The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We drove up to Holiday tonight to eat dinner at The German Restaurant.  It’s a homey little restaurant, sort of like walking into grandma’s living room.  They brought some bread to the table while we waited for our appetizer.

It was warm, which is always a plus in my book.  I couldn’t really tell what kind of bread it was though.  For our appetizer, we got the Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes). 

They were nice and crispy and had a good flavor.  You can get either 3 or 4 in an order and we should have just gotten the three because they were pretty big.  We decided to split the sampler platter for our entree, so I got the soup that came with that and Loren ordered a side salad.

The soup was awesome.  It had a hearty beef flavor to it like it’d been cooking for hours.  The veggies were a bit mushy, but the meatball had a lot of flavor.  I could have gone for just a plate of the meatballs.

We wanted to try a bit of everything so we got the sampler platter which included roasted pork, sauerbraten, pork schnitzel, grilled Nuernberger pork sausage, red cabbage, sauerkraut, potato salad, potato dumpling and their home made spaetzle.

It was a lot of food.  My favorite was the pork schnitzel.  It was crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and had a delicate lemon flavor.  I would definitely order it again.  Loren really enjoyed the roasted pork and sauerbraten, but honestly, everything on the plate was good. 

The dessert case is in the lobby when you walk into the restaurant, so we knew from the moment we walked in that we were going to have a piece of the Black Forest cake.

It’s not often you get real homemade whipped cream with a dessert.  This was a wonderfully delicious piece of cake.  It was light, the cake was moist, and the filling was awesome.  I was tempted to get another piece to take home.

Service was pretty good.  One of the owners stopped by our table to check on us a few times during the meal.  The total bill was $47.  They charged a $3.95 splitting charge that I thought was a bit excessive, but overall, the entire dining experience was great.  It’s definitely worth the drive to Holiday.

The German Restaurant
2616 US Hwy 19
Holiday, FL

German on Urbanspoon

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Dessert, German, Holiday
  • We had tickets to Young Frankenstein at Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight (great show), so wanted to eat dinner somewhere close.  We tried Johnny’s, but they were mobbed, so we ended up at Grind House.

    Service was a bit lacking tonight, but the food was good.  We started out with the shrimp and lobster bisque.

    This is one of those soups that left a lasting impression since the first time I had.  It’s rich and creamy with a wonderful flavor.  Definitely a must order if you eat here.   Loren decided on a burger with mushrooms and provolone.

    It also came with home made chips.  He said it was cooked just right and tasty.  The chips were crunchy and not like anything you get out of a bag.

    I ordered some bangers and mash.

    The sausages had a nice flavor.  You could definitely taste the fennel.  Homemade  mashed potatoes with an onion mushroom gravy went great with it, though more gravy would have been better.  And for dessert, I got a slice of chocolate cheesecake to go.

    It wasn’t a very big slice, but it was rich with chocolately goodness.  I’d definitely order it again.  Total bill was $28.

    Grind House Bar & Grill
    1500 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL

    Grind House Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


    Skip Dessert

    We had eaten Pierogis once before at a restaurant in Dunedin (it’s no longer there), so when I saw the Pierogi Grill in Clearwater, I knew we had to try it out.

    From the decor, you’d never guess it was a polish restaurant.  It’s all done up in pyraminds and Egyptian art.  They also have a European store inside. 

    We ordered an appetizer, but the waitress either didn’t hear me or forgot because we never got it.  Not like we really needed it though.

    We both ordered the same thing, the sausage with 6 pierogis.  It also came with sauerkraut which neither of us really likes, or so we thought.  It was actually pretty tasty.  Loren has officially taken sauerkraut off his list of “do not eat” foods.  The sausage was really good, it had a nice texture and flavor.  I ordered mine with the potato and cheddar pierogies and Loren got the spinach and pork.  His were definitely better.  They had a lot more flavor than the potato and cheddar.  They had butter and onions on them, but I think they could have used more. 

    We should have just called it a night here, but instead I asked the waitress what was the best of the dessert pierogies.  She said strawberry without hesitation, so we figured they must be good. 

    Wow, were we wrong.  They were completely inedible.  They use the same dough as the other pierogies and the filling had no sweetness whatsoever.  They were so bland and doughy.  Not even whipped cream could salvage them.  The waitress asked how we liked them and I told her how bad they were.  She admitted that she had just tried them for the first time that week and had doused hers in powdered sugar because there was no sweetness to them.  She thankfully took them off the bill, so we ended up with a $25 dinner. 

