’ve had.
1840 Drew St
The bi-weekly lunch meeting was at Chiang Mai in downtown Clearwater today. It’s one of those upscale-looking places that is probably expensive in the evenings (don’t know, never been there for dinner!), but caters to the downtown business crowd for lunch with affordable and tasty meals. I used to work 2 blocks from the place, so I’ve been there for lunch a few times.
My favorite Thai dish is Ginger Chicken. It’s just good stuff, and I really like it, so it’s what I almost always get at a Thai restaurant. This being an “authentic” Thai restaurant, they asked me how hot I wanted it. My answer was a risky (for me) “medium”. You just never know what you’re going to get with Medium, but it’s usually not deathly hot. This batch was perfect for me. Yes, it was a little spicy, but it seemed like a great deal of the heat simply came from a lot of fresh ginger, which is fine by me.
The main course was preceded by a bowl of chicken and rice soup, which was excellent, as well.
Another lunch on the company’s dime, but it was probably about $9 before the tip.
Parking kinda sucks in downtown Clearwater, though. Not many places to park besides on-street metered parking. I didn’t feel like running around, so I just parked close and fed the meter. As I was dropping quickly dropping my two quarters in the meter, I noticed that it already had 43 minutes on it from the last user… and that since the meter maxes at 1 hour, my second quarter was of no use (but was greedily accepted, just the same). Insult to that minor injury: I was there for more than an hour and got a $20 parking ticket! So, my “free lunch” cost me $20.50 for parking.
Chiang Mai Thai and Sushi
415 Cleveland Street
Clearwater, FL 33755
We were actually heading to Fish Tail Willie’s since the power went out the last time we tried to eat there, but it looked mobbed this time, so we ended up at Jo-To Japanese Restaurant in the same shopping center.
We’d eaten at Jo-To before, but forgot that their entrance is around back by the lake. It really is an odd set up. Anyway, they weren’t busy when we got there, so it was a nice quiet dinner.
Loren started out with a salad and I ordered the fried oyster appetizer.
The oysters were really tasty. The crispy batter on them was excellent. The only downside was that I should have let them cool a bit before biting into the first one. I burned my tongue pretty well on the hot juices that flowed out. It came with a tasty BBQ sauce to dip them in.
We decided to order sushi.
From the top, we got a Tekka tuna roll, a Rainbow roll, a California roll, a Mexican roll, a Spider roll, and some salmon.
They don’t have a wide variety of sushi, but their prices are very reasonable. The Mexican roll was really good. The avacado in the California roll wasn’t as fresh as it should have been, but overall, the roll had a nice flavor. The Spider roll was good, but the claws sticking out of it were pretty funny looking. Loren enjoyed the Rainbow roll, I’m just not a fan of smoked salmon. He ate the salmon and Tekka as well.
For $45 we got 5 rolls, two pieces of salmon, an appetizer, salad and drink. Is it the best sushi we’ve ever eaten? No, but the restaurant has a nice atmosphere and the waitstaff is extremely polite. We were both quite full by the time we rolled ourselves out of there.
Jo-To Japanese Restaurant
2549 Countryside Blvd
Call me crazy, but I think two people should be able to get in and out of a chain restaurant within an hour for lunch. Such was not the case at Chili’s in Oldsmar today.
When my friend Cathy & I walked in, we even remarked how empty the restaurant was, so as much as they wanted to tell us they were busy, I find it difficult to believe. Incorrectly staffed, perhaps, but definitely not busy.
We sat down and waited for about 10 minutes before our waitress even came to the table. We watched two other tables of 4 get seated near us during this time too. We ordered off of their specials menu, an appetizer and entree for just under $10. Seemed like a good deal. About 30 minutes later, our appetizers showed up.
I got the cheese sticks and Cathy got the Southwest egg rolls. About 15 minutes after that, the other tables who sat down after us got their food.
At this point, we’re convinced that our order just got lost. We flagged down the waitress who was a bit snotty and told us how busy they were. We just said to put our food in to go boxes. The manager came by with our to go boxes and also told us how busy they were. That our order had only been in the kitchen for 14 minutes. Ummm, yeah, then the waitress must have taken a very long stroll from when we ordered to when she put the order in.
Then we sat again waiting for our check. The manager came by once more and gave us $5 coupons for next time and we asked him if we could perhaps have our check. Honestly, at this point, wouldn’t you have just comp’ed the food? The waitress finally brought the check and we just dropped $22 cash on the table because who knows how long we’d have to sit there if we had given her credit cards.
All in all, a rather uninspiring visit to Chili’s. Though the cheese sticks were tasty, they were not what I had in mind for lunch. But, I guess I have leftovers for later.
3701 Tampa Road
I was off work today and Loren works from home, so I sweet talked him into going to see “Valentine’s Day” with me at the movies (he hates to admit it, but he actually enjoyed the movie). Then it was time for lunch and I wanted to try some place we’d never been before, so we drove to Palm Harbor and went to Tiffany’s Family Restaurant.
