The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Lots of Food


We stopped at the Crispy Cajun in Clearwater for dinner tonight.  It’s a little restaurant putting out a lot of tasty food at very reasonable prices.  They were busy when we got there and people kept coming in both for take out and to eat in the entire time we were there. The menu didn’t feel Cajun to me because there were so many varied things on it from hamburgers to fried chicken to crab rangoons as well as the things I expected like jambalaya, po-boys and red beans and rice.

Loren went for the jambalaya dinner which was enough to feed several people.

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It looked like take out Chinese food to me, but the flavors were all Cajun.  He ordered it medium spicy and it had way more heat in it than I could eat.  It was a huge portion with andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken, vegetables and rice.  The sauce had a deep, dark flavor to it that Loren thoroughly enjoyed.  I went for the oyster po-boy and added a side of okra and red beans and rice.

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The okra was cooked perfectly.  We just sat and munched on those throughout the meal.  The small portion was plenty for two, maybe three people.  The red beans and rice had a nice flavor as well.  As for the po-boy, my only complaint is that the tartar sauce on it overwhelmed the entire sandwich.  I couldn’t taste anything else.  I finally pulled out one of the oysters and it was very good.  If I ordered it again, I would get it without the tartar sauce.  The amazing part of this entire meal is that we got all this food for $23.  We don’t know how they can stay in business serving this much fresh, tasty food for such low prices.

Crispy Cajun
2097 Drew St
Clearwater, FL
727-441-8886

Crispy Cajun on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value5/5
3.7/5

Indian Food


We were headed to the Holiday Lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens and stopped at Taste of Punjab for dinner.  They weren’t busy at all, but the food was good.  Loren munched on the papadum while we waited for our food.

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I’m so predictable when it comes to Indian food.  Butter chicken is my go-to dish and this one did not disappoint.  I order it mild, but it still had enough heat and a wonderful mix of spices and flavors.  That’s what I love about Indian food; each bite tempts a different part of your tongue and it all melds so beautifully together.

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We also got the garlic naan and Loren tried the goat korma.

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I think the only thing he didn’t like about it was that the goat still had bones in it.  Other than that, it had a great flavor and the medium spiciness was just right for him.  If we’re down in Largo, we’d definitely eat there again.  Total bill with a drink was $37.

Taste of Punjab
10625 117th Dr N
Largo, FL
727-545-4103

Taste of Punjab on Urbanspoon

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

Soup and Appetizers


My sister & I were in Winter Park today and stopped at Orchid Thai for lunch.  It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside and had soup and appetizers.

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I got the coconut soup and she went for the lemongrass soup.  The aroma of both were amazing.  The lemongrass soup was a bit spicy with lots of vegetables.  The coconut soup had a beautiful lime, coconut, lemongrass flavor to it.  Yum!  We settled on the Orchid Sampler and an order of the golden purses to munch on.

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The sampler had summer rolls, spring rolls, crispy shrimp, dumplings and curry puffs.  The dumplings and spring rolls were my favorite.  We both found the curry puffs to be a bit overpowering.  The golden purses are basically crab rangoons.  They had a nice crunch on the outside with a creamy filling.  It was a fresh, tasty lunch for $38.

Orchid Thai
305 Park Avenue North
Winter Park, FL
407-331-1400

Orchid Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
3.9/5

Cuban Food


We were down in Ruskin tonight and stopped at the Ybor Grille for dinner on the recommendation of a friend.  Loren started off with a salad and I devoured some bread.

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The bread came with an olive butter that Loren liked, but since I’m not an olive fan, I just stuck with the warm, crusty, tasty bread.  I went for a Cuban sandwich and fries.

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I liked the flavors in the sandwich and the bread was perfect, but would have preferred that it had been warmed all the way through.  The meats in the middle were still cold.  It was a huge sandwich and I ended up taking half of it home with me.  Loren tried the Lechon.

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The pork was very tender and tasty.  Normally, I don’t like onions on the rice and  beans, but these were sauteed and added a nice flavor to them.  We ended up taking half of this dish home too.  For dessert, we tried the bread pudding.

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Loren liked it more than I did.  It was served cold, which was off putting to me, and it had a dark, almost molasses flavor to it.  I just never knew there were so many variations to bread pudding.  It’s completely different everywhere we try it.  Overall though, it was a lot of tasty food for $28.

Ybor Grille
105 E Shell Point Rd
Ruskin, FL
813-641-7300

Ybor Grille on Urbanspoon

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

Down Home Cooking


We were in Arcadia today and stopped at Wheeler’s Cafe for lunch.  It was a crowded little restaurant, but we were able to get a seat out on the porch.  Loren ordered the cheeseburger with a side of chili.

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He said both were good.  The chili wasn’t spicy at all, but had a rich, tomatoey flavor.  I went for the country fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and fried green tomatoes.

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The chicken would have been better had it been flattened before being fried.  It was a bit on the tough side.  The mashed potatoes were homemade and yummy and the gravy had just the right amount of pepper in it.  As for the fried green tomatoes, they were quite greasy, but had a good flavor.  I wanted something sweet so we got a piece of the chocolate pudding pie.

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This didn’t do it for me.  The pudding was a bit too gelatinous for me and I’d much rather have real whipped cream than whipped topping.   Overall, the experience was just ok.  The food took a long time to come out and our waitress disappeared completely.  She never came back to the table to check on us.  Another waitress brought our dessert and check.  Total bill with a drink was $21.

Wheeler’s Cafe
13 S. Monroe Ave
Arcadia, FL
863-993-1555

Wheeler's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.7/5