    Go for the food, but go somewhere else for dessert.

    Pierogi Grill
    1535 Gulf to Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL

    Pierogi Grill on Urbanspoon

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Polish
  • No, really!

    On our way home from the track today, Jeff and I stopped in Ocala for dinner.  Jeff popped up Urban Spoon and picked out a well-ranked place in the appropriate price range, and off we went.  I used to live very near Ocala when I was younger (in the early 80’s!), imagine my surprise to see that Ocala now has an “old town” district with a bunch of nice restaurants!  After a little circling and some odd right-turn-from-the-left-lane action from Jeff, we found a place to park and we walked across the street to this place called Harry’s Seafood.

    Just as we were crossing the street, at least 3 parties of 4-6 people walked in the door right ahead of us!  But, it was 5:30, so they weren’t packed yet, and we didn’t have to wait for our table for two.  A quick look at the menu revealed that Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill has the tagline of “A New Orleans Style Restaurant”.  Cool!

    We figured out why the crowd was rolling in at 5:30, too.  They have a 4-6pm “early bird” menu (they call it something else, but that’s what it is) with some very reasonable prices on it!

    So, we ordered some typical cajun fare with not a lot of great expectations, this being Ocala and all.  Our waiter was quick with our drinks and did a good job of keeping them topped up and taking care of us in general.  While we were waiting for our entrees, we got bread.  Now, I’m not a huge bread fan.  I often don’t even bother tasting it, but if it’s good and/or has something good to dip it in, I’ll enjoy it.  This bread was AWESOME!  Very fresh, just a little crispy on the outside, and oh-so-tasty with a spread of their delicious herbed butter.  We had to get a second loaf, it was so good!

    Our entrees arrived VERY quickly.  Jeff’s comment was “did I order yet?”  But, there it was.  His steaming plate of Crawfish Etouffe, which looked and smelled great!  He commented on it being a bit spicy… of course he dumped some of the Harry’s-branded hot sauce that was on the table on there, anyway.  I ordered the Jambalaya, which had ample portions of shrimp, smoked sausage and chicken and was pretty darned tasty, if I do say so myself!  Not “hot”, but definitely spicy.  We both ordered off of the “early” menu, which is smaller portions than what’s on the regular menu, and neither of us could imagine needing more food than we got.  I even boxed up about 1/3 of mine to take home. (could have eaten it… just wanted to enjoy it later)

    I guess Jeff picked up from Urban Spoon that this place is supposed to have an incredible mud pie, and he couldn’t live without trying it.  It’s like a coffee-flavored ice cream cake with a crisp layer of chocolate on top and who knows what else.  I was kinda turned off by the coffee (not a fan) and wasn’t going to try it.  But, it was HUGE, and Jeff didn’t get too far past half-way with it.  Being ice cream, he couldn’t take it home… so, I tried a bite.  To my pleasant surprise, the coffee flavor was very mild and with the giant mound of whipped cream on the side… well, let’s just say there wasn’t a lot left on the plate!

    We got out of there for about $35 with extremely happy tastebuds and full bellies.  Too bad it’s so far away, I’d go back here often!

    Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill
    24 SE 1st Ave
    Ocala, FL

    Harry's Seafood Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Cajun
  • Went out to lunch with some folks from work today and one of them suggested an Italian restaurant I hadn’t been to called Zerillo’s Italian Grill in Westchase.  

    Unfortunately, when you walk in the door, the first aromas you get aren’t of the food, but of the cigar shop next door.  Luckily, the dining room didn’t smell like tobacco too.  They weren’t very busy for lunch, but then again, I don’t think too many places are on Tuesdays.

    They have a nice, inexpensive lunch menu with a lot of choices including pasta, pizza, calzones, hot and cold subs and wraps.  We got a wrap, fettucine alfredo, fries, sausage and peppers, and a baked casserole.

    Surpisingly, I wasn’t the one who ordered the fettucini alfredo, but I’m going to have to go back and try it.

    The sausage and peppers are served over your choice of pasta.  The waitress did submit the wrong order to the kitchen, but got it fixed pretty quickly. 

    Underneath the layer of mozzarella, there was a cheese ravioli, stuffed shells, and manicotti.   The sauce had a little sweetness to it which I liked.   For $7, this was a great lunch item.  None of the items were over $10.

    I’ll definitely have to go back and try some other things.  As were leaving, we saw another table with pizza and it looked really good.  

    Zerillo’s Italian Grill
    11653 Countryway Blvd
    Tampa, FL

    Zerillo's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Italian, Tampa