The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Tonight we went over to La Trattoria Da Gaetano in Dunedin for dinner.  This is one of those places that makes you feel like you’ve walked into an Italian Grandma’s kitchen.  From the pictures on the walls to the red & white checkerboard tables, it just has old world Italy written all over it.  If you’ve never been here, it’s a little odd in that they don’t have a menu.  First, they drop off bread at the table and then for the appetizers, they bring over what’s available that day.  Tonight there were artichokes, stuffed mushrooms, and cheese stuffed rollatini.  We got a couple of mushrooms and split the rollatini so we’d have room for our entrees.

Everything’s made fresh that day.  I could have eaten a few of each and not thought twice about it.  Once you finished up your appetizers, they come around with a cart of proteins and list off all of the different ways they can cook them.  They’ll pretty much accommodate whatever you want.  Surf or turf, they have ways to cook all of it.  I come here specifically for the amaretto cream sauce with crab and pasta.

It’s all about the sauce for me.  It has one of those flavors that makes my tastebuds sing.  The sauce is a bit on the sweet side and goes perfectly with crab and pasta.  I all but lick the bowl.  Loren went for a NY strip steak with garlic and a side of spaghetti.

He said the steak was tender and there was plenty of garlic on top.  It’s a simple dish, done right.  We ordered the ricotta cheesecake for dessert.

It’s not a smooth and creamy cheesecake and honestly, not one of my favorites.  It’s dense and just doesn’t have the right mouth-feel to me.  Otherwise, though, it was an enjoyable meal.  Total bill with a drink was $69.

La Trattoria Da Gaetano
2152 Main St
Dunedin, FL
(727) 733-5664

La Trattoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.7/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • Mee Krob


    We ate dinner at Thai Nana tonight in Palm Harbor because I was craving some Mee Krob.

    DSC01666

    It’s a very simple crispy noodle dish with a tamarind sauce on it.  It’s addictive.  A bit on the sweet side and the crunchy noodles just melt in your mouth.  There’s also a couple of shrimp and some chicken it in, but it’s all about the noodles and sauce.  And speaking of noodles and sauce, I ordered some Pad Thai for my dinner.

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    Since I don’t like bean sprouts or peanuts, my Pad Thai is always a bit on the plain side, but tasty.  The pad thai sauce was on the sweet side too, so I was a bit overwhelmed with it & the appetizer.  Loren ordered a steak dish.

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    He said it was tender, but desperately needed the sauce that came with it.  I think he would have been happier if it had been a dish where everything was mixed and cooked together so all of the flavors could have melded together more.  Service here is really slow.  We had to wait in the front for a while before someone came to seat us and it seemed like they were understaffed for the number of customers.  Total bill with a drink was $36.

    Thai Nana
    1462 Alt 19
    Palm Harbor, FL
    (727) 787-0189

    Thai Nana on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value2/5
    2.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Palm Harbor, Thai
  • We made the mistake of stopping at the first place we saw open for dinner, the Lighthouse Restaurant in Seal Harbor.  We should have known when the waiter didn’t even acknowledge us when we walked in that this was not the place for dinner.  The restaurant only had two other tables of customers and it took over 30 minutes for our appetizers to come out.  Our dinner came with salads and instead of bringing them and the bread out first, we just sat there & waited.

    Stuffed Mushrooms

    Lobster Stew

    The stuffed mushrooms were ok, but their version of lobster stew just didn’t compare at all to the others we’d eaten during our trip.  I don’t know what was missing, but it just wasn’t up to expectations. The bread was very herbaceous which overwhelmed the honey butter served with it.

    Bread

    Salad

    Loren ordered the peppercorn steak.  It was not quite the medium he ordered and not a very tender piece of meat.  I ordered the seafood alfredo.

    Peppercorn Steak

    Seafood Pasta

    This was awful.  The pasta was overcooked and the alfredo sauce was thin and watery.  The seafood all tasted like it had been boiled. We just couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Worst meal of the trip and $74 to boot.

    Lighthouse Restaurant
    12 Main St
    Seal Harbor, ME
    207-276-3958

    Lighthouse Inn & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food1/5
    Service1/5
    Atmosphere1/5
    Value1/5
    1.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Maine, Seafood
  • We’re staying in Bar Harbor, Maine for the week and went downtown for dinner.  It was crazy busy and we ended up at Poor Boy’s Gourmet for dinner.  We had about a 30 minute wait and then got seated in an awkward table behind the bar and in front of the stairs.

    They brought out some rolls and then we started off with the clam chowder and the crab cake appetizer.

    Rolls

    Clam Chowder

    Crab Cake

    The rolls were hot and fresh and tasty.  We’re fans of a thick, creamy chowder and this one was very thin and soupy.  It had a good flavor though.  We were a bit surprised that the $9 crab cake appetizer only had one crab cake.  This is when you know you’re in a tourist trap town.  The crab cake was delicious though.  Full of crab, very little filler and a nice mix of spices.  The restaurant was packed, so it took a while for our entrees to come out.  Loren ordered the surf & turf which came with mashed potatoes and peas.

    Surf and Turf

    Garlic Mashed and Peas

    The lobster on top was perfectly cooked and the steak was amazingly tender and flavorful.  I stole a few bites and it was very good.  The side dishes; however, were not.  I ordered the lobster Poor Boy pasta.

    Lobster Poor Boy

    broccoli

    The lobster was tossed in a creamy sherry wine sauce over farfalle pasta.  The flavors were perfect in the sauce.  The lobster was cooked ok.  I thought the tail pieces were a little too chewy.  Overall though, a tasty dish.  Mine also came with a side dish and I chose the broccoli.  It was a cold dish and tasted like the dressing on pasta salad.  Let’s just say side dishes are not their specialty. We also got a piece of the white chocolate blueberry cheesecake to take back to our cabin and it was divine.

    White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake

    Creamy and delicious with a good graham cracker crust.  Service was ok, but there were times when I felt as though we had been forgotten.  Total bill with a drink was $88.

    Poor Boy’s Gourmet
    300 Main St
    Bar Harbor, ME
    (207) 288-4148

    Poor Boy's Gourmet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5

    There are some restaurants where after the first bite you just know that you’re going to come back again.  That was our reaction at Zaytoun Mediterranean Grill.  When a basket of fresh baked pita is placed in front of you and steam actually pours out when you rip into it, you know life is good.

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    It was so light and fluffy that I couldn’t stop eating it even though I knew there was a lot more food heading our way.  We decided to try the stuffed grape leaves.

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    I’m usually the picky one about stuffed grape leaves, but I really liked these.  They were served cold and had this intense lemon flavor throughout.  The filling was rice, parsley, onions and tomatoes and it was soft and flavorful.  Loren thought the rice was a little too soft, but for me, they were perfect.   We also got a bowl of the lentil soup.

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    It needed a touch of salt, but otherwise very good.  We decided to split the mixed grill platter.  It had grilled kufta, steak, chicken, rice and veggies.

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    There was plenty of food for two.  The meats were all tender and full of flavor.  The beef was a little too spicy for me, but the kufta and chicken were so good.  They have a signature dessert on their menu that you order 30 minutes ahead of time.  It’s called a knafeh.

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    It’s shredded dough with homemade cream served with pistachios and drizzled with an orange honey syrup.  We didn’t know what to expect.  The exterior is crunchy and there’s this smooth cream on the inside and the whole thing has this warm honey taste to it.  It was different than anything we’ve had before and with each bite, you savored all of the flavors and textures.  It wasn’t overly sweet either.  We ended up taking half of it home.  Overall, the food was excellent.  It did take some time to come out of the kitchen, but it was worth the wait.  I just wished they were located closer to where we live.  Total bill with a drink was $44.

    Zaytoun Mediterranean Grill
    10970 Cross Creek Blvd
    Tampa, FL
    813-345-2515

    Zaytoun Mediterranean Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.4/5