The first thing we noticed when we walked into Roosterfish Grill was the noise level. This is another one of those restaurants where it was difficult to have a conversation across the table. The second thing we noticed were the rolls of paper towels hanging above all of the tables suspended by coat hangers. The design flaw of this became very apparent every time the waiter came to our table and had to awkwardly bend down around it to talk to us.
We started off with a cup of clam chowder and a cup of crab chowder.
Both chowders were on the thin side and needed salt. We just both like thick, rich, creamy chowders and these had more of a soup consistency. Next up calamari.
The calamari itself was good. It had the right crunch and the pieces were tender. The marinara sauce that came with it tasted like canned tomato paste that hadn’t been cooked for very long. For his entree, Loren ordered the mango mahi.
He said the fish was ok. It was tender and the mango salsa on top was tasty. The broccoli was a mix of new green pieces and old brown ones that looked like they had been sitting in the kitchen all day. I decided to try one of the specials, the fried oysters.
The waiter told us this was the first night they were on the menu and from my first bite, I hope it was the last. They were completely inedible. There was so much salt in the breading that you couldn’t even taste the oysters. Just absolutely awful. The manager took it off our bill and offered us a free dessert. We got the black forest cake.
I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the cake tasted like it had been recently frozen and improperly thawed because the cake was wet. Not moist, but wet. It actually had a good flavor to it, but the texture was wrong. Total bill with a drink was $35 and since there were issues with every plate of food, we won’t be going back again.
776 Missouri Ave
I’ve been searching for a restaurant to satisfy my Ipswich clam cravings. Having grown up in New England, it’s one of those tastes of my childhood that I miss and can’t find anywhere. That is until tonight when we ate at Rosie’s Clam Shack in Pinellas Park. But first, we had to try the clam chowder.
This was a thick, rich chowder with lots of potatoes and clams. It had a very mild flavor and needed a little salt, but otherwise, pretty tasty. Loren decided to try the stuffed grouper.
For his two sides, he chose the parsley potatoes and the pasta salad. He really liked this dish. He said the grouper was cooked perfectly and the stuffing had a nice flavor to it. The pasta salad had a little spicy kick to it that he liked as well. Loren said he wished he had taken a photo of the happy look on my face when I ate the first fried clam.
These were perfectly cooked. Crunchy, with tender bellies, just like I remembered them. I really liked the parsley potatoes too. Since everything else was tasting so good, we decided to try the apple blossom dessert.
I think if I had turned around this would have been gone before I was able to look back. The apple filling and tender crust were just yummy. It was a very simple dessert, but sometimes, those can be the best. My only complaint about the restaurant is that it took quite a while for the food to come out of the kitchen. We will definitely be back. Total bill with a drink was $52.
Rosie’s Clam Shack
6657 49th St
Pinellas Park, FL
Johnny Grit’s recently opened up where Nana’s was in Tarpon Springs. We were amazed at how different the interior looked. It went from kitschy to classy. It was like watching an episode of Restaurant Impossible. Remove the clutter, remove the carpet, repaint and all of a sudden the whole restaurant seems brighter. Loren went for the shrimp and grits with andouille sausage.
Johnny definitely knows his grits. I kept stealing bites off of Loren’s plate. The grits were creamy and cheesy and perfectly cooked and seasoned. Loren said he could have eaten just a bowl of grits with the sauce on top. The andouille was spicy and flavorful. The only thing he didn’t like was that the shrimp still had the tails on so that made them a little difficult to eat. I’d definitely order this dish again. I went for the Southern Chicken Hash which came with two sides.
The hash was delicious. The chicken was tender and the gravy was flavorful and rich. It also had potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. So good. I ate every last bite of this dish. The sweet potato fries were good. Loren actually liked the mac & cheese more than I did. I like a more mild, creamy cheddar and this one was a bit too sharp for me. The menu said that the chef is Italian and his mother made him put cannoli on the menu, so how could I pass that up?
It was a pretty tasty cannoli. Mom knows best. The restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch, but we’ll definitely be back. I wish I had a bowl of those grits right now. Mmmm.. Total bill with a drink was $29.
857 E. Klosterman Rd
Tarpon Springs, FL
The Nosh Cafe recently opened where the Central Park Deli was in Oldsmar. They have a good sized sandwich menu and Loren went for a half Amore roast beef sandwich and chili combo.
He said it was ok. The sandwich had roast beef, garlic mayo, tomato and red onion & topped with melted Provolone on Cuban bread. Nothing out of the ordinary about it. I ordered the Cuban sandwich with a side of potato salad.
This is one of my new favorite sandwiches. It was so good. The meats on it had such a wonderful flavor. The Cuban bread was perfectly pressed and everything about it just worked. From the first bite to the last, I had happy taste buds. Even Loren said it was tasty. I liked the potato salad as well. We’ll definitely be back. Total bill with two drinks was $21.
4058 Tampa Rd, Ste 4
We were driving through St Pete tonight and ate dinner at India Grill on Central Ave. The thing we like most about Indian food is the depth of flavor that’s usually there from start to finish. The food here was just bland. We started off with the Veggie Samosa.
They were stuffed with potatoes and peas and probably had more flavor than anything else we ate tonight. Loren said even the green sauce that was served with them wasn’t spicy or flavorful. Loren tried the Chef’s Special Biryani and I got the Butter Chicken and some garlic naan.
The serving sizes were fine and we both had some leftovers. Loren’s Biryani had meat, chicken, and shrimp in it. He ordered his medium/mild and I ordered mine mild, but neither had any spice whatsoever in them. Even the naan tasted like it was missing something. This isn’t a restaurant we’ll be returning to. Total bill with a drink was $39.
409 Central Ave
St Petersburg, FL
We had never tried Korean food before, so today’s lunch adventure was out to One Family Korean Restaurant on Hillsborough. It’s a hidden little gem located in the back of a shopping center. From the moment we walked in the door, the aromas from the kitchen tempted our tastebuds. We started off with some fried dumplings.
We didn’t expect quite so many of them, but they were delicious. The dipping sauce was savory, but not overly spicy. The dumplings were crispy and had a pork and veggie filling. For his entree, Loren tried the spicy pork lunch box.
There was a ton of food in this box. He said the pork was spicy and tender and he really enjoyed all the different sides that came with it. He even asked for more of the bean sprouts to take home with his leftovers. And trust me, there were leftovers all around. I got the sweet & sour shrimp which was also served with a bunch of sides.
The waitress said the side dishes change every day so you never know what you’re going to get. I like the potato and apple salad the best. There was also spinach & the bean sprouts that Loren loved, plus two other veggie dishes. As for the sweet & sour shrimp, it was probably one of the best sweet & sour dishes I’ve ever eaten. There were plenty of shrimp and they were perfectly cooked and nice and crispy. The veggies included peppers, onions, mushrooms, cucumber pickles, and I think pears. It was yummy and I had plenty for a second meal as well. Total bill with a drink was $42 and we’ll definitely be back.
One Family Korean Restaurant
7030 W Hillsborough Ave
If you’re heading out for dinner at the German Bistro II, you better be hungry. The food is hearty, delicious, and there’s so much of it. They start you off with some bread and cole slaw.
The bread is thick and served with an herbed butter. Loren even asked for seconds. The cole slaw is fresh and crunchy with a bit of a peppery dressing on it. For his entree, Loren went for the pork Jaegerschnitzel with warm potato salad and a house salad.
The pork is super tender with a savory mushroom gravy on top. He really enjoyed the vinegary flavor of the potato salad too. I went for the chicken schnitzel with a side salad and spaetzle.
I’m amazed at how tender they can get such a thin piece of chicken. The breading had a nice lemon flavor to it and the spaetzle was delicious, especially with gravy on top. The sides are unlimited and I was tempted to get another order of the spaetzle, but I knew I had to leave room for dessert.
Black Forest cake is one of our favorites and this was an amazing one. The cake was tender, the cherries had a nice tartness and it was served up with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. As you can see from the photo, Loren’s got his fork ready & telling me to hurry up and take the photo. This was an incredibly tasty and filling dinner for $45.
German Bistro II
1300 E Bay Dr Ste L
We stopped by The Sandwich on Main for lunch today. It’s a new little sandwich shop on Main Street in Safety Harbor. The dining room isn’t very big and we ended up sitting at the counter in the back. They have a wide range of specialty sodas and Loren liked the Hank’s Black Cherry, but since I normally just drink water, I was a bit surprised when the waitress brought me a cup of lukewarm tap water. When I asked for ice, the waitress apologized and said they’ve been trying for the three months since they’ve opened to get an ice machine but they still hadn’t found one.
As for the sandwiches, Loren got an Italian and I built my own ham & cheese.
We both found the sandwiches to be very plain and lacking anything distinctive that would make us want to return to the restaurant. Loren said the meats in the Italian were fine, but there wasn’t any pop of flavor from a vinegar/oil or Italian spice mix. I didn’t like the flavor of the provolone cheese on mine and there wasn’t quite enough lettuce and tomato on the entire sandwich. Total bill with a drink was $20.
The Sandwich on Main
308 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL
The weather’s finally beginning to cool down here, so we went over to Southern Fresh and had a very pleasant dinner out on the porch. They had a guitar player on the patio which completed the lovely atmosphere. Loren had to start off with the BLT soup.
How a soup can taste like a sandwich is beyond me, but this one does it. The broth has a wonderful flavor from the tomato and bacon and you get the crisp crunch of lettuce in each bite. It’s a tasty little soup. For his entree, Loren got the roasted pork with mashed potatoes and greens.
The pork was cooked perfectly. It had a nice smokey flavor and was tender and juicy. I had to steal a couple of bites. I went for their famous fried chicken with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes.
Normally, it’s two pieces of chicken, but the waiter said because the pieces were small, they were serving two thighs and a leg for the dark meat portion tonight. The chicken is perfectly seasoned and cooked. It’s got a nice crunchy exterior and very juicy inside. Some of the best chicken in the area. The roasted veggies and potatoes were good too. We both cleaned our plates, so that meant we could have dessert, right?? Tonight, they had just finished making a peach crisp.
I had mixed feelings about this dessert. On one hand, it was quite delicious. The peaches and crumb base were excellent. The only part that didn’t work for me was the candied lemon peel on top. Some bites were ok, but others were way too bitter. Overall, though, this was a great meal for $39.
122 3rd Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL
We were headed out to John Chestnut Park and stopped at Vettures for lunch beforehand. The restaurant was empty when we got there. We decided to split a meatball sub and some fries.
The meatballs were tasty, but the sub was so sloppy that I had to eat my half with a fork. There was no way I was going to be able to pick it up & not end up wearing it. The fries were hot and crispy. Lunch with a drink ran us $14.
Vetture’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
36137 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
We walked around Lowry Park Zoo this morning and ended up La Pequena Columbia for lunch. We really love the food at this restaurant. Loren ordered the Bandeja Montaner.
This dish had a little bit of everything in it, but his favorite was the sausage. He just loved the flavor of it. Along with that, there was steak, plantains, rice, beans, a corn cake, pork skin and salad. Needless to say, he had leftovers. I tried the chicken with mushroom sauce.
It also came with rice & beans. The chicken could have been more tender and the extra egg I ordered was overcooked, but my favorite thing about this place is the beans & rice. So yummy. I even ordered more beans to take home with us. Service was a bit lacking during our visit. Total bill with a drink was $40.
La Pequena Colombia
6312 N Armenia Ave
We decided to try The Moon Under Water in St Pete for lunch today. It’s an Indian/English type of pub with a mixed fare of entrees. I couldn’t resist the fried mac & cheese for an appetizer.
They could have been a little thicker, but otherwise they were kind of tasty. Crispy on the outside and gooey mac & cheese inside. The marinara sauce had an interesting flavor to it as well. For his entree, Loren got the mojo chicken sandwich.
The chicken had a really nice flavor to it, but it was so thick that there was no way he could eat it as a sandwich. The tomato slice was equally as thick. He said the chicken could have been a little more tender too. The fries were really good. I went for the English pasty.
The flavors were really good in this dish as well, but it was undercooked. The pastry was doughy on the inside and several of the veggies including the potatoes were just hard. It definitely needed to stay in the oven a while longer. The gravy and fries were really good though. Total bill with a drink was $33.
