The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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Not Feeling Neglected, Are You?

Got home from work around 5:30pm and decided to see if I could get any decent photos of the full moon since it was supposed to be its biggest and brightest of the year tonight.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy over the horizon, so I wasn’t able to get any shots of the moon rising, but did manage a few decent ones once it got above the clouds.

I got back home around 6:30pm and Loren had a hankering for steak, so we drove out to Longhorn Steakhouse in Palm Harbor.  The drive through the parking lot showed a large crowd of people waiting on tables and there weren’t any parking spots, so I suggested Outback instead.  I saw some empty parking spaces when we had passed it on the way to Longhorn.

We parked at Outback only to go in and find there was a 50 minute wait.  By now, we were both fairly hungry and being the geeks that we are, Loren whipped out his cell phone and searched for steakhouses near our location.  The gps came up with Ozona Blue in Palm Harbor, so we headed out there.

Unfortunately, though, the gps didn’t have the address correct, so we drove right by the restaurant and headed into Ozona.  We were at the Ozona Pig before we knew it.  We’d eaten there before and the food was good, so we pulled into the parking lot and our steak dinner turned into BBQ instead.

The last time we were at The Ozona Pig, it was almost empty.  Not so tonight.  It was packed and noisy.  So noisy that we could barely hear each other from across the table.  Our waitress brought our drinks and then it took a while before she returned to take our order.  It was an omen of things to come, but we didn’t know it at the time.

I ordered the pulled pork dinner with macaroni and cheese and potato salad for my sides. 

 Loren got the half rack of ribs, garlic mashed, and baked beans. Both dinners came with a deviled egg and we ordered a couple of extra too.

The ribs and the pulled pork were really good.  They definitely know how to do BBQ.  We even had some leftovers.  The sides were a different story though.  The potato salad and the beans were ok.  The macaroni and cheese was dry, the deviled eggs were tough, and the garlic mashed could have warded off Dracula and all the vampires from Twilight and True Blood combined.

All during dinner, we didn’t see our waitress.  In fact, for at least 45 minutes after we’d finished eating, we didn’t see hide nor hair of her or any other waitstaff for that matter.  I get that they were busy, but you can’t just ignore tables all night.

Evenutally, she made her way over to us and said, “Ya’ll haven’t been feeling neglected back here, have you?”.  Ummm.. yeah. 

Total bill was $28 and the BBQ was good, but the service was horrible.  Perhaps take-out would have been a better option.

The Ozona Pig
311 Orange St
Ozona, FL

Ozona Pig on Urbanspoon


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