The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Lots of Food

We stopped at the Crispy Cajun in Clearwater for dinner tonight.  It’s a little restaurant putting out a lot of tasty food at very reasonable prices.  They were busy when we got there and people kept coming in both for take out and to eat in the entire time we were there. The menu didn’t feel Cajun to me because there were so many varied things on it from hamburgers to fried chicken to crab rangoons as well as the things I expected like jambalaya, po-boys and red beans and rice.

Loren went for the jambalaya dinner which was enough to feed several people.


It looked like take out Chinese food to me, but the flavors were all Cajun.  He ordered it medium spicy and it had way more heat in it than I could eat.  It was a huge portion with andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken, vegetables and rice.  The sauce had a deep, dark flavor to it that Loren thoroughly enjoyed.  I went for the oyster po-boy and added a side of okra and red beans and rice.




The okra was cooked perfectly.  We just sat and munched on those throughout the meal.  The small portion was plenty for two, maybe three people.  The red beans and rice had a nice flavor as well.  As for the po-boy, my only complaint is that the tartar sauce on it overwhelmed the entire sandwich.  I couldn’t taste anything else.  I finally pulled out one of the oysters and it was very good.  If I ordered it again, I would get it without the tartar sauce.  The amazing part of this entire meal is that we got all this food for $23.  We don’t know how they can stay in business serving this much fresh, tasty food for such low prices.

Crispy Cajun
2097 Drew St
Clearwater, FL

Crispy Cajun on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Cajun, Clearwater
  • We spent the day at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure.  I didn’t get any photos, but we ate lunch at Croissant Moon in Islands of Adventure and dinner at Pat O’Briens in City Walk.

    Nothing’s cheap in the amusement parks.  Lunch was $30 for a couple of sandwiches, salad and a piece of cake.  The food was fresh, but nothing to write home about.

    Dinner was also $30, but it was really good.  I got the crawfish etouffee and Loren got the taste of New Orleans trio which had a bowl of gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans & rice.  I’d definitely eat at Pat O’Briens again.   We sat outside and it was really dark, but they had portable heaters going so at least it was warm.



  • Filed under: American, Orlando
  • Spicy

    We were in the mood for some cajun food, so we headed down to Pinellas Park to the Cajun Cafe.  The level of spiciness seems to vary depending on who’s in the kitchen and today’s food was a bit on the extra spicy side.  Loren started off with a bowl of gumbo and I got a side of okra.

    The okra was really spicy today.  There was an extra bit of cayenne in that batter.  OoooEeeee!  I had to get some ranch dressing to try to cool it down some.   Loren tried something new today, the shredded pork with a side of jambalaya.

    The pork was the only thing we had today that wasn’t spicy.  It was very tender and had an almost sweet flavor to it.  It’s something I’d order, but probably never will because I come here for one dish and it’s the crawfish etoufee.

    I love this dish.  It’s so rich and tomatoey and the crawfish have a buttery taste to them.  The spiciness builds up as you eat it, but it’s so good that it’s hard to stop.  But, I ended up taking some of it home because I had to leave room for the whisky bread pudding.

    When it comes to the table, you tell yourself that you’re not going to eat that much of it, then you take that first bite and all bets are off.  It’s comfort food with the taste of vanilla and butter and just goodness all around.  We did end up taking half of it home and wished we had more when we ate it later that night.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

    Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
    8101 Park Blvd
    Pinellas Park, FL

    Cajun Cafe on the Bayou on Urbanspoon



    We’re always up for a new restaurant, so we checked out Ugies Smokin’ Good Seafood for dinner tonight.  It’s in the Fountains Shopping Center where Bawarchi & Vallarta’s are.  I want to preface this review with a few comments first.  One, this restaurant just opened this week.  Two, we didn’t order any entrees, just side dishes.  And three, this isn’t the type of restaurant we really like to go to anyway, so perhaps that skewed our experience from the get go.

    Though I’m pretty sure this isn’t a chain restaurant, it felt like one.  It’s an order at the counter and they’ll bring the food to you type of place.  Sort of reminded me of the Louis Pappas restaurants.  I found the entree menu to be rather small.  The two smoked items were mullet or salmon, neither which appealed to me and then they had shrimp or crawfish steam pots, tacos, fish sandwich, chicken sandwich & a burger.  Instead, we settled on some sides and appetizers to share.

    We started with the shrimp queso dip.

    The queso dip had a very familiar taste to it, sort of like that recipe on the back of the Cheez-wiz bottle.  There were pieces of shrimp in it, but it just tasted very generic and bland.  In fact, those are the words we used to describe everything else we ate as well.  We tried the Boston Clam Chowder, the jambalaya, mac & cheese, and the shrimp & grits.

    The chowder and corn muffin that came with it were ok.  Let’s put it this way, we’ve been to restaurants where we fight over the last spoonful of chowder and sometimes even lick the bowl, this wasn’t one of those kinds of chowder.  This was very bland and definitely did not taste homemade.   We didn’t even finish it.

    Out of all the things we got, Loren liked the jambalaya more than the rest.  It had chicken, sausage and shrimp in it, but not the flavors that would wow you.  I thought it was a bit watered down and it wasn’t spicy at all.

    The shrimp & grits suffered the same fate as everything else.  It just had no taste.  The texture on the grits was fine, but, let’s face it, grits are bland unless you add some seasoning, garlic, cheese, and herbs to them.  The mac & cheese was also very dry.  The one thing this place has going for them are the prices.  Virtually everything is under $10.  These five items plus a drink was $21.  They were certainly overstaffed while we were there.  I counted at least 10 people just standing around.  Two different people checked on our table, which as a word of advice, I’d assign specific tables to specific people or they’ll end up like Tiajuana Flats where you’re constantly being interrupted.

    Ugies Smokin’ Good Seafood
    34726 US Hwy 19 N
    Palm Harbor, FL

    Ugies Smokin' Good Seafood on Urbanspoon


    Something New

    Sure, we eat at Cuban Breezes a lot, but it’s not often that one of us tries something different.  Well, it wasn’t me, I went for an empanada and a mahi cuban.

    Still my favorite dish on the menu, though the mahi was a bit on the thick side today making it not want to stay in the sandwich very well.  The chicken empanada is so yummy.  We split it, but I could easily eat a couple of them by myself and not think twice.

    They  had jamabalaya on the specials menu today, so Loren decided to give it a try with a salad.

    He said it was pretty good.  It had chicken and sausage and a bit o’ spiciness.  Somewhat different than what you get at the Cajun Cafe, but still something he’d consider ordering again here.  With a drink, the total bill was $21.

    Cuban Breezes
    13980 W Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL

    Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Cuban, Oldsmar