Johnny’s Italian Restaurant on a Friday night is a very crowded place. We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. Salads and bread started off the meal while we waited for our calamari.
The Johnny bread is one of the best things about this restaurant. The oil & garlic dipping sauce will have you warding off vampires for a week. The bread is just perfect and we ended up getting a second loaf. It’s hard to resist. Next up, calamari.
It was very tender and had a nice crunch. The dipping sauce that came with it was rather spicy with lots of red pepper flakes. I was feeling the heat for a while. Loren ordered the Tuscan Steak with Portabella Sauce.
The interesting thing was that he actually tried to order something else, but the waitress talked him out of it. I can’t remember what the other item was, but she said it didn’t have a lot of flavor and that he’d enjoy this one more. And he did. I went for the chicken marsala with a side of fettucine alfredo.
The chicken was tender and the marsala sauce had a really nice flavor to it. When they get their alfredo sauce right, it’s really good here. Tonight was one of those nights. I could have eaten an entire bowl of just that. I felt the need for chocolate tonight so we ordered the chocolate cake.
This was an incredibly rich and chocolately cake. It had thick ganache layers and just melted in your mouth. Perfect ending to a very good meal. Total bill with a drink was $45.75.
Johnny’s Italian Restaurant
2907 SR 590 #1
I received a coupon in the mail for $8 off two entrees at Outback, so we headed out there for dinner tonight. They were also doing a 4-course special, so we both opted for that. The kitchen was backed up, so it took a while to get our bread and soup and salad.
We both chose the clam chowder which was quite a bit spicier than I had anticipated. It was creamy and had good flavors though. What we didn’t know, until the bill came out, was that there was an upcharge for the clam chowder. I’m always a little miffed for things to show up on the bill that we weren’t told about ahead of time. Our waitress said she didn’t know there was an upcharge.
There are a limited number of choices on the 4-course entree menu, but that wasn’t an issue for Loren. He got the 6 oz sirloin with a baked potato.
Though the presentation left a bit to be desired, he said the steak was cooked a perfect medium. He enjoyed it. Normally, I order the Alice Springs Chicken, but it wasn’t one of the options, so I tried their new Honey Mustard Chicken.
That was a mistake. There’s a distinct difference between lightly charred and burnt. This fell into the burnt category. I tried to eat around the crispy parts. The main reason I didn’t send it back is that Loren would have been finished with his meal before something new could come out of the kitchen for me. We’d already been waiting a long time so it wasn’t worth the effort. The waitress asked if I wanted to bring the leftovers home and I told her no, couldn’t she see how burnt it was? The manager came over and was very apologetic and took it off the bill. Let’s face it, something that looks like this never should have made it out of the kitchen. For our last course, we got one of each desserts offered, the cheesecake and carrot cake.
For me, the cheesecake was the best part of the meal. It was creamy and the raspberry sauce was good. Loren liked the carrot cake. Since we no longer had two entrees on the menu, I didn’t use my coupon and the final bill ended up being $21 with a drink.
31988 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
Woodstock on 5th recently opened up in the space where Crepeology used to be in Safety Harbor. It’s a really small building and I’m amazed at the quality of food they were able to put out of that tiny kitchen. There aren’t a lot of tables, but there is a patio out back and they had live music tonight. The whole restaurant and staff are decked out in a 60′s music theme and the menu items are all named after musicians and bands of the era. We started off with some of the white chili.
When it came to the table, we both thought it looked like a bowl of cheese queso dip. And to be honest, it would have gone great with some tortilla chips. It was very thick, creamy, and cheesy. It had a nice flavor to it, just a hint of heat and overall very tasty. For his entree, Loren ordered the “Grateful Dead”.
It was two tri tip grilled steaks with potatoes and green beans. The steak was cooked a perfect medium, seasoned wonderfully, and was very tender. I ate some of it because it was actually too much food. Drop the price a little and just serve one steak and it still would have been enough for an entree. I ordered the “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young”.
It was a pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms. One bite and I was hooked. The cream sauce was amazing. The only thing I really didn’t like were the wild mushrooms. Some of them were really tough and chewy. The pasta was cooked perfectly and I licked every last bite of that sauce off the plate. We also decided to try the desserts. We got the citrus cake and a strawberry mousse tart.
They don’t make the desserts in house, but instead get them from a local bakery. Loren really liked the citrus cake. It was moist and had a wonderful orange flavor. I found the crust on the tart to be a little hard, but the strawberry mousse filling was tasty.
Overall, the food was amazing; however, other aspects of the experience weren’t as great. It did take a while to get our food, but, it was definitely fresh and homemade. They have a very young and inexperienced wait staff. They were very sweet and pleasant with bubbly personalities, but seemed a bit over their head when it came to actually keeping up with their tables. The other thing we found annoying was that the door to the patio is in the small dining room, so there was a constant opening & closing of the door as people went in & out.
They post their weekly menu specials on their website and also serve breakfast & lunch. We’ll probably go back again as the food really was delicious. Total bill with a drink was $61.
Woodstock on 5th
155 5th Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
Loren was craving a steak tonight, so we headed out to the Longhorn in Palm Harbor. The wait was about 40 minutes, but we figured anywhere we went on a Friday at 6pm was going to be busy. The Longhorn currently has a Steakhouse Dinner for Two deal going on. It includes an appetizer or dessert, salads, and two entrees for $25. While we waited on our appetizer, we dug into the bread.
This is the way bread should be. It was warm and slightly chewy and oh so yummy. We just kept eating more & more of it. Luckily, our calamari appetizer arrived before we completely stuffed ourselves on bread.
The calamari was cooked pretty well, but any longer in the fryer and it would have been tough. It had a nice crunch and the smoky tomato ranch dipping sauce was awesome! I need to figure out how to make that at home.
They really had the timing down perfectly tonight. As soon as we finished our appetizer, the salads came right out and our entrees were served just as the waiter was clearing the salad plates. As busy as they were, I was happily surprised to not be sitting around wondering where our food was. Loren went for the Renegade steak & baked potato.
He said the steak wasn’t quite tender enough, but was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The 6 oz size was just the right amount for him too. I went for the salmon with a side of sweet potato bites.
I’ve found my new favorite side dish. These things were amazing. They had a sweet, maple syrupy aroma, but had the texture of a tater tot. It was almost like a butterscotch candy, but not overly sweet. Yummy! The salmon was perfectly cooked and very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the rice. It was way too spicy for me. I don’t know what kind of peppers were mixed into it, but I took one bite and my mouth was not happy.
We don’t go to too many chain restaurants, but we both agreed that this was one of the better dining experiences we’ve had recently. The restaurant was large and crowded, but they’ve figured out how to control the noise level so we could carry on a conversation. The service was attentive, but not intruding. Each course was served and plates were cleared in a timely manner and the food was very good. Total bill with a drink was $30.
35645 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL
Loren was in the mood for steak tonight, so we headed over to Outback Steakhouse. After devouring a loaf of bread, we decided to try the new crab stack appetizer.
It had avocado, crab, tomato and basil, and a wasabi dressing, served with chips. It was really tasty, though we could have used a few more chips. I avoided the dressing, as much as possible. Although it wasn’t overly spicy, it did tingle my tongue a bit. I don’t normally order steaks in restaurants because it’s rare that I’ll get one that I like. I decided to try the 6oz filet with a baked potato and salad.
It wasn’t as tender as I had hoped it would be. It was cooked a perfect medium, but Loren’s ribeye was actually a bit more tender than the filet.
We ended up swapping pieces of steak. He thought both were fine, but I think from now on I’m just going to stick with the chicken. Total bill with a drink was $52.
31988 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
Outback Steakhouse seems to always have a wait, but as we were driving by this afternoon on our way to another restaurant for lunch, the parking lot looked fairly empty so we made a quick U-turn and pulled in. We were just ahead of the Sunday lunch crowd and able to get a table right away.
The bread & salad make me happy here. There’s just a touch of spice in their ranch dressing which I like especially mixed with the cool of the cucumbers.
Loren went for one of their specials, a mixed grill with a 6 oz sirloin.
The steak was cooked very nicely and the shrimp & scallops were also pretty good. It came with a mango salsa that he seemed to enjoy as well. I went for my tried & true favorite here, the Alice Springs chicken.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but it’s the honey mustard that really makes this dish for me. The chicken was tender and the baked potato was good. Even though I get this dish without the bacon, it’s still about a zillion calories of goodness. No room for dessert today, so the total bill with a drink was $38.
31988 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We ate dinner at La Trattoria in Dunedin tonight and every time we eat here, I wonder why we don’t do it more often. If you haven’t been there before, it can be a little bit overwhelming at first. There are no menus so you don’t know what anything costs. The owner comes to your table and rattles off appetizer options to you with a very thick Italian accent. Everything sounds delicious, but you have to draw the line somewhere, so we settled on some lobster bisque and an eggplant rollitini. But first, some bread & pizza squares.
Both are tasty, but you have to save room for the lobster bisque.
I have never had lobster bisque with such big chunks of perfectly cooked lobster in it. This was absolutely amazing. It was creamy and had a lovely flavor to it. The eggplant rollitini was tasty too.
We just got one to split. It was filled with ricotta with a nice tomato sauce on top. Once the appetizers are done, the owner comes by with a cart of proteins and goes through a long list of ways he can prepare them for you. There’s seafood, steak, veal, and pork and every preparation he mentions sounds better than the last one. I come here for one dish that is like nirvana to me. It’s penne pasta with crab in a pink amaretto cream sauce.
From the first bite to the last, I’m making giddy “Mmmmm, Mmmmm” noises. There are just some flavors that sing to me and this dish tops them all. It’s very sweet, so Loren doesn’t like it, but it was all I could do to not lick the plate clean. There are large chunks of crab in it and the pasta was cooked just right. I’m salivating just thinking about it again.
Loren went for the NY Strip prepared pizziola style which also came with a side of pasta.
Yes, those are large chunks of garlic in the sauce. The steak was a little overcooked on the ends, but the center was a perfect medium. Considering how thick it was, I was amazed at how well it came out. He did have to add a little salt to it, but otherwise, he enjoyed it. In fact, he ended up taking half of it home because it was so big. We didn’t have any room for dessert tonight; we were both stuffed and with very happy taste buds.
This is definitely not one of those restaurants you want to go to if you’re in a hurry. Service was pretty slow, especially when we were waiting for our check. One of the funniest things about the experience was that the owner always addressed me, “Senora, what would you like?, Senora, how was everything?”, but when it came time for the check, he very pointedly put it in front of Loren. Total bill with an iced tea was $66. Well worth it in my book as it was one of the tastiest meals I’ve had all year.
2152 Main St
We ate dinner at Cody’s in Clearwater tonight. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just order rolls and salad here and not bother with an entree anymore. The last few times we’ve eaten here, it’s just been disappointing.
Loren munches out on peanuts and I devour the yeast rolls. Ok, he devours them too.
These were fresh out of the oven and so delicious. The cinnamon butter just puts them right over the top. The salad is also yummy minus the onions.
Loren ordered their 7 oz sirloin steak & shrimp special.
He said it was ok, not great. It lacked seasoning, but was cooked ok. The garlic shrimp were also just ok. I thought I ordered something that couldn’t be screwed up, a mushroom burger with baked potato.
The bottom bun on this was soggy, not juice running off of the burger juicy, but actually soggy. It was just gross. By the time our waitress came back to the table, Loren was finished eating, so they just took it off the bill and instead charged me for a side salad. Total bill was still $22.
Cody’s Original Roadhouse
26210 US 19 Clearwater, FL
I was one of the folks who claimed a free steak in Outback’s latest promotion. Actually Loren ended up with the steak, I’m more of an Alice Springs chicken person myself.
But, first there’s bread, and soup, and salad.
The ranch dressing here has a little peppery kick to it, but it’s tasty. The bread doesn’t last long at all the Loren slurped down the soup pretty quick. The free steak was a 6 oz sirloin which he got with a baked potato and a side of mushrooms.
Perfectly cooked all the way around. Outback makes a pretty consistent steak. There were enough mushrooms to feed several people. The Alice Springs chicken was yummy too.
For me, it’s all about the honey mustard sauce. It just goes so well with the cheesy chicken and baked potato. After the coupon, total bill with a drink was $24.
31988 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
The Kabob House in Dunedin is now Prestige Lebanese Cuisine, so with our Restaurant.com coupon in hand we went to try it out tonight. We started off with two appetizers, hummus with meat and pine nuts and the sfiha which is a meat stuffed pastry.
I found both items to be rather bland and very dry. The sfiha could have used some sort of dipping sauce, maybe some yogurt sauce or something. I thought the pita was kind of tough too.
We both got shish kabobs for dinner, Loren got the steak & I got the chicken.
Both kabobs were amazingly tender. They were well seasoned, maybe a little over-seasoned on the pepper part. The fries were crispy, though not quite as warm as they should have been.
The biggest issue we had was with the service. It was non-existent. Drinks were left empty for long periods of time, food came out of the kitchen very slow, and even after our plates had been cleared, the waiter took a very long time to bring the check. After the $25 Restaurant.com coupon and the tip they automatically added on, the final bill was $19.
Prestige Lebanese Cuisine
1425 Main St Unit J
We celebrated Loren’s birthday at Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor. We’d eaten here once before and enjoyed the food, but this time around it just wasn’t up to par with the prices they charge.
We were seated in one of the front rooms and it was really loud. For such a cozy little restaurant, you’d think they could figure out a way to dampen some of the noise in there. Our waitress brought over a taste of their potato and scallion soup.
It was creamy, but the first thing Loren did was grab for the salt shaker. That was the start of the relatively unseasoned food we had all night. Next up came our appetizer, Harold’s shrooms.
Roasted portobello mushroom caps with red peppers, olives and garlic goat cheese. I found the olives to be overpowering in the dish, though I really liked the taste of the goat cheese. The mushrooms were meaty, but a little tough to cut. Salads also came with our meal.
For his entree, Loren ordered the filet mignon which came with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies.
The filet was very tender and cooked medium, but underseasoned. The gorgonzola on top completely overwhelmed the taste of the meat though. As you can see from the photo, some of the veggies were a bit charred while others were a bit underdone.
I ordered the blue crab and lobster stuffed mahi.
The mahi was overcooked and tough. My first reaction was that the mahi I had recently at Cuban Breezes, for less than half the price mind you, was cooked way better than this piece of fish. The crab and lobster stuffing tasted like a crabcake. There was absolutely nothing textural, visual, or taste wise that would have indicated to me that it had any lobster in it whatsoever. The Key Lime white wine sauce had very little lime flavor ( I actually thought it was a lemon sauce) and there wasn’t much of it on the plate. My butter knife was also a bit inadequate to cut through some of the roasted carrots.
I’d heard good things about their black & blue cobbler so I got some to take home.
It was very sweet and there wasn’t enough of the crumb topping. It came with a tasty vanilla bean ice cream though. Our waitress was very friendly and kept plates cleared and drinks full. Overall though, we were fairly disappointed in the whole $73 experience. If I’m going to pay that much for dinner, I expect wonderful flavors and textures and to leave the restaurant wondering when I’ll be able to go back again. After this meal, I don’t think we’ll be returning anytime soon.
Green Springs Bistro
156 Fourth Ave North
Safety Harbor, FL
On the way home from Cedar Key, we stopped at Longhorn Steakhouse in Citrus Park. The restaurant was crowded, but we were able to get a table without a wait. From the moment our waitress came to take our drink orders, she rubbed me the wrong way. There’s a point where friendly becomes annoying and she reached it pretty quick.
We started out with bread and salad.
I really liked the ranch dressing on the salad. We were both in the mood for steaks tonight, so Loren got the sirloin with a baked potato and I got the filet with veggies and a side of onions & mushrooms.
Loren said his was cooked well, but was definitely underseasoned. Mine was also cooked well, but was way overseasoned for my taste. It had a lot of pepper on it which completely overwhelmed it. It was cooked a perfect medium and was very tender, but the pepper built up on my tongue and just ruined the dish for me. It definitely wasn’t a relaxing meal. The restaurant was very loud and our waitress was almost aggressive in her attempt to be friendly. Total bill was $42.
8212 Citrus Park Dr
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
When we were driving down Gulf to Bay Thursday night, we noticed Pappas Ranchhouse had finally opened, so we headed over there for dinner tonight. It’s a large restaurant and they were pretty full when we arrived. We waited about 15 minutes for a table.
The first thing we noticed was how loud it was in the dining area. This is definitely not a peaceful and quiet restaurant. Turning down the music would help some, but they also need to find some way to damper the overall noise level in there.
I had read some other reviews that said if you wanted bread you had to ask for it, but our waiter brought us some without us having to say a word.
The bread had a nice flavor, texture and crispy crust, but either it needed to be warmer or the butter needed to be softer. Trying to spread rock hard butter on barely warm bread is not an easy task.
We decided to get the artichoke and spinach dip.
This is definitely an appetizer for more than 2 people. The crock was huge! We ran out of chips way before we ran out of dip. Hands down, this was the best part of the meal. Loren said the key to a great spinach dip is garlic and this one had plenty. It was cheesy, creamy, and full of flavor. We’ll go back just for it.
Loren ordered a 6 oz sirloin with mashed potatoes and a salad.
They didn’t quite get medium right on his steak. The majority of it was medium well, with just a small bit of the thicker piece of the steak anywhere close to the medium range. He said it was tender, but just a bit dry from being overcooked.
I ordered the prime rib sandwich with sweet potato fries.
The prime rib was very tender and juicy. The sandwich also had grilled onions and mushrooms on it. I think they need a thicker bread to put it on though because the bottom slice was extremely soggy. The au jois was a bit salty to me, but overall, the sandwich was really good.
We also got a piece of chocolate cake to take home.
It was a very moist cake and the mousse layers had chocolate chips in it. I could have done without the chocolate chips though as they ruined the smooth texture for me. Total bill was $41 which was pretty good for the amount of food we got.
Pappas Ranch Steakhouse
2630 Gulf to Bay Blvd
We were going to eat at Bonefish tonight, thinking we could get there before the crowd, but even at 5:30pm, they already had a 30 minute wait. So, instead we drove into Dunedin to see if Walt’s Seasonal Cuisine was busy. At it turned out, we were the first customers there for the evening.
Let me preface this review by saying the food tonight was absolutely better than we get at most places; however, my expectations when I end up paying $73 for dinner are a lot higher than if I’ve spent $30. I didn’t feel that the experience tonight was worth the price. Granted, it’s a lot of little things that added up to that feeling, but because my expectations were so high and we’ve had wonderful experiences here before, I just left somewhat disappointed.
We sat down, ordered our water and iced tea and were served some bread and oil.
I know this is silly, but this was the first thing I thought was off tonight. The bread was just served in this little bowl. No napkin or cloth under or around it to help keep the warmth in. It just came across as tacky to me. Don’t get me wrong, the bread was warm and tasty, it was just the presentation that turned me off.
Another couple came in at this point and sat at the bar. I overheard their conversation with the waitress to discover that Walt had the night off. Later in the evening, I heard the couple ask the chef if he was calling for help when he had his phone out and he said no, he was just looking up a recipe. So, maybe the key to dining at Walt’s is knowing that Walt is in the kitchen.
Loren started out with a house salad and I got the soup which was butternut squash with blue crab.
Loren liked the ginger dressing on his salad. He said the nuts on the salad were both sweet and spicy. My soup had very subtle flavors, in fact, too subtle for my tastes. It was very thin and the crab was overcooked. It was a little rubbery.
At this point, we heard the waitress telling the other customers what the special was tonight. Don’t you hate it when you’re not told the specials and you get to overhear them at another table after you’ve ordered?
For his entree, Loren chose the surf and turf which is steak and scallops and he ordered asparagus as his side.
The steak is where the chef shined tonight. It was perfect. A nice sear on the outside, cooked a perfect medium and was incredibly tender. Loren loved it. The scallops were sliced thin and had a mango vinaigrette on them that completely overpowered the flavor of the scallop.
I ordered the crab crusted grouper with garlic mashed potatoes.
It had a sherry butter sauce on it that I couldn’t taste at all. It was a thick grouper filet that basically had a crab cake on top of it. Individually, each piece was pretty good, but the crab cake had very strong flavors that overwhelmed the grouper.
For dessert, we tried the chocolate cake.
Let’s face it, first bites are everything and this one just didn’t wow. The cake was very dense, but not overly moist. It was good, but I’ve had better. And since I’ve been picky all night, I just felt like some homemade whipped cream would have been much better than stuff out of a can.
Service tonight was also lacking. My water glass was completely empty for quite a while and Loren’s iced tea also got down to the bottom. Plates weren’t cleared as quickly as they should have either. Again, it’s all about expectations. If I’m spending $73, I want the entire experience to feel worth the money.
Walts Seasonal Cuisine
1140 Main St
When we walked into Bascom’s Chophouse tonight, we noticed several waiters and waitresses standing near the entryway into the dining room. It reminded me of a store where the employees are paid on commission; they just seemed to be hovering like vultures. Loren thought this was a sign that the service would be exceptional, boy, was he wrong.
We were seated in a corner of the dining room and the temperature was not regulated very well. The restaurant was really warm. There was also a shelf next to our table where they stocked the steak knives and pepper grinder. It was rather annoying every time they banged the pepper grinder back on the shelf.
Loren ordered a coke and after one sip, exchanged it for iced tea because it was flat. Needless to say, we weren’t too impressed so far and we hadn’t even gotten any food yet. Perhaps we should have taken a hint from the group of men that were seated behind us. They sat down, took one look at the prices on the menu and then promptly left.
Probably the best thing about the meal were the rolls.
They were warm and the butter was soft, so it made for a good combination. There were several different kinds of rolls in the basket and they were all pretty good.
Loren ordered a garden salad with his meal, since his steak didn’t come with any sides.
He said the lettuce wasn’t very fresh. He ate half of it and set it aside. Our waiter never cleared the plate from the table. For his entree, he ordered the Delmonico steak.
He said it was ok, but really didn’t have a lot of flavor. I didn’t think it was very tender at all. It also boggled my mind that for $24.50, all you got were some onion straws on top. I ordered the veal marsala and a side dish of the au gratin potatoes.
Mine actually came with rice and a big hunk of broccoli. The veal was dry and the marsala sauce was weak. If I didn’t know it was supposed to be marsala sauce, I would have said it was just a mushroom gravy. There was no flavor whatsoever. The au gratin potatoes were ok, but had a sharp flavor in them. I thought maybe it was sour cream or some sharp cheese. I think we came to realize why they offered fresh ground black pepper on everything, lack of flavor in all of the dishes.
Our waiter never refilled our drinks (my water glass was empty) and when he went to package our leftovers, he was very awkward. He crowded in between us and nearly knocked the containers over. Overall, it wasn’t a good experience, especially for the prices. Luckily, we had a $25 Restaurant.com coupon, so the total bill before tip was $31. We’ve definitely gotten better food and service for less money at other places in town.
3665 Ulmerton Rd
After trying three different places for lunch today only to find none of them were open on New Year’s day, we decided to just drive up US 19 and stop wherever there were cars in the parking lot. We ended up at Longhorn in Palm Harbor.
Our last experience here was very good, today’s experience was lacking something. Sometimes, it is just the little things. Loren opened up his silverware to find a rather nasty looking fork. He laid it to the side of the table, but our waitress didn’t notice it when she took our drink order. When she returned, he showed it to her and she apologized, but never brought him back another salad fork. Like I said, sometimes it’s just the little things.
Loren ordered a salad and there was some yummy bread brought to the table.
It was a fairly big salad. The bread was warm and fresh, just the way I like it. He ordered an 8oz sirloin with a baked potato.
He said the steak was good, but the potato didn’t seem very fresh. They definitely know how to cook steaks correctly here. Order it medium and you actually get a medium cooked steak.
I was making an attempt at eating healthy for the new year (like that’s gonna last), so I ordered the grilled trout with a sweet potato.
It was pretty good. Tender and flaky, with a fairly mellow flavor. It had some big chunks of garlic on it. The sweet potato came with cinnamon butter, which was actually butter with cinnamon and sugar just sprinkled on top. I was expecting it to have already been whipped in with the butter. Most of the potato was good, but one end was not. Personally, I wouldn’t have put that potato on a plate.
Overall, it was just an ok experience. Total bill was $29 with a drink.
35645 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL
Well, this is where this blog began. Mekenita Mexican Grille in Lutz. It’s such an unassuming little restaurant at the end of a strip mall, but as far as I’m concerned, they make the best burritos around.
You order at the counter and then they bring out some chips and salsa to your table.
This is the one place where I actually eat the chips and salsa. It has a smoked chipolte flavor. Not too spicy, but is amazing with the warm chips. They had to bring us out a second batch because the first didn’t last very long.
My burrito of choice is the Crispy Tiger Shrimp Burrito.
This is one big ol’ stuffed burrito. It’s filled with crispy fried shrimp, refried beans, citrus rice, cabbage, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and a cilantro lime aioli. It’s the lime aioli that really sets off this dish. I was able to finish half of it and the just tore apart the other half and ate the shrimp. There was no way I could finish the whole thing.
Loren ordered the Grilled Skirt Steak burrito.
He was only able to eat half of his too. They really stuff the burritos full. They also have a salsa bar so you can add some heat to your dish as well. Total bill was $20 with a drink.
Mekenita Mexican Grille
17623 N Dale Mabry Hwy
I’m sure it’s wrong to choose a restaurant for dinner based on dessert, but sometimes you just gotta follow your sweet tooth. Tonight, I was craving chocolate cake and I remembered the cake at Cody’s is fantastic.
But, first, there’s the yeast rolls and salad.
Cody’s has some of the most delicious yeast rolls around. You know they’re good when Loren eats more than one. Spread on some of the cinnamon butter and they just melt in your mouth. Loren said he thought the salad dressing was a little weak this time, but I thought it was ok. I ordered the salad without onions, so that may have been the flavor he was missing.
For our entrees, Loren ordered their NY select special with a baked potato.
He said he was cooked just right and tasty. He ended up taking half of it home for lunch tomorrow. I ordered the chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes.
One bite of the mashed potatoes and I asked our waiter if he could bring me a baked potato instead. I just didn’t like them. They were garlic mashed, but I wasn’t tasting garlic. The white gravy on the chicken and potatoes was really peppery. It overpowered everything. The chicken needed to be a little more tender as well.
But, who are we kidding, we came here for the cake, which isn’t on the menu by the way. I was about to be really sad when I didn’t see it on the menu, but Loren asked the waiter and he said they always have the chocolate cake and carrot cake, but for whatever reason, they’re not listed on the menu. We got a slice to go.
Yeah, and when I say “slice”, I mean enough for 4 people to eat. It’s huge, but incredibly moist and delicious. Tasted wonderful sitting in front of the TV that night, plus there’s still some in the fridge.
Total bill was $38 and Loren had leftovers for lunch and I’ve got plenty of cake.
Cody’s Original Roadhouse
26210 US 19
Two for one fajitas on Sundays at Chico’s Wood Fired Grill on Linebaugh is a great deal. Loren got the steak fajitas and I got the chicken.
There’s enough food for both of us to make 3 fajitas each plus a little extra left over. Comes with all the fixin’s, lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream. Fresh and tasty, still steaming when it gets to your table. You could hear the sizzling throughout the restaurant as almost every table had at least one pair of fajita pans heading their way.
And, as if we hadn’t eaten enough, Bubba’s brownie just sounded too good to pass up.
A warm fudgy brownie topped with vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauces. Mmmm…. It was tasty.
Total dinner ran us $23.
Chico’s Wood Fired Grill
12217 W Linebaugh Ave