It was a surprise to walk into this adorable place with no one seated or eating. Typically this would be my first red flag for me to make a bee line to the door. On the other hand it had a beautiful almost meditative type feeling from the moment you step in the door. White walls with amazingly huge colorful paintings on the walls with real orchids on each and every table. At first glance I just felt as if I had found a gem.
After being seated I took one look at the menu and the prices were average for a lunch at a Thai restaurant. I was a little disappointed at first when I ordered my meal and I couldn’t change the soup for a salad. However, after getting my cucumber soup I quickly realized that they obviously knew what they were doing. The smell was warm and inviting and the taste was even better with a cool crisp flavor of cucumber and tofu.
A few moments later my Red Curry Chicken came with an amazing display of culinary talents. Between the selection of vegetables in the Red Curry Chicken to the side of Pad Thai and carrot butterfly on my plate I couldn’t hold in the excitement. It smelled delicious and tasted even better. I didn’t expect to have a side of Pad Thai on the side and I had never tried it before. I’m not sure how its suppose to taste, but after I took my first bite I knew I was in love. While the Red Curry Chicken was delicious and oozing of flavor the Pad Thai reminded me of a bar-b-Que. I realize how that must sound, but it really was my first thought. It had a light flavor of sweet and spicy with a smell similar to bar-b-Que sauce. Plus with noodles being so light it reminded me of summer. Maybe I should have tried Pad Thai earlier. Yum.
After finishing my meal I noticed that more people were coming in for a late lunch. I suppose that this area of town could just eat lunch later then people on the west coast of Florida. As I began to people watch I listened to this one business woman tell the waiter to have his wife make her something special. He did exactly that and she did make her something special indeed. She also brought the meal out to the woman personally so I was also able to thank the chef for a great meal.
If you’re ever in the area and you have the option to check this place out I would suggest it for sure. It might be a little quiet and you may not find it to be a place to meet new people, but your taste buds will thank you in the end.
Today I was Boca Raton and there was a ton of places to choose from in this area. While I looked on Urban Spoon for a selection of places I realized that almost everything in the area was more expensive then back home. Finally I found something that sounded healthy and fair in price. Meza Mediterranean Grill & Bar in Boca Raton sits in a little shopping center with other eateries available just doors away. I was surprised to see that when I walked in at lunch time it wasn’t busy at all. Usually it’s not a good sign if the parking lot is packed and there is no one in your restaurant around lunch time, however I wanted to give it a try.
I was greeted at the door and seated wherever I like by a waiter named Robert. He had a smile on his face and he took my drink order immediately and he told me to ask if I had any questions about the menu. At first glance I felt that I was just sitting in another dinner or deli style restaurant, but after looking around I realized that this was a place to come at night. They are set up for live music, there’s a covered patio where you can choose from a huge selection of hookah and they even have belly dancers on weekends. The décor inside is mainly a mural painted on the walls that makes you feel like you’re in another country and then simple neutral colored booths and chairs. The bar is in the back and although it doesn’t seat many people it looks inviting.
One of the things that I like about their menu is that there’s a description of the food and ingredients next to the original name. Being that I have tried a lot of Greek food before I wanted to see how they were different from the local Tarpon Springs area. I ordered the Middle-Eastern Sampler which came with a large portion of hummus, eggplant dip, grape leaves and Falafel
. It was served with a side plate of pita bread for dipping and the Falafel
was sitting on a bit of lettuce and cucumbers which worked well for dipping. The food was amazing! The eggplant dip (eggplant hummus) and the grape leaves were my favorite. The flavors in both were so unique and fresh, I could tell that I was eating a meal from a recipe that came from a traditional Mediterranean family. When I asked Robert about the dish he confirmed that these meals came from the mother’s recipe box. The grape leaves were made fresh and the eggplant dip was made earlier today. The Falafel
didn’t look as appealing, but the taste was incredible especially once it was dipped in the tahini
sauce. After taking a few bites of everything on my plate I asked Robert to tell me what his favorite meat plate was on the menu. He told me that I couldn’t leave without trying some lamb.
With the lamb kabob sandwich you are offered French fries or Greek salad. Based on my choices I opted for the Greek salad. It came as a chopped salad with pickled beets and fresh feta. When I say fresh feta I mean it was fresh and delicious. The lamb kabob sandwich came perfectly wrapped up in pita bread and tin foil for those who are messy. It was filled with lamb, tomatoes, red onions, feta, tahini sauce and lettuce. The lamb was tender and moist and cooked to perfection with some seasoning that I couldn’t seem to put my finger on. Either way it was a delicious addition to my already amazing meal. I ended up taking three boxes of food home with me, just from the leftovers of this meal. I can’t wait to enjoy it for a second time as I’m sure it will taste just as good. Overall my experience with Meza's Mediterranean Grill & Bar was far superior to any local Greek restaurant we have in the Tarpon Springs area. I might even go as far as saying this is probably the best Mediterranean food I've ever had.
I would like to point out that in other reviews someone had mentioned the service being bad and I would like to say that things may have changed since then. The ipads that they mentioned are still being used, but they aren’t being brought to the table. My waiter took my order and went back to the bar to type it in the ipad. I did witness someone cleaning off a table which was right next to me and I didn’t smell any bleach once he was done. Maybe they saw your review and changed up some of the ways they handled business, which in my opinion is a great way to take constructive criticism. They did a wonderful job of checking in on me and they gave me plenty of attention during the course of my meal.
Who would have thought that this would be a surprising delight. I was in the mood for meatballs or something hearty and yet Lemongrass Asian Bistro looked cute and possibly tasty. I was right.
When I walked in I felt that it was kind of small, but it had an Asian home/family kind of feel to it. People were nestled up with pillows next to them on the cushioned benches or they were enjoying a quaint little table for two by the window. The decor was simple and not all that fresh, but the colors were modern and the place settings made this place feel a bit more fancy.
I was immediately seated at a table for one on a cushioned bench with a couple pillows to relax on. The waitress waited for me to get off the phone before asking me for my drink order. I try not to be on the phone when walking into a place but sometimes you just can't help it. Most places just interrupt because they feel that it's rude to be on the phone (as I do agree, I appreciate it more if they give me second to handle my business). This waitress was very understanding about it.
After looking through this menu I knew that if I'm planning on staying in this area for a week then I am going to have to come back to this place. There was so much to choose from on the menu I could hardly decide what type of food I wanted. They had a Thai, Sushi, Salads and tons of different noodles and soups made in several different ways. I wanted to try some of their gyoza so I ordered that for an appetizer along with the red curry with chicken for dinner. The first thing that came was my house salad that had ginger dressing on it. Honestly this was the best ginger dressing I've ever had. When the gyoza came and it had a side of shredded carrots as a garnish I almost poured the dressing all over it, but the bus boy picked up my empty salad bowl as soon as I put the fork down. Granted he did ask me if I was finished, but I didn't want to look pathetic grabbing it and pouring the dressing on what was meant to be a garnish.
The gyoza was very tasty and it was cooked perfectly. It was hot and crispy with soft fresh ingredients inside. I wasn't a fan of the sauce because it had an unusual taste unlike any other Asian sauce that I've had. When my red curry and chicken came out I was so pleased with the amount of veggies in it. The portion or red curry and chicken was huge compared to the small scoop of rice that they give you. I also really didn't like the smell of the meal compared to other red curry dishes that I've had in the past. The flavor was amazing though and it made everything worth it. The chicken was tender and the veggies were fresh and slightly crunchy giving the whole dish some great texture.
Hopefully next time I go to Lemongrass Asian Bistro I'll get a chance to try some of the sushi that I hear is incredible. Everyone raves about the lobster roll, but I wasn't in the mood for sushi this evening. After enjoying that salad so much I'm positive that I'll be back to have more and a roll of sushi with it.
