The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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A Senor Tequila location recently opened up in Westchase on Race Track Road.  It’s a spacious restaurant, but they’ve got it set up with two entrances so if you go in the wrong one, you have to walk through the restaurant to get to the hostess station even though there are servers standing at the other entrance.

I’ve actually been twice, once with a friend for lunch & then again for dinner.  Lunch service was slow to get the food out, but it seemed better at dinner time.  For the lunch visit, I had a chimichanga and my friend had the enchiladas with mole sauce.

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This is pretty generic Mexican food.  The flavors are ok, but nothing is overly spicy or overly flavorful.  When Loren & I went for dinner, we started with some queso and then got the fajitas for two.

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Loren said the salsa was vibrant.  Had a fresh taste to it.  The queso dip wasn’t too spicy.  The fajitas were a mix of chicken, beef, shrimp, and pork.  It was plenty of food for two people and the meats were all very tender and cooked well.  The lunch entrees ran about $8 and dinner with a drink was $35.

Senor Tequila
12950 Race Track Road
Tampa, FL
(813) 510-3488
Señor Tequila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

So Slow


Every so often we go back to one of the chain restaurants in town just to remind ourselves why we don’t eat there regularly.  For whatever reason, the Chili’s in Oldsmar is one of the slowest restaurants we’ve been to.  We started off with some queso and chips.

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It was ok.  We ran out of chips before we ran out of queso.  We decided to split the chicken fajitas.

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Nothing special here.  They were just ok, but took forever to come out of the kitchen.  The restaurant wasn’t very busy either which made the wait that much more confusing.  Total bill with a drink was $23.

Chili’s
3701 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL
(813) 814-7769

Chili's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Food2/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • We decided to try Red Robin over at Countryside Mall for lunch today.  We thought we were going to miss the lunch crowd, but it was packed.  We ended up waiting 15 minutes or so for a table.  We decided to start off with some chips & queso.

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    It was pretty good.  The flavor and creaminess was just right and it had a little bit of heat.  There weren’t enough chips to start off with, but the waitress brought more.  By the time the new basket of chips arrived though, our burgers were out.  Loren got the Guac Burger and I got the mushroom burger.

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    We both agreed that these were some pretty tasty burgers.  They definitely don’t skimp on the toppings either.  There was a mound of mushrooms on mine.  They also come with an endless supply of steak fries, though neither of us even finished the ones already on our plate.  But, of course, you pay for all the freebies one way or another and the total bill with a drink was $31.  A bit much for some burgers, even though they were pretty tasty.

    Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
    27001 US Highway 19 North
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-7249

    Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    3.3/5

    Ug


    We’re always up for a new restaurant, so we checked out Ugies Smokin’ Good Seafood for dinner tonight.  It’s in the Fountains Shopping Center where Bawarchi & Vallarta’s are.  I want to preface this review with a few comments first.  One, this restaurant just opened this week.  Two, we didn’t order any entrees, just side dishes.  And three, this isn’t the type of restaurant we really like to go to anyway, so perhaps that skewed our experience from the get go.

    Though I’m pretty sure this isn’t a chain restaurant, it felt like one.  It’s an order at the counter and they’ll bring the food to you type of place.  Sort of reminded me of the Louis Pappas restaurants.  I found the entree menu to be rather small.  The two smoked items were mullet or salmon, neither which appealed to me and then they had shrimp or crawfish steam pots, tacos, fish sandwich, chicken sandwich & a burger.  Instead, we settled on some sides and appetizers to share.

    We started with the shrimp queso dip.

    The queso dip had a very familiar taste to it, sort of like that recipe on the back of the Cheez-wiz bottle.  There were pieces of shrimp in it, but it just tasted very generic and bland.  In fact, those are the words we used to describe everything else we ate as well.  We tried the Boston Clam Chowder, the jambalaya, mac & cheese, and the shrimp & grits.

    The chowder and corn muffin that came with it were ok.  Let’s put it this way, we’ve been to restaurants where we fight over the last spoonful of chowder and sometimes even lick the bowl, this wasn’t one of those kinds of chowder.  This was very bland and definitely did not taste homemade.   We didn’t even finish it.

    Out of all the things we got, Loren liked the jambalaya more than the rest.  It had chicken, sausage and shrimp in it, but not the flavors that would wow you.  I thought it was a bit watered down and it wasn’t spicy at all.

    The shrimp & grits suffered the same fate as everything else.  It just had no taste.  The texture on the grits was fine, but, let’s face it, grits are bland unless you add some seasoning, garlic, cheese, and herbs to them.  The mac & cheese was also very dry.  The one thing this place has going for them are the prices.  Virtually everything is under $10.  These five items plus a drink was $21.  They were certainly overstaffed while we were there.  I counted at least 10 people just standing around.  Two different people checked on our table, which as a word of advice, I’d assign specific tables to specific people or they’ll end up like Tiajuana Flats where you’re constantly being interrupted.

    Ugies Smokin’ Good Seafood
    34726 US Hwy 19 N
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-953-9797

    Ugies Smokin' Good Seafood on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.6/5

    We’ve eaten at the Tia’s on Fowler Ave a few times and both times that we’ve sat in the bar area, the service has been terrible.  If you go in and the hostess starts to seat you to the right in the bar area, ask to be seated in the main dining room instead. 

    Once we finally got some menus, drinks, chips and salsa, we ordered some queso supremo, which is really the only reason I ever come here to eat.

    Mind you, we waited for a very long time before our waiter brought it out.  I don’t know what it is about their queso, but I just love it.  It’s the combination of cheese and taco meat that’s just so yummy.

    Because it took him to long to bring it, our entrees came out soon after.  Loren ordered the beef fajitas.

    He said they were pretty good, but it was more than enough food for him.  We should have just split them.  Instead, I ordered a pick three and got a chicken and beef empanada and a chicken taco.

    There really wasn’t anything on this plate that was very good.  The rice didn’t taste good and the refried beans were dry.  The beef empanda was extremely cheesy inside, but still better than the chicken one.  The taco was pretty bland.  Next time, we’ll just split something and I’ll stick with the queso.  Total bill was $34.

    Tia’s Tex Mex
    2815 E Fowler Ave
    Tampa, FL
    813-977-5025

    Tia's Tex & Mex on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.3/5
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  • Filed under: Mexican, Tampa