The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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I had pizza on the brain, so we decided to try Big Roman’s Pizza on Drew St.  All the reviews I read said to order the meatball garlic rolls, so we did.

These are truly a meal in themselves.  Tasty meatball wrapped up in a garlic roll.  They were good.  We ended up taking half of them home since we also ordered a large pizza.

What can I say, I like leftover pizza.  We got meatballs & mushrooms with onions on half.  It was a good pie.  The crust & sauce were good and there was plenty of cheese and toppings.  I also got some cannoli to go.

They were tasty little cannoli, though they weren’t quite filled all the way to the center.  Total bill with a drink was $28.

Big Roman’s Pizza
1719 Drew St
Clearwater, FL
727-441-3300

Big Roman's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Pizza
  • At the end of October, we flew out to Oregon for a week long loop around the state.  This was our first venture that far west and we were determined to see as much as possible.  We flew into Portland late at night and started our journey the next day heading southeast.  We stopped in Madras at the Rio Distinctive Mexican Cuisine Restaurant for lunch.

    We started off with some fresh chips & salsa and the Queso Fundido.

    This was a scrumptious skillet of bubbly, ooey, gooey cheesy goodness.  It three different cheeses and a little bit of a kick from the chorizo.  For our entrees, I went with the chicken fajitas and Loren got the Puerco Enmolado

    The fajitas were tender and tasty.  Loren’s dish had roasted pork with a homemade 7 pepper & mango mole sauce.  He said it was pretty darn good.  Everything was fresh and the service was friendly.  Total bill was $38.

    Rio Distinctive Mexican Cuisine
    221 SE 5th St
    Madras, OR
    541-475-0424

    Rio Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    From Madras, we headed over to the Painted Hills.  It was absolutely gorgeous.

    After walking around the Painted Hills, we stopped in Prineville at Dillon’s Grill for dinner.  It’s a typical local steak & BBQ restaurant.  Loren got a steak and I got some ribs.

    Not a lot of fuss goes into presentation.  Service was slow and they forgot to bring out the salad.  The ranch dressing was one of the tastiest things they had.   Loren’s steak and the ribs were just ok but the onion rings had some crispy, crunchy goodness.  Overall, not a place we’d try a second time.  Total bill was $27.

    Dillon’s Grill
    142 NE 5th St
    Prineville, OR
    (541) 447-3203

    Dillon's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

     

    We spent the night at the Pronghorn Resort, beautiful place, and headed out toward Smith Rock State Park in the morning.  We stopped at the Cozy Cafe in Redmond for breakfast.  I can only imagine that a lot of hikers & rock climbers must stop here because the portions were huge!  I ordered the biscuits & gravy with eggs & hash browns and Loren got a waffle with bacon.

    Loren said the waffle & bacon were both good.  The food was literally falling off my plate.  There was enough for 3 people to eat easily.   I made a pretty good dent in the biscuits and gravy.  The biscuits were fresh and the gravy had a nice peppery flavor.  The hash browns had a little too much pepper when combined with the gravy, but that didn’t stop me from digging in.  Good thing we were going hiking all afternoon.  Food was tasty & the service was friendly.  Total bill with orange juice was $27.

    Cozy Cafe
    323 NW 6th St
    Redmond, OR
    541-390-7552

    Cozy Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We had a great time in Smith Rock State Park.  The scenery was gorgeous.  There were a bunch of rock climbers out there and we hiked up the back of Misery Ridge Trail.  I highly recommend going up the backside & down the front, though it’ll still take the wind out of you hiking up those switchbacks.

    We were exhausted by the time we finished hiking and headed over to Kebaba in Bend for dinner.  We were early enough to still get their lunch menu.

    We started off with some babaganoush and pita.  It was so good!  Loren got a salmon gyro and I got the lamb kebab.

    Everything was fresh and had wonderful flavors going on.  The lamb was tender, though I would have liked another kebab for the price.  Loren said the salmon was good and the lentil soup had some warm spices in it.  We got a fresh baked cookie to go and the total bill was $31.

    Kebaba
    1004 NW Newport Ave
    Bend, OR
    541-318-6224

    Kebaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We stayed the night at the Sunriver Resort and I was able to get some really cool Milky Way photos.

    The next morning, we stopped at the Harvest Depot for breakfast.  Loren got some scrambled eggs, bacon & hashbrowns and I got the eggs, hashbrowns and french toast.

