We met a friend for lunch at Molly Goodheads today. Started out with the alligator tail appetizer, half fried & half blackened.
It didn’t do much for me. Yeah, I thought it tasted like chicken and the pieces were really small and crunchy. Loren said the blackend seasoning was pretty strong today. He thinks the last time he ordered it, he must have asked for lightly blackened. For lunch, he decided on gumbo.
Nice big bowl of tomatoey goodness. Definitely a different take than what we get at the Cajun Cafe, but still pretty good. Our friend got a crab cake sandwich & I got the crab cake plate with garlic mashed & cole slaw.
They had two different crab cake dishes on the menu, this one and a Maryland crab cake. I hope the other one is better because this one wasn’t very good. Mostly filler and cooked a bit too long. The coating was too crispy. Usually, I love the mashed potatoes here, but today’s were a bit too thick & had way more garlic than I like. Overall, not the best meal I’ve had here. Total bill with 2 drinks was $35.
400 Orange Street
We ate lunch at Nana’s Restaurant in Tarpon Springs today and it was one of the best lunches we’ve had in a while. They serve breakfast & lunch throughout the week & dinner on Friday nights. We decided to split a burger, plus some soup & salad.
First up, the Louisiana Butter Shrimp soup.
There are people who know how to make soup and the folks here at Nana’s definitely do. This was really flavorful and creamy with lots of shrimp and homemade goodness. Next up was the salad & burger.
It’s a good thing we decided to share the burger. It was way more than I was going to be able to eat. We got the mushroom burger, but I opted for American cheese instead of Swiss. It was cooked a perfect medium and was juicy and flavorful. The home fries were delicious. Again, perfectly cooked and seasoned. I really enjoyed the dipping sauce that came with them too. It was sort of a honey mustard BBQ sauce. Very, very tasty. And here’s the best part, the whole thing with a drink was only $17. This is definitely a restaurant we’ll be back to often.
857 E Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
We decided to try Umberto’s of Long Island in Dunedin for dinner tonight. It looked like a cozy little Italian restaurant. We sat in the back, which was rather dark, so the photos are a bit washed out. We started off with some salad.
If you’re only going to have one salad dressing, it should at least taste like more than oil & vinegar. Mine actually tasted like just vinegar. We tried the calamari.
The texture and crunch were there, but it was completely underseasoned. A little salt & pepper went a long way to improve this dish. The sauce was ok, but didn’t taste like a long simmering sauce by any means.
Loren tried the Chicken Maximo for his entree.
There was a definite lack of fresh ingredients in this dish. Both the asparagus & mushrooms were out of a can and absolutely tasted like it. The entire dish was also underseasoned. I went for the chicken marsala with penne pasta.
Mine suffered the same lack of seasoning and there really wasn’t a lot of marsala sauce on the dish. The chicken was very plain and the lack of an actual steak knife made cutting it more difficult. I’m also not a big fan of canned mushrooms.
As for the service, our waitress was very nice, but unlike the other waitress in the dining area, she didn’t offer us bread or ask if we wanted dessert. For what we got, the meals were overpriced. Total bill with an undrinkable iced tea was $45.
Do you ever watch “Restaurant Impossible”? All during our meal, I could hear Robert Irvine in my head talking about how fresh ingredients and a bit of seasoning would really help the food.
Umberto’s of Long Island
150 Patricia Ave
Ate lunch at Tijuana Flats in Oldsmar today. They still have the same issue that they had the last time I ate here, too many people coming to the table to ask if everything’s ok. I’m convinced that every time someone brings food out of the kitchen, they make the rounds to all of the tables to ask if they can refill your drinks. There were at least four different people who stopped by our table more than once in the 45 minutes we were there.
The chicken chimi was ok though.
Total bill with a drink was $8.75.
3687 Tampa Road
So many Sunday nights we just want a quick, tasty meal, so we head out to Cuban Breezes in Oldsmar. We just know we’re going to walk away with full tummies, happy taste buds, and not much strain on the wallet.
