Quite a few restaurants are closed on Memorial Day so we ended up at the new Five Guys in Boot Ranch for lunch.
The restaurant is big and bright, plenty of windows letting in lots of light. The burgers & fries are what we’ve come to expect from Five Guys and I actually think these were a little less greasy than the ones we got recently at the Westchase location. A little cheeseburger with grilled onions & mushrooms for me and a little bacon cheeseburger for Loren. Plus you can’t leave here without some awesome fries. Total bill was $15.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
300 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
We decided to try Red Robin over at Countryside Mall for lunch today. We thought we were going to miss the lunch crowd, but it was packed. We ended up waiting 15 minutes or so for a table. We decided to start off with some chips & queso.
It was pretty good. The flavor and creaminess was just right and it had a little bit of heat. There weren’t enough chips to start off with, but the waitress brought more. By the time the new basket of chips arrived though, our burgers were out. Loren got the Guac Burger and I got the mushroom burger.
We both agreed that these were some pretty tasty burgers. They definitely don’t skimp on the toppings either. There was a mound of mushrooms on mine. They also come with an endless supply of steak fries, though neither of us even finished the ones already on our plate. But, of course, you pay for all the freebies one way or another and the total bill with a drink was $31. A bit much for some burgers, even though they were pretty tasty.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
27001 US Highway 19 North
I made Loren get up early today and walk around the south end of the Las Vegas strip with me since that was the one part I hadn’t been to yet. Since he was still on Florida time, it felt like lunchtime to him, so we stopped at FatBurger and had a burger and fries for breakfast.
I gotta say, this was a pretty darn good burger & fries. It was fresh, juicy and flavorful and the fries were hot and crispy. For $15 with a drink, it really hit the spot.
3763 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
I ate at the Todd English Pub twice because it was really good. I had sliders both times, first ones were beef and the second time the brown butter lobster sliders, and they were both delicious.
The burgers had a wonderful flavor and the fries were crispy and delicious. There was plenty of lobster in the other sliders and the buns were perfectly buttery and scrumptious. If it weren’t for the prices, I could eat here every day. The beef sliders & fries ran me $16, the lobster sliders $25.
Todd English Pub
3720 Las Vegas Blvd S (Crystals)
Las Vegas, NV
I really should learn to listen to myself. The last time we ate at Grind House before a show at Ruth Eckerd Hall, I vowed not to do it again and yet, that’s where we went for dinner tonight anyway. They were crowded when we got there, but there were still some empty tables. The bartender greeted us, brought us menus, and took our drink order. He also brought out our water and iced tea. When our waitress finally came by to take our dinner order, I gave her the free appetizer coupon we received last time we were here (because of issues with our food) and we ordered the spinach dip.
They were having a special tonight for buy one, get one free fish & chips with the purchase of two drinks. Since I had ordered water, I told the waitress to bring me a Mr. Pibb instead. Our appetizer came out, but the waitress didn’t bring my drink. The spinach dip was really good. It was creamy and had good flavors and the chips were hot and fresh. Our fish & chips came out and the waitress asked if we needed anything else and I said my drink. She wandered off, but never came back with the drink.
The fish & chips were really good. The batter is so crunchy and the fish was silky and flaky. The fries had a nice crunch too. Again, our waitress returned and asked if we wanted anything else. I ordered a dessert and she realized again that she hadn’t brought my drink and asked if I wanted it to go. Ummm, no, I wanted it with my meal. The brownie sundae was very yummy though.
It needed to be in a slightly larger bowl because every time we put a spoon in, the whipped cream started flowing out the sides. You’ll notice I didn’t say it needed less whipped cream. That would be just silly. The brownie was soft and chewy and very tasty. I was half expecting our waitress to charge us for the drink I never got, but instead, she charged us for the appetizer that we had the free coupon for. Someone else saw that we had our check ready to go so I had to explain to them that we shouldn’t have been charged for the appetizer. It’s such a shame that we’ve had such terrible service here because most of the time, the food is really good. Total bill was $18.
Grind House Bar & Grill
1500 McMullen Booth Rd
We decided to stop at Fratelli’s Italian Restaurant for lunch today. They have an inexpensive lunch menu with a lot of different dishes from sandwiches to pastas and pizza. Both the food and service have been hit or miss here, but today everything was ok. Loren got the meatball sub with fries.
The meatballs are pretty tasty, but the fries were just ok. They really weren’t very crispy and that’s the way he likes them. I got the cheese manicotti.
