The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Craving Pizza

I wanted pizza tonight, so we decided to try the ones at Panos Kouzina.  Since Loren and I don’t agree on pizza toppings, we ended up getting two personal pizzas.

Loren got a thin crust deluxe and I got a hand tossed Hawaiian with mushrooms.

As far as I could tell, there was absolutely no difference in the crust between the two.  They were both as thin as could be, which for me, is not how I like my pizza crust.  Loren liked it better than I did.  I get that this is a small pizza, but the ham and mushrooms on mine were cut into very tiny pieces, yet the pineapple was left in fairly big chunks.  It just didn’t do it for me.

I did need some chocolaty goodnees though, so I ordered a piece of the chocolate lovin’ spoonful cake.

This is an extremely fudgey cake.  It has a nice texture and more filling than cake.  Good stuff.  Total bill with a drink and a side salad was $25.

Panos Kouzina
3101 SR 580
Safety Harbor, FL
(727) 797–2667

Panos Kouzina on Urbanspoon


We ate lunch at the Olde Schoolhouse in Palm Harbor today.  Specials are written on a blackboard at the front of the restaurant and the menus come in 3-ring binders with little kid drawings on them.

The menu is huge.  There are way too many items plus today they also had Sunday brunch.  We finally narrowed down our selections and decided to start off with some calamari.

Unfortunately, though, we didn’t start off with calamari.  The waitress came by our table to say it would be just a few more minutes, and I said, “For the calamari?” and she got this deer in the headlights look on her face that said she’d forgotten to put the order in.  However, she did go back to the kitchen and they quickly fried up some calamari and she also offered us a free dessert for her mistake. 

I’m really glad we got it because it was actually pretty good.  It had a lemon/lime drizzle on it that complemented the calamari well.  I guess because they cooked it so quickly, they didn’t have time to overcook it, so it was crisp and light and not chewy at all. 

At the same time, our entrees came out.  Loren got the open faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes.

He said it was ok, but nothing to really write home about.  Not a lot of seasoning, but it was tender.  I ordered the foxy pasta.

It had chicken, squash, zucchini and sundried tomatoes in a creamy alfredo sauce.  It was ok.  The sundried tomatoes gave it that burst of flavor that it was otherwise lacking. 

For dessert, we chose the chocolate cake.

The cake was pretty yummy.  It was thick and rich and chocolatey.  A little on the dense side, but the whipped cream and mousse layers helped even it out.  Total bill was $32. 

Olde Schoolhouse
3419 Alt 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL

Olde Schoolhouse on Urbanspoon



We were going to eat at Bonefish tonight, thinking we could get there before the crowd, but even at 5:30pm, they already had a 30 minute wait.  So, instead we drove into Dunedin to see if Walt’s Seasonal Cuisine was busy.  At it turned out, we were the first customers there for the evening. 

Let me preface this review by saying the food tonight was absolutely better than we get at most places; however, my expectations when I end up paying $73 for dinner are a lot higher than if I’ve spent $30.  I didn’t feel that the experience tonight was worth the price.  Granted, it’s a lot of little things that added up to that feeling, but because my expectations were so high and we’ve had wonderful experiences here before, I just left somewhat disappointed.

We sat down, ordered our water and iced tea and were served some bread and oil. 

I know this is silly, but this was the first thing I thought was off tonight.  The bread was just served in this little bowl.  No napkin or cloth under or around it to help keep the warmth in.  It just came across as tacky to me.  Don’t get me wrong, the bread was warm and tasty, it was just the presentation that turned me off.

Another couple came in at this point and sat at the bar.  I overheard their conversation with the waitress to discover that Walt had the night off.  Later in the evening, I heard the couple ask the chef if he was calling for help when he had his phone out and he said no, he was just looking up a recipe.   So, maybe the key to dining at Walt’s is knowing that Walt is in the kitchen.

Loren started out with a house salad and I got the soup which was butternut squash with blue crab.

