The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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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.

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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.

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He said they were pretty good.  He also liked the salsa and guac that came with them.  I went for the burger melt.

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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
Clearwater, FL
727-726-8855

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

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

Big Burger


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.

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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.

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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.

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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
Tampa, FL
(813) 475-5916

Surf Shack on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5

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.

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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.

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He said the mahi was cooked perfectly and the fries were nice & crunchy.  I decided on an avocado burger and onion rings.

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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.

Molly Goodheads 
400 Orange Street
Ozona, FL
727-786-6255

Molly Goodheads Raw Bar on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value3/5
2.9/5

Time for Tots


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.

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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
Clearwater, FL
(727) 799-0580

Pete & Shorty's Tavern on Urbanspoon

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

FatBurger


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.

Fat Burger
3763 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
702-736-4733

Fatburger on Urbanspoon

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