The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We have a habit of getting out of the house later than expected for dinner on Friday nights and most places are just mobbed.  We drove into Dunedin thinking we’d eat at Casa Tina, but there was a line out the door, so we walked down the street to Cafe Alfresco.  The restaurant was busy, but not full, and pretty quiet which we kinda like.  We started off with potstickers.

Yum!  These were perfectly fried with a tasty, slightly spicy filling.  I could just eat a plate of these and be happy.  Loren’s dinner came with a salad and I went ahead and ordered one for $1 as well.

The rolls were warm and soft and very tasty.  For his entree, Loren got the chicken piccata.

He tried to explain to me the difference between a good piccata and a not so good one.  This was a good version, the chicken was perfectly cooked and the sauce was buttery and lemony, but not overly so, and the capers made the perfect accent to the sauce.  He was a happy guy.  I went for the Friday night fish & chips.

It didn’t have an overly crunchy batter on it, but it was good.  The fries were nice and crunchy and the cole slaw had just enough tang and sweet to it.  We were really bad tonight & got two desserts.

Loren wanted some carrot cake and I got the raspberry cheesecake.  Both were delicious.  He said his cake was moist and flavorful and mine was creamy and decadent.  We were quite stuffed by the time we rolled ourselves out of there.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

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

Cafe Alfresco on Urbanspoon

 

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
3.6/5

Nice Flavors


We decided to try the Lager Haus Brewery & Grill in Palm Harbor for dinner tonight.  We like German food and the best we’ve found is up in Holiday, so it’d be nice to have a place closer.  Loren decided to try the brats and I went for the Jagerschnitzel.  Both dinners came with a salad.

Those were some strong onions that had to be removed very quickly.  The Brat sampler came with two different kinds of brats.  Loren said they were pretty good.  One of them was a spicy chicken flavor.

The Jagerschnitzel was enough to feed two people.

The chicken was very tender, but it wasn’t evenly flattened, so there were parts of it that weren’t quite as tender as the rest.  The breading didn’t adhere too well to the chicken, but it had a really nice flavor and the mushroom sauce was very good.   It also came with a side so I got the cheese spaetzl.

It was good, but a bit oily.  I think next time I’ll get it without the cheese.  I also ordered a piece of brownie cheesecake to go.

It was ok, but completely frozen when we got it.  I probably wouldn’t order it again.  Overall, the food & service were pretty good.  I didn’t feel the food was as good as The German Restaurant in Holiday, but it would satisfy my cravings.   Total bill with a drink was $42.

Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill
3438 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
813-343-2449

Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill on Urbanspoon

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

We ate dinner at Lulu’s on Main in Sylva tonight.  It’s a nice little restaurant and was pretty busy for a Friday night.  They have a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes.  We started off with The Frenchy, which is goat cheese, olives and French bread.

I’m a big fan of goat cheese, so I really liked this appetizer.  Loren ate the olives and I scarfed most of the bread and cheese.  The French bread was really good.  Our entrees came with salads.  Loren got the szechaun dressing and I tried the lemon dill.

I didn’t get a lot of lemon flavor in the dressing, just the dill.  Loren liked his more than I did, which also went for our entrees.  He ordered the portabello mushrooms.

They were served with a garlic mashed and broccoli.  There was a lot of mushrooms on the plate, he couldn’t even finish them all.  He liked the flavor of the sauce and was surprised to discover that he enjoyed almonds on his mashed potatoes too.  I ordered one of the specials which was a sweet potato and black bean enchilada.

It was a little too spicy for me and I just didn’t enjoy the overall texture of the dish.  It was all too soft and there wasn’t any contrast in flavors.  We also ordered the white chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

This was a big disappointment to me.  This was not the texture that I believe cheesecake should have.  This had a gelatin rubbery texture that completely ruined it for me.  Cheesecake should melt in your mouth; this did not.  The cookie crust was good though.  Total bill was $39.

Lulu’s On Main
612 W Main St
Sylva, NC
(828) 586-8989

Lulu's On Main on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.9/5
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  • Filed under: American, Dessert, NC
  • We ate dinner at Fratelli Italian Restaurant in Oldsmar tonight because we had a Restaurant.com coupon.  The restaurant was pretty busy.  We hadn’t been back in a while and unfortunately this time, we didn’t find the food to be as good as it had been in the past.

    Our waitress seemed a bit scattered.  She came to get our drink order, but forgot to leave us menus and had to come back to the table after we ordered to verify some things.

    We started off with the stuffed mushrooms.

    They had a sausage stuffing and were covered in mozzarella cheese.  They were rather dense and had no depth of flavor.  We’ve had stuffed mushrooms at other places where we fight over the last one, but that wasn’t the case here.

    Our entrees came with soup or salad, so Loren got the salad and I got a cup of the pasta fagioli.

    The pasta is always overcooked in their pasta fagioli.  It’s like mush.  The soup itself has some good flavors, but the texture isn’t quite right. The garlic bread was ok.

    Our entrees showed up before either of us had finished our soup and salad.  I hate it when a restaurant doesn’t get timing right.  Loren ordered the chicken francese for his entree.  It came with pasta and had a lemon wine sauce.

    This is where the lack of seasoning became very apparent.  You could taste lemon, but that was about it.  It desparately needed some salt and pepper.  It was a fairly big portion though and we ended up with leftovers of both our entrees.  I ordered the chicken marsala because I really liked it the last time I had it here.

    This was not the same recipe I had last time.  The sauce in this dish wasn’t thickened at all.  It was watery and lacked seasoning.  I was very disappointed as I remembered how tasty it was the last time.  We also got a piece of cheesecake to go.

    It was creamy, but really not anything to write home about.  The whole experience was just a bit disappointing.  Between lackluster service and under seasoned food, it just didn’t leave either of us with the desire to come back anytime soon.  Total bill after the $25 coupon and included tip was $24.

    Fratelli Italian Restaurant and Bar
    120 Commerce Blvd, Ste 1
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-854-1717

    Fratelli Italian Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.7/5

    Quiet Dinner


    We attempted to eat dinner at Bonefish tonight, but it was mobbed, so we headed over to Big Bok Choy.  With several other food events going on in the area tonight, the restaurant was empty except for us, which makes for a nice, quiet meal.

    We both started off with the wonton soup.  Loren’s with green onions, mine without.

    Loren got the Hunan Beef and I tried something different tonight, the chicken chop suey.

    Mine had very mellow flavors, which is what I was after tonight.  The chicken was tender and there were plenty of veggies.  Loren’s had just enough heat for him.  He likes this dish because it has a lot of vegetables. 

    I don’t think we’ve ever had room for dessert here, but the owner surprised us with a complimentary piece of cheesecake. 

    It was very thick and creamy with a nice overall flavor.  Even though we were stuffed from dinner, we managed to eat the whole thing.  Total bill was $39.

    Big Bok Choy Bistro
    3730 Tampa Road #6
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-854-1961

    Big Bok Choy Bistro on Urbanspoon

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