The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Good for a Laugh


We decided to try Casa Cosenza in Oldsmar for dinner tonight.  It was one of those experiences where if you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry.  Everything from the food to the service was a joke.  When we arrived there was only one other table of guests and yet we were directed to either a small table in the corner behind them or another small table with the sun shining in.  Luckily, the sun was setting otherwise it would have been impossible to sit there.  Seriously folks, invest in some window treatments.

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Our waitress was rather clueless.  It was like she didn’t retain anything you said or that she had already said from one moment to the next.  She brought out a salami taster and some bread.

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Loren thought it was ok.  It had salami, cheese, bread, and a basil leaf plus a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  I found it to be too salty and the bread it was on was on the stale side.  As for the bread basket, the bread sticks were inedible.  Solid as a rock.  The bread itself was thick and cold.  I just believe if you’re going to tout that you make homemade bread, that it should be served warm.  Our waitress asked twice if we wanted olive oil & balsamic vinegar to go with it.  Loren said just a little bit of garlic would have made it a better dipping sauce.

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When the waitress came back to take our order, her cell phone rang.  Granted she didn’t pick it up, but why would you have it on you when you’re working??  We ordered the caprese calda su fogliedi zucchine fritte as an appetizer.  The menu described it as mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes in puff pastry with fried zucchini.

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We both laughed when it came to the table.  The “puff” pastry was hard as a rock.  There was no semblance of puff there at all.  There were 4 tiny pieces of grilled zucchini on the side and this thing cost $12.  The waitress came back and asked us how it was and I told her it was rock hard.  She seemed perplexed at that point.  I think we both knew this was not going to go well.

For his entree, Loren ordered the fish of the day which was black grouper.  It was cooked in a paper bag with tomatoes, capers, and olives.  When he went to order it, she asked if he wanted roasted potatoes or mashed which were actually a puree.  He said the mashed, but as you can see from the photo, it was served with both.

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He actually liked the fish.  He said it was cooked well and the olives and capers added a nice flavor.  The puree of potato had a really odd texture.  It was overmixed and gluey.   I decided to try the lasagne.

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I don’t know where to begin.  When I think of lasagne, I think layers.  You know, sheets of pasta with cheese and meat sauce.  This was a plate of meat sauce with a few sparse pieces of pasta that pretty much dissolved in your mouth.  I had no words.  And the best part?  It tasted like Chef Boyardee.  I kid you not.  It was a very familiar flavor from childhood and Loren tasted it and thought the same thing.  The waitress came by and asked how it was and I told her it was awful.  It was a plate of meat sauce.  She asked if I wanted some pasta instead.  I said sure and she said she’d take the lasagne off the bill.  Again, call me crazy, but if a customer sends back a dish uneaten and then you offer to bring out something else, would you expect to be charged for the second dish?

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I watched Loren finish his meal since it seems to take a really long time to put together a plate of pasta.  I’m an old school Italian and I like tomato sauce that’s been cooked for a long time to remove the acidity of the tomatoes.  This just had that raw tomato taste and the pasta wasn’t cooked enough.  There’s al dente and then there’s this. There were way too many pieces stuck together and barely cooked at all.  And yes, I left most of it uneaten and we got charged for it.

Here’s the kicker.  After complaining about the appetizer, sending my entree back, and leaving the majority of its replacement on the plate, the waitress came up to the table and asked if everything was good.  Seriously??!  I was speechless.  Needless to say, this was a wasted $58 and we will never be back again.

Casa Cosenza
3705 Tampa Rd, Ste 6
Oldsmar, FL
813-925-9765

Casa Cosenza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food1/5
Service1/5
Atmosphere1/5
Value1/5
1.0/5

Now Serving Sushi


It seems most of the Thai restaurants around town have started serving sushi.  We hadn’t been to Amarit Thai in a while and decided to check out what they had to offer tonight.  We started off with some wonton soup, salad, and some crispy spring rolls.

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The soup and salad were good.  I like their ginger dressing.  The spring rolls were a bit too crispy in places, but otherwise, they were tasty.  We ordered the tuna tornado, Mexican roll, spicy tuna crunch, some salmon, and a lobster roll.

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The sushi was good, but the rice was a bit on the cold side for my taste.  I just don’t think there should be a noticeable difference in temperature.  The rolls were all a good size and we ended up taking some home.  It was a bit on the expensive side though, $78 with a drink.

Amarit Thai
328 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
(727) 789-9186

Amarit Thai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value2/5
2.9/5

Long Wait


Craft Street Kitchen in Oldsmar always has a crowd.  I think the last 2 times we were there, we had at least a 45 minute wait for dinner.  So far, though, it’s been worth the wait.  Tonight, we sat out on the patio which was good since it was so loud inside and started with some meatloaf sliders.

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These were some tasty little bites.  There’s a little bit of heat going on, either in the meatloaf itself or maybe in the bacon tomato jam, but certainly an appetizer we’d get again.  Loren went for the Ziggy.

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He’s had this sandwich before and his one complaint is the ratio of bread to filling.  It has a great flavor though.  I decided to try the steak and cheese with a side of sweet potato tots.

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The steak was incredibly tender.  I was amazed at how tender it was.  The cheese sauce was sort of fondue like.  It was ok, but a more gooier cheese would have worked better.  Instead, this was just a very sloppy sandwich.  The tots were crispy and came with a sweet dipping sauce.  Yum!  Total bill with a drink was $40.

Craft Street Kitchen and Drinks
3153 Curlew Rd
Oldsmar, FL
727-314-4270

Craft Street Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Mee Krob


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

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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

Early Lunch


We went over to Thirsty Marlin for an early lunch.  We were the first ones in the restaurant, but it started to fill up quick.  We tried the pork nachos for an appetizer.

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The nachos are actually onion rings covered in shredded pork and cheese.  They were tasty.  The pork had a sweet BBQ sauce on it, so I liked it more than Loren did.  The only issue is that they are heavy handed with the salt here, so after a while it gets harder to eat.   For his entree, Loren got the salmon dill wrap.

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He liked the blackened salmon itself, but there was just too much of the dill sauce on the wrap.  He said after a bite or two all he could taste was the dill sauce.  He’d order it again, but with the sauce on the side.  I decided to try their Cuban sandwich.

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It didn’t thrill me.  The mustard was overpowering and there really wasn’t anything special about the sandwich itself.  The meats weren’t flavorful and the bread was pressed a bit too much.  I always have high hopes for the food here, but it seems to be hit or miss.  Total bill with a drink was $38.

Thirsty Marlin
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
727-784-3469

Click to add a blog post for Thirsty Marlin Grill & Bar on Zomato

 

Food2/5
Service2/5
Atmosphere2/5
Value2/5
2.0/5