Clearwater Weekend Favorites
So for my birthday last month, my boyfriend and I made the trip to Clearwater, Florida so that he could endure a comedy show that I wanted to see. We made a whole weekend of it, and I'm here to share some of my favorite eats.
700 Eldridge St
Clearwater, FL 33755
Phone: (727) 286-8099
My boyfriend was the one who found this restaurant online near our Airbnb. I'm not sure I would've found it searching from home, because this place seemed like its own little gem. We ended up sitting outside to enjoy the weather and listen to the live music. I got something called the Seafood Surprise off of what I would assume is a rotating menu because it was on printed paper, and my boyfriend got the fish and chips.
I typically don't like linguine pasta, because I feel like when I have pasta, I want something that is going to hold the sauce better. And let me tell you, the pasta sauce was so well done that it didn't bother me that it was linguine pasta, and there was plenty of lobster and shrimp to compliment the sweetness of the sauce. My boyfriend said that the fish and chips were the best he ever had. We both wanted to go back again before we left, but it ended up not working with our schedule.
2) Crown and Bull
319 Main Street,
Dunedin, FL 34698
Phone: (727) 736-5284
A brand that has royalty and a dog? It sounded precious to me when my boyfriend suggested it. We came here for brunch on my birthday, and I was debating between the Chicken Biscuit (because it was on the Specials section of the menu) and getting a Benedict, because that's apparently what they're known for.
I did not regret my decision to get the Chicken Biscuit. The Homemade Honey Butter Biscuit was unlike any I've had before. The outside was perfectly baked, and the honey butter and the gravy softened the inside for the perfect melody in my mouth. I ended up eating just the biscuit and saving the chicken for leftovers.
The indoor seating seemed crowded, but I don't regret sitting outside that day. Sure, I was in the sun, but the atmosphere and freedom was very laid back. There was even a man going around making balloon animals for kids. It made me want to go back and see what the atmosphere was like in the evenings.
3) Tasty Thai
1530 McMullen Booth Rd Clearwater, FL 33759 Phone: (727) 600-8037
"Did you know that the first Hooters opened here in Clearwater?" my boyfriend asked as my car was stopped at a red light. We were driving around looking for a place to eat after the comedy show, and the place we had just stopped at was slammed.
"Maybe we should go there," I suggested. It wasn't what I really wanted, but I wasn't opposed to the idea if it was what he wanted. We were both hungry.
He said no, that he wanted a mom and pop owned place instead of a chain, which was exactly why I didn't want to go to Hooters. It was how we stumbled upon Tasty Thai.
It was slow for a Saturday night, and I think if we hadn't walked in, they probably would've closed early. We were happy that they didn't, because my boyfriend enjoyed it so much that he promised that we would be back again. He was surprised in how much he enjoyed his fried rice, so much so that he looked me in the eyes and said, "Kristi, this is good."
I definitely enjoyed my Thai tea and pad Thai just as much. Moreover, the man working the counter was very kind even though he was simultaneously worried about his mother at home, who was sick at the time. He also made the effort to chase us out to the car and make jokes with us because my boyfriend forgot his credit card.
4. Sekushi on the Beach
524 Mandalay Ave
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Phone: (727) 474-2453
So for me, the name was kind of misleading, because it was more like it was right around the corner from the beach. I will say that I chose this place, and it seemed like my boyfriend didn't enjoy it as much as I did. It made me feel a little bad, because he had been picking all these home-run restaurants, and the one I picked didn't really land for the both of us.
I found this place because I was looking for ramen, but I will say that I made the mistake of ordering ramen that wasn't in a broth. It might have happened because I wasn't reading, but it's okay because I really enjoyed everything else that I had.
What I will recommend is getting pan-fried dumplings, which I got because it was what the server recommended. One side of each dumpling was perfectly crispy, the other side perfectly steamed, and the flavor will make me compare these dumplings to others that I have every time I order a goyza-type dish.
Now, I really enjoyed the taste of the miso soup, because like the dumplings it was packed with a complexity of flavor that really brought out the taste of scallions. However, I think that the flavor packed such a punch that it overwhelmed my boyfriend's taste buds when he was looking for something a little more simple. Nothing wrong with that, just 2 different sides of a coin.
5. The Mint Fox Cookies and Ice Cream
483 Mandalay Ave #114
Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: (727) 444-4555
What is a trip without ice cream? I don't know, but I definitely don't ever want to find out. This place was very cute, and the proximity was close enough that we bought our ice cream and ate it while walking on the beach. We also got cookies to save as a midnight snack for the evening.
Grandma Sau's Favorite: Oxford Exchange
420 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33606
Phone: (813) 253-0222
Okay, so I know this one isn't technically in Clearwater, but I made sure to stop here on this trip because my boyfriend wanted me to plan a surprise date where he learns a little bit more about me. And while every content creator in Tampa makes a point to feature something about the Oxford Exchange because it's cool and trendy, but what makes it special to me is that I started my college career right across the street.
That's right, my freshman year was at the University of Tampa, and I remember being in the theater right next to the Oxford Exchange for my freshman orientation. It was a place I went to when I had a win, like acing an exam, or getting an A on a project. I loved it so much that I make a point of coming when I'm in the area, and Clearwater is in the area.
Have you been to Clearwater? What are some of your favorite restaurants? Are there any restaurants that you attribute to your college days? Tell me in the comments below!
As always, I hope you enjoy some tasty times until my next blog post.