The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Tasty Thai

We ate lunch at Siam Thai in Westchase today.  The restaurant was completely empty at noon on a Sunday.  We weren’t sure if that was an omen or not. 

We both started off with some soup.  Loren ordered the chicken and rice and I got the Tom Kha.

They were both fairly big bowls of tasty soup.  The Tom Kha had a wonderful lime flavor,  but there were way too many chopped onions in it.  We also ordered some egg rolls.

Crisp and crunchy with a slightly spicy dipping sauce.  Between these and the soup, I didn’t even need an entree.  Loren ordered the ginger chicken and I got the masaman curry with shrimp.

Both were tasty.  My only concern with my dish, though, was that I tried to order it without certain items and was told that couldn’t be done.  I was able to pick around the things I didn’t like, but if you’ve got peanut allergies, stay away from this dish because they weren’t willing to make it without them.

We both ended up with some leftovers.  Total bill was $36.  There wasn’t anything that really distiguished this place from any of the other Thai restaurants that we’ve eaten at.

Siam Thai Restaurant
9546 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL

Siam Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Tampa, Thai, West Chase
  • To Go Greek

    I was driving through Tarpon Springs around lunchtime and stopped at Mama Maria’s Greek Cuisine for some take out.  I was craving my favorite Greek dish, pastitsio.

    The dish is served with a choice of soup or salad, so I chose the avgolemono soup.  It was pretty good.  The lemon wasn’t overwhelmingly tart, which is a good thing.  I’ve had the soup at other places and it just makes your mouth pucker.   It also came with a side and I chose the Greek potatoes.  They were tender, but didn’t have a lot of flavor at all. 

    Unfortunately, the pastitsio fell into the same category as the potatoes.  It tasted ok, but really didn’t have any strong flavors.  I expect a hint of nutmeg and didn’t taste any and the bechamel sauce was a little rubbery.  I guess I just wanted a burst of fresh flavors when I took that first bite.  That unique flavor combination that says, “this is Greek food”.    The staff seemed friendly and the restaurant was pretty full, so maybe I just didn’t choose the best item on the menu.  Total bill was $12.

    Mama Maria’s Greek Cuisine
    503 N Pinellas Ave
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    (727) 934-5678

    Mama Maria's Greek Cusine on Urbanspoon


    After going to see “The Green Hornet” this morning at the movies, we went over to MecaFresh in Oldsmar for lunch.  It’s hard to beat the coupons for a good value.  We must have just missed the lunch crowd because they weren’t very busy.

    Loren ordered a combination of the ahi tuna salad and the “other soup”, Manhattan clam chowder.

    The combos here are really a good deal, $8 for any combo of soup, salad or panini.  He had some beautiful pieces of ahi tuna on his salad.  He thought the chowder was watery and that there were too many potatoes in it, but I liked it.   Yes, believe it or not, I even went for the other soup today instead of the lobster bisque.

    I like a lot of potatoes and veggies in my soup.  It didn’t have a lot of clam flavor and could have used a little more salt, but I still thought it was pretty tasty.   It had a deep herb flavor.  I also ordered one of their specials today, the broccoli, bacon and cheese fritatta.

    The first couple of bites were good, but then I realized just how cold the rest of it was.  It was very disappointing.  The waitress took it back in the kitchen and warmed it up for me, but seriously, isn’t food temperature part of cooking 101?   Once it was warmed up, though, it did have a nice consistency, texture and flavor.  Lots of broccoli, a bit of herbs on top, and the bacon wasn’t overwhelming, but added a hint of smokiness.

    After the $10 coupon and with a drink, the total bill was $13.

    3235 Tampa Road
    Palm Harbor, FL

    Mecafresh Cafe on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Oldsmar
  • It’s been a while since we had Chinese food, so we made our way over to Big Bok Choy in Oldsmar.  It was around 6:30pm when we got there and they weren’t very busy, but by 7pm, the entire restaurant was full.  Unfortunately, it seemed the kitchen got overwhelmed and the owner was trying very hard to keep up with the dining room.   We watched one table  just get up and leave after getting their menus and another party came in, saw the crowd and left.  

    In this economy, being busy is definitely a problem you want to have and for the most part, it did seem as though the customers were willing to wait the extra time for their food.   I’ve always found that our patience has been rewarded. 

    I say this every time we eat here, the family that owns the restaurant is just very friendly.  She recognizes us and remembers things about us as well.  She started us off with some spring rolls.

    Light and crunchy with a really nice flavor.  Loren was trying to save room for his dinner, so I ate most of it with the sweet dipping sauce.  I finally remembered to ask what the other veggie besides carrots were on the side of the plate.  It’s daikon radish.  I know it’s just a garnish, but it’s one of those simple little things that has such a fresh flavor to it. 

    We both got the wonton soup.

    This is Loren’s bowl, because they remember here that I don’t like scallions.  Loren got the hunan beef with evil hot peppers in it.

    He said the beef was very tender.  He likes this dish because of all the veggies.  It’s funny if you look at his plate halfway through since there’s a line of peppers all around the edge of the plate.  Surprisingly, he even had some leftovers.   I tried something different this time, the Lemon Chicken.

    It was a very attractive presentation with all the thinly sliced lemon sections on top and it had a wonderful lemon aroma as well.  The sauce was fairly thin and very tart.  With just the rice, it was a little too tart, but with the chicken it blended very well. 

    Total dinner with a drink was $37.  As I said at the beginning, they were very busy, so we were there for quite a while.  Regardless though, the owner always had a smile on her face and stopped to chat for a minute with the regular customers.

    Big Bok Choy Bistro
    3730 Tampa Road #6
    Oldsmar, FL

    Big Bok Choy Bistro on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Chinese, Oldsmar
  • Sushi Sunday

    We were in the mood for sushi tonight, so we headed over to Ban Thai on McMullen Booth.  Even on a Sunday night, the restaurant was pretty busy, but we were able to get a booth without a wait.

    Since it was pretty darn cold out, we both got some soup; Loren got the chicken and rice, I got the wonton.

    Both of them were tasty.  Mine had a lot of sprouts in it that I ate around, but the wontons were very flavorful.

    Did we order too much sushi?  Of course we did.

    This behemoth is the lobster roll.  In the rolls, there’s tempura lobster, avocado, lettuce, and cucumber.  There’s also half a lobster tail on top.  I love this roll.  It’s enough for a meal in itself.  It also has some mayo and eel sauce on it, so Loren doesn’t like it all that much, but that just means more for me. 

    We also got a Mexican roll, a California roll, and a Rainbow roll, plus some salmon.  The spicy mayo on the Mexican roll was just a bit too spicy for me this time.  The California roll was very fresh and flavorful.  Loren even commented on how we get that roll at most sushi places and that it’s so refreshing when it really stands out.  The Rainbow roll was also very good.  The salmon and tuna were very fresh. 

    Total bill was $56.  I do think the sushi is a bit more expensive here, but it’s usually well worth it.

    Ban Thai Restaurant
    2519 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL

    Ban Thai on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Clearwater, Sushi