The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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So Dry


We ate lunch at Rumba Bar & Grill in Oldsmar today.  We had tried a couple of other restaurants, but they were closed for the Memorial Day holiday.

My favorite thing about this restaurant is the corn muffins.

I don’t know why I like them so much, but it’s a good thing I do since most of the entrees I’ve had haven’t given me a reason to come back here again.  Today I went for a cheeseburger and a side of crab mac & cheese.

The burger was ok, but definitely didn’t have the right ratio of burger to bun.  The bun was actually too small which made it rather difficult to pick up & eat.  The mac & cheese was very disappointing.  It absolutely didn’t need the bread crumbs on top since it was already too dry to begin with.  Loren went for the herbed mahi and a salad.

He liked it along with the Jamaican greens.  Total bill with a drink was $24.

Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL
(813) 475-5974

Rumba Island Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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

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
813-814-9939

Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.6/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Cuban, Oldsmar
  • Go To Dinner


    So many Sunday nights we just want a quick, tasty meal, so we head out to Cuban Breezes in Oldsmar.  We just know we’re going to walk away with full tummies, happy taste buds, and not much strain on the wallet.

    Tonight we went for a mahi cuban and some masitas de puerco.

    Loren likes the masitas.  Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.  This is my favorite mahi sandwich in the area.  I don’t know what they do to make it so tasty, but I’ve spent twice as much for mahi at other restaurants and it wasn’t as good as it is here.  Total bill with a drink was $22.

    Cuban Breezes
    13980 W Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-814-9939

    Cuban Breezes on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Cuban, Oldsmar
  • Rumba Island Bar & Grill finally opened in Oldsmar.  It was really busy for a Saturday night with a 40 minute wait when we called.  We asked to get our name on the waiting list only to find out when we got there that they weren’t supposed to take call ahead seating.  Luckily, they went ahead & seated us right away though.

    Our waitress was very friendly and promptly took our order and brought drinks & corn muffins.

    I found it odd that our drinks were served in cheap plastic cups.  Definitely doesn’t match the vibe of the place.  The corn muffins were addictively warm & tasty.  Though they have some hot peppers in them, I hardly got any heat at all (which is a good thing for me).   My dinner came with a salad which was really skimpy by most standards.

    It was a sad looking salad plate, but the dressing was tasty.  We also ordered calamari for an appetizer.

    The calamari desparately lacked seasoning.  My first bite was terribly bland.  Once we salted it and started dipping it in the sauce, it was much better.  It was actually cooked very well with just the right amount of crunch and texture.

    Loren ordered the Salmon Rumba Salad.

    He ordered the salmon slightly blackened and really enjoyed the dish.  I ordered the Mahi Ochos Rios.

    The mahi was cooked very well; however, the hollandaise sauce on top was too spicy for me.  The menu only said hollandaise, so I was expecting a very mild sauce.  The crabmeat stuffing underneath was pretty tasty.  I also got coconut rice and sweet potatoes for sides.  Both of which were tasty. Overall, we enjoyed the experience.  Was it perfect?  No, but they haven’t been open very long and there were enough good things to outweigh the bad.  Our waitress was great about filling drinks and keeping track of things at the table.  Total bill was $39.

    Rumba Island Bar & Grill
    3687 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 475-5974

    Rumba Island Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.3/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Oldsmar, Seafood
  • Not for Us


    We eat out a lot and tonight we realized there are just some types of restaurants that aren’t for us.  Besa Grill in Clearwater is one of them.  There’s something about it that tries too hard.  For the prices, you have a certain expectation and for us, those expectations just weren’t met tonight.

    I normally drink water & Loren got an iced tea.  He was disappointed in the tea; again, it just comes down to expectations.  In a place like this, you’d expect it to be fresh brewed.  The only reason I mention the drinks is because they serve water in these small glasses and put a frosted water bottle on each table.

    Honestly, I’d rather have had a large glass of water with ice rather than the waiter constantly stopping by the table to refill my glass.  On to the food.  We ordered the duck nachos as an appetizer.

    The chips in these nachos were the best thing we ate all night.  They were phenomenal.  Fresh & crispy and oh so good.  I could have just eaten a plate of those.  The nachos were a mixed bag though.  Loren found a few bones in the duck pieces and the cheese was just a little off.  I don’t know how to describe it, the flavor and texture just weren’t what we expected.  Don’t get me wrong, though, we ate the entire thing.

    For his entree, Loren got the Ahi Tuna Tower.

    It was served cold, which he didn’t like all that much.  The carrot strings on top were a hoot to watch him try to eat.  Whoever thought putting ridiculously long, thin strands of carrot on top of this dish has a warped sense of humor.  The menu said they were crispy fried, but they seemed raw to us.

    For my entree, I ordered the corn husked mahi.

    There was nothing in the description of this dish that led me to believe it would be spicy.  After a few bites, I couldn’t feel the roof of my mouth.  Granted, I’m very wimpy when it comes to spices and whatever spice was in this dish did not agree with me at all.  Unfortunately, I also found the mahi to be a bit dry.  Loren ended up eating part of my dish too.

    I wanted to try dessert, so we got the whoopie pies.

    There was a red velvet with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate with mango cream, and a carrot cake with a ginger cream.  Loren liked the carrot cake best.  Of the three, it did have the best cake.  I liked the red velvet because the ice cream was a good contrast to the thick, dry cake.

    Our waiter was pretty good, although plates stayed on the table a little too long and at one point a busboy cleared plates and took my silverware without replacing it.  One of the biggest gripes we had though was the noise level in the restaurant.  Not only were the acoustics horrible, but the background music they played was too loud and had a pounding, repetitive beat to it.  For a $70 meal, I expected much better from the experience.  This isn’t a restaurant we’ll be going back to.

    Besa Grill
    2542 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-400-6900

    Besa Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value2/5
    2.3/5