Ate dinner at Bua Siam Thai in Palm Harbor tonight. Our friend Bill joined us since Hurricane Irene thwarted his travel plans. We started out with some sushi, a couple of Mexican rolls and a Christmas roll.
They were both very good. The Mexican roll had a nice crunch from the fried shrimp and the Christmas roll was very smooth and flavorful. Bill got the Pad Thai for dinner and really enjoyed it.
He even had some leftovers. I always tease Loren that he gets the same thing everytime we go to a Thai restaurant, so he decided to be different tonight and ordered the yellow curry with chicken.
It had a bit of spiciness going on, but very flavorful. The fragrance was amazing when it came to the table. Along with the other sushi, I also had a Ocean roll.
This is one of my favorites. It’s just such a burst of freshness with every bite. It’s a cucumber wrapped tuna roll with no rice and the flavors just dance on your tongue. Service tonight was very unobtrusive, which is something we really appreciated. In the past, so many people came to check on us that it got annoying. Total bill for the three of us was $62.
Bua Siam Thai
35903 US Hwy 19 North
Palm Harbor, FL
A new Polish buffet just opened up on Gulf to Bay. LucHouse is located at the opposite end of the strip mall with the Greyhound station, across from Hooters. The outside appearance makes it a little difficult to find. They’ve also got solid wood doors, so at first glance, it was hard to tell that they were open. When we got there, they weren’t very busy, just one other couple in the restaurant, but a few others showed up while we were eating. I was glad to see more customers since the food was very tasty.
They have the buffet set up with a wide variety of items including stews, sausage, meat and potato pierogi, meatballs, stuffed cabbage rolls, and other items along with a salad and soup bar.
Overall, the food had a lot of flavor. Loren tried a spicy stew and he said they weren’t kidding when they said it was spicy. Most of the food was very heavy and filling, so go with an appetite.
The only thing that disappointed was the dessert.
They had two cakes, an angel food which could have used some sort of moist topping, ice cream or strawberries for example, and another cake that I can only describe as rock solid. The hostess/waitress was very friendly. Total for two buffets and a drink was $25.
2779 Gulf to Bay Blvd
We went over to Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant for lunch today. They’re really good about getting food out fast. They dropped off chips and salsa. Loren said it’s gotten better, but still lacks that burst of fresh flavors that he’s gotten in other salsas.
He ordered the lunch chicken fajitas. He asked the waiter if it came with guacamole and he said yes, but of course when it came to the table, it didn’t have any. The waiter did rectify the situation quickly though. It seems they still need to get more familiar with their own menu.
I ordered the Cancun Chimichanga. It’s a shrimp chimi and though the shell wasn’t crispy enough, it did have pretty good flavors. The refried beans had a little bit of a smoky flavor to them today.
Total bill with a drink was $19.
Salsas Mexican Restaurant
3970 Tampa Road
We ate dinner at Bawarchi Indian Cuisine tonight. We were the first ones in the restaurant for dinner, but several other tables filled up as we were eating. I ordered the same thing I always get, the butter chicken and Loren tried something different the lamb bhuna.
The sauce on my chicken is the best sauce to dip the garlic naan in. I think I had to swat Loren’s hand away a few times. Loren doesn’t normally like lamb, but the flavors in his dish changed his mind. He also finally remembered to get the heat level on his just slightly over mild. Medium is a bit too spicy for him here. Total bill with a drink was $36.
Bawarchi Indian Cuisine
34832 US Hwy 19
Palm Harbor, FL
Nauti-Nancy’s isn’t a very big restaurant, but the food definitely packs a bunch of flavor. It looks like a little dive, with just a few tables inside, an outside patio and bar area. I don’t think either of us was expecting much from the food, but we were pleasantly surprised throughout the entire meal. This is one of those places where the food takes its time coming out of the kitchen, but your patience is rewarded.
We started off with some crab stuffed mushrooms.
When I first saw them, I thought the mushrooms were a bit small to be stuffed, but they were filled with a wonderful crab stuffing and topped with melted provolone cheese. We’d definitely order these again. Loren liked the spicy sauce that came with them.
For his entree, Loren ordered the Vidalia onion chicken sandwich.
He said the onions were very sweet, the chicken tender and the overall flavor of the sandwich delicious. I ordered the chicken saltimbocca which came with a salad and side of parmesean noodles.
The chicken was topped with prosciutto, spinach, provolone cheese and a very nice mushroom marsala sauce. It was a touch salty, but not overwhelming. The noodles were very garlicy, but in a good way. The whole dish had a lot of good flavors going on. When the waitress cleared our plates, she said she was going to bring us some beignets.
