The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We started our drive back to Florida from North Carolina and stopped in Athens, Georgia for lunch at Etienne Brasserie.  This turned out to be one of the best places we ate on vacation.  It’s a little French bistro kind of place with someone who knows what they’re doing in the kitchen.

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We started off with the fried calamari.

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We eat a lot of calamari, it’s one of our favorite appetizers, and this one did not disappoint.  It was perfectly cooked.  Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and not at all chewy.  It was served with a delicious lemon aioli.   Loren got the French dip and I went for the Croque Monsieur.

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I actually ordered the Croque Madame which came with a fried egg, but they forgot to put it on.  The waiter realized the mistake and asked if I wanted to send it back, but I figured it was just going to make it super messy and difficult to eat, so I settle on the Monsieur instead.  Both sandwiches were delicious.  Flavorful meats and cheeses.  The only thing I didn’t like was the herb mustard.  It was a little too strong for me.  For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the chocolate mousse.

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Yum!  Perfect ratio of mousse to whipped cream and it had a deep, dark rich chocolate flavor.  Perfect ending to a lovely lunch.  Total bill with a drink was $37.

Etienne Brasserie
311 Broad St
Athens, GA
706-850-8008

Etienne Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
3.9/5
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  • Filed under: French, GA
  • Our travels took us over to Little Switzerland and the Switzerland Cafe for lunch.  It was really busy and we ended up waiting about 20 minutes for a table.  We started off with the cheese plate.

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    I had mixed feelings about this appetizer.  I ordered it because the menu said it had goat cheese on it, and there was none to be found on the plate.  That aside, the rest of the cheeses and bread and fruit were pretty tasty.  There was a gingered pear chutney that had a lot of cinnamon and clove in it.  The bread was crusty and very good.  For his entree, Loren ordered the French dip.

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    He really liked it.  Everything worked well together on the sandwich. The bread was fresh and crusty, the au jou had a nice flavor and the beef was tender.   Unfortunately, my pulled pork dish did not impress me.

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    There was something about this dish that I just didn’t like.  There was a spiciness to the pork that completely overwhelmed it.  The cole slaw needed more dressing on it and the beans were overly sweet.  I needed something to cleanse my tastebuds, so I had to order the chocolate cake.

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    This made up for the pulled pork.  It had a creamy mousse layer and other chocolatety textured layers within.  It had a deep, rich chocolate taste and we scarfed every last crumb.  Total bill with a drink was $40.

    Switzerland Cafe
    9440 Hwy 226A
    Little Switzerland, NC
    828-765-5289

    Switzerland Cafe on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, BBQ, NC
  • We ate lunch at Daddy’s Grill today.  Loren went for a bacon cheeseburger & fries and I decided to try the French Dip.

    He said his burger was pretty good, but I found my sandwich to be on the bland side.  Parts of it were pretty soggy when it got to the table.  I’m guessing the au jous spilled over the side.  The meat was tender, but it just lacked flavor.  I think some grilled onions or mushrooms would have helped.  Even the mayo I had asked for, but never received, would have added something to it.  Their macaroni salad tasted different today too.   Total bill with a drink was $16.

    Daddy’s Grill
    3682 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 891-6556

    Daddy's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    2.9/5
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  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • Crispy Fish


    We were heading to a show at Ruth Eckerd Hall, so stopped into The Grind House Bar & Grill to grab some dinner.  I can’t resist the bisque here.

    One bowl, two spoons and there’s not a drop left.  It’s very thick & creamy with chunks of lobster & shrimp.  Tasty stuff.  Loren got a French Dip sandwich with fries.

    He said it was pretty good with a nice au jous.  I decided to try the fish & chips.

    This was a large piece of fish & it was hot right out of the fryer.  It took a while before it cooled down enough to take my first bite.   The breading was nice & crunchy and the fries and coleslaw were tasty too.  Total bill with a drink was $26.

    Grind House Bar & Grill
    1500 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-5577

    Grind House Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5

    Not So Tender


    We ate dinner at Stone Chase tonight.  We were actually heading to the new restaurant next door, but it wasn’t opening until next weekend.  Loren started off with a salad while I scarfed the bread.

     Loren likes the ranch dressing here.  It’s a bit too peppery for me though.  The bread, however, is quite tasty.  For his entree, he went for the steak melt.

    He thought it was ok.  It turned out that the steak in his sandwich was more tender than the filet in my noodle bowl.

     

     

     

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, Tampa