We went out to the Garden Grille Cafe for dinner tonight and had a waitress in training. Luckily, she had another waitress working with her whispering in her ear everything she forgot to do. We started off with some clam chowder and some calamari.
The clam chowder was a bit on the gritty side. They definitely needed to rinse the clams more. It needed some salt, but was ok otherwise. The calamari also needed some seasoning. Loren got a Greek salad with chicken.
He said the chicken was very tender and the salad was ok. I ordered a mushroom burger.
It was cooked way past medium and was pretty dry. They brought out the dessert tray and I was surprised at how many choices there were. We settled on a raspberry cake with cheesecake filling.
Unfortunately, this cake must have come frozen and was not thawed out properly. Parts of it were frozen solid, part of the cake was dry and the other part was wet. Not moist, but wet. The actually cheesecake filling was pretty tasty. Service was lacking in some areas as there were dishes left on our table way longer than they should have been. Total bill with a drink was $36.
Garden Grille Cafe
8425 Hillsborough Ave
We decided to try Red Robin over at Countryside Mall for lunch today. We thought we were going to miss the lunch crowd, but it was packed. We ended up waiting 15 minutes or so for a table. We decided to start off with some chips & queso.
It was pretty good. The flavor and creaminess was just right and it had a little bit of heat. There weren’t enough chips to start off with, but the waitress brought more. By the time the new basket of chips arrived though, our burgers were out. Loren got the Guac Burger and I got the mushroom burger.
We both agreed that these were some pretty tasty burgers. They definitely don’t skimp on the toppings either. There was a mound of mushrooms on mine. They also come with an endless supply of steak fries, though neither of us even finished the ones already on our plate. But, of course, you pay for all the freebies one way or another and the total bill with a drink was $31. A bit much for some burgers, even though they were pretty tasty.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
27001 US Highway 19 North
We went to a movie this morning and then ate lunch at BJ’s at Countryside Mall around 2pm. I’m convinced that this place is busy no matter what time you go in there, but at least the roar of the crowd wasn’t as bad in the middle of the afternoon. The key, we’ve learned, is to get a table by the front windows, otherwise, you can barely hear yourself think in there.
The avocado egg rolls are the main draw for me here.
Crunchy on the outside, creamy and delicious on the inside. And it’s avocado, so it’s healthy, right? Right?? Doesn’t matter, they are just too yummy to pass up. For his entree, Loren tried their mahi tacos.
He said they were pretty good. He also liked the salsa and guac that came with them. I went for the burger melt.
They make a pretty tasty burger here. It was juicy and the bread was toasted just right. I ended up bringing half of it home. The skinny fries were nice & crunchy and Loren couldn’t resist scarfing a few. For $36, it was a very satisfying meal.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
27001 US Highway 19N
Surf Shack was our destination for lunch today. The weather was gorgeous today so having the big door open out to the patio was great. Loren likes the chips & salsa here.
I wasn’t able to stop eating the chips either. They’re sort of like Doritos and somewhat addictive. They had salmon tacos on their specials for today, so Loren decided to try them.
He said they were pretty good. He also liked the Shangai cucumbers that came as a side dish. He said it was amazing how something so simple could be so tasty. Normally, I get tacos here, but I decided to try the mushroom burger instead.
It was one big burger! It was juicy and cooked a perfect medium, but it desperately needed some additional seasoning. A little salt & pepper would have gone a long way to take this from a good burger to a great one. As is, I was more aware of the taste of the bun than I was the taste of the burger itself. Overall though, it was a pretty good lunch for $20.
Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen
12217 West Linebaugh Ave
It was around 2pm when we got out of the movies and Loren suggested we give Ozona Pig another try. Unfortunately, we walked in and were told they closed at 2pm, so we walked across the street to Molly Goodheads instead.
We split a bowl of clam chowder.
This was so thick and rich and yummy. Definitely one of the better versions in the area. For his lunch, Loren went for a blackened mahi sandwich.
