The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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Breakfast


We had a late breakfast at Athen’s in downtown Safety Harbor this morning.

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Blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon for Loren and a delicious raisin French Toast with eggs and hashbrowns for me.  Very filling and the price was right.  Total bill with a drink was $14.

Athens Restaurant
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
727-726-3471

Athen's on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.6/5

Hard to Eat


We fought the crowd for brunch at Johnny Grits this morning.  There was a line out the door.  Unfortunately, our experience today wasn’t as good as it’s been in the past.  Loren ordered the chicken sandwich with bacon and a side of fries.

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The chicken was very thick which made it hard to eat as a sandwich.  It really needed to be flattened more to fit on the bun.  His bacon was overcooked and his fries weren’t crispy enough.  I ordered the breakfast bowl special.

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It had potatoes, bacon, sausage, two eggs, a biscuit and sausage gravy.  My bacon suffered the same fate as Loren’s, being way overcooked.  The sausage was also overcooked.  My over-easy eggs had already broken by the time it got to the table.   The biscuit & gravy was probably the best thing on the plate.  Total bill with a drink was $19.

Johnny Grits
857 E. Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
727-942-4748

Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.9/5

We went to a movie this morning and ended up at the reopened Village Inn over on Racetrack Road near Westchase.  The original Village Inn that was there closed a while back, but another franchisee bought the space and opened it up again.  They were crowded and we ended up with about a 10 minute wait for a table.

Loren wanted lunch & I wanted breakfast so he got a soup and burger and I got a skillet.

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He liked the soup, but said the burger was really bland.  Completely lacking in seasoning.  I got the California skillet which had avocado in it that could probably have used another day or so to ripen further.  The pancakes were spot on and the rest of the skillet was tasty.  The only thing that got on my nerves about our dining experience is that every time a server went in or out of the kitchen they yelled that they were coming in or out.  Total bill with a drink was $25.

Village Inn
13001 Race Track Rd
Tampa, FL
813-814-0488

Village Inn on Urbanspoon

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

Cheesy Grits


We both had a hankering for some grits this morning, so off to Johnny Grits in Tarpon Springs we went.  Loren enjoyed the shrimp and grits so much last time, that he ordered them again, this time without the sausage.

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The combination of the tarragon cream sauce and grits is delicious.  I had to steal a few bites because it’s so tasty.  The shrimp are cooked perfectly, though he would have preferred the tails not be left on them.  The sauce is a creamy, savory combination of bacon, tomatoes and onions that melds so well with the three cheese grits.  I went for the sunrise sampler breakfast with a side of grits.

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The eggs were a perfect over easy and I ended up mixing them into my grits.  I added onions & mushrooms to the three cheese grits.  This little skillet had enough grits for two people, but I managed to put quite a dent in them.  It was a meal in itself.  Great food and service all around.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

Johnny Grits
857 E. Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
727-942-4748

Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5

Brunch


I’m on vacation this week and we were heading to an 11:30am movie so decided to grab some brunch at Cracker Barrel.  I say brunch because Loren’s not much of a breakfast eater.  He got a chicken BLT and some soup, while I went for pancakes, eggs, and hashbrowns.

He said the sandwich was ok, not a lot of seasoning on it.  His soup went missing and he was half way finished with his meal before our waitress came back & we could tell her.

My over-easy eggs were perfect and they make a darn good pancake here, especially with the warmed up syrup.  I don’t know how anyone could get through a stack of pancakes with just one little bottle of their syrup though.  I barely manage it with two.   Total bill with a drink was $21.

Cracker Barrel
13833 West Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa, FL
813-855-4200

Cracker Barrel on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.7/5