The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

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When we were at Sabai Thai last night we noticed that a new Greek restaurant just opened up next door called Taverna Skara.  It’s a light and airy looking restaurant and they weren’t busy at all when we got there.  They brought pita and olives to the table while we looked at the menus.

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Loren said the olives were really good and I enjoyed the pita, though I would have liked something to dip it in.  We decided to try the fried calamari for an appetizer.

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This was a mixed bag of tender and chewy pieces of calamari.  It seemed as though the pieces that kept their coating were fairly tender, but other pieces ended up being overcooked.  The dish definitely needed salt and I didn’t like the way it was served in the cone.  It made it very hard to get pieces out and dripped oil and crumbs all over the table.

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For his entrée, Loren got the pork souvlaki platter.

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It had pork, rice, pita, Greek salad and tzatziki sauce.  He enjoyed it and ended up with way more pita and rice than he could eat.  The tzatziki sauce had an interesting flavor to it.  I can’t quite put my finger on what was different about it, but there was something.  I tried the pastitsio.

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This was a very good version of the dish.  The flavors were all there, the pasta was tender and the béchamel sauce was creamy and had good flavor.   My only criticism was that they melted some cheese on top that formed a hard crust.  I just didn’t care for that.  I also would have liked if it had been served with a small Greek salad.   Most of the other entrees on the menu were served with a side or salad, so it seemed odd that the items on the Traditional Greek Entree list were not.

Service was very attentive, almost too attentive, but I’m guessing it’s because they’re new and there weren’t too many customers in the restaurant.   Overall, the food was good and we’ll probably be back again to try some other dishes.   Total bill with a drink was $43.

Taverna Skara
2454 McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL
727-726-9000

Taverna Skara on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value3/5
3.5/5

Not the Same


The last time we ate at Benedict’s in Dunedin was in 2010.  Where has the time gone?  Unfortunately, our experience today didn’t live up to what I remembered about the food here.

Loren got souvlaki and I went for some breakfast.

He said it was seasoned ok, but didn’t taste like it had been marinated and wasn’t very tender at all.  I ordered scrambled eggs with cheese, home fries, and pancakes.

It’s funny what you remember about a restaurant.  The last time we were here, I was so impressed with the way they made my eggs with cheese.  The eggs were cooked with the cheese, so they were ooey, gooey and yummy.  This time, not so much.  The cheese was sprinkled on top after the eggs were cooked, so the whole thing was just dry and rubbery.  The home fries were ok, but the pancakes were on the thin side, so not quite light and fluffy.   Total bill with a drink was $18.

Benedict’s Restaurant
2676 Bayshore Blvd
Dunedin, FL
727-736-1600

Benedict's on Urbanspoon

 

It’s funny what sticks with you about a restaurant.  The only thing I remembered about it was that they did a really great job

Food2/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
2.6/5

We had a Restaurant.com coupon for Greektown Grille and headed over there for dinner tonight.   Loren’s son Alex moved back in temporarily and he joined us for dinner tonight.

We started off with some calamari which came with a lemon sauce for dipping.

The calamari was very tender.  Even the tentacle pieces were surprisingly tender.  The lemon dipping sauce didn’t really have a lot of lemon flavor and had the consistency of mayonnaise.

I ordered the Moussaka which came with a Greek salad.

Their Greek salad dressing was very weak and there wasn’t a lot of it on the salad.  I’m used to very flavorful Greek salad dressings and this was more like just a splash of oil and vinegar which is odd since the last time we were here the dressing was very good.

The Moussaka had some really nice flavors in it though.  Layers of eggplant, zucchini, beef and potatoes topped with a bechemal sauce and a flavorful tomato sauce.  The lemon potatoes on the side weren’t cooked long enough, but I didn’t have room to eat them anyway.

Alex and Loren ordered the Souvlaki and Gyro platters.

The gyro meat was very tasty and not greasy at all.  It was probably some of the best we’ve tasted.  Plus there was enough on the plate for at least two meals.  The souvlaki pork could have been a little more tender, but otherwise it was pretty good.

We decided to try some desserts tonight.  Loren ordered the baklava and I ordered the galaktobouriko which is a custard dessert inside phyllo dough layers.

The baklava was very dense and chock full of walnuts.  Loren liked it. 

I found the galaktobouriko to be inedible.  The custard had the consistency of old, overcooked jello.  It wasn’t creamy at all, just very rubbery. 

After the $25 coupon, the bill came to $37 and we had lots of leftovers.

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

Greektown Grille on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value4/5
3.2/5
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  • Filed under: Clearwater, Greek
  • We didn’t feel like driving too far for dinner tonight, so we headed over to Panos Kouzina.  On my quest to try new restaurants, we haven’t been back to our old favorites for a while.

    The food here is consistently good, they give you plenty of it, and their prices aren’t bad at all.  Both our entrees came with either soup or salad and some bread.  We both opted for salad tonight.

    My only complaint was that the salad had chopped onions on it.  I’m not a fan of raw onions on anything and it took a while to pick all these off the salad.  The ranch dressing was very thick, but tasty, and the bread was thick and warm.  I’d forgotten how good it was.

    Loren got the chicken souvlaki with a side of fries.  He said the chicken was very tender.  The tzatziki sauce here is really garlicy. 

    I ordered the chicken marsala with a side of fettucine alfredo.

    The marsala sauce here is very sweet.  Loren said it tasted like molasses, but I didn’t think it was that harsh of a flavor.  I enjoyed it.   The dish came with two good sized chicken breasts that were incredibly tender.  This is how chicken should be cooked.  The fettucine alfredo was thick and creamy with a nice flavor.  I had plenty of leftovers and yet, I still ordered dessert.

    How was I possibly going to pass up this chocolate lovin’ spoon cake?  The waitress described it as a “prison dessert” because you eat it huddled over with your arms around it ready to poke anyone with a fork who tries to get too close to it.  It was pretty darn good.  It had a thick, rich mousse and tender chocolate cake.  What’s not to like?

    Total dinner was $33 and I’ve got leftover chicken and even a little cake for tomorrow.

    Panos Kouzina
    3101 SR 580
    Safety Harbor, FL
    (727) 797–2667

    Panos Kouzina on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.0/5

    We went to the movies this morning and saw “The A-Team” and then headed out to Tarpon Springs for lunch.  We drove through the Sponge Docks and ended up at Costa’s for lunch.

    Some bread for the table is always appreciated in my book.

    It would have been better warm, but otherwise it was nice and fresh.  My entree came with a salad.

    Lots of feta cheese on top and a tangy dressing.  We also ordered some dolmades.

    Loren enjoyed them.  Not too much rice inside and a nicely flavored filling.  He ordered the souvlaki sandwich.

    He said the pork was tender and overall it was pretty tasty.  I ordered the pastitsio.

    I thought it was really bland.  The texture was good, but it just didn’t have a lot of flavor.  I’ve had this dish at several restaurants and this was just lacking compared to others.

    I also have to mention the service at the restaurant as it was rather non-existent.  Our food came really fast.  Normally, this isn’t an issue, but when you’re still eating one course, you don’t expect the next before you finish.  Once our entrees arrived, we never saw our waitress again.  She never cleared any plates from the table or came back to ask if everything was ok or if we needed refills.  Luckily, we didn’t need anything else. 

    Lunch ran us $25.  We haven’t eaten at a lot of places in Tarpon Springs, but I think we’ll try some others before we try Costas again.

    Costas
    521 Athens Street
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    727-938-6890

    Costa's on Urbanspoon

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