He said the mahi was cooked perfectly and the fries were nice & crunchy. I decided on an avocado burger and onion rings.
The burger was very thick & juicy, though not quite cooked to the medium I asked for. The onion rings were a bit on the salty side and needed to be a bit crunchier. The only thing I really dislike about Molly’s is that they allow smoking on the patio and even though we were inside, as people walked in & out the door, you could still smell the smoke. Total bill with a drink was $26.
400 Orange Street
When I’m in the mood for tater tots, we head over to Pete & Shorty’s. Loren got a pork tenderloin and I got the Chalet burger, both with tots, of course.
At first Loren said he didn’t really want tots, but he ate every last one of them in his basket. As usual, the pork tenderloin was way bigger than the bun and the burger was nice & juicy. For $18, my tot craving was satisfied and my taste buds were happy.
Pete & Shorty’s Tavern
2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd
I made Loren get up early today and walk around the south end of the Las Vegas strip with me since that was the one part I hadn’t been to yet. Since he was still on Florida time, it felt like lunchtime to him, so we stopped at FatBurger and had a burger and fries for breakfast.
I gotta say, this was a pretty darn good burger & fries. It was fresh, juicy and flavorful and the fries were hot and crispy. For $15 with a drink, it really hit the spot.
3763 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
We drove into New Port Richey today to have lunch at Caposey’s. The place was packed and we ended up waiting a while for a table, but the whole time, everyone in there was very friendly. We even had another customer ask us if we wanted to share his table. This is one of those locals places where they know everyone’s name and what they’re ordering.
Loren decided to try their salad, soup, and 1/2 sandwich combo.
He got the chicken salad sandwich and said it was pretty good, just needed a bit of salt. Same with soup, great flavor, just a little underseasoned for his taste. I ordered the cheeseburger and fries.
It was a tasty little burger. I also couldn’t pass up dessert. I ordered the brownie & the waitress asked if I wanted it heated…well, of course, and would I like whipped cream… most definitely.
Yummy, yummy, yummy, though I would have preferred real whipped cream with it. Heating it up really made the difference since it got all warm and gooey. Good stuff and the best part was the whole thing was $17 with a drink. I really do love little restaurants like this. The customers come first and they put out simple, tasty food for great prices.
Caposey’s Whole Works Restaurant
5250 Green Key Rd
New Port Richey,FL
We ate lunch at Cricketers in Dunedin today. Loren wanted a bacon cheeseburger and I went for the banger sandwich with some onion rings.
He really enjoyed the burger, though it was huge. I ended up eating half of my my banger sandwich. It was big too. I really enjoyed the flavor of the sausage and the onions, but there was way more cheese on it than I needed. The onion rings were crispy and yummy. And even though we were both pretty full, I wanted to try the bread pudding.
I’m so used to the bread pudding at the Cajun Cafe, that I was surprised when this came out since it looked completely different. It was really tasty though. Lots of cinnamon and a nice creamy sort of texture. I’d order it again. What’s funny is Loren said he’d only eat a bite of it since he was full, but he ate just as much as I did. Total bill with a drink was $28.
2634 Bayshore, Blvd
We were going to a play in Tampa today so we ate lunch at Oakley’s Grille. It’s a little sandwich shop and I’m glad we got there when we did because the place filled up fast. I went for a mushroom burger since they’re famous for their burgers. Loren got the muffaleta sandwich.
He said it was good, but more like a Cuban sandwich. He prefers the muffalettas at the Cleveland Street Café. He said he would have liked some additional veggies on it, maybe some lettuce and tomato and would have preferred it not pressed.
My burger was really flavorful. Cooked a perfect medium, juicy, and dripping cheese and mushrooms. They actually put the mushrooms on top of the cheese. I think I would have put them under the cheese to help seal them in. We split an order of fries between us. At first, I really liked them, but the more I ate, the more I realized just how salty they were. The staff was very friendly, though with the open kitchen, I could see the cooks getting a little confused with some of the orders. Overall, though a pretty tasty lunch for $20.
