The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

Categories

Search Site


Meta


Archives

Blog Archives

Cornucopia


On our pursuit of waterfalls, we ended up down in Cashiers, NC at Cornucopia.  We had actually eaten here the last time we were in the area.  We got there right before the lunch crowd and didn’t have to wait too long for a table.  We ordered the crab cakes as an appetizer, but I guess our waitress put the entire order in at once, so everything came out together.

DSCN6427

The crab cakes had a lot of crab and a little bit of spice.  The were crunchy and cooked well, plus it came with a salad and some fruit.  It would have been so much nicer had it come out before our sandwiches though.  Loren got the spicy cajun turkey melt and I tried the grilled chicken club.

DSCN6428

DSCN6429

His sandwich had way too many jalapenos on it.  I don’t know how anyone would be expected to eat that many.  My chicken was a bit thick for the sandwich, but it was tender and perfectly cooked.  The whole meal was fresh and tasty, but their prices are a bit on the high side.  With a drink, lunch was $45.  They close from November-March, so be sure to check to see if they’re open before heading over there.

Cornucopia
16 Schoolhouse Rd
Cashiers, NC
828-743-3750

Cornucopia Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
3.3/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, NC
  • We went over to Palm Harbor for dinner tonight at the New England’s Ale House Grille.   We almost didn’t even bother going in since their main parking is by valet.  I’m just one of those people who doesn’t like handing my keys over to a stranger.  We did manage to grab the last spot in the lot next door and walk over.  They didn’t have any seating available inside, so we found a table out on the porch, where unfortunately they allow smoking.  The first thing Loren noticed was that the main board on the railing around the porch in front of us was warped.  He looked at me and said, “Wouldn’t you have just spent the extra money to replace it with a straight board?”.  I only mention this because that lack of detail was evident in our entire experience here.

    We ordered a bowl of clam chowder to split between us.

    DSCN6337

    Our waitress brought out 1 spoon and then asked us if we wanted another one.  Umm, yeah.  I can only assume that she had to walk to the furthest part of the kitchen and wash the spoon herself given how long it took her to bring one back to the table.  It became very apparent throughout the meal that she hasn’t been a waitress for long.  As for the chowder, it was underseasoned and the potatoes were unevenly cooked.  It didn’t have a lot of clams in it and the ones that were in it were on the chewy side.  It was very creamy, but one note.  The only saving grace was the little bit of bacon on top.  Next up were the salads.

    DSCN6338

    It was a mixed green salad, which I’m not fond of.  I’m an iceberg lettuce kind of gal.  Loren likes the greens; I think they’re just yard weeds.  At this point, the waiting began for our entree.  Loren asked for some more ice for his tea and again, I can only assume that the waitress had to go to the far corner of the restaurant to get it.  I also observed the other tables around us with empty glasses.  One guy had asked the waitress for ketchup, but eventually gave up and  asked another table if he could borrow theirs.  About 5 minutes later the waitress showed up with the ketchup.

    Then our entrees finally arrived.  Loren ordered the crab cakes with brussel sprouts and mac & cheese.

    DSCN6339

     

    He said the crab cakes were ok, but again like everything else, lacked seasoning.  The brussel sprouts were unevenly cooked so only half were edible. The mac & cheese was pretty good.  I ordered the whole belly clams with red potatoes and mac & cheese.

    DSCN6340

    As you can see from the photo, there are brussel sprouts on my plate.  I informed the lady that brought our food that I had not ordered brussel sprouts.  She went back to the kitchen and I never saw her again.  Our waitress came to the table and I told her that I ordered red potatoes and she went back to the kitchen.  Eventually, she came back out and apologized and said it was her fault, and would I like to have the potatoes?  Seriously?  All this time and you still haven’t brought me my potatoes??  I told her yes and about half way through the meal, I finally got the unevenly cooked red potatoes.

    DSCN6342

    Now, as for my clams… sigh, they were not properly prepared and were watery.  Definitely needed seasoning as much as everything else on the plate.   There was also one big chunk of smooshed together clams that I just left on the plate.  The menu also said there should be dinner rolls, but that never happened either.  At this point, we just wanted to get out of there.  Now, here’s the kicker.  This was an overpriced $61 meal and they charged me 25 cents for water!  Now the bill said “water with lemon”, which I didn’t specifically ask for lemon because I just remove it anyway, but I have never in my life been charged for water.  I will be surprised if this place survives.  Everything from the poor service to the unevenly, under-seasoned food to the fact that they are so cheap as to charge for water solidified the fact that we’ll never be back.

    New England’s Ale House Grille
    3419 US 19 Alternate
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-785-9700

    New England Ale House Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service1/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value1/5
    1.6/5

    Poor Service


    This is the third time we’ve eaten at Bascetti’s in Dunedin and after tonight, I’m not sure that we’ll be returning anytime soon.  The restaurant does some things very well, but is severely lacking in others.  My biggest complaint tonight was the service.  For the most part, it was just non-existent.  We ordered an appetizer and I assumed the waitress would bring out bread while we waited for it.  No such luck.  We just sat there for quite a long time waiting on the sausage and crab cake appetizer to arrive.

