The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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When we were at Sabai Thai last night we noticed that a new Greek restaurant just opened up next door called Taverna Skara.  It’s a light and airy looking restaurant and they weren’t busy at all when we got there.  They brought pita and olives to the table while we looked at the menus.


Loren said the olives were really good and I enjoyed the pita, though I would have liked something to dip it in.  We decided to try the fried calamari for an appetizer.


This was a mixed bag of tender and chewy pieces of calamari.  It seemed as though the pieces that kept their coating were fairly tender, but other pieces ended up being overcooked.  The dish definitely needed salt and I didn’t like the way it was served in the cone.  It made it very hard to get pieces out and dripped oil and crumbs all over the table.


For his entrée, Loren got the pork souvlaki platter.


It had pork, rice, pita, Greek salad and tzatziki sauce.  He enjoyed it and ended up with way more pita and rice than he could eat.  The tzatziki sauce had an interesting flavor to it.  I can’t quite put my finger on what was different about it, but there was something.  I tried the pastitsio.


This was a very good version of the dish.  The flavors were all there, the pasta was tender and the béchamel sauce was creamy and had good flavor.   My only criticism was that they melted some cheese on top that formed a hard crust.  I just didn’t care for that.  I also would have liked if it had been served with a small Greek salad.   Most of the other entrees on the menu were served with a side or salad, so it seemed odd that the items on the Traditional Greek Entree list were not.

Service was very attentive, almost too attentive, but I’m guessing it’s because they’re new and there weren’t too many customers in the restaurant.   Overall, the food was good and we’ll probably be back again to try some other dishes.   Total bill with a drink was $43.

Taverna Skara
2454 McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL

Taverna Skara on Urbanspoon


We decided to give Bella Kouzina another try, but unfortunately, this visit wasn’t any better than the last.  It started with the fried calamari.

We order calamari almost every place that has it on the menu, so I think I’m a pretty good judge of how it should taste.  This was just beyond chewy and had no flavor whatsoever.  When the waitress stopped by and asked how it was, I told her it was chewy.  She looked at me and said, “But, it’s calamari.”   I’m guessing she’s just never had calamari cooked the right way before.  She took it back to the kitchen and we heard someone say “drop another order of calamari”.  Since nothing else was said as to cooking it differently, we ended up sending the second batch back as well & they took it off our check.  The waitress said they must have just gotten a bad shipment.  Personally, we both thought they just didn’t have the oil at the right temperature, so it was getting overcooked.  But, on to the soups.

Loren got the clam chowder and I got the pasta fagioli.  His had a decent flavor, but it wasn’t thick and creamy.  My first bite tasted like baked beans and each subsequent bite had sort of a metallic taste when it hit my tongue.  Loren said he could taste what I was tasting as well.  The bread, however, was the highlight of the meal for me.

Loren ordered the salmon Cleopatra which had artichokes, celery and mushrooms in a white wine lemon sauce.

He said it was ok.  At first, he didn’t like the sauce on it. I tasted it and thought it  just tasted like olive oil with a little bit of lemon in it. His dish also came with pasta.  He said it was overcooked and the sauce wasn’t great.   I decided to try the pastitsio.

Again, this is a dish I order at most Greek restaurants, so I expect certain flavors.  This one didn’t deliver.  Instead of being cooked as one large dish and portioned out, it looks like an individual serving was made.  The pasta wasn’t drained properly, so there was water in the bottom of the bowl.  The meat filling had no flavor and the pasta sauce was tart.  It hadn’t cooked anywhere near long enough to develop any decent flavors.  This was a pretty disappointing meal for $29.

Bella Kouzina
3101 SR 580
Safety Harbor, FL
(727) 797–2667

Bella Kouzina on Urbanspoon


Sunday Lunch

After going to a movie this morning, we went over to the Marathon Grill for lunch. We got there around 1:30pm and the place was packed.  We both decided to order off of the Sunday menu.  His came with a house salad and mine came with a Greek salad plus bread.

Loren liked his prime rib.

