The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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On Saturday, we were heading up to Hawi to go ziplining and drove though Kamuela to eat breakfast at the Hawaiian Style Cafe.  This is a cash-only restaurant that gives you a ton of food for the money.  

I ordered a loco moco, but it wasn’t as good as the other ones I had on the island. 

I didn’t like the hamburger patty and my over-easy eggs were a bit overcooked.  There was plenty of it though.

Loren ordered their Kalua Pork omelet special which came with hashbrowns and pancakes.

This was a breakfast made to be shared.  The pancakes alone were enough to feed at least 2 people and the omelette was stuffed full of pork.  The whole breakfast was under $20 and there were plenty of leftovers.

Hawaiian Style Cafe on Urbanspoon

After ziplining, we hiked down to Pololu Beach.  Beautiful views from the trail as you head down. 

Then we stopped for some Tropical Dreams Ice Cream in Hawi.  Loren had the Coconut cream and the Ginger White Chocolate.  I got the Tahitian Vanilla and chocolate.  They were all wonderful.  The only thing I didn’t like was that my chocolate ice cream had M&M’s in it and ice cream as good as this really didn’t need anything extra.

We stopped to watch the sunset before stopping for dinner.

Huli Sue’s BBQ in Waimea was our dinner stop tonight.

We split the BBQ Sampler which had pork, ribs, chicken, sausage and brisket plus two sides.  We got cole slaw and corn bread pudding and ordered a couple of extra sides as well, an Oriental Bok Choy dish and some black beans. 

Again, lots of food (this seems to be a theme in Hawaii).  The BBQ sauce had a tang to it and all the meats were pretty good.  The black beans were ok, but the other sides were better.  The Bok Choy completely did not go with the meal, but it was still tasty. 

And I had to get a piece of their famous banana cream pie to go. 

I understand why it’s famous.  It was soooo good.  I took it out to take a bite and almost finished it right there.  Smooth and creamy with a nice crust and topping.  Total dinner was $47 and there were plenty of leftovers.

We actually went back to Huli Sue’s later in our vacation after a very disappointing meal at Manago (I’ll get to that later).  We were just going to get dessert, but ended up getting some BBQ nachos as well as a slice of chocolate cake.

The nachos were good, but I just wanted some sweetness. 

Thick, rich, chocolatey goodness, in a moist delicious cake.  Huli Sue’s makes good BBQ, but their desserts are amazing.  Our little snack run cost us $17.

Huli Sue's BBQ and Grill on Urbanspoon

By Sunday, day 5 of our vacation, we were completely whooped.  But that didn’t stop us from doing some spelunking in Kaumana Cave.   It was a very cool walk through an old lava tube. 

For lunch, we headed over to Pahoa to Kaleo’s Bar and Grill.  We ordered the Tempura Ahi roll for our appetizer.

It was absolutely amazing.  This was one of the best things we ate on the island.  Crispy on the outside, with Ahi, rice and veggies on the inside.  I should have just ordered a second one for my entree.

I ordered the Chicken Katsu, but wasn’t too impressed.

The rice wasn’t cooked well, and the chicken was a little dry.  It definitely needed a dipping sauce, but the one that came with it was a bit too spicy and when I asked for a sweeter sauce, I ended up with an even spicier chili Thai sauce.

Loren was much happier with his meal.  He ordered the Mahi BLT and just raved about it.

And, what did they have for dessert?  Lilikoi cheesecake!  My new favorite dessert in the whole wide world.

It was so good.  Light and creamy with a wonderful passionfruit flavor.  I have got to find a recipe for this pie. $46 for lunch and we left with happy tastebuds.

Kaleo's Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

We spent the afternoon walking around the Lava Tree Park, McKenzie Park, and East Point, then headed back to Hilo for dinner at Pescatore’s. 

If there’s calamari on the menu, we usually order it.

Normally, the calamari we get is in rings and not quite as thick as these pieces were.  The batter didn’t have a lot of flavor, but the marinara sauce was good.

I’m always happy when they bring out the bread basket.

Loren started with a salad and I got some pasta fagioli.

They were both ok.  The soup had a nice flavor and lots of veggies in it.

I ordered the fettucine alfredo with shrimp for my entree.

It was ok, but there was a flavor in it that I didn’t care for.  I don’t know what it was, but it just wasn’t one of my favorite alfredo dishes.  Loren ordered their mahi ahi fish special. 

He really enjoyed it.  There were two different sauces on the fish and it came with a pesto spaghetti.  I had heard they had a killer chocolate truffle cake here so I got one to go.

Talk about disappointing.  I don’t know how to describe the texture, it wasn’t smooth at all.  Sort of crumbly.  The flavor was ok, but overall, it was not as good as I had been led to believe.  This was our most expensive meal on the island at $72.  We had much better meals for a lot less money elsewhere.

Pescatore on Urbanspoon

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We emptied out the fridge in preparation for our vacation, and Loren was craving a steak so we headed to Longhorn Steakhouse in Palm Harbor.

I’m always happy when fresh, warm bread is brought to the table.

Loren started off with a salad, I just kept munching on bread.

I ordered the Citrus Grilled chicken with a baked potato.  It was one of the items on their specials menu.

The chicken was cooked a little too much on the outside, but the inside was perfect.  It had a slight citrus flavor to it, but it wasn’t overwhelming.  Loren got the bacon scallops with a 7 oz filet.

He was a very happy guy.  The steak and scallops were both cooked just right. Plus, how can you go wrong with anything wrapped in bacon? 

And then came the dessert sampler.

This had a lot of awesome going on.  Strawberry cheesecake, a caramel apple cobbler with ice cream and chocolate cake.  I was in heaven.  The cheesecake was light and fluffy with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.  We both dove into that one.  Loren finished off the caramel apple cobbler and the chocolate cake was soft, fresh and yummy.

