The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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If you haven’t checked out, you’re missing out on some great discounts at local restaurants.  We found a $25 coupon to Lonzalo’s on there today and headed out for some Italian food.

We’ve eaten here a few times.  They didn’t seem very busy for a Saturday night, but not having to wait for a table is always a good thing.  We had one waitress come by the table and say that she’d be right with us, but then she never came back.  Eventually, another waitress took over our table and brought us some bread.

The bread was warm, but it was very dense and a little chewy.  There was just something about it that wasn’t quite right.  It had a little too much elasticity for my taste.

Our meals came with soup or salad, so we got one of each. 

The pasta fagioli had a nice tomato flavor to it and lots of beans.  There were definitely more beans than pasta in it.   We also got the calamari.

The calamari had a good texture and the batter was nice and crunchy; however, the plate had a lot of small pieces on it, some of it just fried batter.   I just felt as though I spent a lot of time searching for the actual calamari pieces.

Loren ordered the Salmon Lonzalo, which was one of the specials tonight.

Salmon with artichokes and capers in a lemon sauce.  He enjoyed it and even had some leftovers.  Both our meals came with a side order of pasta that was enough for a meal in itself.

Unfortunately, neither of us liked the tomato sauce.  I don’t know how to describe it, just that it had an odd flavor to it.  I kept thinking along the lines of nutmeg or allspice, but I’m not sure that’s it.  It just didn’t wow us.

For my entree, I ordered the chicken portobello.

The flavor wasn’t much different from their chicken marsala though this was supposed to have a sherry sauce on it.  It was tasty.  Two big pieces of chicken and plenty of portobellos covered in mozzarella cheese. The mushrooms were a little chewy, but overall it was a good dish.  I had leftovers as well. 

After the $25 coupon, the total bill was $20. 


Lonzalo’s of Oldsmar
3970 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL

Lonzalo's on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Italian, Oldsmar
  • We decided to try Restaurant Hapa in Oldsmar for dinner tonight.   It’s a small fine dining restaurant with only 11 tables.  The windows are all covered with thick curtains and the decor is done in rich, dark colors giving it that intimate feel.  When we walked in we also found that we were the only customers which made it even that much more intimate, though two other parties showed up while we were there.

    While we were waiting for our entrees, the owner brought us some Irish soda bread.

    Loren liked it more than I did.  It had raisins and caraway seeds in it and was a bit too crunchy for my taste.  Plus I got a few bites that were heavy with caraway seeds in it and I just didn’t like the flavor.

    The entrees, however, totally made up for the bread.  Loren order the Ahi tuna.

    It was a nice, big piece of rare tuna served over a Wasabi Beurre Blanc sauce with sticky rice and some veggies.  The tuna was cooked perfectly and the rice had a nice flavor.

    I ordered one of the specials, the veal scallopini.

    The photo doesn’t do it justice.  It had 4 good size pieces of tender veal, over a mound of golden mashed potatoes.  The Madeira wine and mushroom sauce was spectacular.    

    I asked about dessert and the first words out of the owner’s mouth were “Godiva Chocolate…”.  Done.  Bring it to me. 

    So, not only was it Godiva chocolate, it also had a raspberry whipped cream and raspberry sauce to go with it.  It wasn’t really a cake, but more of a slightly frozen ganache, like you find in a truffle.  I came really close to licking the plate when I was done.  It was smooth and the cream and raspberry sauce were so yummy.

    Overall, it was a very enjoyable dining experience.  There were a few downsides, though.  The air conditioning was up way too high.  I was cold from the moment we walked in until we left.  We sat at a table which was on the side next to the Italian restaurant next door and they were playing some really loud music.  Luckily the Sade CD playing in Restaurant Hapa drowned it out for the most part, but you could still hear it.  And finally, this was not an inexpensive dinner.   We had a $25 coupon and with tip, the dinner still ran us $60. 

    Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  The food was fantastic.  The entrees were well executed and you could tell the chef took pride in what he was making. 

    Restaurant Hapa
    3970 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL

    Restaurant Hapa on Urbanspoon

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Fusion, Oldsmar
  • In our quest for different restaurants to try, I searched Google for restaurants in Safety Harbor and Crepe-ology came up on the list.  I hadn’t heard of it before, but their online menu looked tasty (ok, I sort of saw the dessert menu first and that sealed the deal), so we headed downtown to try it out.

    It’s another one of those small restaurants off of Main Street built in an old house.  When we walked in the owner handed us some menus and pointed us to the patio seating in back.

    Loren ordered a mixed green salad to start with.  It had baby greens, grape tomatoes and cucumbers.  The balsamic vinegrette dressing was a bit strong, but the salad itself was very fresh.

    We ordered two types of crepes.  I got the chicken and mushroom with Monterey Jack cheese and Loren got one of the specials, chicken, mushrooms, and goat cheese with a roasted red pepper sauce.

    I almost ordered the one he got but was afraid the sauce would be too spicy.  It wasn’t.  It was a mild sweet red pepper sauce.  I like goat cheese, so we had to do some trading.  Overall the crepes were tasty.  They’re not very crispy on the outside, but rather soft throughout.  The fillings were good, though there’s a part of me that would have liked some sort of sauce to go with it. 

    And then, there was dessert.

    Let’s face it, if you put the words chocolate, raspberry, and whipped cream together, it’s a given that I’m going to get it.  I told Loren he should order his own dessert because it was unlikely that I was going to share.  He ordered the apple caramel crepe.

    Both of the dessert crepes were good.  Again, the crepe itself was soft all the way through, but very tasty.  The apples were crispy and the caramel sauce was yummy.  The raspberries in mine were cold, which sort of surprised me.  I was expecting them to be warmed.  There really weren’t a lot of raspberries in it, but it did have a raspberry sauce.  Mostly the crepe was filled with whipped cream and dark chocolate and you just can’t go wrong there.

    Total bill was $27 and we were both stuffed.   Everything was served in disposable containers, a paper basket for the salad,  drinks  in plastic cups and we ate with plastic utensils on paper plates.  It’s not exactly an upscale restaurant, but the prices are definitely reasonable. 

    155 5th Ave N
    Safety Harbor, FL

    Crepe-Ology on Urbanspoon