While I was in town for work I wanted to try out some new restaurants to review. Being that I had been in the car for a few hours and I was starving for lunch I thought it would give any restaurant the advantage of me liking anything that I was about to eat. Sadly I was mistaken. When I walked into Russell's Blue Water Grill I was greeted with a picture frame of a review by Zagat.com. I'm not a huge fan of Zagat.com as it take a while to load webpages properly and their reviews have such a unique method that it would take some getting used to. I suppose I could grow into them. The review in the picture frame looked pretty good, but I didn't let that cloud my judgement. It was a little after lunch and this place was dead. There were only two tables seated with under 4 people at each table.
When I walked in a noticed a piano to my left along with a nicely set up bar. To my right and also in front of me were several tables that were already set up for fancy dining. My waitress Erika placed me near the bar in a well set up booth. She immediately took my drink order and told me about their 3 course lunch special. That seemed a little much considering this place is in a strip mall and the decor was set up like a clearance section at Pier One. After looking more at the decor I noticed that it was a mixture of different styles. I like the idea of the large mirrors and vases set up around the place, but the Denny's style glass partitions kind of take away from the copper and candle lit glow this place could have. Everything seemed clean at first, but at second glance the partitions had food stuck on them and the dishes had dark spots on them that looked like they were dirty (they weren't dirty, but the dingy dishes gave that illusion)
I ended up passing on the 3 course lunch meal and I ended up getting a Caprese Chicken Sandwich. It was described as a piece of grilled chicken with tomato and smoked mozzarella topped with a balsamic reduction and a side of French Fries. When it came out it looked okay, but I was a little disappointed with the presentation. Nothing was really bright in color like you would expect from Caprese. The French Fries were home-made and even though the texture and heat was there it lacked in any flavor or seasoning. Don't get me wrong, these fries beat out Wendy's any day of the week. I'm just pointing out that they needed something on them other then just placed on the plate. The Caprese sandwich had an odd flavor too it. Although the chicken was seasoned well and the tomatoes were fresh I felt like the mozzarella wasn't giving off a fresh flavor. The bun had been toasted with butter, but it didn't give it any flavor just a greasy feeling. If it weren't for the balsamic vinegar reduction I would have probably sent this sandwich back. BVR can make just about anything taste good and it was covering up for something on this sandwich. As you all know I realize that sometimes restaurants have an off day and I would be willing to try this place again, just not if I'm paying. The cost was high on a lot of the menu items and the food wasn't at the same level. My waitress Erika was good at what she does, but keep in mind that by the time my food hit the table I was the only person left in the restaurant. I'm not really a high maintenance customer (mostly because I try to keep a low profile when I do food reviews). Maybe this place is really only meant to have a dinner menu instead of a lunch menu, but if you're open I'm stopping in.
Sorry but Russell's Blue Water Grill
restaurant is going int the "No Doggy Bag For Me" list.
I was a little pessimistic about trying out this restaurant especially after all the blog reviews on it. There were so many bad ones with all the same type of comments "too expensive", "the food wasn't good" and "the service sucked". Needless to say I was nervous to even try Eggstyle because of these reviews, but my friend was adamant about having me try it.
We ended up going on a weekday which kind of gave Eggstyle a fair shot of impressing us with their food. Although I agree that food should be good at any time that you visit, breakfast is one of the hardest meals to make when there are extremely hungry people in line on a busy weekend morning. This being said the place was almost empty. Aside from two tables that were both almost finished with their meals we were the only ones being seated. We didn't have to wait at all and the waiter was extremely pleasant.
While getting a quick walk through as we were being seated I noticed that they had a juice bar to my left with two top tables for those that are just getting a quick bite and there was a full seated restaurant area ahead. We were seated at a booth near the kitchen and immediately our waiter got our drink order. Looking around I noticed that everything was bright and cheerful. Eggs were definitely a theme in this restaurant, not by egg decor rather the color of eggs and other breakfast foods. The restaurant was very well lit and it gave the appearance of a posh restaurant while still maintaining the family breakfast atmosphere. It was really nicely decorated and very clean.