He said it was very tender.  Our waitress didn’t bring out any horseradish or au jus with the meal, even though it was listed on the menu, so he had to ask for some when she came back to the table to check on us.  She wasn’t the most attentive waitress.  Loren’s iced tea never got refilled.  As for the veggies, he liked the potatoes, but the frozen and/or canned mixed vegetables weren’t great.  My Greek combo platter had pastitsio, moussaka, spinach pie, and a domalde plus some rice.

I liked the pastitsio more than any of the other things on the plate.  It just had a better flavor profile than the rest.  I’d order it separately, but I won’t order the combo again.   Total bill with a drink was $29.

Marathon Grille
33675 US Highway 19N
Palm Harbor, FL

Marathon Grille on Urbanspoon


Our plan tonight was to eat at Marley’s Monster Grill, only to discover they’re closed on Sundays.  Luckily, we had driven by Marathon Grille the other night & noticed they were open, so that’s where we ended up.  For some reason, I always thought they were a breakfast & lunch only place.

They started us off with some bread.

The bread was buried under a bunch of crackers & butter, but once we got down to it, we were happy campers.  I prefer my bread to be warmed, but even though this wasn’t, it was really tasty.  I actually think Loren ate more of it than I did.  A little plate of oil to dip it in would have been a nice touch rather than the butter.

We started off with some stuffed mushrooms.

The crab stuffing was very flavorful and we could have easily eaten a few more of these.  They were yummy.  My entree came with a Greek salad that I ate half of before I remembered to take a photo.  You’d think by now, I wouldn’t forget.

I liked their Greek dressing.  Loren went for a Marathon salad for his entree which came with a side of pita bread.

He said the chicken was very tender and the salad had a nice variety of veggies and greens.  He enjoyed it. I ended up taking the pita bread home with my leftovers because I definitely had leftovers.

Pastitsio, that wonderful Greek lasagne that so many restaurants don’t get quite right.  This was a very tasty version of it though.  It wasn’t dry, the seasoning was just right, and the bechamel layer wasn’t too thick.  I’d order it again here.   Total bill with a drink was $28.  Compared to the $28 we spent for lunch today, this was the much better deal.

Marathon Grille
33675 US Highway 19N
Palm Harbor, FL

Marathon Grille on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Greek, Palm Harbor
  • Yummy Greek

    We drove into Tarpon Springs tonight and ended up at Chloe’s Family Restaurant for dinner.  There were quite a few people in the restaurant and we quickly found out why… the food was really good.

    I started off with a Greek salad which came with my entree.

    It had a nice, tangy dressing on it.  Then they brought out fresh bread.

    This just oozed awesomeness.  Fresh and hot out of the oven covered in a buttery garlic sauce.  It was so soft and delicious.  I’d go back just for the bread.  Loren got the Greek Keftedakia which came with a salad and fries.

    The salad didn’t have any lettuce and when we asked about it, our waitress said it was called a village salad.  Who knew?  But, she was nice enough to bring out a side dish of lettuce for us non-Greeks.  The meatballs were flavorful and there was enough for leftovers.  I ordered the Greek combo plate since I like to try out lots of things when we go to a new restaurant.

    It came with pastitsio, moussaka, gyro, chicken and spinach pie.  I really liked the pastitsio.  Normally, that’s what I would have ordered and I’d have been happy with a big ol’ plate of it.  It was moist with just the right Greek flavors.  The moussaka was also really flavorful & tasty.  The spinach pie was also pretty good.  Flaky with a nice filling.   I tried both the gyro & chicken and ended up taking most of it home for leftovers.   The gyro was good, but the chicken was dry.

    And then as a nice surprise at the end of the meal, the waitress brought out complimentary bowls of ice cream.

    A perfect finish to an awesome dinner.  Everything was fresh and homemade.  Service was really good and everyone was very friendly.  Definitely putting on our list to try again.  We’ve been having some really good luck with restaurants in Tarpon Springs lately.   Total bill with a drink was $32.

    Chloe’s Family Restaurant
    1722 S. Pinellas Ave
    Tarpon Springs, FL

    Chloe's Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon