The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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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.

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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.

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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
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  • Filed under: Largo, Sushi, Thai
  • We enjoyed our dinner so much the last time that we had to return to Craft Street Kitchen with friends again for dinner tonight.  We got there around 5:30pm and sat out on the patio this time and the restaurant was filling up fast.  By the time we left, there was a line out the door.  The food tonight did not disappoint.

    Our friends ordered the Smoked Kissed Salmon, the Green Street Salad and the peanut butter pie for dessert.

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    I don’t think there was any food left on any of the plates.  Everything was so yummy.  The only complaint was that my friend wished the salad had come with some bread.  Loren ordered the Belgium Clucker and I decided to try the duck flat bread they had on special plus a side of mac & cheese.

    The Belgium Clucker is their play on chicken and waffles.  The waffle was amazing.  It was light and fluffy, but had this crunchy exterior and a warm vanilla flavor to it.  They should start opening for breakfast and just serve these waffles.  He said the chicken was tender and it paired well with the bacon collard greens and maple BBQ sauce.  It was also covered in a salsa verde sauce.  The plate was all but licked clean.

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    The duck flatbread isn’t on their normal menu.  It had duck, mandarin oranges, bacon, goat cheese and another smoked cheese.  Did I mention it was huge?  It had some interesting flavors in it.  The mac & cheese tasted ok, but it needed more sauce.  It was just a bit on the dry side.

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    For our dessert, we tried another thing on special, the State Fair Puffs.  They were fresh, hot donut holes covered in powered sugar and served with a raspberry cream.

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    They were amazing and there were a bunch of them in the bag.  I hope they add these to the permanent menu because they were delish.  Our bill alone was $44 and there are still a bunch of things on the menu that we can’t wait to try.

    Craft Street Kitchen and Drinks
    3153 Curlew Rd
    Oldsmar, FL
    727-314-4270

    Craft Street Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    4.1/5

    Our favorite Thai restaurant, Pacific Thai in Oldsmar, is now serving sushi so we had to check it out.  They have a bunch of rolls to choose from and we settled on some of our favorites.

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    I have to get a Mexican roll wherever we go and this one had a nice crispy shrimp tucked inside a tight roll.  We also had a rainbow roll, a spicy kamakazee roll for Loren and some salmon.  All of it was fresh and tasty.  I really enjoyed the salmon.

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    The lobster roll was a little difficult to photograph.  The glass made for an unusual presentation, but difficult to get at the pieces of lobster inside. The lobster was cooked well and the roll was yummy.  Loren also ordered a Nam Sod.

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    Overall, we enjoyed their sushi options.  Total bill with a drink was $65 which is right in the price range of all of the other sushi places we visit.  They also expanded the restaurant to the space next door, so it’s not quite so crowded in there.

    Pacific Thai Cuisine 
    4058 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-855-6633

    Pacific Thai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Oldsmar, Thai
  • So Much Food


    We ventured over to Saki Endless Sushi in Clearwater for dinner tonight.  It’s located on Gulf to Bay & Hwy 19 behind the shopping center.  I didn’t even realize there was a building back there.  It’s a nice looking little restaurant and for $17.99 you can order endless appetizers, soup, salad, sushi, hibachi, and dessert.  We had to roll ourselves out of there.   You order as much or as little at a time, pacing yourself so everything doesn’t come out all at once.  There is an additional charge for any remaining sushi, but we didn’t have any problem finishing off what we ordered.

    For the first round, we got the Green Sarabay, Mexican, and Rainbow roll

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    The Green Sarabay had Spicy tuna crunch & tamago inside with salmon and avocado on top.  I had to look up what tamago was.  It’s egg. Loren said the tuna had a good spice level to it.  I love anything covered in eel sauce and the Mexican roll and Rainbow roll were both fresh & tasty.   Next round, we got the avocado salad which is basically their ginger salad with avocado on top, an order of salt & pepper calamari, salmon sashimi, flying fish roe, an Alaskan roll, and a Saki roll.

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    The salt & pepper calamari had a light batter and the salty taste we were looking for as well as a couple of deadly hot peppers on the plate that we both avoided.  The Alaskan roll was salmon, cucumber & avocado and the Saki roll had shrimp tempura, cucumber, krab meat, mayo topped with avocado, shrimp, tobiko and eel sauce.  All of it was tasty and as if that wasn’t enough, Loren decided to try the chicken hibachi, a spicy salmon roll, and I needed some gyoza.

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    The chicken in the hibachi dish was very tender.  It also had mushrooms, onions, zucchini and broccoli.  Loren commented that everything was cooked evenly unlike some of the hibachi restaurants we’ve been to where some veggies are overcooked and some undercooked.  This was all perfectly done.  You can also order rice & noodles to go along with it, but there was no way he’d have been able to eat it all.  He had eaten half of the spicy salmon roll before I remembered to take a photo.  The dumplings were very good.  There was some hot pepper in the dipping sauce that caught me by surprise, but otherwise, they were perfectly cooked.  Even though we were both stuffed at this point, we couldn’t leave without dessert.

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    There’s nothing quite like fresh, hot, sweet doughnuts.  Yum!  I think what impressed us the most was that everything was made & cooked to order.  It was all hot and fresh when it got to the table.  Our waitress was very attentive, filling drinks and as soon as we started to glance at the menu again, she’d be over to see what else we wanted to order.  And here’s the kicker, with a drink, the total was $40.  Had we ordered it all separately, it would have been over $75.  We’ll definitely be back again.

    Saki Endless Sushi
    2643 Gulf to Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-3937

    Click to add a blog post for Saki Endless Sushi & Hibachi Eatery on Zomato

    Food4/5
    Service5/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value5/5
    4.5/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Sushi