While my friend had her order already at the tip of her tongue I had to glance at the menu and choose something in fear she might stab me with a fork unless I chose quickly. (I'm kidding, she just really likes this place). I was surprised to see all the amazing foods that they had to offer. Nothing was ordinary and each item had a unique twist. One item that stood out for me was the Pears and Brie Blintz. While it's described as being a crepe with fresh pears and brie I was surprised to find that it was covered in a delicious caramel and confection sugar topping. At the time I was ordering it I was watching my diet and trying to be a little bit good. However, once this masterpiece came out my diet went out the window and I almost didn't even take a picture of it because I wanted a bite so badly. My girlfriend ordered the Sandwich Surprise which even the waiter knew what she was going to order because she had been there before. This sandwich was described as Egg, Ham, Swiss Cheese French Toast sandwich dipped in their batter and topped with fresh fruits and English Cream. (Stating the obvious, this would be an item I KNOW wouldn't make my diet list). Not only did this item look amazing it tasted better then you could imagine. One of the reasons why this friend and I call ourselves friends is because we can share food without even asking. My fork was on her plate and hers on mine as soon as I put the camera down. My pears and brie crepe tasted fresh and hearty with a bit of sweet flavor due to the diet damaging toppings that were to die for. Her French Toast sandwich had so many flavors going on it was hard to determine what part I liked the most.
Although many reviews marked this restaurant as a disgusting mess I would challenge any other breakfast restaurant to come up with these amazingly flavorful dishes. How hard is it to put a spin on crepes or a Monte Cristo recipe? I realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion (and we all know that I've had my fair share of bad opinions), but seriously this place needs to be given a second chance for those that didn't like it the first time. A good breakfast restaurant is going to be a little more expensive because each dish is a masterpiece and not a precooked production house like many of the breakfast houses out there. This restaurant is going on the Best Served list on my blog. I would gladly go back to this restaurant and wait in line if I had to.
You can find more of their amazing food selections here on their menu.
It's a good thing that Florida has a lot of amazing food choices in the area, because I would not put Chopsticks Super Buffet on the list of places to go back a second or third time. The more you go the worse it gets.
A few months ago when Chopsticks opened I was so excited to have a super buffet in the area that I went within the first week of them opening. The display was amazing and the place has been decorated in style. This location has been many different restaurants with little success, but this is the first time the decor actually matches the space. I was impressed by the decor and the hostess at the front that I left that cloud my judgement. The first time I went I tried numerous items and I was happily pleased with a full belly and decent service. We were seated right next to the service station where all the waitresses stand, so our drinks were always full and our plates were always removed immediately after we were finished.
I remember the sushi section being filled with choices and always clean looking. The sushi was definitely not amazing, but it was decent enough to try different kinds that I have never tried before. They had numerous choices of rice, noodles and soup. Since I normally just stick to fried rice I decided to try the noodles instead. The fried (brown noodles) were good, but very greasy. The white noodles tasted like something that Ramin could have made (although no one can beat Ramin). They had a huge selection of chicken to choose from and most of it was good. Overall I kept thinking this was a good place to eat especially for the lunch pricing. Then my friend came back from the bathroom with a look of disgust on her face. She sat down and told me that while she was in there our waitress had used the restroom and started to walk out of the bathroom without washing her hands. My friend immediately grabbed the waitress and asked her to wash her hands before entering the dining area again. I'm so proud of her for that! Apparently the waitress was extremely embarrassed, but she immediately mentioned that she was going to wash her hands in the back. You would think after hearing this story I would declined to come back here again, but the idea of all you can eat sushi weighs on your mind at weak moments.
The second time I went with Sven after a long morning of yard saling. We were starving and I couldn't wait for him to try some of the different types of sushi. Where else are you going to get to try all types of sushi for under $10.00? He was as shocked as I was the first time with the amount of sushi and food to choose from. We quickly realized after getting up to the buffet that while things were hot the buffet didn't look as clean. Maybe it's because we went on a Saturday and the first time I went it was on a Thursday. The amount of workers were the same and the funny thing was there were more people on the Thursday afternoon that I went, so clearly Saturday should have been a piece of cake. After sitting down with a plate of food with numerous choices from both of us for the sake of doing this review we realized quickly the food wasn't all that great. The cooked salmon was cooked well, but didn't taste great. The fried rice didn't taste like normal fried rice (it didn't taste good at all). The chicken selection may be large but you'll notice that the fried coconut chicken, black pepper chicken and general tso chicken dishes are so heavily coated I don't even know if there's chicken in there. The peanut chicken and wings are probably the best chicken dishes on the buffet. Both being flavorful and only having a light coating that is fried.
When we got to the sushi section Sven and I had a great time going over each piece to make sure that he wasn't going to eat anything with fish eggs (god forbid lol). The sushi section wasn't as filled as it was the first time and this time it was really messy. When we sat down to eat our sushi I realized that our waitress hadn't been back to take our plates and I was out of a drink. Neither of us could seem to get the waitress's attention to get another drink. So we started trying out our sushi while we waited for the waitress. The first piece was just a simple California roll which was fine. The second was a Salmon roll which we weren't able to swallow. Looking over at Sven I realized he didn't know WHAT to do with this roll that was inedible and still in his mouth. I think that was the first time since I was 10 that I actually grabbed a napkin and spit out my food. Immediately after I spit mine out Sven was doing the same and being extremely thankful that I did it first. The Salmon had been on the buffet for too long and it didn't taste right at all. After that we were very nervous to try anymore of the sushi. At that point I hunted down my waitress for a refill because I couldn't even think to have anything else until I had washed my mouth out.
After the incident of terrible sushi we waited a while to hit the dessert section. You really can't go too wrong with a dessert section so I'm not going to waste my time on this. Instead I am going to go through a list of items to stay far away from at the Chopsticks Super Buffet.
1. Fried Rice and white noodles
2. Check the temperature of your sushi
3. Vegetable stick (I can't explain the horror of eating this item)
4. Any of the fried bits of chicken
5. Fried Zucchini (which by the way I normally LOVE at any other place)
I'm usually someone who loves food and I have trouble saying I wouldn't go back there, but in this case I'm finished. The idea of all you can eat sushi will not cloud my judgement any longer.
My new fiancé and I decided to take a break from the daily grind and we checked out Leo’s Italian Grille. This restaurant has been so many things in the past, but I think this might be a winner. From the moment you see the building you’re greeted with cheerful yet muted colors on the walls of the building. Stepping inside there is a host with a smile on her face standing behind a beautiful stone and marble counter. From the dungeon that this place used to be you can tell that this new restaurant is looking to impress and to satisfy their customers.
Once we were handed off to our waiter we were seated in a huge booth which actually made it a little more romantic. We were able to sit next to each other and see the whole restaurant in front of us. Everything was colorful, well lit, clean and professionally decorated. The colors are very Italian with reds, oranges, greens and brown accents. This would be a great place to celebrate something. I could see that it would be family friendly, but because of the open room seating it could possibly get a little loud. While we were there we noticed that they have a stage, so we asked Jose (our waiter) what they use it for. On Friday and Saturday nights they use the stage for bands which he swears by. He said that this is the place to be on a Saturday night.
Now for the food. Sven and I came with very empty almost angry stomachs. While looking over the menu Jose brought us three large size loaves of bread with olive oil. We immediately ordered the calamari for an appetizer since we couldn’t handle waiting too long for our food. While that was being made we looked over the menu thoroughly. On their appetizer list you can find items such as calamari, bruschetta and fried mushrooms. There was more to choose from, but those are what I remember. On the entrée side they had Fettuccini Alfredo with shrimp, chicken, veal and Florentine or you can choose to do your Alfredo with tortellini instead. They had eggplant rollatini, meatballs, pizza and even a kids menu. Their dessert menu was half a page long with items like zeppole, Tiramisu, chocolate cake and much more.
When the calamari came out we pretty much had our forks in our hands waiting for the plate to hit the table. Aside from needing some seasoning the calamari was fresh and cooked perfectly. It came with a large bowl of marinara which worked perfectly for the calamari and all the bread that they gave us. Our salads were good, but our main complaint was the Caesar salad had rock hard croutons on it. The portions were good, the dressing was great, but the croutons were almost too hard to bite into.
When our meals came out they looked and tasted delicious. By this time we were almost completely full which was a shame because these were hefty portions of food. When Sven’s tortellini Alfredo and chicken came out you could smell the garlic which was amazing. My lobster ravioli came out looking beautiful and tasted even better. There was plenty of sauce on it and even though I didn’t check I think it came with about 6 healthy sized raviolis. I could only eat two at the point of over stuffing myself. Sven only made it through a quarter of his meal because of how full we had gotten off our salad and calamari. The flavors were there, the freshness was there and the service was excellent. Jose was phenomenal and he was fun to have as a waiter.
Later I asked for a tour around the place and I could see that their bar was very stylish and sophisticated; they had a party room off to the side which would work perfectly for a wedding reception or private party. They even had seating outside on a patio for those that want to enjoy a dinner outside. The only drawback to the patio is it’s in the front of the restaurant which is right off of 19N. That being said the highway there keeps it very loud and not as interesting as sitting inside with the Italian décor.
I would definitely suggest eating at Leo’s. I can’t wait to go back again on a Friday or Saturday night when they have live entertainment. This time I’ll make sure to share a meal with my fiancé and maybe even a dessert.
Diet or no diet everyone needs to try some food from Lenny's
. I was meeting a friend here for breakfast and she picked out this little restaurant. When I pulled up quarter til' nine in the morning and the parking lot was full I knew I was in for a treat. After battling it out with a few other cars and pedestrians just to find my parking spot in the back of the lot I was happily greeted at the door. A man who took the time to say hello to me through a sea of people waiting for seats. When I told him that my friend was going to be late he said that I should sit at the counter and get a drink. Who's going to say no to that when by the looks of this line you would think you're about to go on the new Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios. (If you haven't waited in that line before I suggest you bring an ipad
with the movie Titanic on it.)
Anyways, back to breakfast. I'm seated at a very old style diner bar and greeted by a woman who is anxious to get me my first beverage. She rushed by and says "whatcha want to drink darlin' I'll be right back with it". When she returns with my drink and a menu she informs me that the special of the day is Banana Nut Bread French Toast. Ummm if it weren't for having to do a review I would have handed her back the menu and said "BRING IT", but for the sake of the review I figured I should at least glance at the menu. Plus how rude would it have been if I didn't at least attempt to wait for my friend. I take this precious time to talk with Joanne (my server) and I asked her about some of the items on the menu. Joanne informs me of at least seven different menu items that she swears is to die for. Items such as the Redneck Benedict, Portabella Mushroom Benedict, Pumpkin Pancakes (seriously... pumpkin pancakes!), The Kitchen Sink, Biscuits and Gravy and the list goes on and on. All of it sounds amazing, but I had to know what Scrapple was. "Joanne, what is this on the menu... Scrapple?" Joanne gets a funny smirk on her face and she says "Well I've never tried it myself, but a customer once told me that it's everything that's left of the pig after they make hotdogs." After picking my jaw up off the floor and swallowing that little bit of vomit that came up I decided that was the best description of what I don't ever want to eat in my life. Thanks Joanne I'll let you know what I want once I get my appetite back.
While I was waiting on my friend I started to take some pictures of the atmosphere. This restaurant is home of the Phillie fans and any other baseball memorabilia that you can imagine. They also have a sense of humor when it comes to decorating. Things like clocks on the wall that tell the times for other countries and cities. Clearwater being the correct time while Largo time is an hour early. I'm assuming that's because people in Largo always seemed to be late to things. Then they have a clock that has Iraq for the name, this clock is all torn up and burnt as if a bomb hit it. Then there's the menu which has a section of ladies names and a description of their meals. Like the lady Nicola which includes 3 slices of French toast made with Belgian Raisin Rounds. Love the concept. My favorite was the section "For the VERY young at heart 55 & older (7 forms of ID required)" Too funny. From top to bottom this place has character and I can see why so many people stand outside in the long line just to eat here.
