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We went over to Tampa Bay Brewing Co on Race Track Road in Oldsmar for dinner and it was busy.  We had to wait a while for a table and the noise level in there is rather deafening.  We started off with the Cantonese Calamari because it’s soooo good.

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There’s a bit of heat going on in this dish, but the calamari is very tender and the flavors are delicious.  There are also a few shrimp tossed in there for good measure.  Loren went for the Chicken Spinach Salad and I decided to try the baby back ribs with a side of loaded mashed potatoes.

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He said the chicken was tender and flavorful, but there was way more spinach on the plate than he could eat.  The ribs were just ok.  Not quite as tender as I would have liked and the loaded mashed potatoes were inedible.  The cheese on top made a very solid barrier and the potatoes within were too thick.  It needed something saucy to loosen it up.  We wanted something sweet to end the meal, so dug into a deep dish apple crisp.

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Loren said he’d ordered it before and it had a lot more ice cream, but this one was pretty good.  Just enough sweet & cinnamon, plus tart apples, a crispy crunch, whipped cream and ice cream.  We all but licked the bowl clean. Total bill with a drink was $52.

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

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

 

 

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value3/5
2.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar, Tampa
  • We decided to check out Cafe Mezze Mediterranean in Oldsmar for dinner tonight.  It’s at the other end of the parking lot from Flamestone and the food was tasty.  They started us off with some bread & we ordered the fried calamari.

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    The bread was thick and good for dipping in the oil.  Loren thought both the oil and calamari needed a bit more salt.  The calamari was perfectly cooked in a light batter.  It was served with a taratora sauce.  It had sort of a mayonnaise consistency, but not a strong flavor of any kind.  We both ordered kebab combos.  Loren got the adana & kofte and I got the lamb & chicken.

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    They were all very flavorful and delicious.  The meats were tender and it was served with some veggies, a cabbage type slaw and rice that neither of us could stop eating.  Although we were both pretty full, I couldn’t pass up the kanefe.

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    We’d had it at a different restaurant before. It’s crispy shredded phyllo dough with a soft cheese in the middle, pistachios and a honey sauce.  It’s not overly sweet, but has a bunch of different textures to it.  It’s so good.  It does take 15 minutes to cook, so either order it early or let your meal settle first so you have room for it.  So good.  Total bill with a $10 off coupon (check their website for latest coupon) was $40.  We’ll definitely be back again.

    Cafe Mezze Mediterranean
    4013 Tampa Road, Ste 19
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-510-4080

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

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

    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
  • Asian Pearl


    Tonight we went over to the Asian Pearl in Clearwater for dinner.  This was our first visit and definitely not our last.  The food was fresh and tasty from start to finish.  We started off with the wonton soup for two.

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    It comes with 4 dumplings, but we’d already devoured two of them before I took the photo.  The broth was light with a nice flavor.  Perfect for a rainy Sunday night.  The dumplings were homemade and filled with pork and shrimp.  Next up was the salt and pepper calamari.

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    We both love calamari and order it in almost every restaurant we go to and this version was delicious. We’ve had salt & pepper calamari at other Chinese restaurants, but this one had the herbs and peppers in a tangy vinegar based sauce.  It added a different dimension to the dish because not only did you get the saltiness, you also got a little sour that worked really well.  Loren ordered the Kung Pao Chicken for his entree.

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    It came with green beans, mushrooms and onions in a spicy sauce.  He really enjoyed it and had leftovers for the next day.  I went for the orange chicken.

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    It was served with baby bok choy.  The chicken was tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside with a sweet orange glaze.  Very tasty.  White rice was also included with both dishes and I also had leftovers.  We decided to try the coconut milk balls as a dessert.

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    These were interesting.  I actually thought they were going to be smaller and was surprised at how big they were.  We ended up taking half of them home.  It’s a crispy exterior surrounding a creamy custard inside.  They’re actually on the appetizer menu, but they work really well as a dessert.  For the ones I brought home, I dipped them in some melted chocolate and they were divine. Service was great, they kept drinks filled and plates cleared.  Total bill with a drink was $49 and we’ll be back again.

    Asian Pearl
    2551 Drew St #104
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-1888

    Click to add a blog post for Asian Pearl on Zomato

    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.4/5

    We started our drive back to Florida from North Carolina and stopped in Athens, Georgia for lunch at Etienne Brasserie.  This turned out to be one of the best places we ate on vacation.  It’s a little French bistro kind of place with someone who knows what they’re doing in the kitchen.

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    We started off with the fried calamari.

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    We eat a lot of calamari, it’s one of our favorite appetizers, and this one did not disappoint.  It was perfectly cooked.  Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and not at all chewy.  It was served with a delicious lemon aioli.   Loren got the French dip and I went for the Croque Monsieur.

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    I actually ordered the Croque Madame which came with a fried egg, but they forgot to put it on.  The waiter realized the mistake and asked if I wanted to send it back, but I figured it was just going to make it super messy and difficult to eat, so I settle on the Monsieur instead.  Both sandwiches were delicious.  Flavorful meats and cheeses.  The only thing I didn’t like was the herb mustard.  It was a little too strong for me.  For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the chocolate mousse.

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    Yum!  Perfect ratio of mousse to whipped cream and it had a deep, dark rich chocolate flavor.  Perfect ending to a lovely lunch.  Total bill with a drink was $37.

    Etienne Brasserie
    311 Broad St
    Athens, GA
    706-850-8008

    Etienne Brasserie on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value3/5
    3.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: French, GA