The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Wanted a cheese steak for lunch today, so we headed over to Marina’s in Westchase.

They were running a special today for a 6″ sub plus fries & a drink.  I like the cheesesteaks here.  The bread is just perfect to hold all the ooey, gooey goodness.  Loren got the meatball sub special.

He said it was good too.  We both cleaned our plates, not even a french fry left over.  Total bill was $13.

Marina’s Pizza and Pasta
12121 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-854-1616

Marina Pizza on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.6/5
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  • Filed under: American, Subs
  • We got a recommendation on our Facebook page to try Marley’s Monster Grill, so that’s where we ended up tonight.  I had checked out the menu online beforehand and it gave me the giggles, so we just had to try it.  It’s not a very big place, but from the moment we walked in, we had a good feeling about it.  The walls are covered with monster movie memorabilia and the owners were very nice.  As people walked in, they were greeted by name, so this seems to be a place people come back to again and again.

    They brought over some homemade chips & queso.

    I liked the chips, but the queso was a bit too Cheez-wizzy for me.  It had some heat flavorwise, but wasn’t warm temperature wise.  I just prefer my queso warm to the touch.  We ordered some garlic monster toes.  Seriously, how could you pass up ordering something called Monster Toes??

    Yummy little pizza dough munchies.  They asked if we wanted garlic butter or marinara to dip them in & since we hadn’t tried either before, they brought out both.  I actually liked both & ended up dipping the dough in the garlic, then the marinara.  I had to stop eating them or there was no way I was going to be able to eat my sandwich… which was huge, by the way.

    This is the way I like my Philly cheesesteak.  The Amoroso rolls are so soft, the meat is finely shaved and it’s covered in onions, mushrooms, mayo & cheese.  I’m not a Wiz gal, so it’s American cheese for me.  I only managed to eat half of it, but the other half will make for some tasty leftovers.  And I’m a fan of anyone who serves sweet potato fries.

    Loren got the chicken grill sandwich which came with fries.

    One minute, I was taking a photo and the next, the sandwich was gone.  He really liked it.  The chicken was thin, but very tender, the veggies & bread fresh and he liked the mayo-dijon spread on it.

    The first thing listed on their menu is dessert, because why wouldn’t you want to eat dessert first, so I just couldn’t resist ordering a chocolate covered brownie cheesecake on a stick.

    It was pretty good.  It had a layer of brownie inside plus a chocolate cheesecake.  Plus the plate & chocolate sauce design made me giggle.  The food did take a while to come out of the kitchen, but when it comes out fresh & tasty, it’s worth the wait.  They also have a monthly Face Trivia game, so we were quite occupied trying to figure out the who’s who.  It was a fun way to pass the time.  Total bill was $27 and this is definitely a place we’ll be back to.

    Marley’s Monster Grill & Pizza
    29835 US Hwy 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    727-239-7208

    Marley's Monster Grill on Urbanspoon

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

    Luck Ran Out


    The last couple of new restaurants we visited were really good, but our luck ran out when we went to the Lombardi Cafe today.

    The place was empty for Sunday lunch.  Just one other table with a bunch of annoying children.  It’s an Italian restaurant with pasta dishes, pizza and sandwiches, but it’s sort of set up like a sports bar with a bunch of TV’s all tuned to sports channels.   Plus there was a DJ set up in one corner & a disco ball on the ceiling, so I’m not totally sure what the overall vibe of the place is supposed to be.

    But, on to the food.  We started off with some calamari.

    It had a decent crunch, but was a bit chewy and definitely underseasoned.  The sauce was really thin and watery.  The flavor was ok, but it just dripped off the calamari.  Loren got an Italian sub with potato salad.

    It was huge.  Definitely enough for two meals and he liked it.  I, on the otherhand, ordered a Philly cheesesteak and ended up sending it back.

    I’m not sure how to describe what it was that I didn’t like about the sub.  The first thing I did was just pick a piece of meat off and tasted it and immediately didn’t like the flavor.   I don’t know if it was herbs blended with it or what, but it just didn’t taste right to me.  I tried a couple more bites, but just couldn’t get past the odd flavor.  Loren tried it and didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with it, but it wasn’t something I was going to eat.  I also didn’t like how crusty the bread was.  The waiter saw I wasn’t eating it and offered to bring me something else, so I went for a simple ham & cheese.

    It was ok, nothing to write home about, but at least it was edible.  I wasn’t a fan of the bread they used here.  It was just too thick and hard to eat.  I also didn’t like the potato salad.  It was too sweet and very generic.  Definitely not homemade.

    I also got a dessert to go since I figured it wasn’t likely we’d be coming back to eat again.

    Believe it or not, there’s a cannoli in there somewhere.  Talk about overdoing it.  I’m of the mind that you should be able to eat a cannoli with your hands.  There was so much extra filling, whipped cream & chocolate sauce ladled on top of it that you had to eat it with a fork.   The overall flavor was ok, but it was way too messy.  Total bill with a drink was $32.

    Lombardi Cafe
    34210 US 19
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-330-7594

    Lombardi Cafe on Urbanspoon

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

    Went to Marinas’s for lunch today.  Loren was craving an Italian sub and I just can’t help but get a cheesesteak here.

    Actually, the cheesesteak was on special today with fries.  They just make an ooey gooey yummy cheesesteak here.  The bread is soft with a little crunch on the outside.  So good.  Total bill with a drink was $15.

    Marina’s Pizza and Pasta
    12121 W Linebaugh Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-854-1616

    Marina Pizza on Urbanspoon

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

    We decided to grab lunch before walking through John Chestnut park.  Varsity Club was open before noon so we grabbed some sandwiches.

    I got the Philly Cheesesteak with tater tots.

    Man, I love tater tots.  I don’t know what it is about them, hot, crispy little balls of yumminess.  The cheesesteak was ok.  Loren got the Varsity Club dip sandwich and to be honest, both sandwiches looked fairly similar.

    He got his with carrots & celery.  Sure, it seems healthy, until you dip them in ranch dressing and scarf half my tots.  Total bill with a drink was $21.

    Varsity Club 2
    36355 East Lake Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-781-4455

    Varsity Club on Urbanspoon

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