The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Diner Food


We were in Seminole today and stopped at Mama’s Kitchen for brunch.  The place was packed and we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.  In typical diner fashion, they had a wide variety of things on the menu.  Loren decided to try the Greek Salmon.

It was salmon with sauteed spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese with green beans and mashed potatoes.  We’re still not sure why the gravy is that color of yellow.   He said the salmon was pretty good, the potatoes tasted like they were out of a box, and the green beans weren’t anything special.   I went for the Eggs Benedict with hash browns.

Again, the food was just ok.  The poached eggs were cooked right, but the rest of it lacked any sort of seasoning or flavor.  Overall, there was nothing to make us want to come back again.  Total bill with a drink was $25

Mama’s Kitchen
5885 Seminole Blvd
Seminole, FL
727-319-4040

Mama's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

At the end of October, we flew out to Oregon for a week long loop around the state.  This was our first venture that far west and we were determined to see as much as possible.  We flew into Portland late at night and started our journey the next day heading southeast.  We stopped in Madras at the Rio Distinctive Mexican Cuisine Restaurant for lunch.

We started off with some fresh chips & salsa and the Queso Fundido.

This was a scrumptious skillet of bubbly, ooey, gooey cheesy goodness.  It three different cheeses and a little bit of a kick from the chorizo.  For our entrees, I went with the chicken fajitas and Loren got the Puerco Enmolado

The fajitas were tender and tasty.  Loren’s dish had roasted pork with a homemade 7 pepper & mango mole sauce.  He said it was pretty darn good.  Everything was fresh and the service was friendly.  Total bill was $38.

Rio Distinctive Mexican Cuisine
221 SE 5th St
Madras, OR
541-475-0424

Rio Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

From Madras, we headed over to the Painted Hills.  It was absolutely gorgeous.

After walking around the Painted Hills, we stopped in Prineville at Dillon’s Grill for dinner.  It’s a typical local steak & BBQ restaurant.  Loren got a steak and I got some ribs.

Not a lot of fuss goes into presentation.  Service was slow and they forgot to bring out the salad.  The ranch dressing was one of the tastiest things they had.   Loren’s steak and the ribs were just ok but the onion rings had some crispy, crunchy goodness.  Overall, not a place we’d try a second time.  Total bill was $27.

Dillon’s Grill
142 NE 5th St
Prineville, OR
(541) 447-3203

Dillon's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

We spent the night at the Pronghorn Resort, beautiful place, and headed out toward Smith Rock State Park in the morning.  We stopped at the Cozy Cafe in Redmond for breakfast.  I can only imagine that a lot of hikers & rock climbers must stop here because the portions were huge!  I ordered the biscuits & gravy with eggs & hash browns and Loren got a waffle with bacon.

Loren said the waffle & bacon were both good.  The food was literally falling off my plate.  There was enough for 3 people to eat easily.   I made a pretty good dent in the biscuits and gravy.  The biscuits were fresh and the gravy had a nice peppery flavor.  The hash browns had a little too much pepper when combined with the gravy, but that didn’t stop me from digging in.  Good thing we were going hiking all afternoon.  Food was tasty & the service was friendly.  Total bill with orange juice was $27.

Cozy Cafe
323 NW 6th St
Redmond, OR
541-390-7552

Cozy Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had a great time in Smith Rock State Park.  The scenery was gorgeous.  There were a bunch of rock climbers out there and we hiked up the back of Misery Ridge Trail.  I highly recommend going up the backside & down the front, though it’ll still take the wind out of you hiking up those switchbacks.

We were exhausted by the time we finished hiking and headed over to Kebaba in Bend for dinner.  We were early enough to still get their lunch menu.

We started off with some babaganoush and pita.  It was so good!  Loren got a salmon gyro and I got the lamb kebab.

Everything was fresh and had wonderful flavors going on.  The lamb was tender, though I would have liked another kebab for the price.  Loren said the salmon was good and the lentil soup had some warm spices in it.  We got a fresh baked cookie to go and the total bill was $31.

Kebaba
1004 NW Newport Ave
Bend, OR
541-318-6224

Kebaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We stayed the night at the Sunriver Resort and I was able to get some really cool Milky Way photos.

The next morning, we stopped at the Harvest Depot for breakfast.  Loren got some scrambled eggs, bacon & hashbrowns and I got the eggs, hashbrowns and french toast.

It was a typical breakfast.  Nothing really stood out.  A little expensive for what it was, but it filled our stomachs for our next hike.  Total bill was $20.

Harvest Depot
51453 US 97
La Pine, OR

Harvest Depot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We drove over to the “Crack in the Ground” and hiked through part of it.

From there, we headed south to Ashland and ate dinner at Pie & Vine.  We got there early, so it wasn’t very busy.  They have a big pizza oven and it was warm and a little smoky inside.  We started off with the fried calamari.

Mmmm.  Tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  It was perfectly cooked and the tomato sauce that went with it was good too.  Loren decided to try the flank steak special & I got the fettuccine alfredo.

The steak was very tender and had olives and broccolini with it.  The fettuccine alfredo had fresh made noodles that were tender and the sauce was creamy and delicious.  We were both stuffed by the time we left.  Total bill was $57.

Pie + Vine
358 East Main St
Ashland, OR

Pie and Vine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We spent the night at the Green Springs Inn & Cabins and then headed into northern California to see the Redwood trees.  We stopped at the Frontier Cafe in Happy Camp for lunch.

 

We both got cheeseburgers, one with bacon & one with mushrooms.  They make a darn good burger here.  It was fresh & hot off the grill and the onion rings & fries were pretty good too.   $25 total.

Frontier Cafe
64118 2nd Ave
Happy Camp, CA

Frontier Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We walked through Jedediah Smith State Park to check out the giant redwood trees.  The humidity in the forest was like being back in Florida.   The trees were huge!

From there we headed up the coast.  We stopped in Brookings for some really good ice cream at Slugs & Stones and then up to Bandon for dinner at Edgewaters.   Our meals came with bread & clam chowder.

The clam chowder was creamy with lots of flavor and good stuff inside.  Loren ordered the rockfish and I tried their chicken marsala.

Loren really liked the fish, but my chicken wasn’t quite tender enough.  The marsala sauce, potatoes & veggies were good though.  Total bill was $45.

Edgewaters Restaurant
480 1st St SW
Bandon, OR
541-347-8500

Edgewaters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We spent the night at the Windemere Inn on the Beach and then drove north up the coast.  We stopped in Florence for lunch at the Bridgewater Fishhouse & Zebra Bar.  This was one of the best meals we had on the trip.  Loren got the salmon sandwich & I got the oyster burger.

Though the service was slow, the food was excellent.  The salmon was very flavorful and the oyster burger had a great crunch and wonderful taste.  We’d definitely eat here again.  Total bill was $29.

Bridgewater Fishhouse & Zebra Bar
1297 Bay St
Florence, OR
541-997-1133

Bridgewater Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
After lunch, we hiked through the Sweet Creek Trail.  One beautiful waterfall after another.  There are at least 11 different waterfalls on the trail.  It was gorgeous!

After the hike, we headed up to Seal Rock in search of sushi and ended up at Yuzen Japanese Restaurant.

It was just ok.  I guess my expectations for sushi on the Oregon coast was a little too high.  The fish was fresh, but the rice was too gummy.  Not some place we’d go back to.  Total bill was $65.

Yuzen Japanese Restaurant
10111 US 101 North
Seal Rock, OR

Yuzen Japanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We spent the night at the Overleaf Lodge and could hear the waves crashing on the rocks all night.  The view was amazing.  Breakfast was included, then we spent some time at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

After the aquarium, we drove into Newport and had lunch at Local Ocean Seafoods.  It was unseasonably warm for the end of October and they had the doors wide open.  This was also some of the best seafood we had on the trip.

Loren got the salmon sandwich and I got a crab cake & oysters off of the appetizer menu.  I could have eaten several of those crab cakes & the oysters were perfectly cooked.  It was all so fresh and had a wonderful mix of flavors & textures.  The salmon was delicious too.  Yum!  Would definitely eat here again, though it was a bit pricey.  Total bill was $38.

Local Ocean Seafoods
213 SE Bay Blvd
Newport, OR
541-574-7959

Local Ocean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We headed up the coast to Cannon Beach.  We stayed at the Hallmark Resort right in front of Haystack Rock.  This was the view from our hotel room.

For dinner, we went over to the Wayfarer Restaurant and sat out on the back porch.  We ordered a bunch of appetizers instead of entrees (though you wouldn’t know it based on the prices).

We got the dungeness crab cake, the chanterelle hash, and the clam chowder.  It was all very good, but the crab cakes couldn’t compare to the one I had earlier in the day.  We also got a chocolate mousse dessert to go which was decadent.   Total bill was $57.

Wayfarer Restaurant
1190 Pacific Drive
Cannon Beach, OR

Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The next day we drove up to Astoria and had lunch at Drina Daisy Bosnian Restaurant.  We started off with the meat & cheese platter.

Everything on the plate was tasty.  I’m not usually into cured meats, but these were really good.  Different cheeses and a pepper sauce that wasn’t spicy, but had a lot of flavor.  I can’t remember the names of the dishes we got, but it was a beef stew and a lamb dish, I think.

