The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Given the choice between going to the grocery store or going out to eat, I’m choosing a restaurant every time.  Tonight’s choice was Cafe’ Alfresco in downtown Dunedin.  The patio was really loud, so we sat inside.

Let’s face it, we both like soup.

I got the Sicilian white bean soup and Loren got a cup of the creole.  The rice wasn’t quite done enough in his, but overall the flavor was good.  My bean soup was very tasty.

We got the “must try” appetizer, the Feta Alfresco.

It’s feta cheese, lightly breaded in panko crumbs, fried golden brown
and served over red sauce with garlic cheese bread.  Neither of us had ever had feta cheese this way.  At first, the flavor seemed overwhelming, but the more you ate, the more it mellowed out.  The garlic bread was good too.  I doubt we’d order it again, though.  As usual, we were both pretty stuffed at this point, but then came the entrees.

Loren ordered the salmon salad.

It was a huge piece of blackened salmon over a salad of lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and artichokes with a Greek dressing.  He said it was very good.

I ordered the half portion of the chicken marsala.

It had a very nice marsala sauce.  The chicken was very tender and the pasta was good.  Both meals came with rolls that were really tasty too.

And because I just can’t pass up dessert, I got a slice of raspberry cheesecake to take home.

It was a hard choice between this and the death by chocolate cake.  I’ll have to try the cake next time.

Appetizer, two soups, two entrees, dessert and a drink for $38.  The food was fresh and had very good flavors.  The only downside was that our waitress wasn’t very good at refilling drinks.  Otherwise, it was a really nice dining experience.

Cafe Alfresco
344 Main St
Dunedin, FL
813-736-4299

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  • Filed under: American, Dunedin
  • Sushi Friday


    We were actually heading to Fish Tail Willie’s since the power went out the last time we tried to eat there, but it looked mobbed this time, so we ended up at Jo-To Japanese Restaurant in the same shopping center.

    We’d eaten at Jo-To before, but forgot that their entrance is around back by the lake.  It really is an odd set up.  Anyway, they weren’t busy when we got there, so it was a nice quiet dinner.

    Loren started out with a salad and I ordered the fried oyster appetizer.

    The oysters were really tasty.  The crispy batter on them was excellent.  The only downside was that I should have let them cool a bit before biting into the first one.  I burned my tongue pretty well on the hot juices that flowed out.  It came with a tasty BBQ sauce to dip them in. 

    We decided to order sushi.

    From the top, we got a Tekka tuna roll, a Rainbow roll, a California roll, a Mexican roll, a Spider roll, and some salmon.

    They don’t have a wide variety of sushi, but their prices are very reasonable.  The Mexican roll was really good.  The avacado in the California roll wasn’t as fresh as it should have been, but overall, the roll had a nice flavor.  The Spider roll was good, but the claws sticking out of it were pretty funny looking.  Loren enjoyed the Rainbow roll, I’m just not a fan of smoked salmon.  He ate the salmon and Tekka as well. 

    For $45 we got 5 rolls, two pieces of salmon, an appetizer, salad and drink.   Is it the best sushi we’ve ever eaten?  No, but the restaurant has a nice atmosphere and the waitstaff is extremely polite.  We were both quite full by the time we rolled ourselves out of there.

    Jo-To Japanese Restaurant
    2549 Countryside Blvd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-796-2022

    Joto Japanese on Urbanspoon

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  • Filed under: Clearwater, Sushi
  • Something New


    We braved the cold a second night in a row in search of food.  A new restaurant, Kuzina Mediterranean Grill & Bar, opened up recently where Winners used to be, so we headed out to Oldsmar to check it out.

    Interior

    The interior was cozy.  The naked trees were an interesting design.  They brought bread and hummus to the table to start with.  Loren liked the hummus, said it was very garlicy.  I liked the bread, though it would have been better if it had been warmed.

    Because we just can’t say no to appetizers, we ordered the calamari.  It was very good and the sundried tomato sauce that came with it was excellent.

    Calamari

    For dinner, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Rissoto and Loren got the Salmon Farfale.  I was disappointed in the rissoto.  All I could taste was parmesean cheese.  It was completely overwhelming.  The cheese even began to solidify on my spoon, it was so thick.  Loren enjoyed his salmon pasta dish and I took his leftovers to eat tomorrow.  I’d probably order his dish again, but I’ll pass on the rissoto.

    Since I didn’t eat all my dinner (yeah, I’m using that as an excuse), we ordered dessert.  Let’s face it, I’m not passing up a chocolate dessert.  It was listed on the menu as “Molten Chocklate Lava Cake”.  I’m not real sure what “chocklate” is, but I figured I’d take a chance anyway. 

    Because they make the dessert to order, it took about 15 minutes to get to the table.  They should probably let you know that ahead of time so you can order it early.  Though it was an ooey, gooey chocolate dessert, it really didn’t have the deep dark chocolate flavor that I crave.  The cake was really bland and the interior “lava” didn’t have a strong chocolate taste either.  There was a darker chocolate sauce on the outside that was good.  It could have used some whipped cream or ice cream on the side to make it sweeter.  Don’t get me wrong, we ate the entire thing, but I probably won’t order it again.

    The service at the restaurant seemed very inexperienced.  Granted they just opened, but our drinks went unfilled at times and when we sat down, our table was set for four and even though there were only two of us, the waitress never took the other settings away. 

    We probably will go back again and try some other dishes.  Appetizer, two dinners, dessert, and an iced tea ran us $46.     

    Kuzina Mediterranean Grill & Bar
    3980 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-749-7550

    Kuzina Mediterranean Grill and Bar on Urbanspoon

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