Loren liked the ginger dressing on his salad.  He said the nuts on the salad were both sweet and spicy.  My soup had very subtle flavors, in fact, too subtle for my tastes.  It was very thin and the crab was overcooked.  It was a little rubbery. 

At this point, we heard the waitress telling the other customers what the special was tonight.  Don’t you hate it when you’re not told the specials and you get to overhear them at another table after you’ve ordered?

For his entree, Loren chose the surf and turf which is steak and scallops and he ordered asparagus as his side.

The steak is where the chef shined tonight.  It was perfect.  A nice sear on the outside, cooked a perfect medium and was incredibly tender.  Loren loved it.  The scallops were sliced thin and had a mango vinaigrette on them that completely overpowered the flavor of the scallop. 

I ordered the crab crusted grouper with garlic mashed potatoes.

It had a sherry butter sauce on it that I couldn’t taste at all.  It was a thick grouper filet that basically had a crab cake on top of it.  Individually, each piece was pretty good, but the crab cake had very strong flavors that overwhelmed the grouper. 

For dessert, we tried the chocolate cake.

Let’s face it, first bites are everything and this one just didn’t wow.  The cake was very dense, but not overly moist.  It was good,  but I’ve had better.  And since I’ve been picky all night, I just felt like some homemade whipped cream would have been much better than stuff out of a can. 

Service tonight was also lacking.  My water glass was completely empty for quite a while and Loren’s iced tea also got down to the bottom.  Plates weren’t cleared as quickly as they should have either.  Again, it’s all about expectations.  If I’m spending $73, I want the entire experience to feel worth the money. 

Walts Seasonal Cuisine
1140 Main St
Dunedin, FL

Walt's Seasonal Cuisine on Urbanspoon



After dinner, we walked over to the Tilted Kilt for some dessert and to play some pool.  Chocolate cake and whipped cream, what could be better?

Yum, yum, yum!  Very moist, fudgy cake with lots of whipped cream.  For $6, a tasty end to a nice evening.  As for the pool playing, we were both really, really bad, but it was still fun.

Tilted Kilt
2571 Drew St
Clearwater, FL
(727) 724-6177

Tilted Kilt on Urbanspoon


I’m sure it’s wrong to choose a restaurant for dinner based on dessert, but sometimes you just gotta follow your sweet tooth.  Tonight, I was craving chocolate cake and I remembered the cake at Cody’s is fantastic. 

But, first, there’s the yeast rolls and salad.

Cody’s has some of the most delicious yeast rolls around.  You know they’re good when Loren eats more than one.  Spread on some of the cinnamon butter and they just melt in your mouth.  Loren said he thought the salad dressing was a little weak this time, but I thought it was ok.  I ordered the salad without onions, so that may have been the flavor he was missing.

For our entrees, Loren ordered their NY select special with a baked potato.

He said he was cooked just right and tasty.  He ended up taking half of it home for lunch tomorrow.  I ordered the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes.

One bite of the mashed potatoes and I asked our waiter if he could bring me a baked potato instead.  I just didn’t like them.  They were garlic mashed, but I wasn’t tasting garlic.  The white gravy on the chicken and potatoes was really peppery.  It overpowered everything.  The chicken needed to be a little more tender as well.

But, who are we kidding, we came here for the cake, which isn’t on the menu by the way.   I was about to be really sad when I didn’t see it on the menu, but Loren asked the waiter and he said they always have the chocolate cake and carrot cake, but for whatever reason, they’re not listed on the menu.  We got a slice to go.

Yeah, and when I say “slice”, I mean enough for 4 people to eat.  It’s huge, but incredibly moist and delicious.  Tasted wonderful sitting in front of the TV that night, plus there’s still some in the fridge.

Total bill was $38 and Loren had leftovers for lunch and I’ve got plenty of cake.

Cody’s Original Roadhouse
26210 US 19
Clearwater, FL
(727) 726-6800

Cody's Original Roadhouse on Urbanspoon