Everything was fresh and flavorful.  We’d never had Bosnian food before and it felt like comfort food.  Would definitely eat here again.  Total bill was $41.

Drina Daisy Bosnian Restaurant
915 Commercial St
Astoria, OR

Drina Daisy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Our final meal of the trip was at Bistro 23 in Portland.  Loren got the smoked meatballs and salad and I got the pasta bolognese.

Both dishes had a lot of flavor packed into them.  The meatballs were tender and the bolognese was yummy.   Everything was fresh and tasty.   Total bill was $27.

Bistro 23
5530 NE 122nd Ave
Portland, OR

Bistro23 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had a great trip in Oregon.  Weather was great, scenery was amazing, and most of the food was delicious.  I took a ton of photos on our trip , so if you want to see more of them, check out my Flickr album

Star trails over Haystack Rock:

 

 

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Oregon
  • We went over to Thirsty Marlin for dinner tonight.  Loren was craving grouper and this plate of fried grouper cheeks hit the spot.

    The fish had a good crunchy batter and came with two sides.  He enjoyed the grouper dipped in the spicy Bahamian sauce.  I decided to try some sushi.  I ordered a Mexican roll, lobster roll and some salmon.

    I wasn’t terribly impressed with the sushi.  The batter on the shrimp & lobster was so thick & crunchy that you couldn’t distinguish the two from each other.  There was also way too much rice on the sushi rolls.  They were just too thick.  The lobster roll had fried onions on top which was an odd choice.  They really didn’t add anything worthwhile to the dish.  I don’t think I’d order either of these rolls again.  The salmon was good though.  Total bill with a drink was $52.

    Thirsty Marlin
    1023 Florida Ave
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-784-3469

    Click to add a blog post for Thirsty Marlin Grill & Bar on Zomato

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

    We were in St Pete with friends for a show at the Mahaffey Theater and ate dinner at Gratzzi Italian Grille.  Luckily, we had made reservations because they were quite busy for a Wednesday evening at 5:30pm.  They started us out with some bread and herb infused oil, then soup or salad included in the meal.

    The bread was ok; the crust a little too crunchy for my taste, but the infused oil had some nice flavors.  The salad had a variety of different things in it.  Both the Pasta e Fagioli and Italian Wedding soups looked very similar to each other, just with a few different ingredients.

    Our friends ordered the Chicken Parmigiana and the Pappardelle Giuliana

    The chicken parm was big enough for leftovers (we’ll get to that later) and the pasta dish had scallops in a roasted red pepper sauce.  They both said the food was good, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Loren ordered the cedar planked salmon and I ordered the chicken marsala with a side of Pappardelle Alfredo.

    The salmon was nicely cooked and topped with blue crab.  Loren liked it.  The chicken marsala was tender and the sauce was good, but I’ve had more flavorful at other Italian restaurants.  The alfredo pasta was tasty, but not worth what I ended up paying for it.  (we’ll get to that later).  For dessert, we got the Lemoncello cake and our friends got the gelato.

    The cake was really good.  Very strong, tart lemon flavor to it. Now, for those things we were going to get to later.  We were busy talking and not really paying attention as we paid the bills and left the restaurant.  Come to find out, they charged me the full entree price for the side of alfredo pasta that I ordered.  The waitress also didn’t bring the leftovers back to the table that my friend had from her dinner.  Drinks weren’t always filled quickly enough and Loren’s pretty sure his glass of tea was refilled with diet soda.  Overall, the food was ok, but nothing that would make us feel the need to return. And the mistakes with the check and leftovers definitely would keep us from recommending to others.  Our half of the bill was $77, $10 more than it should have been.

    Gratzzi Italian Grille
    211 2nd Street S
    St Petersburg, FL
    727-623-9037

    Gratzzi Italian Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    2.6/5

    We had dinner at Thai Bay in Largo tonight.  They weren’t very busy for a Friday night.  We started off with some sushi; an East Bay roll, a Mexican roll, and some salmon.

    DSC01774

    DSC01775

    The salmon was fresh and tasty and both of the rolls were good.  The East Bay roll had salmon, cucumber, scallions and avocado on top.  Loren also got a Nam sod and I tried their fancy duck.

    DSC01776

    DSC01777

    The Nam Sod was good, but the duck was a bit on the tough side.  It was hard to eat.  I liked the veggies and sauce with it, but it just wasn’t tender enough.  Total bill with a drink was $53.

    Thai Bay
    1300 East Bay Dr, Ste O-P
    Largo, FL
    727-584-5522
    Thai Bay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Largo, Sushi, Thai