The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Tampa Bay Brewing Co in Ybor recently opened up a new location in Oldsmar.  The address says Tampa, but it’s on Racetrack Road in what I still consider to be Oldsmar.  This location is also their production brewery and they offer tours.  They’ve got a nice size restaurant and bar plus an outside bar and patio.  We’re not drinkers, but we’ll definitely be back for the food.

We started off with the Cantonese Calamari.

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This is one of those dishes that you can’t stop eating.  It was absolutely delicious.  The calamari & shrimp were perfectly flash fried and it was covered in this sweet chili sauce that wasn’t too spicy.  Loren thought it would have been better if the sauce had been on the side because it did make the breading on the calamari a bit soggy, but I like it the way it was.

For his entree, he went with the dish that was featured on Diners, Drivers, and Dives, the Bomb.

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It’s a 1/2 pound bacon cheeseburger with onion straws wrapped in pizza dough instead of a bun.  He thought it was pretty tasty.  He also got the red beans & rice for his side dish and that was tasty.  It had a wonderful smokey flavor to it.  I think this is the only side dish he’ll ever order here because it was so good.  I went for the Butcher burger.

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It had grilled onions, wild mushrooms and provolone and the burger was a mixture of short rib, chuck, and brisket.  My only complaint was that they cooked it past medium which made it a bit on the dry side.  Their homemade steak sauce saved the day.  It was sweet and tangy.  I’d buy a bottle of that in a minute.  So good.  Total bill with a drink was $43 and we’ll definitely be back again.

As a side note, I also visited again later in the week for a work function.  We started with the chips & salsa & queso and pretzels.  I couldn’t stop eating the chips and queso.  The chips were thin and crispy and hot and fresh.  The pretzel was also really fresh and tasty.  Everyone seemed to enjoy their lunch.  I had the Moosekiller meatloaf.  It was a huge serving with mashed potatoes and onion straws with a mushroom gravy.  I’d order it again without hesitation.

Tampa Bay Brewing Co
13927 Monroe Business Park
Tampa, FL
813-247-1422

Tampa Bay Brewing Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar, Tampa
  • Good Burger


    In search of a good burger for lunch and we ended up at Burger 21 in Westchase.  Their burgers all sound good and we ended up with a Cinco Burger and a Chicken Marsala Burger with some fries.

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    They’re almost too big to get in your mouth!  Loren’s Cinco burger has guacamole, salsa, cheese, jalapenos and the cilantro cream on it.  He really liked it.  The burger was thick and juicy and the toppings gave it that over the top flavor burst.  He did remove a good portion of the jalapenos though.

    The chicken marsala burger was very good.  It didn’t look like there was any filler in the chicken patty and the mushrooms and onions along with the marsala sauce made for one delicious lunch.  Sad to say, though, my chicken burger had more calories than his regular burger.  I always thought chicken was less fattening.  I ate most of the fries because they were hot, fresh and perfectly crunchy.  I love all the sauces they have available as well with the apple cider and honey mustard as my favorites.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

    Burger 21
    9664 W. Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, FL
    (813) 475-5921

    Burger 21 on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Burgers, Tampa
  • Busy Sunday


    We went over to Cafe Alfresco in Dunedin for lunch today.  The restaurant was packed and we ended up with about a 20 minute wait.  It wouldn’t have been so bad except that they don’t have any place inside to wait and it was so hot & humid outside.  I was melting by the time our table was ready.  Loren decided on the buttermilk chicken sandwich and I went for a cheeseburger.

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    Both were tasty and the fries were nice and crunchy.  This is one of our go-to restaurants when we want simple, tasty food.  Total bill with a drink was $23.

    Cafe Alfresco
    344 Main St
    Dunedin, FL
    813-736-4299

    Cafe Alfresco on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Dunedin
  • In Training


    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.

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    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.

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    He said the chicken was very tender and the salad was ok.  I ordered a mushroom burger.

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    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.

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    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
    Tampa, FL
    813-901-5660

    Garden Grille Cafe on Urbanspoon

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

    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.

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    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.

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    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
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-7249

    Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    3.3/5