The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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A Little German


I was in the mood for some Jaegerschnitzel, so we went over to Lagerhaus in Palm Harbor.  Our meals came with salads and they had some pork stuffed mushrooms as a special appetizer tonight that we decided to try.

The pork in the mushrooms seems a bit sweet to me, but the mustard dipping sauce was a smokey, mustard, spicy sauce that counterbalanced the sweetness.  They didn’t last long.  Loren decided on a Club sandwich.

Lots of ham, turkey & bacon.  He ended up taking half of it home.  My reason for coming here, the Jaegerschnitzel and cheese spaetzle.

I hadn’t poured the mushroom gravy on it yet just to show how big this piece of pork is.  Definitely enough for two meals.  It’s very tender and flavorful with the gravy.  The spaezle is cheesy, and oh so yummy.  I even ordered a second side of it to take home with the rest of the pork.  There’s no way I could finish this in one sitting.  We tried the chocolate cake for dessert.

I’m thinking they heated it up just a tab bit too long.  It was tasty, but the fudgey frosting and middle was a bit liquified.  Don’t get me wrong, we ate every last bite of it.  Total bill with a drink was $47 and we both had leftovers.

Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill
3438 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
813-343-2449

Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5

Burgers


Da Burger Joint recently opened up in Oldsmar in the space where Nosh Cafe was located.  We ordered at the counter and took a seat to wait for our food.  The first thing we noticed as soon as they started cooking our food was the smell of greasy smoke thick in the air.  Considering we were the only ones there, I can’t even imagine being able to sit in there after a bunch of food starts getting cooked.  They need to invest in a better ventilation system sooner rather than later.

Loren ordered the Pig & Cow burger, I went for the Get Ova Here burger and we split a side of panko breaded onion rings.

Loren & I disagreed about this whole meal.  He liked the flavor of his burger with it’s BBQ pork bits on it.  I didn’t like the texture of the onion rings and  I found the burger to be flavorless and way too greasy & sloppy to even pick up & eat.  Perhaps some cheese or condiments would have made it better, but on its own, it didn’t measure up to other burger places in the area.  Nothing about the experience made me think we need to try it again.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

Da Burger Joint
4058 Tampa Rd
Oldsmar, FL
727-301-0012

Da Burger Joint Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food2/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere1/5
Value2/5
1.9/5

Mediterranean Buffet


Looking for a new Mediterranean restaurant and ended up at Mirage Restaurant in Clearwater on Gulf to Bay.  Normally, we’re not too keen on buffets, but this one was surprisingly fresh and tasty.

The buffet had a variety of salads and dips, my favorite being the babaganoush.  There were several different rice and vegetarian options, stuffed grape leaves, plus chicken and beef kababs.  We tried a bunch of different things and the meats were all very tender and everything had a good mix of flavorful spices.  The baklava for dessert wasn’t too sweet and had a warm cinnamon flavor to it.  The restaurant itself is just a big open dining room, plus a patio out front.

Total bill was $47 and we’ll definitely be back again.

Mirage Restaurant
2284 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL
727-724-3604

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

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.9/5

Back for Lunch


We went back to Mother’s in Westchase for lunch today with a friend. It was a  beautiful day to sit out on the open patio.  Though we ended up ordering the same entrees we had during our first visit, we did try a different appetizer this time, the tuna tartare.

Other than the fact that this was awkward to share & eat, it was very tasty.  The plate was smeared with wasabi and the dish had tuna, avocado, wonton chips on top in a ginger oyster sauce.  I think it would have been easier to eat if the wonton chips were large enough to put a scoop of the tuna on.

Loren got the grilled chicken sandwich which has bacon, avocado, and melted cheese.  The chicken was grilled so it could be considered a “healthy” sandwich, right??

Our friend got the coffee rubbed beef on weck and said it was really good.  Loren had been hesitant to order it, thinking the coffee flavor would be too strong, but our friend said he didn’t even notice it.

I went back to one of my favorites, the citrus duck flat bread. This dish hits all the right flavor and texture notes for me.  Duck confit, goat cheese, mandarin oranges, pears with a little drizzle of ponzu sauce.  Yum!

Certainly not a cheap lunch though, $61 for the three of us & two drinks.

Mother’s
12227 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-814-1533

Mother's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.8/5

Italian for Dinner


We were in St Pete with friends for a show at the Mahaffey Theater and ate dinner at Gratzzi Italian Grille.  Luckily, we had made reservations because they were quite busy for a Wednesday evening at 5:30pm.  They started us out with some bread and herb infused oil, then soup or salad included in the meal.

The bread was ok; the crust a little too crunchy for my taste, but the infused oil had some nice flavors.  The salad had a variety of different things in it.  Both the Pasta e Fagioli and Italian Wedding soups looked very similar to each other, just with a few different ingredients.

Our friends ordered the Chicken Parmigiana and the Pappardelle Giuliana

The chicken parm was big enough for leftovers (we’ll get to that later) and the pasta dish had scallops in a roasted red pepper sauce.  They both said the food was good, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Loren ordered the cedar planked salmon and I ordered the chicken marsala with a side of Pappardelle Alfredo.

The salmon was nicely cooked and topped with blue crab.  Loren liked it.  The chicken marsala was tender and the sauce was good, but I’ve had more flavorful at other Italian restaurants.  The alfredo pasta was tasty, but not worth what I ended up paying for it.  (we’ll get to that later).  For dessert, we got the Lemoncello cake and our friends got the gelato.

The cake was really good.  Very strong, tart lemon flavor to it. Now, for those things we were going to get to later.  We were busy talking and not really paying attention as we paid the bills and left the restaurant.  Come to find out, they charged me the full entree price for the side of alfredo pasta that I ordered.  The waitress also didn’t bring the leftovers back to the table that my friend had from her dinner.  Drinks weren’t always filled quickly enough and Loren’s pretty sure his glass of tea was refilled with diet soda.  Overall, the food was ok, but nothing that would make us feel the need to return. And the mistakes with the check and leftovers definitely would keep us from recommending to others.  Our half of the bill was $77, $10 more than it should have been.

Gratzzi Italian Grille
211 2nd Street S
St Petersburg, FL
727-623-9037

Gratzzi Italian Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.6/5