The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Lemon Wedge?


We went over to Rosie’s Clam Shack for dinner tonight.  There was only one other table of customers in there and the service was really lacking.  There was no one to greet us when we came in.  Luckily the waitress came out to bring something to the other table and saw us.  The whole experience was a little odd.  The other people there commented on it more than we did, but the waitress just seemed unhappy to be there.   One of the things that really stuck out to me though, was that with every drink or plate that we ordered she specifically asked if we wanted a lemon wedge with it.  I don’t know if they were just trying to save money or didn’t have a lot of lemons in the back, but after the first few times she asked, it just seemed weird.

We started off with the fried calamari.

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It had a good crunch, but it was a bit on the chewy side.  The tomato sauce served with it had a good flavor.  You could tell it had actually been simmered for a while.  For his entree, Loren got the bacon wrapped scallops with fries & pasta salad.

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He said the scallops were cooked perfectly and the bacon added a nice flavor.  But then again, doesn’t bacon do that to everything it’s added to??  He didn’t really want the huge plate of fries or the pasta salad for that matter, but the choice of sides is limited to fries, pasta salad, cole slaw or parsley potatoes.  I think he would have liked a green vegetable of some sort.  I ordered the Ipswitch clams with cole slaw and parsley potatoes.

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The clams are the reason I come here.  Perfectly crunchy and plenty of them on the plate. We enjoyed the apple blossom dessert the last time we were here, so had to get it again.

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Last time, the waitress added whipped cream to the plate, but not so this time.  This is a tasty little dessert though.  Very simple apple filling in a baked crust.  Total bill with a drink was $54.

Rosie’s Clam Shack
6657 49th St
Pinellas Park, FL
727-527-6700

Rosie's Clam Shack on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.1/5

Ipswich Clams


I’ve been searching for a restaurant to satisfy my Ipswich clam cravings.  Having grown up in New England, it’s one of those tastes of my childhood that I miss and can’t find anywhere.  That is until tonight when we ate at Rosie’s Clam Shack in Pinellas Park.  But first, we had to try the clam chowder.

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This was a thick, rich chowder with lots of potatoes and clams.  It had a very mild flavor and needed a little salt, but otherwise, pretty tasty.  Loren decided to try the stuffed grouper.

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For his two sides, he chose the parsley potatoes and the pasta salad.  He really liked this dish.  He said the grouper was cooked perfectly and the stuffing had a nice flavor to it.  The pasta salad had a little spicy kick to it that he liked as well.  Loren said he wished he had taken a photo of the happy look on my face when I ate the first fried clam.

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These were perfectly cooked.  Crunchy, with tender bellies, just like I remembered them.  I really liked the parsley potatoes too.  Since everything else was tasting so good, we decided to try the apple blossom dessert.

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I think if I had turned around this would have been gone before I was able to look back.  The apple filling and tender crust were just yummy.  It was a very simple dessert, but sometimes, those can be the best.  My only complaint about the restaurant is that it took quite a while for the food to come out of the kitchen.  We will definitely be back.  Total bill with a drink was $52.

Rosie’s Clam Shack
6657 49th St
Pinellas Park, FL
727-527-6700

Rosie's Clam Shack on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.8/5

Watery Clams


I was bummed when the Boston Cooker closed their location in Oldsmar, but today we decided to drive up to their remaining location in Spring Hill.  Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t worth the drive.  The restaurant in Spring Hill looks identical to the interior of Daddy’s Grill.  The best part of the meal was the rolls fresh from the oven.  We started off with some lobster bisque and Loren got a salad.

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The bisque was really thick and in need of salt.  There weren’t any actual pieces of lobster in there either.  Loren got the seafood platter.

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It had shrimp, scallops, fish, and oysters in it.  He said it was ok with the fish being the best thing on the plate.  The only reason I wanted to go here was for the whole belly clams.

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What a total disappointment.  I had to send the first plate back because the clams were watery and mushy.  It was terrible.  By the time, the new batch came out, Loren was just about finished with his meal.  The second batch wasn’t as watery, but they weren’t great either.  Nothing like I remembered having them before.  We won’t be heading back up there again.  Total bill with a drink was $37.

Boston Cooker
5375 Springhill Drive
Spring Hill, FL
352-684-6000

Boston Cooker Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.0/5

We drove over to Zephyrhills today and ate lunch at the Chowderhouse.  The big draw for me was that their website said they had whole belly clams.  We both started out with clam chowder, one New England style and the other Boston style.

The main difference between the two is that one was more creamy than the other.  They both tasted ok.  I actually liked the creamy one more and Loren liked the other, so that worked out pretty well.  For his entrée, he got the blackened grouper sandwich.

He said it was good.  It came with fries & cole slaw.  I ordered the whole belly clam roll.  They were perfectly cooked and had that flavor I craved, but they were a bit on the small side.

There was no way I was going to be able to pick it up and eat it like a sandwich, so I just picked the clams off the bun.  The macaroni salad was good too.  The waitress brought around the dessert tray and we decided to try the homemade blueberry and coconut cream pies.

These were both somewhat disappointing.  The crust wasn’t crispy and flaky at all.  It was very dense and doughy.  I don’t know if it’s because they had been in the fridge or what, but nowhere near as good as the pies at Yoder’s in Sarasota.  That’s pretty much my baseline for pie now.  Total bill with a drink was $42.

The Chowder House
36626 SR 54
Zephyrhills, FL
813-780-8396

The Chowder House on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.3/5

There are a few restaurants we go to that definitely cater to an older crowd.  Boston Cooker is one of them.  I don’t know if it’s the sunset specials or just the taste of New England, but we were by far the youngest couple in there tonight.

We started out with a bowl of clam chowder, their house salad, and of course, the yummiest yeast rolls around.

Usually, I like their clam chowder, but tonight it really didn’t do much for me.  I don’t know, it just didn’t seem as fresh tonight.  The salad was good, I really do enjoy their buttermilk dressing.  And all I can say about the yeast rolls is just keep bringing them to the table. 

Since we were there before 6pm tonight, Loren ordered off of the sunset specials menu and got the sirloin tips with garlic mashed potatoes.

He didn’t really like it all that much.  He said it lacked flavor and seasoning and the tips weren’t very tender.   Personally, I’ve never tried anything else on their menu besides the belly clams.

Big plate of yummy clams.  From the first bite to the last, they’re just so good.  Service was ok for the majority of our meal until it was time for the check.  Unfortunately, our waiter got a big table at that point and we ended up waiting for quite a while to get our check.  Total bill was $38.

Boston Cooker
3705 Tampa Road Unit 6  
Oldsmar, FL
813-855-2311

Boston Cooker on Urbanspoon

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