    It was a typical breakfast.  Nothing really stood out.  A little expensive for what it was, but it filled our stomachs for our next hike.  Total bill was $20.

    Harvest Depot
    51453 US 97
    La Pine, OR

    Harvest Depot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We drove over to the “Crack in the Ground” and hiked through part of it.

    From there, we headed south to Ashland and ate dinner at Pie & Vine.  We got there early, so it wasn’t very busy.  They have a big pizza oven and it was warm and a little smoky inside.  We started off with the fried calamari.

    Mmmm.  Tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  It was perfectly cooked and the tomato sauce that went with it was good too.  Loren decided to try the flank steak special & I got the fettuccine alfredo.

    The steak was very tender and had olives and broccolini with it.  The fettuccine alfredo had fresh made noodles that were tender and the sauce was creamy and delicious.  We were both stuffed by the time we left.  Total bill was $57.

    Pie + Vine
    358 East Main St
    Ashland, OR

    Pie and Vine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We spent the night at the Green Springs Inn & Cabins and then headed into northern California to see the Redwood trees.  We stopped at the Frontier Cafe in Happy Camp for lunch.

     

    We both got cheeseburgers, one with bacon & one with mushrooms.  They make a darn good burger here.  It was fresh & hot off the grill and the onion rings & fries were pretty good too.   $25 total.

    Frontier Cafe
    64118 2nd Ave
    Happy Camp, CA

    Frontier Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We walked through Jedediah Smith State Park to check out the giant redwood trees.  The humidity in the forest was like being back in Florida.   The trees were huge!

    From there we headed up the coast.  We stopped in Brookings for some really good ice cream at Slugs & Stones and then up to Bandon for dinner at Edgewaters.   Our meals came with bread & clam chowder.

    The clam chowder was creamy with lots of flavor and good stuff inside.  Loren ordered the rockfish and I tried their chicken marsala.

    Loren really liked the fish, but my chicken wasn’t quite tender enough.  The marsala sauce, potatoes & veggies were good though.  Total bill was $45.

    Edgewaters Restaurant
    480 1st St SW
    Bandon, OR
    541-347-8500

    Edgewaters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We spent the night at the Windemere Inn on the Beach and then drove north up the coast.  We stopped in Florence for lunch at the Bridgewater Fishhouse & Zebra Bar.  This was one of the best meals we had on the trip.  Loren got the salmon sandwich & I got the oyster burger.

    Though the service was slow, the food was excellent.  The salmon was very flavorful and the oyster burger had a great crunch and wonderful taste.  We’d definitely eat here again.  Total bill was $29.

    Bridgewater Fishhouse & Zebra Bar
    1297 Bay St
    Florence, OR
    541-997-1133

    Bridgewater Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
    After lunch, we hiked through the Sweet Creek Trail.  One beautiful waterfall after another.  There are at least 11 different waterfalls on the trail.  It was gorgeous!

    After the hike, we headed up to Seal Rock in search of sushi and ended up at Yuzen Japanese Restaurant.

    It was just ok.  I guess my expectations for sushi on the Oregon coast was a little too high.  The fish was fresh, but the rice was too gummy.  Not some place we’d go back to.  Total bill was $65.

    Yuzen Japanese Restaurant
    10111 US 101 North
    Seal Rock, OR

    Yuzen Japanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We spent the night at the Overleaf Lodge and could hear the waves crashing on the rocks all night.  The view was amazing.  Breakfast was included, then we spent some time at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

    After the aquarium, we drove into Newport and had lunch at Local Ocean Seafoods.  It was unseasonably warm for the end of October and they had the doors wide open.  This was also some of the best seafood we had on the trip.

    Loren got the salmon sandwich and I got a crab cake & oysters off of the appetizer menu.  I could have eaten several of those crab cakes & the oysters were perfectly cooked.  It was all so fresh and had a wonderful mix of flavors & textures.  The salmon was delicious too.  Yum!  Would definitely eat here again, though it was a bit pricey.  Total bill was $38.

    Local Ocean Seafoods
    213 SE Bay Blvd
    Newport, OR
    541-574-7959

    Local Ocean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We headed up the coast to Cannon Beach.  We stayed at the Hallmark Resort right in front of Haystack Rock.  This was the view from our hotel room.