Once my friend arrived she and I decided to order family style. She ordered something that we both wanted and so did I. She ended up getting the Nicola with a Little Cliff (biscuits & gravy) while I of course ordered the Banana Nut French Toast and a side of Canadian Bacon (which I usually don't like, but today was an exception). When the meal came I found it easier to just piece together my meal on one plate and take a picture for you. The BNFT was moist and sweet with plenty of nuts. It was a little hearty for my taste, but I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. Then I tried the original Belgian Raisin Round French Toast which was the perfect consistency of sweet and french toast like. Neither toasts needed a syrup or butter (nor did my thighs). I had a small bite of the biscuits and gravy and I have to say I thought they were perfect. My friend felt that they weren't as spicy or peppery as she would have liked. Overall I felt the food was good. I can't say it was amazing, but it's probably because we mainly had bread products with lots of sugar and we should have tried one of the Eggs Benedict. There's always next time and I will say that based on the service and atmosphere alone there will definitely be a next time.
When you walk into this place you realize how this gem can make you believe that fresh seafood is still out there. It’s on the water and inside you’ll see some history of Tarpon Springs and the restaurant itself. It has a very island/vacation feel to it. Once you’re seated your table will be given a brown paper bag with some amazing hush puppies in it. They are warm and have a sweet and salty flavor to them that is just the thing to get your mouth watering over the menu.
For the times that I’ve gone in here I can’t help but order the fish and chips or the Red Snapper. Since I’m originally from Rhode Island having fish and chips is one of my favorite meals. Knowing the difference between good fish and chips and not so good is usually the thickness of the batter and the freshness of the fish. Both of which are done very well at Rusty Bellies. The Red Snapper is one of my favorite dishes because of the flavor and light coating. I just wish that their portions were a little bigger on this menu item. I’m sure it works out fine for the people eating it within the wrap or sandwich, but I just like to eat the snapper out of it. The Grouper wrap is another great menu item in which they add the tzatziki sauce which is a Greek sauce. With Greek yogurt some seasoning and cucumbers this sauce is fresh and cool tasting. The wrap is a little messy, but all in all great in flavor.
Rusty Bellies does a good job of keeping their prices pretty low and maybe that’s why they’re so busy. Even if you have to wait to be seated it’s worth it if you’re in the mood for seafood. Otherwise there are some mediocre Greek restaurants about a block away.
This is one of those places that you can easily miss when you’re out and about the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Make sure you DON’T miss it though. Drive by the Greek restaurants and make your way down to Rusty Bellies, especially if you’re looking for some great seafood.
Since The Living Room
is a tapas style restaurant we thought it would work out best to order several small menu items and share with the table. We ordered items such as the Pane Bianco, Stuffed Portobello, Marbled Potatoes au Gratin, Braised Pork Shanks with Artichoke Ragu, Sautéed Haricot Verts and the Carciofo al Forno. If you look at their menu
you can understand a little more about each of these items. As a table we enjoyed the Stuffed Portobello and Marbled Potatoes au Gratin the best. Both of these items were seasoned to perfection with bold flavors and a fresh from the garden feel. Very easily shared although you’ll wish you didn’t have to. The Carciofo al Forno was mainly artichokes with seasonings and cheese. It wasn’t one of the major delights of the table although it was fresh and light in flavor. The key to these dishes were that each were beautifully presented and the flavors were clean and the food was fresh.
Although the prices may appear high the quality of the food and the establishment itself makes it worth the price. This place is especially nice for dates, special occasions or a girls night out at the bar with some appetizers.
For the cons: This wasn’t my first time at The Living Room
, however it was my first time where it wasn’t a special event. On a few occasions this place has held special events that can over crowd the restaurant which doesn’t give you the warm eclectic feel that this place has. The wait staff can be slow or nonexistent during these times. However, given the opportunity to have a dinner party on a regular night this place pulls through pretty well.
The wait staff was pleasant from the beginning and they were able to accommodate us on short notice for a party of nine. The décor is very unique with an almost Indonesian style which is very intimate and warm. The lights are low and candles are placed on each table giving that romantic feel. The feeling of class begins at the doorway and follows through with their delectable menu.