The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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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
Oldsmar, FL
813-855-1052

Oldsmar Cop Shop on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value3/5
3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • Had lunch with the boss today at a place I hadn’t been to in a long time, Wahoo’s Waterside Pub in Redington Shores.

    If you like fresh fish, this place is fantastic.  It is literally a couple hundred feet from a fishing boat dock and fish market, and Jimmy cooks it up right!  Located on the intracoastal, the view from the back deck isn’t bad, either.

    Today’s fish special was Bar Jack, served as “fingers”.  Fritz got them blackened and really enjoyed them.  I opted for a bronzed Grouper sandwich, which was awesome, as always.

    They’ve changed their menu since I was last there.  Used to be a folded photocopied page.  Simple but effective.  Now, it looks like they’ve streamlined the menu, taking a few things off of it, and gone with a full-color design on glossy paper.  Still just one page folded. Still simple, but effective.

    Left my camera at home, so no photos.  Go for the fish.  You can’t go wrong with whatever is on special.

    Wahoo’s Waterside Pub
    17801 Gulf Blvd
    Redington Shores, FL 33708
    (727) 393-5525

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    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    3.7/5

    Spent my day driving my car on a race track today, good times!  But, a racer has to eat… and that’s what this is about.  Now, “track food” isn’t known for being good eats.  Occasionally it’s okay, but more often than not… it’s merely expensive and convenient nutrition that you’re stuck with because you’re at a race track in the middle of nowhere.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, the concessions at this track were closed today!  Darn!  But, the track is within 5 miles of Keystone Heights, FL… which isn’t far from nowhere, but at least they have some restaurants!

    My buddy Steve and I tried our luck at a fairly well-established local BBQ joint called Johnny’s.  The place “felt” like a Sonny’s, but the food was marginally better.  Good barbecue, not “great” barbecue.

    Steve ordered the pulled pork and commented on it being moist and tender, but not “greasy”.  And he got that and a giant glass of iced tea for 8 bucks and change!  Me?  I saw St. Louis style pork ribs on the menu for $9.99 and just couldn’t come up with any good reason to not order them.  They were very well-smoked with lovely pinkness and flavor.  Could have been meatier, but I didn’t go away hungry.  For sides, I got a baked potato and baked beans.  Baked potatoes are hit or miss in a place like this, but in this case, it was definitely a hit.  Well-cooked, fresh and hot.  The beans were from a can, but very well seasoned.  I like fresh-cooked beans better, but I’ll take really good canned beans over weak fresh beans, so I’m not complaining.  I was sad that there were no greens on the menu.  As “country” as this place was, I really expected some fresh-cooked down home sides.  At least the waitresses were cute!

    A nice cool break from the 104-degree heat-index at the track, some good grub, and much-needed hydration.  Would could ask for more?

    Johnny’s BBQ and Catering
    7411 State Rd 21
    Keystone Heights, FL

    Johnny's-bar-b-q & Catering on Urbanspoon

    Food0/5
    Service0/5
    Atmosphere0/5
    Value0/5
    0.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: BBQ
  • Ever wake up at the crack of 10:30 on a Saturday morning and just need a good sub?  Maybe it’s just me.  Anyway, Cathy’s off playing in Orlando with her sister today, so I headed over to Jersey Mike’s.  Mike’s is a small nationwide chain that recently opened a shop in Oldsmar.  Now, Subway may claim to be “fresh” (and I like a good Subway sub), but Mike’s is fresher.  At Mike’s, your meats are all sliced to order right in front of you, and probably the best part is that they sprinkle it with some good herbs and douse it with vinegar and oil before wrapping it up.  Makes for a good, slightly sloppy sandwich!

    I love a good club sandwich, and I haven’t had any bacon all week (and a man needs bacon!), so I opted for their “Club Supreme”, which adds delicious roast beef to everything that’s on their regular club:  Turkey, ham, provolone, bacon, and mayo.  Oh, and they switch the provalone for swiss, which I didn’t really notice.  (should have had them omit the cheese to save the calories, I wouldn’t have noticed with all the other flavors!)

    Not a great photo, but, I already scarfed the sub, so it will have to do!

    Jersey Mike’s Subs
    3860 Tampa Rd Unit A
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 854-6453

    Jersey Mike's Subs on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Deli, Oldsmar
  • On the bayou!

    Another Friday meeting at one of our favorite “conference rooms”, Cajun Cafe on the Bayou.

    I remembered to take a picture today, partly because my plate just looked pretty.  I wanted a light lunch, so I ordered the “Baby greens and a cup” for lunch with a cup of Gumbo.  The other guys ordered either a bowl of Jambalaya or Cajun burritos.  I’ve had both and they’re really good… the Jambalaya is notably spicier than the Gumbo, however.

    Great food and service, as usual.  Cajun Cafe rarely disappoints!

    Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
    8101 Park Blvd N
    Pinellas Park, FL
    (727) 546-6732

    Cajun Cafe on the Bayou on Urbanspoon

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