This was a delicious surprise. I don’t know if she brought them because she had forgotten to bring my salad earlier, or if they brought them to all the tables. Either way, it was a wonderful dessert. They were hot out of the fryer and completely covered in powdered sugar. If I wasn’t stuffed before, I definitely was now. Overall the service was just ok. Like I said, our waitress forgot to bring my salad and she never refilled drinks. But the kicker for this whole experience was that the total bill with a drink was only $26. This was one of the better meals we’ve had recently at an incredibly reasonable price. There’s no doubt we’ll make our way back to Nauti-Nancy’s again.
700 Eldridge St
Had a chicken salad today at Daddy’s Grill for lunch.
Sadly, I ate most of the salad, but not much of the actual chicken salad on top of it because it had raw onions in it. I should know better by now not to order those kinds of salads since I’m so picky. Service was a bit slow, especially when we were finished eating and waiting for our check. Total bill was $8.
3682 Tampa Road
We ate lunch at Cafe Alfresco in Dunedin today. It was around 2pm, so the Sunday Brunch crowd had already come and gone. We got a nice table on their air conditioned patio. Loren ordered the bayou burger with fries.
The burger had bleu cheese and a spicy mayo. It was cooked well and he liked it. I ordered the crispy chicken salad.
I first grabbed an onion straw and it was stone cold. Then I tried the chicken and it was barely warm. I can understand not wanting to wilt the spinach salad by putting food straight from the fryer on it, but it should have been a lot warmer than it was. I really enjoyed the spinach and tomatoes and the ranch dressing was great, but the cold chicken and onion straws ruined an otherwise delicious lunch. Unfortunately, our waiter never returned to check on us, otherwise I would have complained about the temperature of my food. Total bill with a drink was $24.
344 Main St
On the way home from Cedar Key, we stopped at Longhorn Steakhouse in Citrus Park. The restaurant was crowded, but we were able to get a table without a wait. From the moment our waitress came to take our drink orders, she rubbed me the wrong way. There’s a point where friendly becomes annoying and she reached it pretty quick.
We started out with bread and salad.
I really liked the ranch dressing on the salad. We were both in the mood for steaks tonight, so Loren got the sirloin with a baked potato and I got the filet with veggies and a side of onions & mushrooms.
Loren said his was cooked well, but was definitely underseasoned. Mine was also cooked well, but was way overseasoned for my taste. It had a lot of pepper on it which completely overwhelmed it. It was cooked a perfect medium and was very tender, but the pepper built up on my tongue and just ruined the dish for me. It definitely wasn’t a relaxing meal. The restaurant was very loud and our waitress was almost aggressive in her attempt to be friendly. Total bill was $42.
8212 Citrus Park Dr
We took a road trip up to Cedar Key today to try the championship clam chowder at Tony’s Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant was packed, but luckily some tables had just cleared and we were able to get a table without much of a wait. There’s actually a front and back dining room and every table had some bowls of chowder on them.
We ordered both a cup and a bowl and I can understand why they’ve won world championships with this recipe.
It was a very creamy chowder filled with chunks of clam, potato, and a little bit of heat. It’s one of those dishes that has a good mouth feel to it. I did think it was priced a bit high, but the quality was there, so it was worth it.
Loren got a blackened grouper sandwich with fries.
He enjoyed it. He said the fish was tender and the crispy blackened coating gave it just the right amount of crunch. I ordered the fried seafood combo with shrimp, scallops and grouper. It also came with salad and cole slaw.
It was too much food for me. Just the shrimp and scallops would have been enough. The breading was light and tasty. The seafood was definitely fresh. Service was a bit lacking at times though. Our waitress would disappear for quite a while and we’d begun to think she had forgotten about us when it was time to get the check. Total bill was $43. If you’re in the area, definitely stop by for some chowder.
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant
597 2nd Street
Cedar Key, FL
We drove over to Tampa tonight for some BBQ at Alex’s Southern Style BBQ. Let me preface this review by saying that it was a very hot August evening and there was a definite lack of air conditioning in the restaurant. Couple that with the overwhelming BBQ smokiness in the air and you end up with an overall uncomfortableness that definitely had an effect on how we felt about the food. After a while, the air felt so thick and pungent that my eyes started to water.
Our initial reaction when we walked in the door was that the BBQ smokiness in the air was a good sign; that the food was going to have that deep rich smoked flavor to it. We wanted to try a little bit of everything, so we got two of the two meat meals, one with chicken and pork, the other with beef and ribs.
Unfortunately, there was so much BBQ sauce on everything that we couldn’t really taste the meat. It was a sweet and tangy sauce and a little went a long way. The meats were all tender, but neither of us could make a good judgement on the flavor. What’s funny is that so many of the other reviews we’d read said that they usually didn’t put a lot of sauce on the plate. As for the sides, the onion rings and okra were both crispy and tasty, the cole slaw was good, but Loren didn’t like his greens. He said it had a flavor that just wasn’t what he expected.
