The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We’ve been boycotting downtown Dunedin since they put in the parking meters, but it seems the city finally came to its senses and the meters are no longer in use.  To celebrate, we went back to one of our favorite places, Cafe Alfresco.  It looked like there were people waiting outside, but we were able to get a table for 2 without a wait.

We started off with the pork eggrolls.

 

Tasty little bundles of pork with a tangy little sauce.  They have a nice crunch and a flavorful filling.  Both of our entrees came with salads & rolls.  The rolls are served warm and they are so good.

For his entree, Loren got the sesame crusted salmon.  He said the green beans weren’t anything to write home about, but the salmon was perfectly cooked and flavorful.

Saturday is rib night at Cafe Alfresco, so I went for the rack of ribs with fries & cole slaw.  The ribs fall right off the bone and though they aren’t very smoky, the sauce is sweet & tangy.

One of my favorite desserts here is the Devonshire chocolate cake. Layers of cake & mousse served with whipped cream.  It is so good.  We all but lick the plate clean.

They have a great waitstaff here.  Very attentive, get things right the first time, and friendly.  Total bill was $55.

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

Cafe Alfresco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5

A Bit Spicy


We were in Tampa today and decided to try Datz for lunch.  We had about a 10 minute wait for a table and then we were seated on the second level.  This is another one of those loud restaurants.  Lots of choices on the lunch menu and we eventually settled on the Ty’s Two Fister and the Cluck Yeah.

Loren liked the corned beef, pastrami, & swiss sandwich.  He said it had good flavors and there was plenty of meat on the sandwich.  I should have asked more questions before I ordered the Cluck Yeah.

I noticed the chips came with blue cheese drizzle & green onions, two things on my “do not eat” list, so I ordered mine plain.  They were a little sweet and salty.   I should have asked what the Nashville sauce had in it.  It was a little sweet and a lot spicy.  Way too spicy for my taste.  The chicken was ok, but I just couldn’t get past the sauce.   We ordered a piece of the Buffalo Trace chocolate cake for dessert.

It was a big piece of cake & we ended up taking most of it home.    The cake was a little dry and there really wasn’t much flavor overall.  I’ve heard people rave about this restaurant, but I honestly didn’t find anything special about the food that would make me want to go back again.   Total bill with a drink was $38.

Datz Tampa
2616 S. MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 831-7000

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

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, Tampa
  • 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

    I honestly didn’t think we’d have an hour wait at 3pm on a Sunday, but it looks like Rusty Bellies in Tarpon Springs is busy no matter the time of day.  We wondered around the sponge docks for a while and then got seated out on the porch which was perfect.  Our waitress brought over some hush puppies while we looked at the menu.

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    I had to make myself stop eating these or I was never going to eat my dinner.  They weren’t overly seasoned which is the way I like hush puppies. Quite addictive though.  It was a chilly afternoon, so we started off with a cup of crab corn chowder and a cup of seafood gumbo.

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    Loren was amazed at all of the seafood in the gumbo. It had a little kick to it and he really enjoyed it.  The crab corn chowder was quite tasty.  Everything in it was cooked perfectly and it had a nice flavor.  For his entree, Loren tried the grilled grouper souvlaki pita.

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    He said the tzatziki sauce was a bit too runny, but other than that, he said the fish was perfectly cooked and tasty.  I saw whole belly Ipswich clams on the menu and I was sold.

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    Mmmm.  I love fried clams and these did not disappoint.  Crispy little bundles of memories growing up in Massachusetts.  For my sides, I got the potato salad and corn pudding.  I’d easily order this entire plate again.  And although we were both stuffed, I just couldn’t pass up the homemade orange pineapple cake.

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    This was moist and flavorful with sweet bits of citrus and a creamy frosting.  We ate every last bite of it.  Total bill with a drink was $51.

    Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill
    937 Dodecanese Blvd
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    727-934-4047

    Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill on Urbanspoon

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

    We’re in High Springs for a few days checking out the different parks in the area.  We walked over to The Great Outdoors Restaurant from the Grady House Bed & Breakfast where we’re staying.  Tuesday is half priced burger day, so we started off with some clam chowder & then moved on to the burgers.

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    The clam chowder was ok, but lacked seasoning.  We got the Suwannee & Ginnie burgers and neither really impressed us.  They were just very plain, under seasoned burger patties.  I’m glad they were half priced, otherwise I would have really felt like we overpaid.  We tried the caramel crunch cake for dessert.

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    Loren liked it more than I did.  It had a really odd texture to it.  There were supposed to be crunchy caramel bits in one of the layers, but they were neither crunchy, nor chewy.  They just tasted like stale caramel pieces.  Not the best meal we had on our vacation.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

    Great Outdoors Restaurant
    65 N Main St
    High Springs, FL
    386-454-1288

    The Great Outdoors on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    2.5/5