The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Bar Fly Saltwater Grill recently moved to a new location in Safety Harbor, so we went over there for dinner.  We were able to get a table without a wait, but the restaurant was crowded and loud.  We started off with some grouper bites and I somehow managed to delete the photo.   They had a very thin, flavorless coating and most of the fish was overcooked.  When I ordered the appetizer, I asked for a side of ranch dressing.  Of course, it didn’t come when the food was delivered and we were almost finished before the waitress came back around.   Our entrees came out before we finished the appetizer.

Loren ordered the Mahi Bowl and I went for the lobster mac & cheese.

He said the mahi itself was good, but the rest of the dish was simply missed opportunities.  Right ingredients, wrong execution.  There was no flavor to the beans or rice and the whole thing just fell flat.  The lobster mac & cheese wasn’t much better.

It came with a cup of lobster bisque and kettle chips.  The bisque needed salt and didn’t have a lot of flavor overall.  There were enough lobster pieces to cover the bread, but I’m not convinced that grilled cheese & lobster should go together.  The sandwich was dry and all you could taste was the cheese.  Total bill was $43 and I don’t think we’ll be returning anytime soon.

Bar Fly Saltwater Grill
100 Main St, Ste 107
Safety Harbor, FL
727-400-4790

Saltwater Grill @ Bar Fly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food2/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.0/5

Brunch


We headed back over to Mother’s in Westchase for Brunch today.  They were pretty crowded by 11:30am, but we were able to get a table inside without a wait.  They have a brunch menu on Saturday & Sunday along with their regular lunch menu.  Loren went for the mahi sandwich.

He got the mahi blackened and said the fish was good.  The bun to fish ratio was a bit off with way more bread than he needed for the size of the fish.  The fries were nice & crunchy too.  I tried the crab benedict off of the brunch menu.

I wouldn’t order it again.  The crab was like an afterthought; a relatively small amount scattered haphazardly over the top.  But, it was the hollandaise sauce that actually ruined it for me.  It had a sharp metallic taste to it.  It either didn’t have enough butter or too much lemon or something.  Whatever it’s downfall, it did not live up to what a good hollandaise sauce should be.  Total bill was $28.

Mother’s
12227 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL
813-814-1533

Mother's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5

Extra Crunchy


We went over to the Thirsty Marlin in Palm Harbor for dinner tonight.  Our experiences here have been hit or miss.  From the food to the service, you never quite know what you’re going to get.  The food tonight was good for the most part, but the service could have used some improvement.  Loren got a salad & we started off with a Rainbow Roll.

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The rainbow roll was tasty.  It wasn’t rolled quite as tight as you get from most sushi restaurants, but the fish was fresh and the rice had a good consistency.  It could have used a little more avocado on it though.  For his entree, Loren got the blackened mahi sandwich.

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He enjoyed it.  The fish was perfectly cooked and the blackened seasoning had a bit of a kick to it.  I went for the fried grouper sandwich.

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I found the coating on the grouper to be way too thick & crunchy.  It was hard to eat.  I ended up pulling most of the coating off and just eating the fish which was tender and flaky.

Our waitress was friendly enough, but compared to the one waiting the table behind us, she just didn’t offer up the things I wanted to know.  If there are specials, I expect to be asked if I want to hear them and at the end of the meal, I expect to be asked if I want dessert before the check is brought to the table.  Total bill with a drink was $41.

Thirsty Marlin
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
727-784-3469

Click to add a blog post for Thirsty Marlin Grill & Bar on Zomato

Food3/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.7/5

We finally figured out the right time to visit the Brick House Tavern, 11:30am on a Sunday morning.  No crowds, no noise and the service was a lot better than the last time we were here.  Loren got the Blue Water Mahi sandwich while I ordered the crispy duck hash off of the brunch menu.

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He said the mahi was perfectly cooked and the marinated cucumbers added an interesting flavor.   I kept stealing tots of his plate.  I wanted to like the crispy duck hash much more than I did.  Unfortunately, someone in the kitchen went a bit heavy on both the salt and pepper so it became increasingly more difficult to eat with every bite.  There was nothing actually crispy about the duck, but had the seasoning not been overwhelming, it would have made for a tasty dish.  Total bill with a drink was $31.

Brick House Tavern and Tap
28795 US 19 N
Clearwater, FL
(727) 726-6352

Brickhouse Tap And Tavern on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • Comments Off on Sunday Morning
  • Filed under: American, Clearwater
  • Over Sauced


    Going in, I think we knew this wasn’t the restaurant for us.  The Brown Boxer Pub & Grille is located where TGI Friday’s used to be over on US 19 near Countryside Mall.  They have a patio open to the restaurant and without someone to greet & seat us, we ended up grabbing a table out there.  That was our first mistake since we discovered part way through the meal that they allow smoking on the patio.  With TV’s throughout the restaurant, both inside & out, it was a rather loud experience as well.  We started off with what the menu described as “to die for” Sicilian meatballs.

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    Three meatballs for $9 seemed a bit high and they were just ok.  Loren liked them better than I did, but even from the photo you can see how oily it was.  For his entree, Loren went for the blackened mahi.

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    He said it was good.  The fish was fresh and the mashed potatoes were tasty even though they lacked the “hint of garlic” they were supposed to have.  I went for the BBQ pulled pork platter.

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    Somewhere under all that BBQ sauce, there was pulled pork.  The amount of tangy BBQ sauce on it made it pretty much inedible.  I would suggest ordering the sauce on the side.  The tater tots were good though.  Overall, there was nothing about this experience that would make us want to go back.  Total bill with a drink was $42.

    The Brown Boxer Pub & Grille
    26111 US 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    727-799-3000

    The Brown Boxer Pub & Grille on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere1/5
    Value1/5
    1.7/5