Tonight we went for a mahi cuban and some masitas de puerco.
Loren likes the masitas. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. This is my favorite mahi sandwich in the area. I don’t know what they do to make it so tasty, but I’ve spent twice as much for mahi at other restaurants and it wasn’t as good as it is here. Total bill with a drink was $22.
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
Had to get my cajun food fix, so that means heading down to Pinellas Park to the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou. Their crawfish etouffee is what keeps me coming back.
It has just the right amount of spicy without being too much for my wimpy taste buds. There are plenty of crawfish in the dish and it has this creamy, tomatoey buttery texture to it. Mmm, mmmm, good. It also comes with a little side salad.
Loren went for a bowl of gumbo and a salad today.
He actually had his eye on some crab cakes, but they were out of them today. He enjoyed the gumbo and made sure to save some room for dessert.
I’ve become a convert when it comes to whiskey bread pudding. This stuff is awesome. For the longest time, I wouldn’t try it thinking the alcohol taste would be too strong, but all you really taste in this dish is a buttery, cinnamon goodness. We barely ate half of it and the rest came home with us. For $34, we both left with happy taste buds and full tummies.
Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
8101 Park Blvd
Pinellas Park, FL
I was off work today for MLK Day, so we headed into Dunedin and ate lunch at Tom Yum Thai & Sushi. This is one of those places that I really like. The service and food are both very good.
Our lunches started off with a little salad and soup.
I liked the dressing on the salad and the chicken & rice soup had a nice flavor. They even brought mine out without scallions since I had asked them not to put scallions on my pad thai. I really like places that make that connection.
Loren got the spicy tuna bowl for lunch.
It was a beautiful color and he liked the dish. He said it wasn’t killer spicy, which was good and there was plenty of tuna on the plate. I ordered the Pad Thai bento box.
Besides the Pad Thai, it had an egg roll, California roll, three pieces of sushi & three pieces of sashimi. The fish, tuna, salmon & escolar, was really fresh and tasty. Everything on the plate was good and it was definitely too much for me to eat in one sitting. For $23, definitely one of the tastier lunches we’ve had in a while.
Tom Yum Thai & Sushi
104 Patricia Ave
We were headed to a matinee show at Ruth Eckerd Hall and figured we could get a quick to bite to eat at Athens Restaurant in Safety Harbor before the show. Loren went for a Greek salad and I opted for breakfast.
He said his salad was ok (especially after adding my bacon) and I liked the French toast. I asked for cheese in my eggs and would have liked for it to have been mixed in instead of just on top, but otherwise they were ok. For $15, it was a quick, decent meal.
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
Chilly day in Florida today, so we caught an early movie and then got some BBQ take out from Eli’s BBQ in Dunedin.
$27 got us a full rack of ribs, cole slaw & baked beans which will feed us for both lunch & dinner today. Eli’s got it going on when it comes to ribs. They are fall off the bone tender with just the right amount of smoky goodness. There’s a reason there’s always a line here for the two days a week he’s open. It’s cash only and definitely worth every penny.
Today there was also a sign out front for free hamburgers & hot dogs on Monday, 1/16/2012 starting at 10am until they run out in celebration of MLK Day.
360 Skinner Blvd
Panos Kouzina has changed owners and they’ve renamed it Bella Kouzina. It looks the same inside and the menus haven’t been changed yet, but there was definitely a difference in the food.
We both decided on the clam chowder to go with our entrees.
The chowder was pretty good. Not quite as creamy as other places, but it had a good flavor to it. The bread was tasty. I seem to remember it being a lot more garlicy here before though. For his entree, Loren got the Pork Medallions.
He said the pork were very tender and tasty. The dish was served with rice, but he sort of wished it was served with a vegetable as well to round out the meal. I ordered the chicken marsala with a side of fettucine alfredo.
