The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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It’s all Greek to Me

Panos Kouzina is a little Greek restaurant close to our house.  I usually order something off their specials board, but they had a two dinners for $15 special going,  so we ordered from that and got the Souvlaki and Gyro dinners. 

Let’s pause for a moment and talk about my obsession with bread.  I usually clean out the bread basket any time we go out to eat.  I love bread and rolls slathered in butter or dipped in olive oil.  It just makes me happy.  Panos Kouzina has some of the best garlic bread I’ve ever had.  It’s thick and soft and doesn’t have so much garlic that you can’t taste anything else (that’s their Tzatziki sauce).  I was through two pieces of bread before the soup came out.

They had clam chowder for the soup today.  Good stuff.  By the time our dinners showed up, I was already full with soup & bread, so I just ate the gyro meat and some fries… and the last piece of bread.  Their Tzatziki sauce is really, really garlicly.  Not that it’s a bad thing, but you’ll probably still be tasting it the next day.

$19 and our tastebuds were happy.

Panos Kouzina
3101 SR 580
Safety Harbor, FL
(727) 797–2667

Panos Kouzina on Urbanspoon


Happy New Year!

We went to Daddy’s Grill for lunch on New Year’s Day after going to see “It’s Complicated” at the movies.   It was too cold for Florida, so I had to start off with some chicken soup.  It was pretty tasty.

I usually get the fish on a bun or a cheeseburger and opted for the mushroom swiss burger today with a side of macaroni salad.  Shad got one of the daily specials, country fried steak with scrambled eggs and grits. 

The food is pretty consistent at Daddy’s Grill, nothing spectacular, but you don’t leave hungry.  Total bill was $23.69 for lunch.

Daddy’s Grill
3682 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL
(813) 891-6556

Daddy's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


Goodbye 2009

I discovered the Mekenita Mexican Grille earlier in the year when I did a Google search of restaurants near the nature preserve we were heading to.  It’s a small restaurant at the end of a shopping plaza.  You’d probably miss it if you didn’t know it was there.

You order at the counter, then they bring chips and salsa to your table.  I guess it’s considered a salsa.  Mind you,  I don’t normally eat salsa, but I couldn’t stop eating this smokey, tomatoey, yummy concoction.  And the chips are really good too.

Both times I’ve been there, I’ve gotten the same thing, the Crispy Tiger Shrimp Burrito.  The shrimp are amazing and they’re rolled into the burrito with beans, citrus rice, cabbage, cheese, sour cream, and a lime aioli sauce that gives it a very unique flavor.  The burrito is huge.  I only managed to eat half of it, then tore apart the other side and ate the shrimp and rice.  Loren got the Wahoo Tacos.

For the two of us, total bill was $21.19.

If you like fresh, unique flavors, this is the place to go.  We found out the hard way, they’re closed on Sundays.

17623 N. Dale Mabry Hwy
Lutz, FL
Mon-Sat 11am-9pm

Mekenita Mexican Grille on Urbanspoon


We spent how much on food?!

Don’t you just love those end of the year summary credit card statements?  You just don’t realize how much you spend in any one category until you see it all grouped together.  I was a bit surprised to find out I had spent $3305 at restaurants in 2009.  The scary part is that my hubby, Loren, spent about the same amount on his credit card  (we have separate checking accounts, so we usually alternate who pays).  And those totals don’t include the occasional times when we actually paid cash.

What surprised me even more than the amount was that we’d eaten at about 75 different restaurants during the year.  Mind you, we ate at some a lot, but I didn’t realize we had eaten at so many different places.  Some of them were really good, some of them shouldn’t still be open in my opinion. 

I’ve thought about creating a food blog for a while, but never seemed to get around to it.  What’s finally motivated me is that we’re planning a trip to Hawaii in the spring and I’ve been researching where to eat on the Big Island.  The best reviews have come on blogs from people who live there.  I’m not after the touristy high end places and I try to avoid chain restaurants.  I want the down home cooking where the locals eat.

So, hopefully, I can shed some light on the food around the Tampa Bay area.  If nothing else, at least I’ll have a reminder of where I spent 10% of my take-home pay.