The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Rainy Friday

It was a dark and rainy evening in Sarasota, but lucky for us that meant there wasn’t a crowd at Yoder’s.  We’ve tried to eat here in the past, but the line was always too long so we’d just get some pie to go.  As much as I wanted to love the food here, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

We started off with some bread and clam chowder.



The bread was fresh and soft and the chowder was pretty good.  It could have used a little more seasoning, but it was thick and creamy.  For his entree, Loren chose the roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and okra.



We heard the he ladies at the table next to us comment on how that didn’t like the okra they got, but ours was ok.  He said the dish was very plain and needed more seasoning overall.  I ordered the fried chicken with a side of mac & cheese and corn cakes.




On Friday’s, they only have pan fried chicken which ended up being tough inside and the skin wasn’t very crispy.  It just wasn’t juicy at all.  The mac & cheese was very creamy and had a nice flavor to it.  I had asked about the corn cakes before I ordered them and the waiter said they were like pancakes with corn in them.  I still had a different picture in my mind until he brought them out with some maple syrup.  Unfortunately, they were a bit too dense.   The main reason we came here, though, was for the pie.



I got the blueberry and Loren got the butterscotch cream pie.  Getting there late in the day means there aren’t as many pie options available.  I wanted the blueberry cream pie they had the last time I was here, but it wasn’t on the  menu.  Second choice was the double crust blueberry pie, but the waiter brought the blueberry crumb as that was all they had.  I didn’t like the crumb topping.  Loren said he didn’t like the texture of his pie filling.  It was sort of grainy, but it did have a good butterscotch flavor to it.  I also got a slice of pineapple cream pie to bring home and I liked that one a lot better than the others.  Total bill with a drink was $50.

Yoder’s Restaurant
3434 Bahia Vista St
Sarasota, FL
(941) 955-7771

Yoder's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  • Filed under: Amish, Sarasota
  • We drove over to Zephyrhills today and ate lunch at the Chowderhouse.  The big draw for me was that their website said they had whole belly clams.  We both started out with clam chowder, one New England style and the other Boston style.

    The main difference between the two is that one was more creamy than the other.  They both tasted ok.  I actually liked the creamy one more and Loren liked the other, so that worked out pretty well.  For his entrée, he got the blackened grouper sandwich.

    He said it was good.  It came with fries & cole slaw.  I ordered the whole belly clam roll.  They were perfectly cooked and had that flavor I craved, but they were a bit on the small side.

    There was no way I was going to be able to pick it up and eat it like a sandwich, so I just picked the clams off the bun.  The macaroni salad was good too.  The waitress brought around the dessert tray and we decided to try the homemade blueberry and coconut cream pies.

    These were both somewhat disappointing.  The crust wasn’t crispy and flaky at all.  It was very dense and doughy.  I don’t know if it’s because they had been in the fridge or what, but nowhere near as good as the pies at Yoder’s in Sarasota.  That’s pretty much my baseline for pie now.  Total bill with a drink was $42.

    The Chowder House
    36626 SR 54
    Zephyrhills, FL

    The Chowder House on Urbanspoon


    The Bed & Breakfast we’re staying at is in the middle of nowhere, so there aren’t many dining options.  It was getting late, so we stopped at the Thunderbird Restaurant for dinner.  It’s attached to a motel and has that diner type feel to it, though the prices were a bit higher than what I expected.

    Both of our entrees came with soup or salad bar and bread.

    We both went for the broccoli cream soup.  It was ok.   Loren ordered the country fried steak for his entree which came with mashed potatoes and veggies.

    It also fell in the just ok category.  The veggies were waterlogged and inedible, but the steak was fairly tender.  I ordered the fried chicken.

    The chicken had been fried way too long.  The crispy outer shell was too hard to even break through on some pieces, yet there were some pieces with a mushy, somewhat uncooked batter underneath the outer shell.   Not good eats.  But, even with the mediocre entrees we couldn’t pass up a piece of ho-made pie.

    The story on the back of the menu said that there wasn’t enough room on the neon sign for the word “homemade”, so the owner told the sign maker to just make it “ho-made”.  The buttered rum sauce really made this pie yummy.  Total bill with a drink was $42.

    Thunderbird Restaurant
    Junction US 89 and Hwy 9 Box 5536
    Mt Carmel, UT

    Thunderbird Restaurant on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Dessert, Utah
  • I’ve been on vacation all week & took a drive down to Sarasota for the day.  On the way home, I got some take out pie from Yoders.  There are no photos because once I took the first bite, it didn’t last very long.  The mixed berry was really good, but the blueberry cream pie was probably the best blueberry pie I’ve ever eaten in my life.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had a blueberry pie with blueberries that were so fresh and crunchy.  Sadly, all the blueberry pies I’ve ever eaten were just mushy inside.  And Yoders makes some of the best pie crust around too.  Mmmm… I think I need to take another trip to Sarasota soon.

    Two pieces of pie & a side of mac & cheese that was awesome, creamy and yummy ended up being the most well spent $13 to date.

    Yoder’s Restaurant
    3434 Bahia Vista St
    Sarasota, FL
    (941) 955-7771

    Yoder's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


    Loren wanted a salad for dinner, so we stopped at Kostas Family Restaurant in Dillsboro.  They were pretty busy for a Monday evening.  Guess there are a lot of other tourists like us in town to see the fall colors.

    Loren ordered a small Greek salad and one came with my meal.

    It’s funny, I’m so used to Greek food around the Tarpon Springs, Florida area that it was odd not to see potato salad in the Greek salad.  The dressing was tasty though.  The yeast rolls were soft and yummy.

    We ordered the spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer and Loren also got some hummus.

    The spinach artichoke dip was really good.  The pita bread served with it was warm and soft.  This is one of those dishes you can’t stop eating.   Loren liked the hummus as well.  As usual, I had to try the pastitsio.

    This one had all the right flavors.  The bechemel sauce was very creamy and yummy.  The only issue I had with it was that the edges & bottom were a bit overcooked.  Crunchy is not a texture I want in a pasta dish.  I don’t like green beans, but Loren tasted them and said they were good.  I think he said something to the effect of, “Mmmm… cooked in bacon”.  We also got some desserts to take back to the B&B for later.

    I got the French Silk Pie, which tasted exactly like the ones you get at Village Inn and Loren got the baklava.  He said it was tasty.  Total bill with a drink was $35. 

    Kosta Family Restaurant
    489 Haywood Rd
    Dillsboro, NC

    Kostas Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon