The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Something New


We braved the cold a second night in a row in search of food.  A new restaurant, Kuzina Mediterranean Grill & Bar, opened up recently where Winners used to be, so we headed out to Oldsmar to check it out.

Interior

The interior was cozy.  The naked trees were an interesting design.  They brought bread and hummus to the table to start with.  Loren liked the hummus, said it was very garlicy.  I liked the bread, though it would have been better if it had been warmed.

Because we just can’t say no to appetizers, we ordered the calamari.  It was very good and the sundried tomato sauce that came with it was excellent.

Calamari

For dinner, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Rissoto and Loren got the Salmon Farfale.  I was disappointed in the rissoto.  All I could taste was parmesean cheese.  It was completely overwhelming.  The cheese even began to solidify on my spoon, it was so thick.  Loren enjoyed his salmon pasta dish and I took his leftovers to eat tomorrow.  I’d probably order his dish again, but I’ll pass on the rissoto.

Since I didn’t eat all my dinner (yeah, I’m using that as an excuse), we ordered dessert.  Let’s face it, I’m not passing up a chocolate dessert.  It was listed on the menu as “Molten Chocklate Lava Cake”.  I’m not real sure what “chocklate” is, but I figured I’d take a chance anyway. 

Because they make the dessert to order, it took about 15 minutes to get to the table.  They should probably let you know that ahead of time so you can order it early.  Though it was an ooey, gooey chocolate dessert, it really didn’t have the deep dark chocolate flavor that I crave.  The cake was really bland and the interior “lava” didn’t have a strong chocolate taste either.  There was a darker chocolate sauce on the outside that was good.  It could have used some whipped cream or ice cream on the side to make it sweeter.  Don’t get me wrong, we ate the entire thing, but I probably won’t order it again.

The service at the restaurant seemed very inexperienced.  Granted they just opened, but our drinks went unfilled at times and when we sat down, our table was set for four and even though there were only two of us, the waitress never took the other settings away. 

We probably will go back again and try some other dishes.  Appetizer, two dinners, dessert, and an iced tea ran us $46.     

Kuzina Mediterranean Grill & Bar
3980 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL
813-749-7550

Kuzina Mediterranean Grill and Bar on Urbanspoon

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Cold Night, Hot Food


The temperature rarely gets into the 30’s in Florida, but we’re in the middle of a cold spell right now.  I wasn’t sure I even wanted to leave the house, but the thought of comfy Cuban food was enough to get me to dig out my winter coat and head out to Cuban Breezes in Oldsmar.

We started with a couple of appetizers, a chicken empanada and a cup of chorizo soup. 

We eat at Cuban Breezes a lot, but this is the first time I tried their Fricase de Pollo.  It’s shredded chicken and diced potatoes in a tomato based sauce over rice.  It was yummy.  Shad got his usual Lechon, marinated shredded pork, and some beans and rice.

Appetizers, two dinners and a Pepsi ran us $25.

Cuban Breezes
13980 W. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL
813-814-9939

Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

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Getting Happy with the Girls


It was Friday night out with friends and we went to the The Living Room in Dunedin.  This was the first time I’ve been there.  It’s in Dunedin, right on the corner when you turn to go downtown.  Unfortunately, there’s a bunch of construction at that intersection and their parking area is really small, so some of us had to park in the hospital parking lot across the street.

Since we didn’t have reservations, we ended up out on the patio, which under normal circumstances would have been fine, but it was one of the coldest nights we’ve had in Florida in a long time.  They have heaters and heavy vinyl drop curtains on the patio, but there was still a draft.  My feet and butt didn’t thaw out until well after I got home.

I’m the only one in our group who doesn’t drink so while their cocktails kept them warm, I needed to find something else.  I wanted hot chocolate, but had to settle for tea.  It was an orange sanguine tea and helped warm me up.

Four of us ordered the same thing, the Wild Mushroom Grilled Flatbread Pizza.  Flatbread grilled and topped with sundried tomato, wild mushrooms, artichokes, and Gorgonzola cheese.  It was really good and plenty for one person.  I also ordered the chocolate mousse for dessert.

Dessert…  I love sweets, and if that sweet includes chocolate, then I am so there.  It’s a wonder that I don’t weigh 500 lbs given my weakness for pasta and chocolate.  But, let’s just say, I don’t usually pass up an opportunity to check out the dessert menu.

As for the chocolate mousse, it was very thick and rich.  I should have taken a photo of it (I really will start doing that) because the presentation was pretty.  It was tear shaped with raspberry sauce, whipped cream, and graham cracker crumbs on the plate. 

My bill was $15, and the mousse actually cost more than the flatbread. 

The Living Room on Main
 680 Main Street
Dunedin, FL
727-736-5202

The Living Room on Urbanspoon

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Working Lunch


Being a largely “work from home” business, my boss likes to get us together every other Friday for a lunch meeting.  These lunches rarely last less than two hours, and have dragged on as long as 4 hours on occasion!  But, we always try to go someplace with good food, a good view, or both.

Since is was cold as hell this week, and raining today, we skipped the beach (we do love lunch on the beach!), and went to Los Mariachi’s for a cozy meal.  The chips and salsa are free, tasty and plentiful, and Los Mariachi’s has a nice inexpensive lunch menu with prices in the $5.00-$8.00 range.  I almost always get lunch special #1, the “Speedy Gonzoles” (a taco, an enchilada and rice or beans), but today I opted for their lunch Fajitas for about $7.00.  They skimp just a little on the meat, but plenty of everything else, especially flavor!  I was quite satisfied, as always.

The boss paid for this one, but the total for my lunch with tip wasn’t more than about $12.

Los Mariachis
9100 Ulmerton Rd
Largo, FL 
(727) 584-9739

Los Mariachis Mexican on Urbanspoon

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Time for Thai


I usually bring my lunch to work, but on Fridays my friend Cathy and I head out for lunch.  With the temperature dropping, soup was high on the list of desired menu items, so we headed out to Amarit Thai in Palm Harbor.

They start you off with some chicken and rice soup and an spring roll.  It’s a great place to go for lunch and there’s almost always other people from work there.  You just can’t beat soup, spring roll, and a big ol’ dish of pad thai for $10.

Amarit Thai
1000 E Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL 
727-789-9186

Amarit Thai on Urbanspoon

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