17631 Bruce B Downs Blvd
We ate lunch at Daddy’s Grill today. Loren went for a bacon cheeseburger & fries and I decided to try the French Dip.
He said his burger was pretty good, but I found my sandwich to be on the bland side. Parts of it were pretty soggy when it got to the table. I’m guessing the au jous spilled over the side. The meat was tender, but it just lacked flavor. I think some grilled onions or mushrooms would have helped. Even the mayo I had asked for, but never received, would have added something to it. Their macaroni salad tasted different today too. Total bill with a drink was $16.
3682 Tampa Road
We were looking for some place new to eat tonight and ended up at Big Fred’s Famous Roast Beef in Clearwater. It’s a little hole in the wall, greasy spoon type sandwich shop with a lot of things on the menu to choose from. I figured I’d try the roast beef, since that is the name of the place, and Loren went for the bacon cheeseburger.
The lady at the counter said the best way to have the roast beef was with bbq sauce, mayo & cheese, so I tried it that way. It was really sloppy, but really tasty too. The bbq sauce was a bit on the tangy side. The roast beef was very tender. Loren liked his burger. It was also a bit on the sloppy side with all the condiments. We also ordered a large order of onion rings.
There were way too many onion rings for us. Next time we’ll be ordering the small order. They were crispy and crunchy. Next time we’re looking for a quick meal, this is one of the places we’ll go back to. The only downside was that the restaurant was a bit on the warm side. Their air conditioner wasn’t quite keeping up with the July heat. Total bill with a bottle of water and a soda was $17.
Big Fred’s Famous Roast Beef
2169 N. Hercules
We ate lunch at Rumba Bar & Grill in Oldsmar today. We had tried a couple of other restaurants, but they were closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
My favorite thing about this restaurant is the corn muffins.
I don’t know why I like them so much, but it’s a good thing I do since most of the entrees I’ve had haven’t given me a reason to come back here again. Today I went for a cheeseburger and a side of crab mac & cheese.
The burger was ok, but definitely didn’t have the right ratio of burger to bun. The bun was actually too small which made it rather difficult to pick up & eat. The mac & cheese was very disappointing. It absolutely didn’t need the bread crumbs on top since it was already too dry to begin with. Loren went for the herbed mahi and a salad.
He liked it along with the Jamaican greens. Total bill with a drink was $24.
Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
We were heading to the Jon Stewart show at Ruth Eckerd Hall and stopped at The Grindhouse Bar & Grill for dinner beforehand. From the moment we sat down, we knew this wasn’t going to be great dining experience. We like the food here and in the past, everything’s been really good; but tonight, they were swamped and it really reflected in both the service and food.
We were there at least 10 minutes before a waitress even acknowledged us. We were getting ready to walk out when the first waitress came over to get our drink order. Then we got switched to another waitress who was much better than the first. We can’t come here without getting some of the lobster & shrimp bisque.
So yummy. Thick and rich with bits of seafood. This is one of those soups where there isn’t a drop left. We both went for burgers tonight. Loren got a regular burger with provolone and I went for a Grind House Burger with fries. We ordered both burgers cooked medium.
Both burgers went straight past medium into well done territory. Mine was so dry, even with the fried egg on top. Loren ate most of his and I ate part of mine and the fries. When the waitress asked me if I wanted a box, I showed her the well done burger and she had the manager take it off the bill. They also came over and apologized and gave us a coupon for a free appetizer next time. The total bill ended up being $14 with a drink. We’ll be back again, but probably not before a show at Ruth Eckerd.
Grind House Bar & Grill
1500 McMullen Booth Rd
I felt the need for tater tots tonight and the best place I know to go for them is Pete & Shorty’s. Actually, we couldn’t even come up with another restaurant that served them since the Sonic close to our house closed down.
Mmmmm… little bundles of crunchy potato joy. I can’t explain it. There’s just something about tater tots that make me happy. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even need to order a burger, but I still did, the mushroom swiss.
