The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We took a road trip up to Cedar Key today to try the championship clam chowder at Tony’s Seafood Restaurant.  The restaurant was packed, but luckily some tables had just cleared and we were able to get a table without much of a wait.  There’s actually a front and back dining room and every table had some bowls of chowder on them.

We ordered both a cup and a bowl and I can understand why they’ve won world championships with this recipe.

It was a very creamy chowder filled with chunks of clam, potato, and a little bit of heat.  It’s one of those dishes that has a good mouth feel to it. I did think it was priced a bit high, but the quality was there, so it was worth it.

Loren got a blackened grouper sandwich with fries.

He enjoyed it.  He said the fish was tender and the crispy blackened coating gave it just the right amount of crunch.  I ordered the fried seafood combo with shrimp, scallops and grouper.  It also came with salad and cole slaw.

It was too much food for me.  Just the shrimp and scallops would have been enough.  The breading was light and tasty. The seafood was definitely fresh.  Service was a bit lacking at times though.  Our waitress would disappear for quite a while and we’d begun to think she had forgotten about us when it was time to get the check.  Total bill was $43.  If you’re in the area, definitely stop by for some chowder.

Tony’s Seafood Restaurant
597 2nd Street
Cedar Key, FL

Tony's Seafood on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Cedar Key, Seafood
  • I’m the first to admit that I’m not a fan of dining in restaurants where there are a lot of young children around, but having a little kid at the hibachi table at Arigato makes the dining experience a little more entertaining.  The chefs play up to the kids and really seem to get into the show more when there’s a wide eyed child watching their every move.

    We like Arigato more than Kobe when we’re in the mood for hibachi dining.  They started us off with soup and salad.

    Pretty standard for one of these restaurants.  Loren ordered the chicken, steak, and shrimp and I got the steak, shrimp and scallops.  Rice and veggies come with it and I spend so much time eating the rice and veggies that by the time the rest of the meal comes I’m usually quite full.

    Our chef was entertaining, the food was cooked well, and overall the meal was enjoyable.  I think I’d like it better if they limited the tables to 8 people rather than 10 because it did feel a little crowded.  Loren had to send back his iced tea and ended up not drinking the soda he got either because the fountain mix wasn’t quite right.  Overall service was pretty good though.  Total bill was $65.

    26508 US 19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    Arigato Japanese Steak House on Urbanspoon


    We’ve driven by Mike’s Sushi in Palm Harbor quite a few times, but never went in because of the name.  We just couldn’t picture a guy named Mike making awesome sushi.  What we didn’t realize, until we looked up the website, is that Mike is a Japanese gentleman whose name is just difficult to pronounce so he goes by Mike instead.  I’m so glad we decided to give it a try because the sushi and atmosphere were both great.

    From the moment we walked in, we were greeted with friendly hellos and smiles from the entire staff.  It’s not a very big restaurant, but they had quite a few people working there which meant drinks were kept filled and empty plates were removed quickly.

    Loren started off with a salad and they also brought over some sprouts.

    For sushi, we ordered a Rainbow roll, a Mexican roll, a Special Scallops roll, a Spicy Salmon roll, a Lobster roll, and a “make your own roll”, plus two pieces of salmon.  Surprisingly, we ate every last bit of it.

    I liked being able to create my own roll.  I chose salmon, tuna, avocado, cucumber and mayo.  It was tasty. 

     The fish on all of the rolls was very fresh.  One of the things I really liked about this place is that they didn’t drown everything in goopy sauces, so you could actually taste the freshness of the fish.  Another nice touch is that they had a bottle of eel sauce on the table, which I like way more than soy sauce.  Loren said the spicy salmon was spicy enough to be enjoyable but not overpowering.  Both the lobster & shrimp were cooked perfectly. 

    We’ve been to a few places where they slice the rolls very thick, making them difficult to eat in one bite.  Here, you got 10 thinner pieces which were much easier to just pop in your mouth.  There really wasn’t anything about this experience that I didn’t like.  It’s definitely on our list of sushi places to try again.  Total bill with a drink was $58.

    Mike’s Sushi
    33855 Us-19 N
    Palm Harbor, FL
    (727) 410-3234

    Mike's Sushi on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Palm Harbor, Sushi
  • Had lunch at Daddy’s Grill today.  One of the specials was their fish on a bun sandwich plus soup for $8.

    The soup today was a shrimp chowder.  It’s a meal in itself.  Really thick and creamy.  I would have liked it to come out ahead of the sandwich, but instead it came out slightly after.  The fish on a bun is cod and it’s ok.  Crispy on the outside and white flaky tender fish inside.  For the price, it’s a pretty good deal for lunch.

    Daddy’s Grill
    3682 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 891-6556

    Daddy's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • When we just want a quick, inexpensive meal, we have a few restaurants on our short list.  Poblano’s is one of them and that’s where we went tonight.  They weren’t too busy, in fact they had half of the restaurant closed off for the evening.

    Loren said the salsa was better this time.  A bit fresher with more chunks of tomato.  He ordered the burritos tipico with the cheese sauce on the side, so I ended up dipping some chips in it. 

    That’s a whole lot of refried beans on that plate.  He said the burritos were ok, nothing special, but for $9, they satisfied his hunger.   As for me, someday, I will learn to not order shrimp at a non-seafood restaurant.

    In my defense though, the last time I ordered the shrimp chimichanga here, it was pretty good.  This time, the shrimp had a definite frozen taste.  There’s a right way and a wrong way to defrost shrimp.  They failed miserably this time.

    Our server wasn’t great either.  He’d disappear for long periods of time and there was something about him that I just didn’t like.  I can’t put my finger on it, but he just didn’t impress.  Total bill was $24 with a drink.

    Poblanos Mexican Grill
    245 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL

    Poblano Mexican Grill and Bar on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Clearwater, Mexican