Category Archives: Dunedin

>Casa Tina

>Two weeks ago I had to drive to Dunedin from Riverview because my son forgot his backpack at my house. This is not a short journey. On the way, my little brother Cameron called and decided to join me. This meant we would have an adventure. You can’t go out with a dude man, a baby, and myself without having an adventure.

Dunedin is one of my favorite small towns in Central Florida. It’s full of beautiful old buildings and quirky fun restaurants. Cameron and I love food, so we decided to cruise around and find something to eat on Main Street. I told him that I was not eating at Kelly’s after my last meal there and Cameron agreed. Suddenly, we saw it. There, in all it’s quirky Dunedin glory, was Casa Tina.

If you have been to Dunedin at night you could not possibly miss Casa Tina. It’s the place with the Cirque style dancer hanging from the ceiling. During the day it has a more laid back feel. It’s decorated in a very cool, cluttered, Dia de Los Muertos style. We arrived pre-lunch rush and we were immediately seated by the lovely Heather H. (There are two girls named Heather, we were informed.)

We decided to start with an appetizer. You are provided with complimentary chips and salsa, which were great. (The refill basket is $2.) We ordered Monterrey Nachos in addition. They were crazy good.

I ordered Flutes with one Peep Peep and one Moo Moo. It was yum yum. (Sorry. Check out the menu. They really say “Peep Peep.)  Everything was fresh and seasoned perfectly.

Cameron ordered the Mole Poblano. Mole, in case you don’t know, is made from chocolate. It’s difficult to make, a fact which Cameron could not let go. Every few moments he would moan in delight and say “Do you know how hard it is to make this stuff?!”

For dessert we opted for the plantains. They were coated in corn flakes. I thought Heather H. might be mysterious about it, but she told us flat out that they were corn flakes. They were really good though. The plantains were super sweet, as expected, but the ice cream mellowed it out and it was very good.

Casa Tina is Vegetarian and Vegan friendly. Simply notify your server if this is the case and they will be more than happy to assist you. All of the sauces, rice, and beans are vegetarian friendly.

After our fabulous lunch we walked around Main Street. Cameron took a moment to feed Jack. I know posting this photo is wrong, but it’s hysterical and he doesn’t read this blog. He was so focused on doing not hurting Jack.

It was incredibly windy, but we strolled through Edgewater Park anyway. Winters in Florida are so rough!

The moral of the story is that you absolutely must visit Casa Tina. They have a very friendly staff and wonderful food.

Casa Tina

>Sunshine and a small town.

>Last Saturday, Annika and I explored Dunedin, Fl. It’s not far from where we live and I had to drop my son off at a birthday party with his father. Downtown Dunedin is so small, but everything in it is exciting and worth seeing. My adventure will my six year old daughter is chronicled below.

Our first stop was Kelly’s Restaurant. (You must check out their cool web page.) Our server was Lisa and she was great. She did a wonderful job and spoke directly to my daughter, as opposed to over her. (My daughter loved her, her tattoos, and said that she looked like someone on TV.) I ordered the Seafood Omelette with the Hellfire and Damnation sauce. The omelette had scallops and shrimp and was good, but I felt that the sauce had a constistency too much like spaghetti sauce for my taste. My daughter ordered the spaghetti off of the children’s menu. The sauce was incredibly spicy, especially for a child. I noticed Annie was suddenly coughing a lot and trying to keep eating. I asked her what was wrong. When she told me that it was too spicy, I assumed that she was just not wanting to eat like she often does. I tasted it and coughed a little myself from the spiciness of it. I ordered some cinnamon toast for Annie and gave her some of my omellete. I might have said something about the pasta, but as it cost me a penny per pound of Annie, I let it slide. Our total was $15.58.

Our next stop was the Dunedin Marina. Annika and I looked at the boats and talked about how they work, anchoring, and navigational equipment. Then we saw a HUGE school of fish and watched them for about twenty minutes.

Annika noticed that there were boats coming in and out of the water and she wanted to go see how that was done. We marched ourselves down to to the dock and sat there watching people struggling to get their boats in and out of the water. Annika was especially impressed with the jet skis. I’ll admit it, I was impressed too. I told her that they were like motorcycles for the water. I realized that I was suddenly sunburnt and told Annie we should head for our orginal destination, the playground.

The playground is located right next to the marina at Edgewater Park. My kids love this place! If you click on the link, you will see why! The Jungle Gym is a PIRATE SHIP! Annika was in Heaven! She ran around and bossed the little kids. She was clearly the captain of this ship! I got to swing on the swing set while Annika ran around like a maniac. The park is beautiful with clean bathrooms, a gazebo, and picnic tables.

I noticed Annika was a bit red, so I suggested we walk back to town and have some ice cream at the recently moved Strachan’s Desserts. They have not updated their web site, but the new location is directly across the street from Kelly’s Restaurant. Strachan’s carried fudge, cakes, and ice cream. Annika went for the Cherry Vanilla and I went with the cookies and cream. It was very good. They have the perfect set up for people watching. They have a bar against the front window and you can watch the people cruise down Main Street while you enjoy your favorite flavor in the cool air conditioning.

Annika and I were beginning to wind down, but I wanted to get a post card for my brother. We decided to hit The Boxcar at 349 Main St. They are an authorized USPS location and they sell trinkets, tourist items, coffee and snacks. The woman working there was very nice and laughed at my bad jokes. I found the perfect post card and our trip was over.

Dunedin is one of my favorite places in the Tampa Bay area. In addition to the places we visted on Saturday, they have Flanagan’s Irish Pub. This small pub is everything you hope it would be, complete with live music that you are encouraged to sing along with. I have never before been to a place that made me feel like I was right at home as soon as I crossed the threshhold, but Flanagan’s is it. I didn’t get to visit that day, but as we passed 4 men came out of the bar (at 11am) hugging each other. As they walked down the street, arm in arm, they were singing at the top of their lungs and laughing at what was surely the funniest joke ever.

Dunedin is a good natured, good time.