It was like lava when it got to the table, so I had to munch on the bread while it cooled. The bread was very buttery and had a nice texture. It’s a dense bread which makes it great for dipping in the sauce. The two manicotti were cheesy and tasty. I wish they would add more lighting to this restaurant though. It just looks like a dark bar when you walk in. Total bill with a drink was $15.
Fratelli Italian Restaurant and Bar
120 Commerce Blvd, Ste 1
We don’t eat fast food often, in fact, I think Five Guys is the only fast food burger joint we’ve been to in quite a while. I’m intrigued with the efficiency they have in running this place. As soon as people walk in the door, they’re counting them off and dropping more burgers on the grill & fries in the oil. A large party came in right before us today, so our burgers took a little longer, but they were definitely fresh.
Loren went for a bacon burger all the way and I got a little cheeseburger with grilled onions & mushrooms and we shared an order of fries.
Actually, I think we only ate about half an order of fries because they dump what would normally be considered a regular order anywhere else in the bag on top of the actual order. Everything was hot, fresh & juicy, just the way it should be. Total bill with a drink was $16.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
11622 Countryway Blvd
We were headed down to Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St Petersburg today and ate lunch at Munch’s Sundries. Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives filmed there earlier this year and based on our experience, I think it was a good pick.
It’s got that diner feel to it. Been around since the 1950′s and the photos on the walls bring you back to an era long gone. We started off with some onion straws.
It was a big ol’ basket of lightly battered, very yummy onion rings. This is one of those addictive appetizers. Loren even found a few bonus items in the basket, some okra and a piece of fried chicken. The waitress said sometimes you may even end up with a fried shrimp in there. For lunch, Loren got a cheeseburger with fries.
He said the burger was good, but that the bun had a bit too much mustard and relish on it for this taste. He ended up having to help me eat my lunch, the BBQ rib sandwich.
Ok, I’m not really sure why they called it a sandwich, maybe because there were two pieces of bread on the plate? It was just three of the tastiest BBQ ribs I’ve had in a long time. They were so tender and had lots of flavor. I didn’t even bother with the BBQ sauce. I would definitely come back for more BBQ. Loren’s even thinking about using them to cater BBQ for one of their autocross events.
And when there’s homemade apple pie on the menu, I find it very hard to resist.
Lots of apples and cinnamon on a tasty crust. And the best part was that the whole meal with a drink was $21. Next time we’re in south St Pete, we’re definitely stopping here again.
3920 6th St S
St Petersburg, FL
It was about 8:30pm when we finally ventured out for dinner tonight and we ended up at the Oldsmar Cop Shop. I decided on some honey BBQ wings and some sweet potato fries.
Five wings didn’t seem like a lot, but it was plenty for me. The wings here are really big and the sauce was sweet and tangy. The sweet potato fries are awesome. They’re thick crinkle cut fries served with whipped cream. How can you go wrong with that?
Loren ordered the chicken sandwich with fries.
At the advice of the waitress, Loren got the chicken dipped in buffalo sauce. He said it was pretty good. The regular fries here are really good too. Total bill with a drink was $20.
The Cop Shop
3780 Tampa Road
We went back to downtown Safety Harbor for lunch today at Athen’s Restaurant. I was craving breakfast, but then decided a gyro sounded better.
At first glance, it looked kind of deceiving. It didn’t look as though it had much gyro meat on it and that it had tons of tzatziki sauce. It actually had quite a bit of meat on it and the sauce wasn’t overwhelming, so it gave it a nice balance. The gyro meat was flavorful and tender. The pita bread was very good too. I think a little lettuce would have added a nice crunch to it.
Loren got a bacon cheeseburger.
They make a pretty good burger here and definitely slather on the mayo. the fries were nice and hot and yummy. Service was ok. Our waitress spent most of the time talking to customers that I’m guessing were friends of hers. She didn’t come back to our table until we had already finished eating. Total bill was $15.
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
We ate lunch at Burger 21 in Westchase today. This is definitely not your average burger joint and we neither of us ordered an average burger either.
Loren went for the Ahi Tuna burger and fries.
It was lightly fried, but still rare enough in the middle. It had avocado, pickled cucumbers, lettuce and tomato on it. I might have to get one for myself next time, it was pretty tasty. The fries were crispy and yummy too.
I opted for the special this month which was the gyro burger and I’m never one to pass up sweet potato fries.
The lamb burger was very juicy and flavorful. It had a tzatziki sauce, plus lettuce and tomato on it. The sweet potato fries were cut very thin and were wonderful dipped in the apple cider sauce. They had a bunch of different sauces on their sauce bar; the Thai ketchup and honeycomb mustard were good too.
And on the way out, I couldn’t help but get a chocolate cherry bomb milkshake to go.