Total bill was $22 and the smell of BBQ smoke lingered on our clothes for hours. I began to understand why people were coming in and getting take out instead of eating in the restaurant.
Alex’s Southern Style BBQ
5362 W Village Drive
We stopped by Cuban Breezes for lunch today around 1pm and it was packed. We luckily snagged the last available table. I had no idea Sunday afternoon was such a busy time for them. Loren ordered his usual lechon and I went for something light today, the grilled mahi with rice/beans and a side salad.
Both dishes were really good today. The pork was tender and flavorful and the mahi was some of the best I’ve eaten. It’s cooked perfectly, tender and flaky, with just a hint of seasoning. Definitely something I’d order again. With a drink, the total bill was $19.
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
When you walk in the door at Pico Rojo, you’re immediately enveloped in the wonderful smell of charcoal rotisserie chicken. Makes me hungry just thinking back on it. Since I like dark meat and Loren likes white, we usually just split a whole chicken which comes with four sides. I went for a salad and cole slaw and Loren got the asparagus and rice/beans combo.
This really is some of the best chicken around. It’s tender and juicy with a crispy, spicy skin on it. The way they cook it gives it such an amazing overall flavor. Loren likes the green dipping sauce, where I prefer the creamy one. The side dishes are fresh and tasty, but the chicken is definitely the star of the meal. Total with a drink was $23.
2475 McMullen Booth Rd, Ste E
There were mixed reviews on Urbanspoon about Baltic Amber, but we decided to try it anyway. It’s a cute little restaurant. The walls are painted with scenes from the four seasons and they have a lovely patio out back. The biggest complaint we had read about was the service and after our experience, we agree wholeheartedly with all the other reviewers. From the moment we placed our drink order, we had a feeling it was going to be a difficult evening with our waiter. Loren ordered an iced tea and when it came to the table it was a very sweet green tea. Most places will tell you if the iced tea is not what you would normally expect.
The waiter brought bread to the table. It would have been better had it been warmed.
When we placed our dinner order, Loren asked for a side salad along with his dinner. The waiter looked very confused and pointed out that his dinner came with a carrot type salad, but Loren told him he also wanted a regular salad first. The waiter just nodded and went away. When our entrees were finally brought out, the waiter brought a large bowl of regular salad and the carrot salad that was supposed to be on the plate wasn’t there.
I don’t remember the name of the dish Loren ordered. It was like little meatloaves with mashed potatoes. Though they had a lot of flavor, they were burnt on the bottom.
I ordered the combo plate so I could try the different items.
For the most part, it was pretty good. The potato pancake was cooked perfectly. The pierogi were potato and cheese filled. They didn’t have a lot of flavor so I would have liked to have had more grilled onions with them. The kielbasa, though flavorful, had a really tough casing on it. I had a hard time cutting through it. I also would have preferred the mustard to have been on the side instead of already on it. I’m not a big fan of kraut, so for all I know it was perfect, but I found it to be way too acidic for me. The last item on the dish was the stuffed cabbage rolls with a wild mushroom sauce. They were also very flavorful.
Our waiter never checked back with us during the meal. Eventually, he came by and cleared some plates and then disappeared again. When he finally came back we ordered the apple fritters for dessert.
This dessert would have been so much better if it had been a bit sweeter. It came to the table piping hot, but the apple filling was so bland. At first we thought there was caramel on the plate, but after a few tastes, I believe it was a plum sauce. Still not enough sweetness in the whole dish.
As if our service experience hadn’t been poor enough so far, he managed to mess up the check as well. We had a Restaurant.com coupon which he took with him when he went to ring up the check and even stapled it to the check when he brought it back to the table. The problem was, he never bothered to actually take the $10 off the bill. Eventually, he got someone else to help with the register and we paid our $30 and got out of there. Though some of the food was very flavorful, it’s doubtful that we’d return due to the overall service experience.
552 Clearwater Largo Road
Sushi sounded good for lunch today, so we headed over to YoYo Sushi in Oldsmar. The restaurant never seems very busy, but I’m so glad they’re still in business. They make some of the best sushi we’ve eaten.
We went for two of their lunch sushi specials, which includes 2 rolls for $8.95. I got the shrimp crunch roll and a California roll and Loren got the spicy tuna and a spider roll.
One of the things I really like about the sushi here is the rice. It’s always cooked perfectly and has a subtle flavor to it. The California roll had a crab type salad in it instead of a chunk of crab. It gave it a different flavor which I really liked. The shrimp in the crunch roll was cooked perfectly. Loren liked the spicy tuna roll more than the spider roll. The spider roll just looks a bit creepy with all those legs hanging out of it. With a drink, the total bill was $21.
300 State St E, #110