The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Blaze


After a day of hiking, we stopped at Blaze in downtown Bar Harbor for dinner.  The restaurant was crowded, but lucky for us there was an open table on the patio near the entrance that no one wanted because it was a bit chilly out.  We started off with some clam chowder and poutine.

Clam Chowder

Poutine

This was the clam chowder we’ve been looking for.  Thick and creamy with a nice flavor.  Blaze is famous for their duck fat fries, so we had to try them with the addition of gravy and cheese curds to make it a poutine.  You could feel your arteries hardening as you ate it, but it was worth every bite.  I really don’t know that the fries cooked in duck fat tasted that much different from any other well cooked french fry, but add gravy and cheese and it’s just delicious.  Loren went for the haddock tacos and I decided to try the duck menag a trois.

Haddock Tacos

Duck Menagatrois

The tacos weren’t really anything to write home about.  They were pretty plain and the fish was just ok.  My duck dish didn’t quite satisfy the way I had hoped it would.  The grilled duck was a little tough in places, but otherwise tender.  It was served with a sweet berry compote that complimented the duck well.  The white part of the sunny side up egg was very overcooked and like rubber.  The hash had duck, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes but the brussel sprouts were way overpowering.  They just didn’t play well with everything else on the plate.  We decided to stick it out for dessert and ordered the chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake

This was quite delicious.  Creamy and mousse like with a deep rich chocolate flavor.  This and the poutine were the highlights of the meal, especially when the bill for $73 came.  Service was slow throughout the meal.  I was pretty sure the waiter had forgotten we were even one of this tables.

Blaze
198 Main St
Bar Harbor, ME
(207) 801-2755

Blaze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.4/5

We made it to Lake City and had to stop for dinner.  We found Mike’s Cafe & Grille in a darkened strip mall.  I don’t know how they get any dinner business in this location.  There was just one other customer when we got there and we were alone the rest of the meal.  We got some potato soup to start off with, then Loren got the sriracha chicken salad and I tried the parmesean crusted chicken.

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The soup had a familiar flavor, but neither one of us could place it.  It was very good.  Loren said the chicken wasn’t too spicy and had an almost sweet & sour taste to it.  My chicken was flavorful and tender.  The mac & cheese was very creamy with a unique taste to it.  I really enjoyed it.  And I needed just one more piece of chocolate cake before this vacation ended.

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Tender & moist cake with a fudgy center.  Goodness all around.  Total bill with a drink was $36.

Mike’s Cafe & Grille
426 SW Commerce Dr, Ste 115
Lake City, FL
386-961-9911

Mike's Cafe & Grille on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5
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  • Filed under: American, Lake City
  • Our travels took us over to Little Switzerland and the Switzerland Cafe for lunch.  It was really busy and we ended up waiting about 20 minutes for a table.  We started off with the cheese plate.

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    I had mixed feelings about this appetizer.  I ordered it because the menu said it had goat cheese on it, and there was none to be found on the plate.  That aside, the rest of the cheeses and bread and fruit were pretty tasty.  There was a gingered pear chutney that had a lot of cinnamon and clove in it.  The bread was crusty and very good.  For his entree, Loren ordered the French dip.

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    He really liked it.  Everything worked well together on the sandwich. The bread was fresh and crusty, the au jou had a nice flavor and the beef was tender.   Unfortunately, my pulled pork dish did not impress me.

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    There was something about this dish that I just didn’t like.  There was a spiciness to the pork that completely overwhelmed it.  The cole slaw needed more dressing on it and the beans were overly sweet.  I needed something to cleanse my tastebuds, so I had to order the chocolate cake.

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    This made up for the pulled pork.  It had a creamy mousse layer and other chocolatety textured layers within.  It had a deep, rich chocolate taste and we scarfed every last crumb.  Total bill with a drink was $40.

    Switzerland Cafe
    9440 Hwy 226A
    Little Switzerland, NC
    828-765-5289

    Switzerland Cafe on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, BBQ, NC
  • 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
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Dessert, Italian, NC
  • Occasionally, our dinner destination is chosen based on a dessert craving, so tonight we were off to Cafe Alfresco in Dunedin.  We thought we were going to beat the dinner crowd, but it was packed when we got there right before 6pm.  Luckily, they still had a few tables remaining so we didn’t have to wait.  We started off with the potstickers.

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    We’ve had these a few times and they’re very tasty.  They’re pork filled and have a sweet and spicy orange-ginger sauce on them.  Next up salad & rolls.

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    The rolls were warm and delicious and the salad had a raspberry vinaigrette on it.  I was a little surprised that our waiter didn’t ask us what kind of salad dressing we wanted, but the house dressing was tasty.  For his entree, Loren ordered the steak Giovanni.

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    He said the steak was cooked well, but under-seasoned.  However, since it was covered in prosciutto ham and provolone cheese, those both added the needed saltiness. I decided to try the lobster ravioli.

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    This isn’t a dish I’d order again.  There was a garlic cream sauce with veggies under the ravioli, but not enough of it to make a difference.  It was thick and the whole dish was just dry.  The lobster in the ravioli, what little there was of it,  tasted like the leftover bits that you don’t know what else to do with.   But the whole reason we were here was for the chocolate mousse cake.

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    Nom nom nom.  This is one of my favorite desserts in the area.  Layers of chocolate mousse and cake.  Absolutely delish.  Total bill with a drink was $53.

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

    Cafe Alfresco on Urbanspoon

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