The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.


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Filling Appetizer

We went over to Tampa Bay Brewing Co for dinner tonight.   Surprisingly, we were able to get a table without a wait.  Either the stormy weather or holiday weekend kept the restaurant from being overly crowded.  The had a brisket poutine on the specials menu, so we tried that for an appetizer.

Smoky brisket on top of fries with a mushroom gravy and deep fried cheese curds.  It was decadent and downright tasty.   The fried cheese curds were something we hadn’t seen in a poutine before.  They were good and crunchy.  Since the poutine was enough for an entree, we decided to split a ham & mushroom calzone.

The calzone is definitely big enough for two.  Unfortunately, the mushrooms made the inside somewhat watery.  It had several different cheeses inside and the crust was good.  Total bill with a drink was $28.

Tampa Bay Brewing Co
13927 Monroe Business Park
Tampa, FL

Tampa Bay Brewing Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Tasty BBQ

We were in Deland today and headed over to Brian’s BBQ for lunch.  There was no way Loren was passing up something called Rib Stew.

This is the chef’s own creation and had a lot of flavor.  Rib meat, beans and a variety of veggies simmered to make a tasty stew.  Loren did the soup & sandwich combo with a pulled pork sandwich.  The port was tender and smokey.  We also got a side of fried okra. Yum!

I went for the lunch baby back ribs with mac & cheese. The ribs were tender and flavorful and a nice portion for lunch.

Since it was pouring down rain when we finished eating, we decided to stick around and try the apple cobbler.

Add a little bit of ice cream and whipped cream and that’s one tasty dessert.  Definitely some of the best BBQ we’ve had recently.  If we’re ever out that way again, we’ll be sure to stop by.  Total bill with a drink was $35.

Brian’s BBQ
795 N Spring Garden Ave
Deland, FL

Brian's Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Missed Opportunities

Bar Fly Saltwater Grill recently moved to a new location in Safety Harbor, so we went over there for dinner.  We were able to get a table without a wait, but the restaurant was crowded and loud.  We started off with some grouper bites and I somehow managed to delete the photo.   They had a very thin, flavorless coating and most of the fish was overcooked.  When I ordered the appetizer, I asked for a side of ranch dressing.  Of course, it didn’t come when the food was delivered and we were almost finished before the waitress came back around.   Our entrees came out before we finished the appetizer.

Loren ordered the Mahi Bowl and I went for the lobster mac & cheese.

He said the mahi itself was good, but the rest of the dish was simply missed opportunities.  Right ingredients, wrong execution.  There was no flavor to the beans or rice and the whole thing just fell flat.  The lobster mac & cheese wasn’t much better.

It came with a cup of lobster bisque and kettle chips.  The bisque needed salt and didn’t have a lot of flavor overall.  There were enough lobster pieces to cover the bread, but I’m not convinced that grilled cheese & lobster should go together.  The sandwich was dry and all you could taste was the cheese.  Total bill was $43 and I don’t think we’ll be returning anytime soon.

Bar Fly Saltwater Grill
100 Main St, Ste 107
Safety Harbor, FL

Saltwater Grill @ Bar Fly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


A Bit Spicy

We were in Tampa today and decided to try Datz for lunch.  We had about a 10 minute wait for a table and then we were seated on the second level.  This is another one of those loud restaurants.  Lots of choices on the lunch menu and we eventually settled on the Ty’s Two Fister and the Cluck Yeah.

Loren liked the corned beef, pastrami, & swiss sandwich.  He said it had good flavors and there was plenty of meat on the sandwich.  I should have asked more questions before I ordered the Cluck Yeah.

I noticed the chips came with blue cheese drizzle & green onions, two things on my “do not eat” list, so I ordered mine plain.  They were a little sweet and salty.   I should have asked what the Nashville sauce had in it.  It was a little sweet and a lot spicy.  Way too spicy for my taste.  The chicken was ok, but I just couldn’t get past the sauce.   We ordered a piece of the Buffalo Trace chocolate cake for dessert.

It was a big piece of cake & we ended up taking most of it home.    The cake was a little dry and there really wasn’t much flavor overall.  I’ve heard people rave about this restaurant, but I honestly didn’t find anything special about the food that would make me want to go back again.   Total bill with a drink was $38.

Datz Tampa
2616 S. MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL
(813) 831-7000

Datz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Flavorful Chinese Food

We had dinner at Asian Pearl in Clearwater tonight.  This is our go-to Chinese restaurant.  The food is always so fresh and tasty.  We started off with some spring rolls.

Perfect crunch and a tasty filling.  Loren ordered the X.O. beef.  He’s ordered it before and always asks the waitress what’s in the XO sauce.  Whatever it is, it’s flavorful stuff.

The beef is tender and he likes all of the different veggies in it.  I tried the cashew chicken tonight.

This also had a lot of well cooked veggies, plus tender chicken in a tasty brown sauce.  There was enough on the plate that I had leftovers for the next day.  We’ll definitely be back for more.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

Asian Pearl
2551 Drew St #104
Clearwater, FL

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