The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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1/2 Price Burgers on Tuesday


We’re in High Springs for a few days checking out the different parks in the area.  We walked over to The Great Outdoors Restaurant from the Grady House Bed & Breakfast where we’re staying.  Tuesday is half priced burger day, so we started off with some clam chowder & then moved on to the burgers.

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The clam chowder was ok, but lacked seasoning.  We got the Suwannee & Ginnie burgers and neither really impressed us.  They were just very plain, under seasoned burger patties.  I’m glad they were half priced, otherwise I would have really felt like we overpaid.  We tried the caramel crunch cake for dessert.

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Loren liked it more than I did.  It had a really odd texture to it.  There were supposed to be crunchy caramel bits in one of the layers, but they were neither crunchy, nor chewy.  They just tasted like stale caramel pieces.  Not the best meal we had on our vacation.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

Great Outdoors Restaurant
65 N Main St
High Springs, FL
386-454-1288

The Great Outdoors on Urbanspoon

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

Homemade Goodness


We were driving through Ocala today and at the recommendation of a friend, stopped at the Ivy House for lunch.  It’s a good thing this place isn’t closer because I’d be eating there constantly.  This is what down home southern food should taste like.  We started off with the BBQ shrimp and grits appetizer.

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I could have eaten two bowls of these grits.  They were creamy, cheesy, and perfectly seasoned.  The shrimp was nicely cooked with a tangy BBQ sauce.  I’m pretty sure we licked the plate clean.  For his entree, Loren got the Krispy chicken salad.

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Perfectly cooked chicken with a tasty ranch dressing.  It also came with a roll and cornbread.  I ordered the Krispy chicken platter.

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It came with macaroni & cheese, a side salad, veggies, a roll & cornbread.  I was in heaven.  The chicken is drenched in butter and covered in Rice Krispies and baked to a mouthwatering tenderness.  The mac & cheese was creamy and tasty.  Everything on the plate was delicious.  We couldn’t leave without dessert.

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This monstrosity is the Hot Tin Roof sundae.  There’s a brownie buried in there somewhere, plus ice cream, whipped cream, strawberries and all sorts of sauces drizzled on top.  It looks like a mess, but it was tasty.  I was very impressed with the food and the prices were very reasonable.  I would absolutely eat there again.  Total bill with a drink was $44.

The Ivy House
917 East Silver Springs Blvd
Ocala, FL
352-622-5550

Ivy House on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.1/5

Mac & Cheese


I love mac and cheese and don’t often find too many that I like.  The steak & onion mac & cheese at Surf Shack is one of those dishes that I’ll order again and again.

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It comes to the table bubbling hot, so you better have a good conversation going because it’s going to be a few minutes before you can actually put any of it in your mouth.  The steak is tender and the french fried onions on top give it a nice crunch and flavor.  Loren had the tuna tacos.

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He’s had them before and he liked them.  Total bill with a drink was $21.

Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 475-5916

Surf Shack on Urbanspoon

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

Thai Before Sunset


Wanted to start off my vacation with a sunset, so off to Indian Rocks Beach we went and ate dinner at Thai Pan Alley.  It took a while before our waitress came to our table.  We ordered the dumplings, the Kiss Me Beef and the Pad Broccoli.

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The Kiss Me Beef had a lot of garlic and pepper in it, plus water chestnuts and carrots.  Loren liked it.  I thought the pad broccoli with chicken was a bit on the bland side.  The chicken was very plain and didn’t seem as though it was cooked with the vegetables.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

And here’s that sunset:

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Thai Pan Alley
2300 Gulf Drive Ste 1
Indian Rocks Beach, FL
727-593-3663

Thai-Pan Alley on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.0/5

Breakfast


We had a late breakfast at Athen’s in downtown Safety Harbor this morning.

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Blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon for Loren and a delicious raisin French Toast with eggs and hashbrowns for me.  Very filling and the price was right.  Total bill with a drink was $14.

Athens Restaurant
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
727-726-3471

Athen's on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.6/5