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How Dry I Am


Ate lunch at Cody’s up on Hillsborough today.  We weren’t sure if they were open for lunch, but looks like they are on Sunday.  This is one of those places where I shouldn’t even bother ordering an entree.  Fill me up on salad and yeast rolls and I’ll be happy.  In fact, I was most of the way finished eating those two things before I remembered to take any photos. 

The yeast rolls were right out of the oven.  When these are fresh, they are definitely my favorites in town, even winning out over the rolls at Boston Cooker.  The cinnamon butter melts in and gives them a sweet, warm deliciousness that makes me crave more.  I like the salad here as well.  The dressing is very good.  While I pigged out on rolls and salad, Loren dug into some peanuts.

For lunch, he got a buffalo chicken sandwich & fries.  It was a huge piece of chicken, but he said it didn’t have much spice to it. 

I got the chicken fried chicken with a baked potato. 

I ate the potato, but just a few bites of the chicken.  It was so dry.  They pounded it so thin that it just didn’t hold any juices or moisture whatsoever.  Completely inedible in my book.  I should really learn to read my past reviews.  I didn’t like the chicken fried chicken the last time either.

One of the desserts not on the menu is their humongous chocolate cake.

There’s enough here for 4 servings.  We got a piece to go, but I it wasn’t as moist as it’s been in the past. Still lots of fudgy goodness, but I just don’t think it was very fresh this time.  Overall, the meal was just ok.  The rolls & salad were the highlights by far.  Total bill with a drink was $31.

Cody’s Original Roadhouse
11202 West Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL
813-855-2787

Cody's Original Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, Dessert, Tampa
  • There are a few restaurants we go to that definitely cater to an older crowd.  Boston Cooker is one of them.  I don’t know if it’s the sunset specials or just the taste of New England, but we were by far the youngest couple in there tonight.

    We started out with a bowl of clam chowder, their house salad, and of course, the yummiest yeast rolls around.

    Usually, I like their clam chowder, but tonight it really didn’t do much for me.  I don’t know, it just didn’t seem as fresh tonight.  The salad was good, I really do enjoy their buttermilk dressing.  And all I can say about the yeast rolls is just keep bringing them to the table. 

    Since we were there before 6pm tonight, Loren ordered off of the sunset specials menu and got the sirloin tips with garlic mashed potatoes.

    He didn’t really like it all that much.  He said it lacked flavor and seasoning and the tips weren’t very tender.   Personally, I’ve never tried anything else on their menu besides the belly clams.

    Big plate of yummy clams.  From the first bite to the last, they’re just so good.  Service was ok for the majority of our meal until it was time for the check.  Unfortunately, our waiter got a big table at that point and we ended up waiting for quite a while to get our check.  Total bill was $38.

    Boston Cooker
    3705 Tampa Road Unit 6  
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-855-2311

    Boston Cooker on Urbanspoon

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

    Went to Boston Cooker for dinner tonight.  Hmmm… guess what I was in the mood for?   Sure, the yeast rolls are awesome, but it’s the Ipswich clams that keep me coming back for more.

    They’re just so yummy.  Crunchy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside.  The batter doesn’t detract from the taste of the whole belly clams.  It’s a taste of my childhood in New England. 

    Loren got the cedar plank salmon special.

    It was on a bed of spinach with a lemon sauce on top.  He enjoyed it.  The fish was cooked just right, light and flavorful. 

    The only downside to the meal was where we were sitting.  We were in the path to the kitchen and everytime someone passed by Loren’s chair, they ended up hitting it. 

    We tried their chocolate  silk pie for dessert.

    It was ok.  Not the best I’ve had, but it finished off a yummy meal nicely.  Total bill was $46.

    Boston Cooker
    3705 Tampa Road Unit 6  
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-855-2311

    Boston Cooker on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value3/5
    3.9/5

    We drove into Tarpon Springs tonight to have dinner at Zante Cafe Neo.  We walked right by it thinking it was a thrift shop.   This has to be the most unusual decor I’ve ever seen in a restaurant and there was lots of it.  It was like someone emptied out grandma’s attic, hit a few garage sales, and then dug in the back of everyone’s closet.  The photo below is the view from the entryway.

    We were seated by the owner’s 13 year old daughter who was also the waitress.  There were other kids doing homework at a nearby table and another young lad brought us some dinner rolls. 

    These were some mighty fine rolls.  Buttery and slightly crunchy on the outside, soft and delicious inside.  They also came right out of the oven. 

