The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We ate lunch at Stone Chase on Linebaugh today.  It wasn’t very busy when we got there, but filled up pretty quick.  I always have mixed feelings about this restaurant.  I can’t quite figure out what they’re trying to be.  They started us off with some bread, which was very tasty.

 

Loren ordered one of the specials, a tropical chicken sandwich and salad.

 

He really liked the ranch dressing on the salad.  I thought it was peppery.  He said the chicken was tender and that it was tasty.  The “tropical” part were the mangoes on it.  I ordered a French dip sandwich with fries.

 

I was impressed with the fact that neither the sandwich nor the au jous was overly salted.  That’s one of the things that normally ruins a French dip for me.  The beef was very tender and flavorful.   I did get it without the horseradish sauce though.  I’ve eaten horseradish once and vowed to never make that mistake again.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

Stone Chase
12227 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 818-8000

Stone Chase on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Tampa
  • We both like Johnny’s Italian Restaurant in Clearwater, but they’re usually so crowded that we don’t eat there very often.  Today, we managed to get there after the lunch crowd, but before the dinner crowd, so the restaurant wasn’t very busy at all.

    Bring on the Johnny bread.

    I think this is one of the only restaurants where Loren eats almost as much bread as I do.   It’s got that perfect crust, texture and flavor and their dipping oil is beyond garlicy.  We ended up asking for a second loaf.

    Loren got a salad and I got the New England Clam Chowder.

    The soup was ok, but not the best chowder I’ve ever had.  For his entree, Loren ordered the Special Calzone which had a little bit of everything inside.

    He liked it and it was way bigger than he could eat in one sitting, so half came home for leftovers.  I got the chicken marsala which came with a side of fettucine alfredo.

    This was also too much food for me (ok, maybe we shouldn’t have gotten that second loaf of bread).  I really like their fettucine alfredo.  The chicken was tender and the marsala sauce had a decent flavor, though I would have liked more of it on the plate.  Since we were able to order off the early bird menu, the total bill with a drink was only $24 and we both had leftovers.  We’ll just have to remember Sunday afternoons around 3pm is the perfect time to come by.

    Johnny’s Italian Restaurant
    2907 SR 590 #1
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-2940

    Johnny's Italian on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Italian
  • Overly Salty


    We ate dinner at Zeno’s Grille in Clearwater today.  It’s a small restaurant and it looked like only one guy, I’m assuming the owner, working in there today.  Loren got the hot chicken gyro and I ordered a philly cheesesteak.

    Loren said his was ok, but mine was incredibly salty.  I guess when I think of philly cheesesteak, oozy, gooey cheesey goodness comes to mind.  This wasn’t that at all.  I’d almost call this more of an Italian beef sandwich.  The cheese was just laid on the bun and then the beef, onions and tomatoes scooped on top of it.  It was ok, flavorwise, but the over abundance of salt made it difficult to eat.  With a drink and fries, the total bill was $14.

    Zeno’s Grille
    1530 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 216-6752

    Zeno's Grille on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value3/5
    2.2/5

    I’m the first to admit that I’m not a fan of dining in restaurants where there are a lot of young children around, but having a little kid at the hibachi table at Arigato makes the dining experience a little more entertaining.  The chefs play up to the kids and really seem to get into the show more when there’s a wide eyed child watching their every move.

    We like Arigato more than Kobe when we’re in the mood for hibachi dining.  They started us off with soup and salad.

    Pretty standard for one of these restaurants.  Loren ordered the chicken, steak, and shrimp and I got the steak, shrimp and scallops.  Rice and veggies come with it and I spend so much time eating the rice and veggies that by the time the rest of the meal comes I’m usually quite full.

    Our chef was entertaining, the food was cooked well, and overall the meal was enjoyable.  I think I’d like it better if they limited the tables to 8 people rather than 10 because it did feel a little crowded.  Loren had to send back his iced tea and ended up not drinking the soda he got either because the fountain mix wasn’t quite right.  Overall service was pretty good though.  Total bill was $65.

    Arigato
    26508 US 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    727-799-0202
    Arigato Japanese Steak House on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5

    We planned to go to an Italian restaurant called Saimira European Grill in Palm Harbor tonight, but the “No Trespassing” sign out front led us to believe they weren’t open.  I’m not sure if the restaurant is closed for good or if they’re on vacation, but either way, we still needed to find some dinner.  We continued north on Hwy 19 and ended up back at The German Restaurant.

    They weren’t very busy for a Friday night, but perhaps the crowd shows up for the early bird specials.  I enjoy dinner in a quiet restaurant though.  It’s always nice to be able to actually carry on a conversation without having to yell.

    The bread came quick to the table.  It’s a dense bread, but pretty tasty.

    For an appetizer, we ordered the potato pancakes.

    Loren didn’t like them that much, but I thought they were ok.  It’s sort of like a hashbrown served with apple sauce.  He was very happy with the meatball soup though.

    This is a soup with lots of flavor.  It’s obvious that it’s been simmering for long hours to get all the deep, richness that just warms you from the inside out.   Loren ordered the goulash with spaetzle.

    He enjoyed it.  It had a vinegary, mustardy taste to the sauce and the beef was very tender.  He said the spaetzle was good to cut the tartness of the sauce.

    I ordered the chicken schnitzel.  Ok, I admit, I didn’t read the menu all that closely and thought that schnitzel was always made with pork, so I was actually a little surprised when it was chicken.

    I gotta say, though, this was some of the best chicken I’ve ever had.  It was pounded thin, but it was so tender and juicy inside and the crisp coating on the outside was outstanding.  There was way too much for me to eat in one sitting which is always a plus.  The leftovers were yummy too.  The spaetzle was good as well and the broccoli was a little overcooked and soft, which I’m sure a lot of people don’t like, but I prefer mine that way.

    Even before we sat down, I already knew what we were ordering for dessert…. the Black Forest Cake.

    Layers of chocolate cake and whipped cream.  Yummy!  The only issue with this dessert tonight is the homemade whipped cream on the plate didn’t have enough sugar in it.  Normally, I would never leave whipped cream on the plate, but this just wasn’t sweet enough.  Total bill was $50 and we both had leftovers.

    The German Restaurant
    2616 US Hwy 19
    Holiday, FL
    727-937-7400

    German on Urbanspoon

     

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Dessert, German, Holiday