The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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New Specials


It’s time for the new specials at Craft Street Kitchen, so we had to go check them out.  Ok, so we would have gone there anyway, but it’s always fun to try something new on the menu and this one did not disappoint.  It’s called the Swamp Thing.

When I read what was in it, I honestly didn’t know how they were going to pull it off.  It’s an open faced sandwich with brisket, calamari, scallops, crawfish, and shrimp with a spicy sauce on an Amoroso roll.  It was delicious.  The brisket was so tender and the seafood was all cooked perfectly.  I may need to have another one of these before the month is out.  Loren went for their Green Street salad with chicken.

He gotten this one before for good reason.  Tasty chicken with a fresh salad including walnuts, dried cranberries, green apple, grapes and he substituted the gorganzola cheese for goat cheese.  Total bill with a drink was $34.

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
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • 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
  • Greek Seafood


    We were over in Clearwater tonight and ended up at Greektown Grille for dinner.  It’s been a while since we’ve been here, but luckily we got here early and it wasn’t too crowded.  They started us off with very yummy bread.

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    This was one of those addictive breads.  We had to move the basket away or we weren’t going to eat any of our dinner.  Soft and thick and just yummy.  We ordered the crab and spinach dip appetizer.

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    Though neither of us could actually identify any crab in the dip, it was still very good.  There weren’t really enough pita chips to finish the dip, but I don’t think there was any way we were going to finish it anyway.  Loren ordered the seafood platter.

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    It came with calamari, flounder and shrimp along with some rice and horta.  We had no idea what horta was and it turns out it was boiled greens similar to spinach.  The rice was a little on the spicy side and the fish was covered in a lobster cream sauce.  I ordered the seafood pasta which had the same lobster cream sauce on it.

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    My dinner also came with a small Greek salad.  The seafood pasta had both shrimp and scallops, but there really weren’t a lot of scallops in it.  Some little pieces and maybe one full sized scallop.  There was something about the lobster cream sauce that I didn’t really like.  I can’t put my finger on what the flavor was, but it just wasn’t vibrant enough.  I know that’s a vague description, but there are sauces that sing to me and this one was just flat.  Total bill with a drink was $50.

    Greektown Grille
    1230 Cleveland St
    Clearwater, FL
    727-447-7800

    Greektown Grille on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Greek
  • We didn’t realize there was an art festival going on in Dunedin today, so we had to drive around to find parking before we could get to Café Alfresco.   Luckily, they still had some tables available for dinner.  Loren decided to try the Cajun seafood pasta tonight.

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    The dish had mussels, scallops and shrimp in a tangy, spicy sauce.  He said it was tasty.  I tasted it and it was a bit too spicy for me.  I went for the chicken marsala.

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    Though the marsala sauce had good flavor, the chicken itself was very under seasoned.   I rarely add salt to my food, but this had to have some.  The pasta was good with the sauce, but the veggies were a bit on the crunchy side.  We both ended up with some leftovers.  Total bill with a drink was $34.

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

    Cafe Alfresco on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Dunedin
  • Sirio


    Tonight’s dinner was at Sirio Ristorante with some co-workers.  This was probably the most upscale restaurant I ate at while in Vegas.  The food was excellent, but the prices were pretty outrageous.

    We started off with an antipasti platter and some bread.

    There were several different types of bread and they were all very good.  I didn’t eat much off of the antipasti platter.  I found the flavors on both the cheeses and meats to be too harsh for my tastes.  The guys at the table really enjoyed it though.

    I ordered the Cappellacci, a cheese & spinach stuffed pasta.

    It was very thick and dense, but overall had some good flavors.  Other dishes ordered around the table were the Lobster Risotto, a seafood pasta, and a pork three ways dish.

    Everyone seemed very happy with their meals.  I tasted the lobster risotto and it was good, but had a really strong flavor to it.  I don’t think I’d have been able to eat an entire bowl of it.  I didn’t see the final total on the check, but it definitely wasn’t cheap.

    Sirio Ristorante
    3730 Las Vegas Blvd S
    Las Vegas, NV
    (877) 230-2742

    Sirio Ristorante on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    3.3/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Italian, Las Vegas