The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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My only criteria for lunch today was somewhere that I could look out over the water.  We ended up at Whiskey Joe’s over the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa.

We chose a nice shaded table by the door so we got a little burst of air conditioning as people walked in and out.  We had a great view of the bay and the beach.  This is what living in Florida is all about.

Loren ordered the blackened grouper which came with a creole cognac sauce and shrimp, rice and broccoli.

The creole sauce wasn’t overly spicy, but had a lot of flavor.  The grouper was nicely blackened.  He could have used a knife to cut through the large broccoli pieces though.

I ordered the shrimp po’boy with fries.

Unfortunately, the menu didn’t mention the spicy remoulade sauce that was on the bread.  It was spicier than the creole sauce on Loren’s fish.  I ended up eating half the sandwich since the sauce was soaked into the bread and just ate the rest of the shrimp off the plate.  There were a lot of shrimp too.  Nice and crunchy and the fries were really good. 

I couldn’t pass up the mud pie for dessert.

Yes, it’s huge!  An Oreo cookie crust, topped with a layer of Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream mixed with Butterfingers, then topped with Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream, whipped cream and a fudge sauce.  I don’t think we could have finished it even if we hadn’t just eaten lunch. 

Total bill was $38.  The food was good and the view was awesome. 

Whiskey Joe’s
7720 Courtney Campbell
Tampa, FL
813-281-0770

Whiskey Joe's on Urbanspoon

Food0/5
Service0/5
Atmosphere0/5
Value0/5
0.0/5
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  • Filed under: American, Seafood, Tampa
  • My friend Cathy suggested Thai food for lunch and that’s something I never say no to.  Amarit Thai is fairly close to work, so off we went.

    Same starter as usual, chicken rice soup and a spring roll.

    My spring roll was a little mushy this time.  I think they may have spilled some soup onto the plate.  But, otherwise pretty tasty.

    Cathy got a chicken curry dish and I ordered the Pad Thai.

    Since I don’t like sprouts, green onions, or peanuts, I asked to get the Pad Thai with shrimp, egg, and noodles only.  The waiter interpreted that as “no vegetables”, so I ended up with peanuts on it.  The crunch of peanuts just doesn’t work in a noodle dish for me.  And maybe I’m being picky, but I just think 4 shrimp seems kind of skimpy.

    The restaurant was busy today and the waiter kept forgetting to get us a to-go box.  Overall, it wasn’t the best experience I’ve had here.  Total lunch for me was about $11.

    Amarit Thai
    328 East Lake Road
    Palm Harbor, FL
    (727) 789-9186

    Amarit Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value3/5
    3.2/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Palm Harbor, Thai
  • Didn’t have anything good to bring for lunch today, so I called up Loren and we headed over to YoYo Sushi in Oldsmar.  There wasn’t anyone else in the restaurant when we got there at noon and only one other customer showed up while we there.  Guess not too many people go out for sushi for lunch on a Tuesday.

    My favorite roll here is the Washington roll.  Inside it has crab, cucumber and avacado and outside it’s rolled in salmon.

    The first time we ate here, the salmon really stole the show.  One bite and I was hooked.  It has such a great texture and flavor.  I have yet to be disappointed. 

    We also got two of their lunch specials.  They have about 10 rolls you can choose from and you get 2 for $8.95.  We ordered a California Tempura roll, a Shrimp Crunch roll, a Spicy Tuna roll, and a Yellowtail roll.

    I liked the Shrimp Crunch roll best out of these.   The California tempura roll just didn’t work for me.  The tempura didn’t have any flavor and the avacado and cucumber didn’t fair well during the tempura process.  The light, fresh crunch you get from a California roll just got lost. 

    Loren ate the spicy tuna roll and thought it was good.  I won’t touch spicy tuna.  He said this one doesn’t have an overbearing heat, which was good.  He liked the Yellowtail roll, but I thought the roe on it was too salty. 

    A little expensive for lunch, $32, but sometimes you just gotta have some sushi. 

    YoYo Sushi
    300 State St E, #110
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-814-0216

    Yoyo Sushi on Urbanspoon

    Food0/5
    Service0/5
    Atmosphere0/5
    Value0/5
    0.0/5
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  • Filed under: Oldsmar, Sushi
  • We got a $10 coupon for Bonefish Grill in the mail today, so we headed out there for dinner.  Talk about immediate results from a mailing campaign. 

    Luckily, we went out for dinner a little later tonight because when we got to the restaurant there were a bunch of teenagers just finishing up and leaving for prom.  We timed it just right and were able to get a table without a wait.  I gotta say, those kids were really decked out in their suits and gowns.

    We were both pretty hungry after a long day for Loren at the autocross track and me at the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration.  We started out with the Singapore Calamari.

    I gotta say, this was some of the best calamari I’ve had in a while.  It was really fresh and had a nice crunchy coating on it.   It was mixed with peppers and served with a sweet and spicy Asian dipping sauce.  The dipping sauce was too spicy for me, but Loren liked it.  

    I have to add a note in here about the service and attention to detail.  Two plates were placed on our table stacked on top of each other for the appetizer.  When the appetizer was brought to the table, the waiter went to pass out the plates and noticed one had something on it and immediately went back to get us another one.  I know this seems like common sense, but too often something like that isn’t even noticed by the staff at other restaurants and we would have had to have said something about it. 

    I got a cup of their corn chowder with lump crab.

    There were some big chunks of crab in the soup which was really nice.  I’m a big fan of corn chowder and this is a wonderful version of it.

    Loren got a salad with his entree and they brought out some bread and olive oil to dip it in.

    The bread was nice and crusty on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside, just the way it should be. 

    For our entrees, we both ordered off of the specials menu.  Loren got the Deluxe Mixed Grill, which was a sirloin steak, scallops and shrimp.

    He said the shrimp were overcooked, but everything else was done just right.  They gave him some scalloped potatoes even though he had chosen a salad as his side dish and they served a chick pea garnish on both of our plates. 

    I got Lily’s Atlantic Salmon with jasmine rice.

    The salmon was served with spinach, artichokes and goat cheese.  It was really good.  By this point, I was pretty full, so most of it came home as leftovers, except for the chick peas, those just didn’t do it for me.

    With our $10 off coupon, the total bill came to$36.  Not bad for the amount of really good food that we got.  We don’t eat at Bonefish very often, but I’m not sure why.  Every time we’ve been, we’ve gotten great service and really tasty, interesting food. 

    Bonefish Grill
    2519 McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-726-1315

    Bonefish Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food0/5
    Service0/5
    Atmosphere0/5
    Value0/5
    0.0/5

    Looking for somewhere different to eat for dinner tonight, Loren suggested Indian food.  Neither of us had been to an Indian restaurant before, but the reviews for Laziz Indian Cuisine were good, so we gave it a try.  I was skeptical, thinking the food was going to be very spicy, but surprisingly, the two dishes we got were rather mild.

    They brought a basket to the table to start off.

    I don’t know what it was, sort of a crispy tortilla with a tomato/onion salsa.  Seems so wrong to describe this like a Mexican dish, but I don’t know how else to describe it.  Loren liked it.  I thought the tortilla had a dark flavor to it that I just didn’t like.   We thought the tomato mixture had peppers in it, but was actually just tomatoes, onions, and spices. 

    We ordered some garlic naan bread with a side of cucumber raita, which was like a Greek tzatziki sauce.

    The naan bread had a wonderful texture and there was a lot of it.  It was soft with a nice touch of garlic.  The cucumber sauce was a very thin sauce, not thick like you find in a Greek restaurant, but very good with the bread.

    For our entrees, I ordered the shrimp Makhani and Loren ordered the chicken Jalfrezi, both came with basmati rice.

    I ordered mine mild and Loren ordered his medium spicy.  Neither were very spicy at all, but both had very deep, rich complex flavors.   When Loren mentioned his wasn’t very spicy, they brought him a container of spicy sauce.  He really enjoyed the flavor combinations. 

    The tomato cream sauce on mine was thick and rich and perfectly matched  with the shrimp and rice.  Normally Loren doesn’t like a sauce like that, but he kept dipping the naan bread in it.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it had cilantro sprinkled on it and the cilantro flavor was overwhelming at times.

    Overall, it was a very enjoyable meal.  The service was very good and they explained a lot of the flavor profiles to us.  We’d definitely go back and try some other dishes.  They recommended we come for the lunch buffet in order to try several different things at one time.

    Total bill was $37 and we both left with happy taste buds and full bellies. 

    Laziz Indian Cuisine
    2475 N McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-7541

    Laziz Authentic Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    Food0/5
    Service0/5
    Atmosphere0/5
    Value0/5
    0.0/5
  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Indian