The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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It’s been a while since we had Chinese food, so we made our way over to Big Bok Choy in Oldsmar.  It was around 6:30pm when we got there and they weren’t very busy, but by 7pm, the entire restaurant was full.  Unfortunately, it seemed the kitchen got overwhelmed and the owner was trying very hard to keep up with the dining room.   We watched one table  just get up and leave after getting their menus and another party came in, saw the crowd and left.  

In this economy, being busy is definitely a problem you want to have and for the most part, it did seem as though the customers were willing to wait the extra time for their food.   I’ve always found that our patience has been rewarded. 

I say this every time we eat here, the family that owns the restaurant is just very friendly.  She recognizes us and remembers things about us as well.  She started us off with some spring rolls.

Light and crunchy with a really nice flavor.  Loren was trying to save room for his dinner, so I ate most of it with the sweet dipping sauce.  I finally remembered to ask what the other veggie besides carrots were on the side of the plate.  It’s daikon radish.  I know it’s just a garnish, but it’s one of those simple little things that has such a fresh flavor to it. 

We both got the wonton soup.

This is Loren’s bowl, because they remember here that I don’t like scallions.  Loren got the hunan beef with evil hot peppers in it.

He said the beef was very tender.  He likes this dish because of all the veggies.  It’s funny if you look at his plate halfway through since there’s a line of peppers all around the edge of the plate.  Surprisingly, he even had some leftovers.   I tried something different this time, the Lemon Chicken.

It was a very attractive presentation with all the thinly sliced lemon sections on top and it had a wonderful lemon aroma as well.  The sauce was fairly thin and very tart.  With just the rice, it was a little too tart, but with the chicken it blended very well. 

Total dinner with a drink was $37.  As I said at the beginning, they were very busy, so we were there for quite a while.  Regardless though, the owner always had a smile on her face and stopped to chat for a minute with the regular customers.

Big Bok Choy Bistro
3730 Tampa Road #6
Oldsmar, FL

Big Bok Choy Bistro on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Chinese, Oldsmar
  • Busy Thai

    Ban Thai is close to our house, so we headed over there for dinner tonight.  The restaurant is always busy, but we were able to get a table.  It felt a little awkward as there were two 2-top tables right next to each other, so I felt like we just sat down at someone else’s table.  Luckily, the people at the other table were almost finished. 

    We started off with some soup.  Loren got the chicken and rice and I got the chicken in cream of coconut soup.

    Both soups were very good.  We also got some crab rangoons.

    They had some curry in them, so that was the dominant flavor.  They were yummy little bundles of goodness though, served with a sweet dipping sauce.  I couldn’t tell that there was any crab in them, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I ordered crab rangoons anywhere where you actually tasted the crab. 

    Loren ordered the ginger chicken.  It’s his usual when we go out for Thai.

    Lots of fresh chicken and veggies in a flavorful ginger sauce.  There’s a reason this is his favorite dish.  It never disappoints.

    I decided to try something different tonight and went for the beef with broccoli.

    It was ok, but probably not something I’d order again.  I prefer the Chinese version of beef and broccoli where the sauce is a bit sweeter.  Everything was fresh and the beef was tender, but it just wasn’t the flavor I was looking for.  Total bill ran us $33. 

    Ban Thai Restaurant
    2519 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL

    Ban Thai on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Clearwater, Thai
  • Had an unscheduled lunch with the boss today.  Conveniently, he chose a place near me this time.  One of our favorite lunch places (yes, we have a lot of favorite lunch places), Brady’s Backyard BBQ in Safety Harbor.

    I forgot to take pictures of the food, but I had my phone out while I was waiting for the boss, so you get an “atmosphere” shot.

    Brady’s has been around for 4-5 years, and used to be in a quaint old house on 3rd street across from the post office.  I liked that place, it had a homey feel to it.  But, I guess it wasn’t the greatest place to run a restaurant, and the parking wasn’t the best.  They moved a couple blocks to one of the strips along Main street a few months ago.

    I love me some pulled pork, and some ribs (their rib tips are AWESOME), but a few months ago I discovered their brisket sandwich, and that’s what I had today.  It’s pretty basic.  A bun with two huge chunks of super-tender and tasty brisket.  It’s gotta be a half-pound of meat, and it’s good stuff.

    The small sandwich comes with chips and a pickle.  What else do you need?  Well, you need collard greens!  Fortunately, their chip guy hadn’t shown up yet today, so we got to choose a side.  Did I mention that their collard greens are top notch?  Really, all of their sides are good.

    The kicker for me, however, is their mango barbecue sauce.  It is to die for!  Very unique flavor, just sweet enough, just tangy enough… MmmMmmMmm!

    The small sandwich basket is only like $7, you can’t go wrong.  So, yeah.  We like Brady’s.  Best BBQ in this area.  I like Hot Rod’s a little better, but I’d have to drive 20 miles to Lutz for that.  Within 5 miles, nobody else challenges them.

    Brady’s Backyard BBQ
    340 Main Street
    Safety Harbor, FL 34695

    Brady's Backyard Grill on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: BBQ, Safety Harbor