They had chili on the menu and you could get it over macaroni and cheese, so I just had to try it.
Imagine my disappointment when it came to the table and it was chili over Kraft macaroni and cheese. Yeah, the blue box, baby. I have to admit, the chili was good and tasted fine over the mac and cheese, but totally not what I was expecting. Unfortunately, after watching “Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives” too many times, I always expect these family owned restaurants to make everything from scratch to where you can taste love in every bite.
Loren ordered the German pot roast which came with a potato pancake, sweet and sour cabbage and a side of spinach. He thought it was ok.
I ordered the meatloaf dinner with mashed potatoes and a side of cole slaw.
This really didn’t do it for me. The mashed potatoes tasted like they were out of a box or maybe a combination of actual potatoes and potato flakes. The mushrooms in the gravy were out of a can and the meatloaf was nothing to write home about. My best description is that it tasted like institutional food. Something that might be served in a school or hospital. Put it this way, I didn’t eat most of it and didn’t even bother to take it home.
For $32, I left quite disappointed and unlikely to go back. The items on the menu sounded really good, but the execution was less than tasty.
Tiffany’s Family Restaurant
35000 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We got up early this morning to go see “The Wolfman”. Not your typical romantic Valentine movie, but it did have a few hearts in it… they were just no longer connected to their owners.
Since we weren’t sure how crowded most places would be for lunch today, we opted for Jack Willie’s. It usually doesn’t have an early crowd on Sundays and the food doesn’t disappoint.
We started with some calamari.
Jack Willies has a very light batter on their calamari. It doesn’t offer a lot of flavor, but that’s where the marinara comes in. The combination of the two is very yummy.
Loren ordered a very colorful cobb salad. I swear this salad has everything you could ever want in it. Quite a bit of seared tuna, lettuce, blue cheese, egg, tomato, onion, olives, spinach, bacon, and other greens.
I’ve been craving a burger, so got the mushroom swiss with fries. Jack Willie’s serves 1/2 pound burgers and I only managed to eat half of it. Juicy and cooked just right, plus their fries are really good too.
We go to Jack Willie’s pretty regularly. It’s close to our house and they have live music. We usually sit out on the deck where you can see fish, birds and the occasion alligator. It’s a very laid back kind of place.
Two entrees, appetizer and a drink ran us $32.
Jack Willie’s Tiki Bar and Grill
1013 St Petersburg Dr
We had just ordered our drinks at Fish Tail Willy’s when the power went out in the entire shopping center. We waited for a few minutes, but when the lights didn’t come back on, we decided to find another place to go for dinner.
Angellino’s in Palm Harbor changed hands and is now called Jonny Garlic’s. Not the Johnny Garlic’s of Guy Fieri fame, just a local restaurant with a slighly different spelling on the name.
We both ordered soup to start off with. I got the pasta fagiole and Loren got the New England clam chowder.
Both were really good. I could have eaten a big ol’ bowl of soup with some bread and been quite happy.
The bread was tasty too, there just wasn’t enough of it. Loren ordered the chicken marsala for dinner.
Two chicken breasts with onions, mushrooms and prosciutto plus a side of smashed potatoes. He said it was tasty, but there was so much of it that half of it came home for lunch tomorrow.
I narrowed my choices down to the lobster ravioli or the fettucine alfredo. Since I’m compelled to try the alfredo at every restaurant I go to, that’s what I ordered.
It was a huge plate of pasta. The sauce was good and it had a hint of nutmeg I think. By the time I was full, my plate didn’t look much different than when I started. I brought the rest home as leftovers even though I know alfredo sauce does not reheat well.
The dessert menu was on the table and we both took one look at it and had to order the caramel lava cake.
I’ve had chocolate lava cakes before and when you scoop into it all sorts of gooey chocolate oozes out of it. The caramel didn’t quite behave that way though. The caramel just seemed to sink into the cake, so it seemed more as though the cake wasn’t cooked quite enough. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted pretty good, but I was expecting an oozing flow of caramel when we cut into it and it just didn’t happen.
The food didn’t seem any different than when it was Angellino’s. The restaurant wasn’t all that busy for a Friday night, but the weather could have been a factor. Total bill ran us about $37 and we both have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow.
Jonny Garlic’s Italian Grill
33180 US 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We’ve been having some miserable weather in Florida lately. It’s been rainy and cold for far too long for my tastes. We opted for some Thai food for lunch today at Pacific Thai Cuisine in Oldsmar.
Pacific Thai has a fairly inexpensive lunch menu. You get soup and salad plus an entree for $6.95.
The chicken rice soup was nice on such a rainy day. The ginger dressing on the salad was a bit thick, but tasty nonetheless.
Loren ordered the chicken with ginger sauce and I ordered chicken with mixed vegetables. They’re both served with jasmine rice.