It was a little thin for a milkshake, but the chocolate cherry flavors were tasty. The only downside of the restaurant was the price, $29 for the two of us. The food was good, no doubt about it, but we could absolutely do better than burgers and fries for $30.
9664 W. Linebaugh Ave
I actually left the house today because I just couldn’t miss Chocolate Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. My friend Cathy and I ate at Grind House before heading over there. It was empty at noon, but I’m guessing it probably filled up as the football games started later in the afternoon.
She got a burger and I got the grilled ham and cheese with fries.
A little overly grilled in places, but still rather tasty. The bread was thick and crunchy and the ham had a nice saltiness to it. The fries were nice and crisp too. Less than $20 for the two of us.
As for Chocolate Sunday, it was really crowded. There were some interesting things to try and a few that I definitely wouldn’t want seconds of. The chocolate avacado mousse didn’t do it for me, neither did the sauerkraut chocolate cake. The chocolate dipped shrimp had so much cayenne pepper on it that I thought my mouth was on fire. I can’t remember which restaurant had it.
Grind House Bar & Grill
1500 McMullen Booth Rd
We ventured over to Jack Willies for lunch today. They weren’t very busy, but you wouldn’t have guessed that by the service. We split a mushroom swiss burger with some fries and onion rings.
It took a long time for the burger to come out. Our medium burger was more like well done and both the fries and onion rings had been in the fryer too long or the oil was too hot. Overall, just not a very satisfying meal.
Then, their credit card machine went on the fritz so our waitress disappeared to go deal with that. I really used to love going to Jack Willies, but the last few times we’ve been there, it’s been disappointing. Total bill was $14 with a drink.
Jack Willie’s Tiki Bar and Grill
1013 St Petersburg Dr
We ate lunch at Daddy’s Grill today in Oldsmar. Whenever we eat there, we feel like we’re the youngest customers in the place as the clientele skews to the older crowd that have obviously been eating there for a number of years. We constantly see the waitstaff addressing customers by name and reciting off what they want to drink before the customer even orders.
Since we haven’t eaten there that often, we still have to look at the menu. Loren ordered the blackened chicken sandwich with fries.
He said it was ok. I scarfed quite of few of his fries because they were kind of tasty. I ordered off of the specials board and got the chicken marsala.
I found the marsala sauce to be fairly weak and there wasn’t enough of it on the plate. Overall, the whole thing was just ok. I had ordered macaroni salad instead of the mashed potatoes, but the waitress realized the mistake as she brought it to the table and fixed it. Total lunch ran us $16.
3682 Tampa Road
We needed a break from turkey, so we headed out to Vetture’s in Palm Harbor for lunch before walking through John Chestnut Park.
Since we’ve been eating non-stop for the last two days, we decided to split a 12″ cheesesteak sub and an order of fries.
I like the cheesesteaks here. The unique thing about them is that they put a little bit of tomato sauce under the cheese. It gives it a different flavor and makes the whole thing very moist and gooey. The roll is lightly toasted so you get a little crunch as well. The 12″ sub was more than enough for the two of us. With the fries and a drink, the total bill was $15.
Vetture’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
36137 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
We were going to have lunch at the Latin American Grill in Oldsmar only to find out it’s closed and an Indian restaurant will be moving into the space soon. So, we headed over to the Oldsmar Cop Shop since it’s in the same plaza.
It wasn’t too busy for a Tuesday afternoon. We both decided on burgers for lunch.
I got mine with sweet potato fries and they serve them with a little container of whipped cream. Can’t say I’ve ever had whipped cream with my fries before, but it was actually pretty good. The burgers were both juicy and flavorful. The only issue I had was that they charge 79 cents each for every topping. Total bill for the two burgers, fries, and a drink was $22.
And I wasn’t as enamored at the scantily-clad waitresses as Loren was.
The Cop Shop
3780 Tampa Road
Went to Disney today with my sister. Neither of us had been to the Magic Kingdom in years and we were quickly reminded as to why we haven’t been back in so long. I think almost every ride we went on stopped at some point and the food wasn’t that great.
We ate lunch at the Columbia Harbour House. I ordered the chicken nuggets with fries and my sister got a hummus sandwich.
Almost $8.50 for this small basket. Good thing I didn’t order a drink or it would have been over $10. The hummus sandwich had very little hummus on it. It came with coleslaw, which my sister assumed would be on the side, but it was actually in the sandwich, so in essence, she had a coleslaw sandwich for lunch for $11 with a drink.
We spent another $12 at the Main Street Bakery on an apple turnover, chocolate cupcake and two drinks. And then another $11 each for cheeseburgers at Pecos Bill’s.