Moon Under Water
332 Beach Drive NE
St Pete, FL
We ended up at Gino’s Pizza for lunch today. Loren got a half Italian sub & salad and I went for the cheesesteak.
Loren said the Italian sub was pretty good. For half a sandwich, it was plenty to fill him up.
I found the cheesesteak to be a bit on the dry side. It was more than I could eat in one sitting. The roll was really big, so Loren ended up just eating some of the cheesesteak out of it. Total bill with a drink was $17.
3394 Tampa Rd
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
We were headed to the Florida Aquarium today, so walked over to Thai Thani in Channelside for lunch. They weren’t very busy at all during lunch. A simple salad came with our entrees and we started off with the steamed dumplings.
The dumplings were dense, but had a really nice flavor to them. There was even a little bit of shrimp in the top of all of them. Loren went for the ginger beef and I choose the chicken pad se-ew.
Loren said the beef was very tender and the sauce flavorful. I really enjoyed the flavor of the pad se-ew. The noodles were thick and tender and the veggies were cooked just right. The sauce was slightly sweet, which I like. I thought the chicken could have been a little more tender, but overall it was a good version of the dish. Total bill with a drink was $22.
615 Channelside Drive, Ste 204
My sister & I were in Orlando this weekend and had lunch at Hawkers. It’s an Asian street fare tapas restaurant We ordered and shared four different items. First up, the vegetarian spring rolls.
These were pretty standard spring rolls. Next up were the curry meatballs.
These had a bit of spice to them, but the curry wasn’t overwhelmingly hot. The meatballs had a good texture and flavor. The last two items we ordered were the Bok Choy and Crispy Canton Noodles.
Both of these suffered from an overabundance of salt. The bok choy was cooked well, but it was also supposed to have shitake mushrooms and I think there was one on the plate. The veggies in the crispy noodles were tender crisp with some pieces of pork. We kept dunking the crispy noodles into the sauce to soften them, but then they just got too salty to eat. They have a large menu of different items, but these four were enough to fill us for the afternoon. Total bill was $21.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
1103 N. Mills Ave
We really do know better than to visit a new restaurant during its opening week, but we decided to try Pisces Sushi Global Bistro tonight anyway. Let’s just say they were still working out the kinks. We were seated by one of the owners and she started to explain the drink menu to us, but since we’re not drinkers we just asked for water and an iced tea. She said she’d check to see if they had any tea. Then a waiter came by and repeated the same process. Let’s just say, it was a long evening.
The owner said instead of bread, they serve rice balls.
It’s lightly fried sushi rice and they were pretty good. A little crunch on the outside and dense rice in the middle. This is where the waiting began. A large group came in and I think that really overwhelmed them. The noise level also got rather loud. The owner came by and apologized for the wait saying that the chef was a perfectionist and didn’t like the first attempt at Loren’s dish, so they had to remake it. Eventually, our waiter came back to the table and asked if it would be ok if Loren’s dish came out before the sushi I ordered.
The Jamaican Me Crazy was a spicy pork dish that unfortunately came to the table cold. The rice was a little warmer and the veggies seemed to be right off the grill. Loren liked the flavor of the dish, but would have liked it better had it all been the right temperature. My Kanisu roll came out next.
I thought the cucumber was sliced a bit thick and the roll was very loose, but it had a good flavor to it. Eventually, the Mexican roll and Royal California roll came out.
The Mexican roll was cold. It had to have been sitting there for quite a while. When the waiter came back to the table, I told him about the temperature of Loren’s dish and the Mexican roll and they offered to make another one. The second Mexican roll came out really fast and was pretty good. As for the Royal California roll, neither of us was very fond of it. I didn’t like the texture of the snow crab and we both thought it had a less than fresh taste to it. At this point we were just ready for the check, then the owner came by and said she had something for us. The waiter than brought out a free dessert.
Although it was a nice gesture, neither of us is a fan of tiramisu. They also took the Mexican roll off the bill. Total bill with a drink ended up being $36. They were very apologetic about the whole experience, but there really wasn’t anything about it that makes us think we’ll be back. Hopefully, they’ll get all the kinks worked out quickly.