    For dinner, we went over to the Wayfarer Restaurant and sat out on the back porch.  We ordered a bunch of appetizers instead of entrees (though you wouldn’t know it based on the prices).

    We got the dungeness crab cake, the chanterelle hash, and the clam chowder.  It was all very good, but the crab cakes couldn’t compare to the one I had earlier in the day.  We also got a chocolate mousse dessert to go which was decadent.   Total bill was $57.

    Wayfarer Restaurant
    1190 Pacific Drive
    Cannon Beach, OR

    Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    The next day we drove up to Astoria and had lunch at Drina Daisy Bosnian Restaurant.  We started off with the meat & cheese platter.

    Everything on the plate was tasty.  I’m not usually into cured meats, but these were really good.  Different cheeses and a pepper sauce that wasn’t spicy, but had a lot of flavor.  I can’t remember the names of the dishes we got, but it was a beef stew and a lamb dish, I think.

    Everything was fresh and flavorful.  We’d never had Bosnian food before and it felt like comfort food.  Would definitely eat here again.  Total bill was $41.

    Drina Daisy Bosnian Restaurant
    915 Commercial St
    Astoria, OR

    Drina Daisy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Our final meal of the trip was at Bistro 23 in Portland.  Loren got the smoked meatballs and salad and I got the pasta bolognese.

    Both dishes had a lot of flavor packed into them.  The meatballs were tender and the bolognese was yummy.   Everything was fresh and tasty.   Total bill was $27.

    Bistro 23
    5530 NE 122nd Ave
    Portland, OR

    Bistro23 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    We had a great trip in Oregon.  Weather was great, scenery was amazing, and most of the food was delicious.  I took a ton of photos on our trip , so if you want to see more of them, check out my Flickr album

    Star trails over Haystack Rock:

     

     

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Oregon
  • Pizza


    There are a lot of little restaurants tucked away on the side streets in downtown Safety Harbor and tonight we made our way over to Pizzeria Gregario. They must have had a line waiting when they opened because we were there pretty early and all of the inside tables were already occupied. Luckily, it was a beautiful evening and the outside tables were in the shade.

    Their menu is on the wall as you walk in and then you order at the counter & they bring the food out to you.  Loren started off with a salad.

    DSC00570

    Honestly, I’ve never heard him rave about a salad as much as he did about this one.  It had a little bit of this & that and seasoned perfectly as far as he was concerned.  I think he would go back just for the salad.  Loren made the mistake of getting a GuS soda which is supposed to be a not too sweet “grown-up soda”.  It was quite awful tasting.  We also ordered a side of meatballs.

    DSC00571

    He liked them more than I did.  They were well seasoned, but I didn’t find them moist enough for my taste.  The sauce was a bit on the loose side as well.  It had the flavors, just not quite the texture I was after.  That little gator in the background was our table designation.  He looked like he was ready to eat everything brought to the table.  For our pizza, we went with the mushroom.

    DSC00572

    It was ok, but neither of us would be tempted to order it again.  The crust was good, but it has a gremolata on top and with every bite the lemon zest overpowered all of the other flavors.  Lemon and pizza just isn’t a combination that worked for us.   Overall, the food was fresh, and we may go back & try a different pizza at some point.  If nothing else, Loren would be happy just to have more salad.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

    Pizzeria Gregario
    400 2nd Street North
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-386-4107

    Pizzeria Gregario on Urbanspoon

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

    We both like German food and found our way to Berliner Kindl German Restaurant in Black Mountain for dinner.  The aromas as you walked in the door were enough to perk up both our appetites.  We started off with some meatballs and cabbage soup.

    DSCN6411

    DSCN6413

    Yummy little meatballs with fresh bread and a cabbage soup that had some great flavors.  Loren got the bratwurst and I went for the Jaeger schnitzel.

    DSCN6415

    DSCN6414

    Everything was perfectly cooked with those authentic German flavors throughout.  I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have spaetzle on the menu, but there was plenty of food to fill us both up.  We both tried the cabbage, plus potato salad and home fried potatoes.  And yet, we couldn’t pass up the freshly made apple strudel.

    DSCN6417

    It was warm with tender apples and a beautifully sugared, crunchy pastry.  Yum!  Total bill with a drink was $48.

    Berliner Kindl German Restaurant
    20 Ball St
    Black Mountain, NC
    828-669-5255

    Berliner Kindl German Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    4.1/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: German, NC
  • 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