The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Yes, I’m one of those geeks that had to go see the final Harry Potter movie on opening day.  Since we were going to the 1pm movie (and needed to be there an hour early), a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel seemed the way to go.

We both settled on pancakes, mine with scrambled eggs and hashbrown casserole and Loren got some bacon.

The pancakes were good.  We both ended up having to get more syrup though.  Loren really liked the bacon.  He said it was crispy and yummy.  The eggs were ok and the hashbrown casserole was pretty tasty.  With an OJ, the total bill was $20.

Cracker Barrel
13833 West Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa, FL
813-855-4200

Cracker Barrel on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.9/5
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  • Filed under: Breakfast, Oldsmar
  • Cheap Lunch


    We ate lunch at the Chatterbox North Family Restaurant in Palm Harbor today.  They were pretty busy, but we got there right at the end of the lunch rush, so we didn’t have to wait long for a table.

    Loren ordered a corned beef sandwich with a bowl of their vegetable soup.

    The soup had some wonderful flavors.  It was the best part of the whole meal.  Loren said the corned beef wasn’t remarkable at all.  I ordered the country breakfast.

    The problem was that I didn’t mean to order the country breakfast.  I totally managed to read the menu incorrectly because I wanted pancakes, eggs and homefries and got biscuits and gravy, homefries, eggs and sausage.  Our waitress was kind enough to fix my mistake and brought me out some pancakes.  The eggs and pancakes were good, the homefries, not so much.  They were a bit too crispy and lacked any seasoning whatsoever. 

    I was craving fruit pie, but when the waitress mentioned Boston Cream Pie, I had to get that instead. 

    It was ok, nothing special about it.  The whole meal cost us $17 with a drink.  The prices are definitely right here, but overall the food was pretty mediocre. 

    Chatterbox North Family Restaurant
    2710 Alt 19
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-786-3736

    

    Chatterbox North Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.5/5

    The plan was to go to the Yummy Cafe on Drew Street, but when we drove by, it didn’t look open so we headed over to Lenny’s.  I thought maybe it wouldn’t be crowded at lunchtime, but I guess breakfast or lunch, it’s always mobbed in there.  Luckily, we only had to wait a few minutes for a table.

    Surprisingly, though, once the large crowd at the table behind us left, it really wasn’t that noisy in there.  I started off with some hot chocolate since it was a little chilly in the restaurant and since I ordered breakfast, we also got the complimentary pastry basket.

    The pastries are a mixed bag.  I had a raspberry cheese tart that was good, Loren had a piece of blueberry cake that was tasty, the others were just ok.  The danishes were a bit dry.

    Loren got the turkey sandwich with a potato cake on the side.

    The sandwich was huge!  They really pile on the meat.  The potato cake was pretty good too.  He ended up bringing half the sandwich home since it was so big.

    I ordered the stuffed crab benedict with pancakes.

    It sounded better than it was.  The crab cakes were small and the flavor did not mesh well with the eggs and hollandaise sauce.  They weren’t very crispy either, which would have definitely helped with the texture.  The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, but the english muffin needed to be toasted longer.  I didn’t like their hollandaise sauce either.  It had a tangy flavor to it, that just wasn’t quite right to my taste buds.  The pancakes were also a bit too dense.  They weren’t light and fluffy at all.  This is definitely a dish I won’t order again.

    The service wasn’t great today either.  When I ordered my hot chocolate, I also asked for a glass of water that never came until I asked again.  After bringing out Loren’s sandwich, the waitress asked if he wanted some mayo, he said yes, and she never brought it.  Plus when she brought my plate, she tipped it and one of the eggs slid off the english muffin onto the plate.  Luckily, I didn’t end up wearing it.   Total bill was $22. 

    Lenny’s Restaurant
    21220 US Hwy 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    727-799-0402

    Lenny's on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value2/5
    2.4/5

    We usually only head to Village Inn when I’m craving French Silk Pie, but I had a hankerin’ for one of their skillet breakfasts today. 

    I went for the California skillet which had eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, avacado, swiss cheese and hollandaise sauce.  It also came with bacon, but I left that off.  As if it wasn’t bad enough for me without it.  Ohyeah, and it came with pancakes too. 

    It was ok, but kind of dry.  It probably could have used more hollandaise or even some cheese sauce.  Obviously, I wasn’t going for healthy this morning.  Their pancakes are always good though.

    Loren got the Belgium waffle combo with scrambled eggs and bacon.

    Crisp fresh waffle and big enough that he only ate half of it.  He was trying to be healthier than me this morning.  We got out of there for less than $20.  Not the best breakfast we’ve had, but we definitely weren’t hungry afterward.

    Village Inn
    2871 Gulf To Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 796-4988

    Village Inn on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value3/5
    2.9/5

    Diner Sixty West opened up recently down on Gulf to Bay and for the month of October, they’re offering some half priced breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. 

    Loren ordered the open face roast beef lunch that came with mashed potatoes and gravy.

    He wasn’t too impressed with it.  He said the roast beef was lunchmeat more than a freshly cooked roast beef and the mashed potatoes tasted like instant or at least a mixture of instant potatoes and real potatoes.  The gravy also didn’t bring much flavor to the table.  But for under $4, it really was a lot of food.

    I ordered the pancake platter which wasn’t part of the 1/2 price deals.

    As far as breakfasts go, it was pretty good.  Both the pancakes and eggs were cooked well and the ham was tasty.  We also decided to try the strawberry shortcake.

    We had some mixed feelings on this one.  It was definitely a made from scratch cake, but Loren said he thought it had an odd taste, which could have very well been buttermilk.  It wasn’t a very moist cake and could have definitely used something, either ice cream or the sweetened juice you get with frozen strawberries.  It was a big piece of cake and we ended up taking half of it home.

    Total meal ran us $17. 

    Diner Sixty West
    2525 Gulf to Bay
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 437-0255

    Diner Sixty West on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    3.2/5