Pisces Sushi Global Bistro
2340 State Road 580
We drove over to Dunedin tonight and had dinner at Tom Yum Thai & Sushi. We got there just before the crowd showed up. Twenty minutes later and we’d have had to wait for a table. I can never decide between Thai food and sushi, so tonight we had a little of both. We started off with two sushi rolls, a California roll and the Green Dragon roll.
The green dragon roll makes such a pretty photo. It’s a shrimp tempura roll with avocado & eel sauce on top. Yum! Loren got the ginger beef and I got some Pad Se-ew for my entree.
Fresh and tasty all around. The veggies were crisp tender and everything melded well with each other. I ended up with leftovers. Total bill with a drink was $39.
Tom Yum Thai & Sushi
104 Patricia Ave
It was a dark and rainy evening in Sarasota, but lucky for us that meant there wasn’t a crowd at Yoder’s. We’ve tried to eat here in the past, but the line was always too long so we’d just get some pie to go. As much as I wanted to love the food here, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.
We started off with some bread and clam chowder.
The bread was fresh and soft and the chowder was pretty good. It could have used a little more seasoning, but it was thick and creamy. For his entree, Loren chose the roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and okra.
We heard the he ladies at the table next to us comment on how that didn’t like the okra they got, but ours was ok. He said the dish was very plain and needed more seasoning overall. I ordered the fried chicken with a side of mac & cheese and corn cakes.
On Friday’s, they only have pan fried chicken which ended up being tough inside and the skin wasn’t very crispy. It just wasn’t juicy at all. The mac & cheese was very creamy and had a nice flavor to it. I had asked about the corn cakes before I ordered them and the waiter said they were like pancakes with corn in them. I still had a different picture in my mind until he brought them out with some maple syrup. Unfortunately, they were a bit too dense. The main reason we came here, though, was for the pie.
I got the blueberry and Loren got the butterscotch cream pie. Getting there late in the day means there aren’t as many pie options available. I wanted the blueberry cream pie they had the last time I was here, but it wasn’t on the menu. Second choice was the double crust blueberry pie, but the waiter brought the blueberry crumb as that was all they had. I didn’t like the crumb topping. Loren said he didn’t like the texture of his pie filling. It was sort of grainy, but it did have a good butterscotch flavor to it. I also got a slice of pineapple cream pie to bring home and I liked that one a lot better than the others. Total bill with a drink was $50.
3434 Bahia Vista St
Hot Tuna Sushi Bar has a lunch deal that we just couldn’t pass up today. Two rolls with soup or salad for $9.95. They had a pretty good lunch crowd in there today. We both got salads and for our rolls, a salmon roll, a gator roll, a Florida roll, and a Mexican roll.
The gator roll is actually tuna & yellowtail with a spicy sauce. All of the rolls were fresh and tasty. We may have to put this on our rotation for lunch more often. Total bill with a drink was $23.
Hot Tuna Sushi Bar & Grille
3689 Tampa Road #302B
We had a coupon for Carrabba’s, so that’s where we headed for dinner. They were packed and it was only 5:30pm when we got there. We had hoped to beat the crowd, but ended up with a 25 minute wait. The restaurant was very loud and we were seated up against a wall that connected to a large party room which made it even that much louder where we were sitting.
We started off with the Spinach Fonduta.
This was a really tasty appetizer, but needed a few more toast points. We had quite a bit of spinach dip remaining once the 6 pieces of bread were gone. The dip was creamy and had a nice mellow flavor to it. We ended up dipping the untoasted bread from the basket to scoop up the remaining dip.
Our dinners came with soup or salad and we got one of each. The soup tonight was a lentil.
Loren enjoyed the soup. He said it had some nice savory flavors to it. For his entree, he ordered the sirloin skewers.
These were really tender. It’s not often that he’s gotten kabobs that were this good. I ordered the fettucine alfredo.
I found the cheese to be way too sharp for my tastes. Loren said it tasted more like a mac & cheese than an alfredo sauce. I prefer a very creamy, mellow sauce and this just wasn’t it for me. Total bill after the coupon was $27.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
2680 Gulf to Bay Blvd