From start to finish, this was a really good experience.  Our waiter was really good.  Kept drinks filled and cleared away dishes quickly.  Total bill was $48 and worth every penny.

Longhorn Steakhouse
35645 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL
(727) 781-9300

Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service5/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
4.2/5

Cozy Italian


I wanted to catch a sunset off the Dunedin Causeway tonight, so we searched for a place in Dunedin that we hadn’t been to before and ended up at Joseph’s Little Italy on Patricia Ave.

It’s a cozy little restaurant with a big menu of Italian dishes. 

Loren ordered one of the dinners which came with a homemade three bean salad, a tossed salad, bowl of Minestrone soup, and garlic bread.  I ordered a cup of the pasta e fagioli soup and a side of meatballs.

The meatballs and tomato sauce were really tasty.  They were definitely homemade with a good Italian recipe.  Loren liked the three bean salad and said the house salad dressing was really good too.  Same goes for both soups and the garlic bread.  We hadn’t even gotten our entrees and our tastebuds were already quite happy.

Any restaurant that brings me a big ol’ basket of garlic bread gets a high rating in my book.  The bread was soft with a nice garlic taste. 

Then came the entress.  Loren ordered the Cannelloni a la Joseph.

Homemade cannelloni stuffed with a sausage and cheese filling, then covered in mozzarella cheese and sauce.  It had a nice texture and the sausage and cheese blended well together.  The sausage wasn’t overpowering.

I ordered the fettucini alfredo.

The sauce had mushrooms and prosciutto in it but it wasn’t as light and creamy as I prefer my alfredo sauce.  This was a thicker sauce and just didn’t have the flavors I was looking for. 

But, then came the 3D Chocolate Cake.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share.  The cake was soft and fudgy with layers of  chocolate mousse and whipped cream on the side.  Good stuff.

Total bill was $40 and this is definitely a place we’ll go back to.  The food was authentic and the atmosphere was pleasant.  

And here’s that sunset…

Joseph’s Little Italy
916-A Patricia Ave
Dunedin, FL
727-734-8989

Joseph's Little Italy on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5
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  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • What used to be the Happy Greek in Palm Harbor is now Little Greek.  We asked the guy at the counter why they weren’t happy anymore and he said well, the economy’s rough right now.  He then went on to explain that they didn’t own the Happy Greek name and they’re part of the Little Greek franchise.

    Today was a gyro day for both of us, one chicken and one with gyro meat.

    I also got a side of potato salad.  It was typical gyro fare.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  The tzatziki sauce had me tasting garlic the whole rest of the day though. 

    I saw this is the dessert case and had to have one.

    It was chocolate sponge cake with layers of chocolate mouse and some chocolate sprinkles.  It was pretty good.  Not a deep down rich chocolate, but rather a lighter, fluffier chocolate dessert.   Total lunch was $20.

    Little Greek
    320 East Lake Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-785-7782

    Happy Greek on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: Greek, Palm Harbor
  • On our quest to try new places, we set out to the Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor for dinner tonight. 

    It’s an eclectic little restaurant.  Lots of bright colors and artwork in the three dining rooms and outside.  We wanted a quiet part of the restaurant and were seated on the back porch.  The restaurant is in a 1930’s house.  The live music was in the dining room in front of ours.  It was very soothing and we knew every song. 

    Loren ordered an iced tea which turned out to be a raspberry blend that he really liked.  He normally doesn’t like fruity teas, but he was really impressed with this one.  We were served a complimentary taste of their potato soup.  It was tasty.  

    Because we just can’t resist appetizers, we ordered the Saganaki,  an oven-roasted Greek Kefalograviera cheese, bathed in olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon.

    It had a strong parmesean cheese taste to it.  I don’t think I’d order it again, but it was good with the bread.  The salad had a poppy seed dressing on it that was good, though the onions were really strong.

    For my entree, I ordered the Roasted Duck with a blackberry orange sauce.  It came with mashed red potatoes and roasted veggies.

    The duck was tender, but it had the skin still on and it was just the wrong texture.  The same with the blackberry orange sauce, great flavor, bad texture.  I kept getting blackberry seeds between my teeth.  The mashed potatoes were really good.  The roasted veggies were peas and sweet potatoes.  I thought it was odd to serve a roasted potato with mashed potatoes, but I liked them nonetheless.

    Loren ordered the special, a swordfish in a Beurre blanc sauce with the same mashed potatoes and roasted veggies as mine. 

    He really enjoyed the swordfish.  He joked about having leftovers, but there wasn’t anything left on his plate except a bite or two of mashed potatoes.

    We were both pretty full by this point, but I kept hearing the waitress describe the desserts at other tables.  All I had to hear were the words “7 Layer Dark Chocolate Cake” and I was sold.

    At first glance, and even in the photo, the cake doesn’t look all that appealing.  My first thought was that it was going to be really dry.  Boy, was I wrong.  It was one of the moistest, freshest cakes I’ve ever tasted.  One bite and I tried to steal the plate away from Loren.  It had a decadent thick chocolate frosting on top and rich, dark chocolate mousse between 7 layers of cake.  Even though we felt like we couldn’t eat another bite, we managed to finish the entire thing.  I’d go back for the cake alone.

    The only downside was the bill.  This was not a cheap dinner.  $72 for the two of us.  We’re not likely to go back often, but this is definitely a place I’d recommend if you want the occasional special night out. 

    Green Springs Bistro
    156 Fourth Ave North
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-669-6762

    Green Springs Bistro on Urbanspoon

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    Service0/5
    Atmosphere0/5
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    0.0/5