The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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A Bit Spicy


We were in Tampa today and decided to try Datz for lunch.  We had about a 10 minute wait for a table and then we were seated on the second level.  This is another one of those loud restaurants.  Lots of choices on the lunch menu and we eventually settled on the Ty’s Two Fister and the Cluck Yeah.

Loren liked the corned beef, pastrami, & swiss sandwich.  He said it had good flavors and there was plenty of meat on the sandwich.  I should have asked more questions before I ordered the Cluck Yeah.

I noticed the chips came with blue cheese drizzle & green onions, two things on my “do not eat” list, so I ordered mine plain.  They were a little sweet and salty.   I should have asked what the Nashville sauce had in it.  It was a little sweet and a lot spicy.  Way too spicy for my taste.  The chicken was ok, but I just couldn’t get past the sauce.   We ordered a piece of the Buffalo Trace chocolate cake for dessert.

It was a big piece of cake & we ended up taking most of it home.    The cake was a little dry and there really wasn’t much flavor overall.  I’ve heard people rave about this restaurant, but I honestly didn’t find anything special about the food that would make me want to go back again.   Total bill with a drink was $38.

Datz Tampa
2616 S. MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 831-7000

Datz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5

Flavorful Chinese Food


We had dinner at Asian Pearl in Clearwater tonight.  This is our go-to Chinese restaurant.  The food is always so fresh and tasty.  We started off with some spring rolls.

Perfect crunch and a tasty filling.  Loren ordered the X.O. beef.  He’s ordered it before and always asks the waitress what’s in the XO sauce.  Whatever it is, it’s flavorful stuff.

The beef is tender and he likes all of the different veggies in it.  I tried the cashew chicken tonight.

This also had a lot of well cooked veggies, plus tender chicken in a tasty brown sauce.  There was enough on the plate that I had leftovers for the next day.  We’ll definitely be back for more.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

Asian Pearl
2551 Drew St #104
Clearwater, FL
727-797-1888

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Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.7/5

So Salty


We had lunch at Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Westchase today.  Loren tried the hot pastrami sandwich and I went for the brats & mash.

He really liked all the flavors in the sandwich.  He said even though some of the ingredients are things he wouldn’t normally eat, together they all melded to make a well balanced sandwich.   The red beans & rice are his favorite side dish here.   The brats & mash were tasty, but as with most things I’ve ever eaten here, the salt content is way too high.  It tastes great at first and then my tongue feels over saturated with salt.  I don’t know if it’s done purposely to get people to order more beer, but for me it’s just too much.  Total bill with a drink was $21.

Tampa Bay Brewing Co
13927 Monroe Business Park
Tampa, FL
813-247-1422

Tampa Bay Brewing Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5

Brunch


Discovered Marker 39 in Safety Harbor serves brunch on Sundays so that’s where we headed today.  We got the Big Ass Bahamian Conch Wonton and the Cuban Breakfast tostada.

The wonton is an appetizer on their dinner menu.  Perfectly crispy wonton with a cracked conch salad filling served with citrus dressed greens and a soy ginger glaze.  It was tasty, but the filling seemed like more breading than conch.  The Cuban breakfast tostada is also similar to their dinner menu Cuban Pork Crisis dish.

For breakfast, they add a crispy tostada and two fried eggs.  The marinated pork is amazing.  So tender and flavorful.  The plantains are perfectly cooked with the right amount of sweetness and the tostada added that little bit of crunch.  Definitely a dish I’d order again.

The only downside was that the restaurant has a very small indoor dining space and there was a large party of rather loud women in there.  It was that or deal with the heat & humidity on the outdoor patio.  The food was great, it was just a little difficult to have a conversation.  Total bill with a drink was $29.

Marker 39
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
727-791-1939

Marker 39 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.7/5

Mediterranean Flavors


Tucked away in a little strip mall on East Bay Drive in Clearwater, you’ll find the flavors of the Mediterranean.  The East Bistro is a small, casual restaurant where they definitely know how to marinate and season tender cuts of beef and chicken.  We started off with the baba ghanoush and pita and then split the trifecta plate.

The Baba Ghanoush had a wonderful smoky flavor with just the right amount of garlic, tahini, & lemon juice.  The pita was fresh and perfect for dipping.  This was a small order and just the right size for the two of us.  The Trifecta place normally has beef kebabs, but they had run out, so they gave us beef shwarma instead.  It was so tender with just the right blend of Mediterranean spices.  The chicken was also incredibly tender and tasty.  The plate also came with Kibbeh, rice, salad, and hummus.

Everything we ate was amazing and there were a few other things on the menu we wanted to try, but that’ll have to wait until next time.  And there will definitely be a next time.  The restaurant is small and there aren’t a lot of tables.  The food is fresh and takes a while to come out of the open kitchen and it was certainly worth the wait.  Total bill with a drink was $24.

East Bistro
4100 E Bay Drive, Unit B34
Clearwater, FL
727-798-4567

East Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food5/5
Service5/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value5/5
4.7/5