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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
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  • Filed under: French, GA
  • We reached our destination in Bryson City, North Carolina and settled on Anthony’s Italian Restaurant for dinner.  After a long day of driving, we were happy to just sit and feed our faces.  We started off with salads and calamari.

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    The first couple of pieces of calamari I ate, were a bit chewy, but the thicker pieces were cooked perfectly.  The marinara sauce was tasty as well.  We both ordered pasta dishes.  Loren got Mama Viscusi’s Spaghetti.

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    It had artichokes, mushrooms, olives, feta, and garlic sauteed in olive oil.  He liked all the flavors melding together without a heavy sauce.  I ordered the fettucine alfredo.

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    I like a thick, creamy alfredo sauce and this didn’t have it.  The alfredo was very thin.  The pasta was cooked well and the flavors were there, but it just lacked the creaminess I was after.  The garlic knots were tasty.  And since they had a dessert called “death by chocolate”, I just had to try it.

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    It wasn’t the moistest cake I’ve eaten, but it did have a deep, rich chocolate flavor that I really enjoyed.  Total bill with a drink was $41.

    Anthony’s Italian Restaurant
    15 Depot St
    Bryson City, NC
    828-488-8898

    Anthony's Restaurante Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
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  • Filed under: Dessert, Italian, NC
  • So full


    We ended up at Longhorn Steakhouse tonight after we couldn’t find parking at the restaurant we had planned to go to.  I was shocked that we didn’t have to wait for a table at 6pm on a Friday night.  Of all the chain restaurants, I think Longhorn has become our favorite.  The food is consistent and the flavors are there.  We started off with one of their new appetizers, the sweet chili calamari.

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    This was some perfectly cooked calamari.  I couldn’t stop eating it even though the sweet chili sauce had my tongue tingling.  I would definitely order it again.  After bread and salads, out came out entrees.  Loren got the 6 oz Renegade sirloin with asparagus.

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    He said the steak was very tender and tasty.  Unfortunately, the asparagus was a little too far on the tender side.  He likes his asparagus much crisper.  I ordered the half rack of baby back ribs.

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    They were very tender with a slightly sweet sauce.  I really enjoyed them.  And even though we were both stuffed at this point, I just couldn’t pass up the dessert sampler.

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    This is the dessert to get here.  Chocolate stampede, caramel apple goldrush, and strawberry cheesecake.  Yum!  I devoured the chocolate stampede.  It’s layers of chocolate mousse on a chocolate cake.  So good!  Loren favored the caramel apple dish and the cheesecake was pretty darn tasty as well.   We had to roll ourselves out of the restaurant.  Total bill with a drink was $55 and worth every penny.

    Longhorn Steakhouse
    35645 US Highway 19
    Palm Harbor, FL
    (727) 781-9300

    Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

     

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5

    Big Crowd


    We were in Ellenton today for a Mini car rally for Relay for Life and the final stop was at Woody’s River Roo.  The place was packed with their normal Sunday crowd, plus about 50 additional people from the rally.  Luckily, we managed to find a table in their small air conditioned indoor seating area.  With so many people there at once, our waiter told us the kitchen was backed up about 30 minutes, so our calamari & our lunch came out at the same time.

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    The calamari was tender and tasty.  Some of the better calamari we’ve had in a while.  While Loren went for the blackened grouper, I tried their blue crab cake sandwich.  All the food was flavorful and cooked well.  We both felt that the ciabatta bun was too big for the fish & crab cake & we both ended up just eating it on one half of the bun.  The fries were crisp & tasty too.  We also finished off with a slice of cheesecake.

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    For a plain cheesecake, it was pretty good.  The texture was smooth, the crust was firm, and it had a delicate flavor to it.  Overall, a tasty meal for $47.

    Woody’s River Roo
    5717 18th St East
    Ellenton, FL
    941-722-2391

    Woody's River Roo Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5
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  • Filed under: Ellenton, Seafood