The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Hearty Brunch


We got over to Johnny Grits around 11:00am this morning and had about a 15 minute wait.  By the time we left the wait was up to 35 minutes.  This place is packed on the weekends for breakfast.  Loren’s not much of a breakfast person, so he went for the smoked turkey club with a side salad.

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It was a big sandwich and he actually ended up taking half of it home with him.  Perfectly toasted bread, smoked turkey and crunchy bacon.  He was a happy guy.  I decided to try the fried chicken benedict.

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I opted to change the jalepeno cheddar sauce they normally serve with it to hollandaise instead.   Two perfectly tender fried chicken breasts over fresh biscuits with poached eggs and fried potatoes.  It was delicious and very filling.  There’s no coming to Johnny Grits without ordering a side of grits.  We choose the andouille, onion and cheese and added some mushrooms.

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Other than adding a little salt, the grits are yummy here.  Smooth and creamy and a perfect size for two.  Total bill with a drink was $25.

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

Johnny Grits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Another Broken Egg Cafe opened recently in Clearwater in the Northwood Plaza on McMullen Booth Rd.  It’s a chain breakfast restaurant and there was about a 15 minute wait this morning.  We were there with friends and three of us ordered the Lakeshore scramble and Loren just got the city grits & some scrambled eggs.

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The grits were really good.  They had garlic, onions, gouda, bacon, tomatoes & green onions in them.  As for everything else, it was pretty standard breakfast fare.  Nothing that made any of us say we just had to come back.   We weren’t too impressed with our waitress.  She didn’t seem like she wanted to be there at all.  The restaurant also has an open ceiling which makes it louder in there than it needs to be.  Total bill was $18 for the two of us.

Another Broken Egg Cafe
2554 McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL
727-240-0655

Another Broken Egg Cafe on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.4/5

We were happy to discover that Johnny Grits now opens for dinner Wednesday-Saturday until 8pm. We got there around 7pm and they weren’t very busy which made for a nice, quiet dinner experience.  We started off with the pasta purses and the andouille sausage, onion and provolone grit skillet.

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These little bundles of goodness are stuffed with three cheeses and a pear puree that added a hint of unexpected sweetness to every bite.  They were served in a bacon and tomato brown butter sauce.  I would have liked more sauce on the dish, but otherwise they were pretty tasty.

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The grits had just a little bit of cheese on them. 🙂  Nice flavors, but the onions weren’t cooked quite enough and it definitely needed more salt.   Our entrees came with soup or salad and I couldn’t pass up the mushroom soup.

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After tasting the soup, I think Loren will think twice next time about ordering a salad.  It was delicious.  Creamy with chunks of mushroom and an amazing flavor.  Yum!  For his entree, Loren tried tonight’s steak special.

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The steak was cooked perfectly, but overall the dish was under seasoned.  The wine sauce just didn’t have the depth of flavor he was hoping for, but with a little salt & pepper added, he ate every last bit that was on the plate. I went for the southern chicken hash and was a little surprised at what actually came out of the kitchen.

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The menu described it as a pan seared chicken breast with diced potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, caramelized onions, in a sherry wine cream sauce.  That’s not quite what showed up, though I didn’t complain because what was on the plate was quite good.  The mashed potatoes were homemade and quite happy to be dunked in the cream sauce which was delicious.  Besides a few missteps on seasoning, the food was quite tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $43.

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

Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5

We were driving through Ocala today and at the recommendation of a friend, stopped at the Ivy House for lunch.  It’s a good thing this place isn’t closer because I’d be eating there constantly.  This is what down home southern food should taste like.  We started off with the BBQ shrimp and grits appetizer.

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I could have eaten two bowls of these grits.  They were creamy, cheesy, and perfectly seasoned.  The shrimp was nicely cooked with a tangy BBQ sauce.  I’m pretty sure we licked the plate clean.  For his entree, Loren got the Krispy chicken salad.

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Perfectly cooked chicken with a tasty ranch dressing.  It also came with a roll and cornbread.  I ordered the Krispy chicken platter.

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It came with macaroni & cheese, a side salad, veggies, a roll & cornbread.  I was in heaven.  The chicken is drenched in butter and covered in Rice Krispies and baked to a mouthwatering tenderness.  The mac & cheese was creamy and tasty.  Everything on the plate was delicious.  We couldn’t leave without dessert.

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This monstrosity is the Hot Tin Roof sundae.  There’s a brownie buried in there somewhere, plus ice cream, whipped cream, strawberries and all sorts of sauces drizzled on top.  It looks like a mess, but it was tasty.  I was very impressed with the food and the prices were very reasonable.  I would absolutely eat there again.  Total bill with a drink was $44.

The Ivy House
917 East Silver Springs Blvd
Ocala, FL
352-622-5550

Ivy House on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.1/5

Back up to Tarpon Springs today to have lunch at Johnny Grits.  The place was packed when we got there.  We made a conscious effort to try something different on the menu this time.  Loren got the roast beef sandwich with a side of fries.

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Though the sandwich had good flavor, the roast beef wasn’t as tender as he’d have liked.  It was sliced thick, so even slicing it thinner may have helped.  I went for the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and cole slaw and we shared a skillet of three cheese grits.

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The chicken had a crunchy exterior and was tender and juicy in the middle.  The batter had a good flavor to it and fulfilled all my requirements for a yummy fried chicken dish.  The mashed potatoes were real, which is such a delight nowadays.  Too many restaurants use fake potatoes and the taste difference is enormous.  The grits were cheesy and perfectly cooked, though they did need a little extra salt.  It was a hearty down home kind of meal for $23.

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

Johnny Grits on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5