The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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Rodie’s Restaurant recently opened up on McMullen Booth, so we decided to give it a try.  Loren opted for lunch while I ordered for a breakfast skillet with pancakes.

The skillet I ordered had hashbrowns, ham, onions, mushrooms & cheese.  It was very bland and dry and the mushrooms were out of a can.  The pancakes were a bit on the heavy side.  They just weren’t light and fluffy, especially when you dug into the middle of them.

Loren got a chicken sandwich with chips.

He said it was ok, but not something he’d come back for.  There just wasn’t any down home goodness to the food, it was just extremely generic.  Our waitress was new as well and it showed.  One of those things that makes me twitch is after I’ve ordered something to have the waitress come back to the table to tell me what I ordered wasn’t included in the dish when it says so right on the menu.  Needless to say, the pancakes that came with my meal showed up a bit later than the rest.  Total bill was $17, but I’d probably hit up Cracker Barrel or Village Inn before we go back here again.

Rodie’s Restaurant
2471-7 N McMullen Booth
Clearwater, FL

Rodie's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


We went back to downtown Safety Harbor for lunch today at Athen’s Restaurant.  I was craving breakfast, but then decided a gyro sounded better.

At first glance, it looked kind of deceiving.  It didn’t look as though it had much gyro meat on it and that it had tons of tzatziki sauce.  It actually had quite a bit of meat on it and the sauce wasn’t overwhelming, so it gave it a nice balance.  The gyro meat was flavorful and tender.  The pita bread was very good too.  I think a little lettuce would have added a nice crunch to it.

Loren got a bacon cheeseburger.

They make a pretty good burger here and definitely slather on the mayo.  the fries were nice and hot and yummy.  Service was ok.  Our waitress spent most of the time talking to customers that I’m guessing were friends of hers.  She didn’t come back to our table until we had already finished eating.  Total bill was $15.

Athens Restaurant
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL

Athen's on Urbanspoon


Ate lunch at Cafe Ten-O-One in St Pete before we headed over to the Morean Arts Center.  Downtown St Pete was pretty quiet today since Gasparilla was going on in Tampa. 

We both ordered burgers.  I got the cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and potato salad and Loren got the Bistro burger with tots and cole slaw. 

The kitchen seemed to be having a few issues today.  I had ordered my burger with just mayo, lettuce, and tomato, but there was everything on the bun on my plate.  Luckily, they had just put the wrong top bun on our plates and Loren had mine.  The other issue is that Loren’s Bistro burger should have had bacon on it and it didn’t.  Our waitress reduced the price of his burger and said they had a new cook that didn’t know what went on each burger yet.

As for the burgers, though, they were pretty good.  They had some nice flavors going on.  Good diner burger.  The sweet potato fries and tater tots were also crunchy and tasty.  I thought the potato salad had too much onion in it and the cole slaw was kind of dry.  Overall, for $17 it was a pretty good lunch.

Cafe Ten-O-One
1001 First Ave. N.
St Petersburg, FL
(727) 894-4238

Cafe Ten-O-One on Urbanspoon


I thought this was Cathy’s blog? Well, I went out to dinner with some of the guys this evening. We opted to go to Cheddar’s on East Bay. Hadn’t been there in a while, and couldn’t remember if I’d ever eaten inside. I know I’ve been outside there. The experience is slightly more formal inside, didn’t seem like the same restaurant. I think they’ve changed their menu, as well. They certainly have a lot of variety on the menu.

We started with a spinach dip appetizer, which I forgot to take a photo of before we scarfed half of it. Spinach dips can be hit or miss, this one was a definite hit. Very flavorful. The chips were freshly made and crispy, too.

Shortly thereafter, salads showed up. It was then that I decided to break out the camera. It was a pretty salad with the croissant on the side. Ask anybody, I’m not much of a bread person, and I’m particularly not crazy about croissants normally. This one was to die for. Crispy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth on the inside, and drizzled with honey. I could have eaten a few more of them! The salad was pretty good. The plum tomatoes were a little under-ripe and didn’t do it for me, but the ranch dressing was pretty tasty and the lettuce was fresh.

All the food around the table looked good and I heard no complaints. I don’t remember what everyone else ordered. I think there was another burger and I know there was some sort of glazed salmon that looked perfectly grilled. I had a bacon cheeseburger. It looked a little lonely on the plate, but that’s because I ordered a side salad instead of fries. Not the best burger I’ve ever had, but it was well-cooked (a nice medium-well), super-juicy (a kind way of saying “really greasy”), and pretty tasty. I sliced it in half and took half of it home. That was my plan when I ordered it, as I really don’t need to eat a half-pound burger!

I thought the prices were very reasonable. I was looking at getting a salad at first, and most of their salads were $7-8. Then I looked at the other side of the menu, where most of the entrees were $8-10. But, then I saw burgers as cheap as $4.99 and settled on a $5.69 half-pound bacon cheeseburger. My total bill for the burger, salad and iced tea was $10.62. Probably one of the cheapest dinners I’ve had in a while, and I took half a burger home!

Cheddar’s Casual Cafe
2655 Roosevelt Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33760
(727) 536-7770

Cheddar's Casual Cafe on Urbanspoon


Busy Brunch

Since our breakfast outing last weekend didn’t quite satisfy, we headed over to Nicki’s Omelette & Grill on Hillsborough today.  There was quite the crowd in the restaurant, but it didn’t take long for them to clear a table and seat us. 

Loren’s not much of a breakfast person, so he ordered the California burger with fries.

Just take a look at the layers in that burger!  Burger, bacon, guacamole, sour cream, jack cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato.  It was quite the yummy mouthful.  The fries were nice and crispy too. 

I wanted breakfast, but they didn’t really have a combo that had what I wanted, so I had to order everything separately.

Pancakes, hashbrowns, and scrambled eggs with cheese.  The pancakes were perfectly cooked and the hashbrowns were good.  When I order scrambled eggs with cheese, it’s rare that they come out the way I like.  I expect the cheese to be completely melted and gooey inside the eggs.  These were ok, but the cheese wasn’t cooked in quite enough.

Total meal cost us $17.  It was more than enough food for both of us.  The guy at the table next to us ordered the “Biscuit Debris”.  It looked like a heart attack waiting to happen.  😉

Nicki’s Omelette & Grill
6805 W Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 888-9365

Nicki's Omelette & Grill on Urbanspoon