    20130202_12

    All the photos are pretty bad because it was so dark at our table.  This dish was pretty tasty.  Lots of crab and just a hint of sausage flavor.  I probably wouldn’t have guessed that there was sausage in it because it was very mild.  The sauce with it was sort of a tangy salad dressing.   Once we had completely finished the appetizer, we sat and waited some more until our waitress brought out the bread.

    20130202_13

     

    The dipping sauce is usually the best part of the bread here, however, tonight, it was ice cold.  It must have come straight out of the fridge and was not at all what I was expecting when I took my first bite.  It was very disappointing and I would have asked the waitress to heat it up if we had seen her again before we had finished eating the bread.  Once we were done with it, she brought out my chicken soup and Loren’s salad.

    20130202_14

     

    20130202_15

     

    They really need to get smaller bowls or put more soup in them.  The presentation of the soup just immediately made you think they were being skimpy with it.  It had a nice flavor, but I found the chicken pieces to be overcooked and sort of dry/grainy tasting.  Loren didn’t mind it as much as I did.   Usually, I complain that restaurants are too quick to bring out the next course, but that was definitely not an issue here tonight.   Service was painfully slow.  At one point, our waitress said she was going to refill drinks and she didn’t return for at least 15 minutes.    Eventually our entrees came out.  Loren ordered the chicken piccata.

    20130202_16

     

    He really enjoyed this dish.  The sauce was light and tasty, the pasta cooked well and the chicken was tender.  He was all mmm, mmm, mmm, while I was less than enthused by my Vodka Princess pasta dish.

    20130202_19

     

    This had overcooked rubbery shrimp and minuscule pieces of crab meat in it.  I had to really search to actually find any pieces of crab.  The sauce just wasn’t anything special and in my mind, the dish wasn’t worth $18.  It wasn’t smooth and creamy enough for me.  When the waitress came by and asked how it was, I was less than complimentary about the dish and she went back and told the kitchen.  They offered a free dessert so we tried the chocolate fig torte.

    20130202_20

     

    This was really tasty.  I probably wouldn’t have guessed that there was fig in it, though every so often you did get some seeds.  It was chocolatety without being overwhelmingly rich.  For me, this was the best part of the meal.   I just felt like we spent way too much time sitting around waiting tonight.  Like I said, they do some things very well, but consistency and attention to the small details just seems lacking.  There’s just no reason we should have been in there for over 2 hours.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

    Bascetti’s
    1568 Main Street
    Dunedin, FL
    727-738-2808

    Bascetti's on Urbanspoon 

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    2.6/5

    Since we figured we’d be waiting for a table no matter where we went for dinner tonight, we decided to get some Italian food at Johnny’s.  Surprisingly, the wait was only about 10 minutes tonight.  We got the best part of the meal out of the way first thing, the Johnny bread.

    Hot & fresh out of the oven with a garlic oil dipping sauce that will have you tasting garlic for days.  It’s so good.  We kept going back & forth about whether to get calamari or crab cakes for an appetizer and settled on the crab cakes.

    I think we’d have been better off with the calamari.  Though the crab cakes were ok flavorwise, they just had no texture whatsoever.  They were mushy and definitely needed a crunch on the outside.  The two sauces served with them were spicy and spicier.  The red pepper sauce was miserably hot.

    Loren got a salad and I went for the clam chowder.

    The chowder lacked seasoning tonight.  A bit of salt went a long way to improving it.  Loren ordered the Chicken Fra Diavlo.

    He liked it.  The sauce was spicy and the chicken was tender.  There was easily enough for two meals in the bowl, so he had some leftovers.  I went for the fettucine alfredo with mushrooms & onions.  I’ve had it here before and really enjoyed it, but tonight’s version was quite inedible.

    As soon as the waitress put it on the table, I knew there was a problem.  It wasn’t creamy.  The alfredo sauce had completely separated.  It was a bowl of pasta in oil basically.  She took the bowl back to the kitchen & added some additional alfredo sauce to it, but the damage was already done.

    I get that alfredo sauce separates when it’s reheated, but it should be able to stay together through the first serving.  They did take it off our bill which ended up being $27.  This was sadly an off night for one of our favorite Italian restaurants.

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

    Johnny's Italian on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.6/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Italian
  • We met a friend for lunch at Molly Goodheads today.  Started out with the alligator tail appetizer, half fried & half blackened.

    It didn’t do much for me.  Yeah, I thought it tasted like chicken and the pieces were really small and crunchy.  Loren said the blackend seasoning was pretty strong today.  He thinks the last time he ordered it, he must have asked for lightly blackened.  For lunch, he decided on gumbo.

    Nice big bowl of tomatoey goodness.  Definitely a different take than what we get at the Cajun Cafe, but still pretty good.  Our friend got a crab cake sandwich & I got the crab cake plate with garlic mashed & cole slaw.

    They had two different crab cake dishes on the menu, this one and a Maryland crab cake.  I hope the other one is better because this one wasn’t very good.  Mostly filler and cooked a bit too long.  The coating was too crispy.   Usually, I love the mashed potatoes here,  but today’s were a bit too thick & had way more garlic than I like.  Overall, not the best meal I’ve had here.  Total bill with 2 drinks was $35.

    Molly Goodheads
    400 Orange Street
    Ozona, FL
    727-786-6255

    Molly Goodheads Raw Bar on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Ozona, Seafood