They looked exactly the same to me. Mine had some different veggies than his did, I guees. Unfortunately someone in the kitchen went nuts with the pepper shaker on mine. All I could taste was black pepper.
We got out of there for just under $15 for the two of us.
Pacific Thai Cuisine
4058 Tampa Road
We had a Restaurant.com coupon for Sophia’s in Clearwater, $25 off a total bill of $35, so we headed out there for dinner. There weren’t any other customers there when we arrived, but we figured it was probably just slow because it was a rainy Thursday night.
The owner brought us some menus and while we were looking them over another customer came in and sat at the counter. She started chatting with the owner who told her she was going out of business tonight because the landlord raised the rent.
At this point, we started to question whether or not we should eat dinner there, but the owner came by the table and said she didn’t have everything on the menu, but could make most things.
We decided to give it a try since we had the coupon anyway and she was willing to honor it. We started out with some cheese sticks.
The sauce was tasty and the cheese sticks were pretty good. Loren got the chicken caccitore.
He liked it. I got the baked ziti with ricotta and meatballs and was less than impressed.
The meatballs were obviously out of a bag and there wasn’t any ricotta in it at all. I didn’t like the sauce either, it was a little too garlicy for me.
About half way through our meal, the U-haul truck shows up and they started dismantling the restaurant around us. People were moving out kitchen equipment and taking things off the walls. It felt a little awkward. We got our bill, dropped a $20 on the table and headed out. Even if they weren’t closing their doors, I doubt I’d have gone back.
Sofia’s Italian Restaurant
1710 N. Hercules Ave
Loren ordered some coupons from www.Restaurant.com so we went to Grind House Bar & Grill for lunch today. He paid $3 for a $25 off coupon, but the catch is you have to spend $45.
I’m pretty sure the Grind House used to be a Beef O’Brady’s. I know we had eaten in the space before, but it was a different restaurant at the time. Honestly, we weren’t expecting much from a sports bar, but the food turned out to be exceptionally good.
So, how do you spend $45 in a sports bar? You start with an appetizer, queso and chips.
The chips were warm and crispy and the queso had a nice texture and wasn’t too spicy. Loren liked the green onions on top, I just scooped around them.
Since it was a chilly day for Florida, mid-60′s, we went for some lobster/shrimp bisque and a bowl of chili.
I gotta say, I was amazed at how good the bisque was. It had incredible flavor and lots of chunks of lobster and shrimp in it. I’d go back for the bisque anytime.
So, we’re up to $13 now. What shall we get for entrees? Loren’s been craving a steak so he indulged in the top sirloin with a side of shrimp, mashed taters, and veggies.
He was leary about ordering it, but pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The steak was cooked a nice medium, the shrimp were tasty and he had leftovers.
I wanted a good ol’ greasy cheeseburger with sauteed mushrooms and onions and a side of onion rings.
The burger and onion rings were both good. But, I was already pretty full, so most of it came home with me.
We still hadn’t reached $45 yet, so we had to get dessert. Ok, we would have gotten dessert regardless because how can you pass up “warm brownie, with strawberries, caramel, chocolate sauce, ice cream and whipped cream”?
As full as we both were, it didn’t take long for it to look like this:
It was a really tasty dessert. We also got a slice of apple pie to take home.
We ended up spending $31 after the coupon and not including the tip. Would we have spent that much without the coupon? Probably not. Was it worth it? Without a doubt, yes. The food was really good. We didn’t even know the restaurant existed and probably would have never gone there without the coupon, but after such a great food experience, we’ll definitely go back.
We thought we were in for an ordinary lunch at a hole in the wall sports bar, but instead we ended up with an incredible lunch and enough food for dinner as well. Well worth the trip, coupon or not.
Grind House Bar & Grill
1500 McMullen Booth Rd
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.
3705 Tampa Road Unit 6
Coincidentally, I also had Cuban food for lunch today! This was the bi-weekly work lunch meeting at another one of our favorite places, La Terasita in Pinellas Park. Not a fancy place, just good cheap Cuban food.
We almost always go there on a Friday, and their Friday special is one of my favorites: Lechon Asado (or Roast Pork, if you prefer). I like it with black beans and yellow rice, thank you. I didn’t even think about taking a photo, just dug right in and before I knew it, my bowl was empty.
For the record, I go to three cheap Cuban restaurants fairly regularly. This one, Cuban Breezes, and a little place called Andy’s in Oldsmar. Cuban Breezes is okay, the food is decent, quick and cheap… but really, the only reason we go there is that Cathy likes their Cuban sandwiches. Andy’s is IT, as far as I’m concerned. Very authentic Cuban flavor, just awesome. But, Cathy thinks Cuban Breezes has a better Cuban sandwich, so she never goes there with me. La Teresita is somewhere between the two. Their beans don’t taste like they’re out of a can like they do at Cuban Breezes, but they’re not quite as good as Andy’s. But, if you’re down in the Pinellas Park area… La Teresita, it is!
7101 66th Street
Pinellas Park, FL 33781-4004