I will say, though, that Pecos Bill’s does offer some yummy sauteed onions and mushrooms plus other toppings in a sidebar in the restaurant.
The best part of the day was when they lit up the castle.
Had lunch at the Cop Shop today. My son, Alex, has applied for work there a couple times, but I’d never been there before. It didn’t take long to realize why he didn’t have a shot in hell at getting hired as a server there. He just doesn’t have the right equipment! The place has the appearance of a classic dive bar. Big wide-open room with cheap paneling on the walls, a big bar and lots of TVs. But, it tries to be a lot like Hooters or Wing House with the hot waitresses and big focus on chicken wings. Their “uniforms” work. Leather, handcuffs and cleavage all go well together, and it sort of supports the “cop” theme of the restaurant.
The menu is a little goofy. It plays the “cop” theme way too hard. It’s difficult to find what you’re after with all of the cutesy names. Themes are good, but they shouldn’t get in the way. On this menu, that’s what they do.
Eventually, we figured out what we wanted. Between the three of us, we ordered 15 wings (breaded and tossed in medium sauce), a club sandwich (that would be the “Billy Club” found under “Probations” on the menu) on a hoagie roll with provalone cheese, and a side Caesar salad (called “The Cooler”, found under “Misdemeanors”… yeah). Hot young waitress with leather vest and black leopard-print push-up (hey, I didn’t even HAVE to be looking to notice this!) took our order, and we waited. Then we waited some more.
Finally, after we waited a little more, our food came out. I’m very happy to report that it WAS worth the wait! The wings were great! Good sized wings, just like they claim they are, and the medium sauce was very tangy and just hot enough. I’m not a big wing fan, but I could have eaten more of these!
Alex and I split the club sandwich with curly fries. The curly fries were fresh, hot and crispy. Good enough to not require catsup, I was pleased. The portion of fries was a little light, however. The sandwich was toothpicked and quartered, like a good club should be. For some reason, I thought it looked kind of small at first glance, but it turned out to be just fine. Fresh turkey and ham, really good and well-cooked bacon, lettuce and tomato… some kind of condiment? (I didn’t give it much thought at the time, it just tasted good!) I ate half of the sandwich, two wings and some fries and didn’t leave hungry.
Our friend, Ed, had 10 wings and the Caesar salad. Looked like a fresh, tasty salad and Ed had no complaints.
Overall, I’d say that this is (surprising to me) one of those places where somebody “gets it”. They understand the importance of the food, from the ingredients used to the preparation and presentation. What could have been better? Not a lot. Even the celery and ranch dressing was great! Okay, maybe a pickle with my sandwich and a couple more fries. The tea was a little on the strong/bitter side for those of us who drink it without sweetener, but it was drinkable.
Sorry I didn’t take any pictures. I know you all wanted to see our waitress!
The Cop Shop
3780 Tampa Road
We eat at Cuban Breezes quite a bit since it’s close, inexpensive, and the food’s pretty good. Loren and I went there for lunch today. He ordered a Havana burger with fries and I ordered a chicken philly with rice & beans.
Loren was only able to eat half of the Havana burger. It’s a half pound burger and very filling. Their seasoned fries are yummy.
Unfortunately, either the waitress or the kitchen didn’t get my order right and it came out as a chicken wrap. Fortunately, though, when I told them it wasn’t right, they very quickly made it right and took it off the bill. That’s the kind of service we’ve come to appreciate here.
The chicken philly has onions and peppers on their delicious Cuban bread. I drench it in Havana sauce and my taste buds are happy. Total bill was $9 for the burger and a drink.
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
We went over to Jack Willies around 3:30pm today for lunch. It must have been in-between shifts as the service seemed to be lacking throughout the restaurant. Our waiter took our orders before another table who had been seated before us and several people seated on the deck came inside to ask when someone would be coming to take their orders.
Loren ordered a blackened grouper sandwich with fries.
He said it was tasty. I ordered the mushroom swiss burger with fries.
It tasted good, but was cooked a medium well instead of medium. I usually love the fries at Jack Willies, but these weren’t as good as they have been in the past.
I wanted a chocolate dessert, but they were out, instead on the advice of the waiter, we got the apple crumble.
It wasn’t very good. The apples weren’t cooked long enough. We ate the ice cream and some of the crust but left almost all of the apples on the plate. Total bill was $33. We used to love going to Jack Willies. The food and service were always good. Lately though, it seems to have gone downhill.
Jack Willie’s Tiki Bar and Grill
1013 St Petersburg Dr