My plate was very plain looking. The marsala sauce was very thin and looked like chicken stock, though it absolutely tasted like marsala. It had a nice sweet flavor, though I’d just never seem a marsala dish that looked that color before. (Here’s a photo of the last time I ordered it) The chicken was ok, though, very plain. It didn’t even have any sort of breading on it whatsoever. They also hit on a pet peeve of mine by not giving us steak knives to cut our food. I’m sorry, but butter knives just don’t cut it, literally.
Surprisingly, Loren liked the taste of the fettucine alfredo more than I did. There was just something off about it. I don’t know if it was the type of cheese in it or if they added some additional herbs. All I know is that it just didn’t do it for me.
Unfortunately, our waitress ignored our table quite a bit. We were done eating long before she ever stopped by again. And once she brought us boxes for our leftovers, she disappeared again. The owner ended up clearing the dishes off our table. We didn’t even get asked if we wanted dessert. Total bill was $30 with a drink.
3101 SR 580
Safety Harbor, FL
The more we go to Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant in Oldsmar, the more we’re liking it. They’ve definitely gotten better over time with both the food and the service.
Tonight Loren went for the chicken fajitas.
The chicken was very tender and there was enough of it for two meals. He had plenty of tasty leftovers for the next day. I tried something different tonight, the Pollo Empanisado which came with nacho cheese sauce, rice, beans, salad and tortillas.
Underneath the chicken in the photo is another piece of chicken. I was surprised at how much food there was in this dish. The chicken was incredibly tender. We both remarked at how thin it was and yet still tender and tasty. The guacamole and cheese sauce added that little something extra. I’d definitely order it again. Total bill with a drink was $27.
Salsas Mexican Restaurant
3970 Tampa Road
We spent the morning at Lowry Park Zoo and stopped at La Pequena Colombia in Tampa for lunch. The restaurant was packed, but luckily we were able to get a table. We started off with some empanadas.
These were some tasty little bundles of goodness. We had to hold ourselves back from ordering a few more. The filling had a really nice flavor. Loren decided on the beef soup for lunch which came with a side of rice and beans.
He really liked the soup. It had a lot of flavors going on including a strong cilantro taste. The beef was tender and it had a lot of different veggies in it. The beans had a lot of flavor as well. I went for a country platter which had ground beef, pork skin, rice, beans, plantains, corn cake, an egg plus a salad.
There was a lot going on on this plate. I didn’t like the ground beef that much as it had a strong cilantro flavor, but everything else on the plate was really good. The pork skin had a very familiar flavor and was really addictive. I think we narrowed it down to a flavor similar to the fried chicken at Publix. I don’t know how to explain it, just that it was pretty darn good. The plantains were also very tender and sweet. Half of this dish came home with us. Way too much food for me.
I also couldn’t pass up getting something from the bakery.
Except for the fact the the pre-sliced edges were a little dry, the rest of the cake & strawberry filling was good. There were several items in the dessert case that I would have loved to take home with me, but there’s always next time. Service was ok. Our waiter seemed to have a hard time understanding me and we had to wait a while before he finally returned to our table with the $25 check. Overall, though, definitely a place we’d eat at again.
La Pequena Colombia
6312 N Armenia Ave
I wanted some chicken wings for dinner, so we headed over to the Oldsmar Cop Shop since it’s close. The parking lot was full and they were pretty busy. I ordered some honey BBQ wings with some sweet potato fries.
The wings here are a pretty nice size, though 4 out of the 5 were drumetttes. I actually prefer the wing part. The fries are my favorite. Sweet potatoes are good and healthy, right? Loren got a chicken sandwich with fries.
He said it was pretty good. What amused me the most about tonight, though, was the over 55 crowd grooving on the dance floor. They were having a great time when the music started. Total bill was $23 with a drink.
The Cop Shop
3780 Tampa Road
We started off the new year with a trip down to Ft DeSoto Park and stopped at the Chattaway for lunch. We both opted for some burgers today. Loren just a plain hamburger & mine a cheeseburger with mushrooms.
Both were fresh, tasty and very juicy. Definitely a good homemade burger. It is a cash only joint and most of the seating is outside on the patio. Total bill was $16 with a drink.
358 22nd Ave South
St Petersburg, FL