Ok, so I order the mushroom Swiss with American cheese instead of Swiss, but it’s still one of the tastier burgers around. The buns they use here are very soft and doughy in a good way. I really like them. The burger was juicy and quite messy. Loren went for the tenderloin sandwich.
The piece of pork on this sandwich was enough to fill two sandwiches. He said it was tender & crispy. With a drink, the total bill was $21.
Pete & Shorty’s Tavern
2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Went up to Tarpon Springs back to Nana’s Restaurant for lunch today. It was pretty crowded, but luckily we didn’t have to wait for a table. We were there for lunch, but I wasn’t going to pass up the cup of danish they dropped off.
They were a sweet little snack while we waited for our food. Loren started off with a bowl of black bean soup & then we split a Danny Burger.
He really enjoyed the soup. It had a lot of good flavors going on. The Danny burger has onions, mushrooms, and a burgandy wine sauce on it & it was tasty. Extremely messy to eat, but tasty nonetheless. The homefries weren’t as good as I remembered from the last time, but they hit the spot with some honey mustard to dip them in. Total bill with a drink was $15.
857 E Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
We ate lunch at Nana’s Restaurant in Tarpon Springs today and it was one of the best lunches we’ve had in a while. They serve breakfast & lunch throughout the week & dinner on Friday nights. We decided to split a burger, plus some soup & salad.
First up, the Louisiana Butter Shrimp soup.
There are people who know how to make soup and the folks here at Nana’s definitely do. This was really flavorful and creamy with lots of shrimp and homemade goodness. Next up was the salad & burger.
It’s a good thing we decided to share the burger. It was way more than I was going to be able to eat. We got the mushroom burger, but I opted for American cheese instead of Swiss. It was cooked a perfect medium and was juicy and flavorful. The home fries were delicious. Again, perfectly cooked and seasoned. I really enjoyed the dipping sauce that came with them too. It was sort of a honey mustard BBQ sauce. Very, very tasty. And here’s the best part, the whole thing with a drink was only $17. This is definitely a restaurant we’ll be back to often.
857 E Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
I went to lunch with some co-workers today at Maloney’s Irish Pub in Westchase. I forgot to get a photo, but on Wednesday’s all their burgers are $5 and come with fries. I got the mushroom swiss burger and it was really tasty. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area on a Wednesday. Total bill $5.35.
Maloney’s Local Irish Pub
9540 W Linebaugh Ave
We ate dinner at Cody’s in Clearwater tonight. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just order rolls and salad here and not bother with an entree anymore. The last few times we’ve eaten here, it’s just been disappointing.
Loren munches out on peanuts and I devour the yeast rolls. Ok, he devours them too.
These were fresh out of the oven and so delicious. The cinnamon butter just puts them right over the top. The salad is also yummy minus the onions.
Loren ordered their 7 oz sirloin steak & shrimp special.
He said it was ok, not great. It lacked seasoning, but was cooked ok. The garlic shrimp were also just ok. I thought I ordered something that couldn’t be screwed up, a mushroom burger with baked potato.
The bottom bun on this was soggy, not juice running off of the burger juicy, but actually soggy. It was just gross. By the time our waitress came back to the table, Loren was finished eating, so they just took it off the bill and instead charged me for a side salad. Total bill was still $22.
Cody’s Original Roadhouse
26210 US 19 Clearwater, FL
We were heading up to Starkey Park and stopped for lunch at Steve’s Place in New Port Richey. We could tell right away that the locals hang out here because the owner & waitresses were greeting people by name and chatting with them. We both went for burgers, Loren the bacon cheeseburger and for me, the mushroom burger.
They were both cooked well and the fries were yummy. I also couldn’t pass up one of their little desserts.
The strawberry mousse was tasty for a little bite of sweetness. It didn’t have a very strong strawberry flavor, but it satisfied my sweet tooth before our walk in the park. Total bill with a drink was $16.
5400 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL