The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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I was in the mood for some Jaegerschnitzel, so we went over to Lagerhaus in Palm Harbor.  Our meals came with salads and they had some pork stuffed mushrooms as a special appetizer tonight that we decided to try.

The pork in the mushrooms seems a bit sweet to me, but the mustard dipping sauce was a smokey, mustard, spicy sauce that counterbalanced the sweetness.  They didn’t last long.  Loren decided on a Club sandwich.

Lots of ham, turkey & bacon.  He ended up taking half of it home.  My reason for coming here, the Jaegerschnitzel and cheese spaetzle.

I hadn’t poured the mushroom gravy on it yet just to show how big this piece of pork is.  Definitely enough for two meals.  It’s very tender and flavorful with the gravy.  The spaezle is cheesy, and oh so yummy.  I even ordered a second side of it to take home with the rest of the pork.  There’s no way I could finish this in one sitting.  We tried the chocolate cake for dessert.

I’m thinking they heated it up just a tab bit too long.  It was tasty, but the fudgey frosting and middle was a bit liquified.  Don’t get me wrong, we ate every last bite of it.  Total bill with a drink was $47 and we both had leftovers.

Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill
3438 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
813-343-2449

Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: German
  • 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
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  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • 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
  • Loren was in the mood for a steak and when I checked Longhorn’s website, I discovered we could get a free appetizer by signing up for their hospitality club.  They were pretty crowded tonight and we had about a 20 minute wait for a table.  For our appetizer, we decided on the cheddar stuffed mushrooms.

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    It was five mushrooms drenched in gooey cheese.  What more could you ask for?  The mushrooms were tender and the cheese had a good flavor to it.  Once we finished those, bread, and salad, it was time for our entrees.  Loren got the 6 oz bourbon black pepper sirloin.

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    The steak was cooked a perfect medium and was very tender.  I didn’t like the glaze on it, but he thought it was very good.  I went for the Napa chicken.

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    It had mushrooms, artichokes, and tomatoes in a white wine sauce.  The chicken was very tender, but I still would have preferred to have been given a steak knife instead of having to cut it with a butter knife.  Although, we should have passed on dessert, I just had to try the blueberry lemon butter cake.

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    Not very appealing to look at, but it had a deep, rich lemon flavor to it.  I was expecting a few more fresh blueberries on top and all of the blueberries in the cake had settled on one end.  It tasted more like a blueberry muffin than a cake, but we didn’t manage to finish it because the flavors were spot on.  Out of all of the chain restaurants we occasionally go to, we’ve really had the best food experiences at Longhorn.  Total bill with a drink was $39.

    Longhorn Steakhouse
    35645 US Highway 19
    Palm Harbor, FL
    (727) 781-9300

    Longhorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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

    AAA Coupon


    We had a AAA coupon for 25% off at Olive Garden that expired today, so we headed over there for a late lunch.  We weren’t sure how busy they were going to be on Christmas Eve, but when we got there at 1pm, we didn’t have to wait for a table.   We started off with soup, salad and breadsticks.

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    I think we could have stopped right here and been very full and very contented.  The breadsticks were fresh and soft and both the salad and soup were yummy.  I like the pasta fagioli soup here.  It has a nice blend of flavors and textures.  For some reason, we felt the need to order an appetizer.

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    Calamari & stuffed mushrooms… oh so good!  They prepare a really tender calamari here.  The mushrooms were also flavorful and filling.  As if this wasn’t enough food, we ordered entrees as well.  Loren got the braised beef tortelloni.

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    It was definitely more tortelloni than beef, but he said it was very good.  I ordered the fettucine alfredo.

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    This is my favorite dish here, though it could have used a little more sauce on it.  It’s very creamy and the noodles are cooked perfectly.   There’s a reason we don’t come here very often; we eat too much.  We both took home some leftovers.  For a chain restaurant, they really do prepare the food very well.  After the coupon, the total bill was $26.

    Olive Garden
    29461 Us-19 N
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 787-3988

    Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Italian