    Everything here is freshly made, so takes a while to come out.  Trust me, this is a place where the phrase “Your patience will be rewarded” is so true.  Luckily, while you wait, you have quite a bit to look at.  Every time I turned my head, I found something else odd and unusual around me.  From the full sized cut out of Johnny Depp dressed as the Mad Hatter to funky lamps to a drawing of Sean Connery. 

    Our dinners both came with a choice of soup or salad and we both went for the gumbo.

    Delicate flavors in a thin broth with chicken, okra, and other veggies.  It was so warm and cozy on a chilly night.  There wasn’t a drop left in either of our bowls.  

    We ordered the Louisiana crab cakes as an appetizer.

    All crab, no fillers and quite delicious.  The Creole Remoulade wasn’t spicy, but added a nice flavor to the crab cakes.  Everything we’d eaten so far left us craving more. 

    Did I mention the rolls?  Yeah, we needed another batch of those.

    Fresh out of the oven a second time around.  Normally, I don’t like such a long wait for food, but it was well worth it.

    And then came the entrees.  Loren ordered the jambalaya and I ordered the crawfish etouffee.  Our waitress asked what spice level we wanted on a scale of 1 to 10.  I picked a 1 and Loren picked a 6 for his dish.  I also asked to have the scallions left off of mine.

    This is my etouffee with scallions on it.  There weren’t that many, I just assumed she didn’t hear me when I asked that they be left off.  She saw me picking them off the dish and said the chef must have mixed up the dish because Loren’s didn’t have any scallions on his and normally the jambalaya has scallions. (I’d already transferred a few of mine on to his plate before I took the photo)

    So, as I’m picking off the remaining scallions, Loren starts to eat his and says it’s really not all that spicy for a spice level 6.  Just as I’m about to take my first bite, it dawns on me that if the scallions ended up on my dish, there’s a good chance the spice level did too.  Oh yeah, wimpy me ended up with a spice level 6 etouffee.  If it hadn’t been so tasty, I probably wouldn’t have eaten it.  It definitely had some spice, but it wasn’t a killer.  They had to refill my water glass a couple of times though. 

    Both dishes had wonderful flavors to them.  The jambalaya had a smoky flavor and had chicken, shrimp, and sausage in it.  Mine had tender crawfish, onions and mushrooms in a dark roux etouffee sauce. 

    They also brought us a slice of pumpkin pie and pecan pie to make up for the mistake with the spice levels. 

    They were both pretty good.   The table next to us had bananas foster and when the chef came out and flambed it at the table, I was thinking that’s what we’re having next time.  And yes, there will definitely be a next time. 

    Total bill was $51.  Absolutely worth every penny for the made from scratch, authentic food we were served.  Though I’m not a fan of having children as waitstaff, I have to say, she was very polite and took care of us just fine.  And when we got the bill, she had absolutely written down our order correctly and the kitchen mixed them up.

    Zante Cafe Neo
    13 N Safford Ave
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    727-934-5558

    Zante Cafe Neo on Urbanspoon

    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.4/5

    I’m sure it’s wrong to choose a restaurant for dinner based on dessert, but sometimes you just gotta follow your sweet tooth.  Tonight, I was craving chocolate cake and I remembered the cake at Cody’s is fantastic. 

    But, first, there’s the yeast rolls and salad.

    Cody’s has some of the most delicious yeast rolls around.  You know they’re good when Loren eats more than one.  Spread on some of the cinnamon butter and they just melt in your mouth.  Loren said he thought the salad dressing was a little weak this time, but I thought it was ok.  I ordered the salad without onions, so that may have been the flavor he was missing.

    For our entrees, Loren ordered their NY select special with a baked potato.

    He said he was cooked just right and tasty.  He ended up taking half of it home for lunch tomorrow.  I ordered the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes.

    One bite of the mashed potatoes and I asked our waiter if he could bring me a baked potato instead.  I just didn’t like them.  They were garlic mashed, but I wasn’t tasting garlic.  The white gravy on the chicken and potatoes was really peppery.  It overpowered everything.  The chicken needed to be a little more tender as well.

    But, who are we kidding, we came here for the cake, which isn’t on the menu by the way.   I was about to be really sad when I didn’t see it on the menu, but Loren asked the waiter and he said they always have the chocolate cake and carrot cake, but for whatever reason, they’re not listed on the menu.  We got a slice to go.

    Yeah, and when I say “slice”, I mean enough for 4 people to eat.  It’s huge, but incredibly moist and delicious.  Tasted wonderful sitting in front of the TV that night, plus there’s still some in the fridge.

    Total bill was $38 and Loren had leftovers for lunch and I’ve got plenty of cake.

    Cody’s Original Roadhouse
    26210 US 19
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 726-6800

    Cody's Original Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.7/5