The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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Between Meetings

Don’t you hate it when you get scheduled into meetings where the one that was supposed to end at noon ends late and your next one starts at 1pm?   I needed a quick lunch, so ordered some take-out from China Taste in Oldsmar again.  Surprisingly, this is the first repeat visit to a restaurant I’ve had this year. 

Had to order the crab rangoons again.  I just can’t go here without getting them and decided on the Beef with Broccoli lunch special.

One of the things I like about China Taste is that you almost always have leftovers.  Their beef and broccoli is tasty.  Personally, I like the broccoli not quite so crunchy, but I usually don’t eat all of it anyway.   

For under $10, got my crab rangoons, rice, entree, a drink, made it to my 1pm on time and have leftovers for tomorrow.  This is why I have their take out menu in my purse and phone number on speed dial.

China Taste
13887 W. Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL

China Taste on Urbanspoon


Looking for Lo Mein

I brought my lunch to work today, but as it got closer to lunchtime, I just didn’t want what I brought.  So, called up the hubby and we went over to Hin Lee II in Oldsmar.

Since I have a hard time passing up sushi, I had to order a Mexican roll.

It was ok.  No where as good as the one we had at Thirsty Marlin the other night.

The lunch specials at Hin Lee are fairly inexpensive.  I ordered some shrimp lo mein and Loren got the Kung Bo Chicken.  Both come with an egg roll and fried rice.

I like egg rolls and these were ok, but they didn’t taste fresh.  It was like they had made a bunch up awaiting a lunch crowd that never came. 

My lo mein was an even bigger disappointment.  Again, it just didn’t taste fresh.  The shrimp were overcooked and the fried rice tasted like it had been sitting there for a long time.  It also had a lot of soy beans in it, which I really don’t like.  I wish their menu listed all of the ingredients so I didn’t have to spend half my time picking things out of the dish.

 Loren seemed to like his Kung Bo chicken, but he said the sauce was more like a sweet and sour sauce rather than spicy though.

All in all, I would have been better off saving my $22 and eating the Fluffernutter sandwich I brought to work.

Hin Lee II
4013 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL

Hin Lee Chinese on Urbanspoon


Lock Your Car

After a day of geocaching in Dunedin, Ozona, and Palm Harbor, we headed over to the Thirsty Marlin for dinner.

We’ve been to the Thirsty Marlin a few times.  This was the first time I noticed sushi on the menu.

I ordered a Mexican roll which is fried shrimp, avacado, and mayo.  I was very impressed.  The shrimp was cooked perfectly, nice and crunchy, the avacado was very fresh and the rice had great flavor to it.  I should have just ordered another one for my dinner.

Instead, I ordered the ahi tuna and Loren got the Mahi Mahi.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my tuna rare, but I thought this one could have been seared just a bit longer.  It was covered in sesame seeds and the whole thing was cold.  I got Miss Bliss potato salad and Smugglers sweet potatoes for my side dishes.


I ended up sending the potato salad back.  I took one bite and realized it was full of raw onions.  I don’t like raw onions in anything, so I got another order of the sweet potato casserole.  At first, I really liked it.  It was sweet with brown sugar and marshmallows all melted on top, but as I got further into it, it had a bitter flavor to it, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  When I scooped the second order into our to-go box, there were really dark parts of it that turned out to be mollasses.  Ruined the entire thing for me.  All that awesome sweetness, turned bitter because it wasn’t mixed well.

Loren enjoyed his mahi, baked potato and salad.  I should have just stuck with the sushi.  Our total bill was around $50 and there’s plenty of leftovers for tomorrow.

As we were leaving, there were cop cars out where we parked asking if we had locked our car because several cars had just been broken into.  Luckily, there wasn’t anything in ours to steal, but I’d suggest locking your car if you’re eating there at night. 

Thirsty Marlin
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL

Thirsty Marlin Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon


Geocaching Day 2 – Breakfast

We’ve been craving breakfast for a while now, so looked for a breakfast place on our way to Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin.  Landed at Benedict’s Restaurant on Bayshore Blvd.

Benedict’s is a small restaurant with a bit of kitzch going on.  Looks like a place where the locals hang out.

We both opted for breakfast option #2, 2 eggs, 2 sausage or bacon, and 2 pancakes.  We ordered our eggs scrambled with cheese and a side of seasoned potatoes.

The eggs were really cheesy and that’s a plus in my book.  I’m usually disappointed when I order scrambled eggs because most places cook them until they’re dry and rubbery.  Not these eggs though.  They were just the right texture with the cheese melted in.  The seasoned potatoes were very seasoned with garlic. 

And though we’re no pancake professionals like our friends Andy and Marek of Tampa Bay Breakfasts, I gotta say, these pancakes were pretty darn tasty. 

It took a while to get our food, but right on the table, it says every meal is made to order, so please be patient.  Our patience was rewarded.  All in all, a good, tasty breakfast for $16.50.

Benedict’s Restaurant
2676 Bayshore Blvd
Dunedin, FL

Benedict's on Urbanspoon


Fueling Up Before Geocaching

We were heading out to John Chestnut Park to search for some geocaches today.  Needed something filling to keep us going all afternoon, so stopped at Vetture’s Restaurant in Palm Harbor for lunch.

I like cheesesteaks and the one at Vetture’s is very yummy.  Lots of cheesy goodness, onions and mushrooms.  Loren got the Italian sub and we were both stuffed by the time we were done.  Their 6 inch subs seem a lot bigger than any other 6 inch subs I’ve had elsewhere.

Two subs and a drink ran us $16.

Vetture’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
36137 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL

Vetture's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon