The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Wait and Then Wait Some More


We were in Largo this afternoon and stopped at Culver’s for lunch.  It’s a burger chain popular in Wisconsin and the midwest.  You order at the counter and then they bring the food out to you.  Loren decided to be different and got a prime rib sandwich with onion rings and I got the mushroom burger with their famous cheese curds.

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For a while there, we weren’t sure if we were going to get our food.  It was ridiculously slow coming out of the kitchen and quite honestly, not worth the wait.  The burger was overly salted and the cheese curds tasted no different than cheese sticks you get at any chain restaurant.  Maybe they’re better if they’re fresh out of the fryer, but these weren’t all that warm.  Loren said the prime rib was ok.  Nothing to make us want to come back here.

We figured we might as well try the frozen custard since it wasn’t likely we’d be back.

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It’s a good thing we didn’t need to be anywhere this afternoon because it took even longer for these to come out than it did our burgers.  No wonder it’s so hard to find a table in the restaurant, everyone’s just sitting there waiting.  As for the custard, they were very good.  Thick, rich, and creamy with good flavor and texture.  You can mix in a bunch of different toppings.  Loren got vanilla with caramel and brownies and I got the chocolate with hot fudge and Oreos.  Total bill with a drink was $24.  The food is average, the custard very good, but they need to work out the timing of getting the food to the tables.  The wait was just way too long for fast food.

Culver’s
3500 E Bay Drive
Largo, FL
727-223-9915

Culver's on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service1/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
1.7/5

So full


We ended up at Longhorn Steakhouse tonight after we couldn’t find parking at the restaurant we had planned to go to.  I was shocked that we didn’t have to wait for a table at 6pm on a Friday night.  Of all the chain restaurants, I think Longhorn has become our favorite.  The food is consistent and the flavors are there.  We started off with one of their new appetizers, the sweet chili calamari.

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This was some perfectly cooked calamari.  I couldn’t stop eating it even though the sweet chili sauce had my tongue tingling.  I would definitely order it again.  After bread and salads, out came out entrees.  Loren got the 6 oz Renegade sirloin with asparagus.

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He said the steak was very tender and tasty.  Unfortunately, the asparagus was a little too far on the tender side.  He likes his asparagus much crisper.  I ordered the half rack of baby back ribs.

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They were very tender with a slightly sweet sauce.  I really enjoyed them.  And even though we were both stuffed at this point, I just couldn’t pass up the dessert sampler.

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This is the dessert to get here.  Chocolate stampede, caramel apple goldrush, and strawberry cheesecake.  Yum!  I devoured the chocolate stampede.  It’s layers of chocolate mousse on a chocolate cake.  So good!  Loren favored the caramel apple dish and the cheesecake was pretty darn tasty as well.   We had to roll ourselves out of the restaurant.  Total bill with a drink was $55 and worth every penny.

Longhorn Steakhouse
35645 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL
(727) 781-9300

Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

 

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

Stealthy Waitress


We normally don’t even try to go to Bonefish on the weekends because they’re so busy, but surprisingly, we were able to walk in and get a table at 6pm without a wait.  They have a new menu, but we stuck with the specials and tried the Wagyu Beef & Ginger potstickers.

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These were interesting.  The ginger flavor bursts in your mouth from the first bite.  I found the filling to be a bit too mushy though.  I wouldn’t have had any idea what kind of meat it was if it wasn’t listed on the menu.  It was very soft and the only flavor you really tasted was the ginger.  Don’t get me wrong, they were tasty, but just had a strange mouth-feel to them.  I can’t resist the crab and corn chowder here so I had to order a cup of it.

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It has some nice bits of crab on top and a smooth, thick, creamy texture.  It’s got a little bit of heat and one of my favorite things on the menu.  Honestly, I need to just stop ordering entrees here and stick with the appetizer menu.

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I ordered the wild caught sockeye salmon, Lily’s way, with a side of broccoli and Jasmine rice.  I shouldn’t have bothered with Lily’s way, which is goat cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach and a lemon basil sauce.   It really didn’t enhance the salmon in any way and I ended up scraping it off.  I like goat cheese, but it’s too overpowering for salmon.  Honestly, I’m not sure that cheese goes with any type of fish.  The fish was nicely cooked, but the dish was way overpriced for what it was.

Loren ordered the Ahi Tuna Belleair.

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It also came with goat cheese, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and the same lemon basil sauce as mine had.  He ordered it rare and it was way overcooked.  The absolute center was almost close to rare, but that was it.  He ended up taking the goat cheese off as well.  Overall, the food just wasn’t up to par from what we expect here.

We were seated at a table and instead of coming at us from the front of the table, our waitress would always walk up from behind in between us and it startled me every time.  She was stealthy.  She was very nice and I’m sure she came to that part of the table so she could hear us, but it just made me twitchy.  Total bill with a drink was $64.

Bonefish Grill 
2519 McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL
727-726-1315

Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

 

Food2/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.5/5

One Roll at a Time


We ate here once before when it was called Koba Sushi.  Now, it’s called Faceless Samurai, but it looks exactly the same inside.   It’s not a very big restaurant and we were there way longer than it should have taken to get four rolls.  The first thing we noticed were the children, of I’m guessing someone who works there, playing loudly at the table next to us.  Not exactly the way we wanted to spend our quiet night out.

We ordered four rolls which came out one at a time with way too much time between them.  The problem is that we order rolls specifically for ourselves and there are some I don’t eat and some that Loren doesn’t really like, so the way the sushi came out, one of us inevitably was waiting to eat while the other one was eating.  We also don’t like having to eat one entire roll at a time, we much prefer to mix and match pieces throughout the meal.

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The sushi was just ok.  Nothing out of the ordinary, good or bad.  We got a Mexican roll, a California Roll, a Spicy Tuna, and a Rainbow Roll.  We also ordered some salmon, but we never got it.  Loren also ordered a drink and had to ask again for the waitress to actually bring it out.  She seemed friendly, but was completely scattered and not paying attention to anything that was going on.  Total bill was $50 and there’s no reason for us to go back.

Faceless Samurai
3428 Tampa Rd
Palm Harbor, FL
(727) 772-5622

Faceless Samurai on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service1/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.1/5

Big Breakfast


We were over in Tampa and stopped at the Three Coins Diner for breakfast.  They were pretty busy this morning , but luckily we got a table without a wait.  It’s not a big restaurant and looked to be filled with locals enjoying a hearty breakfast.

Loren went for a Belgium waffle and bacon.  Wouldn’t be breakfast without bacon, right?

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Big fresh waffle and tasty bacon, what more could a guy ask for?  I went for the pancakes, eggs and some hashbrowns.

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The pancakes were light and fluffy, just the way pancakes should be.  There was more food on our plates than either of us could eat.  It was typical diner food, with typical diner prices.  You don’t go home hungry.  Three Coins is open 24 hours, so you can get your fill any time of day or night.  Total bill with a drink was $19.

Three Coins Diner
7410 N. Nebraska Ave
Tampa, FL
813-239-1256

Three Coins on Urbanspoon

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