Zab Thai

*** (3 stars)

OK, this is not a great Thai restaurant, but I had a much better experience than most of these other reviews.

It’s true that the server was completely untrained, and had no concept of when to turn in orders for food or to clear plates. So appetizer, soup and main course arrived spaced out by about 90 seconds each. And then plates started disappearing even while we were still eating off of them. So… 0 for service.

On the other hand, I’ve never been to such a beautifully decorated restaurant. With stone statuary on the walls, teak dividers, and elegant hanging lamps it’s really quite nice. If they turned off the glaring overhead lighting and completely went with the theme it would be one of the best decorated restaurants in Central Florida. So 5 for decor.

As for the food, it was okay. The sashimi was fine; a generous portion, fairly fresh tasting, excellent quality salmon. The Tom Yum soup was tasty, with crispy fresh vegetables added at the last minute. And the Pad Thai was good if not great, not as complex or citrusy as I like, but at least takeout quality. I really had to restrain myself at dessert time from ordering the yummy-sounding “Black glutinous rice pudding with young coconut flesh.” “Glutinous” and “flesh” are not things I look for in a dessert. Anyway… let’s say 3 for food.

That averages out to a solid 3 star rating. It’s a bit sad because that might make it the highest rated restaurant in Clermont, but that’s another story.

Zab Thai
1660 E Hwy 50
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 242-1314

The Crooked Spoon Gastropub

**** (4 stars)

I’d been wanting to try the Crooked Spoon for some time after hearing about their burger back when it was a food truck. So it was with great anticipation that I read the online menu and then ventured out for lunch. Upon arrival I was quite disappointed to discover that, by bad luck, I’d chosen the day they decided to inaugurate a new Sunday brunch (not noted on the website), and wouldn’t serve items from the regular menu.

Since I’m not a brunch fan, this was unfortunate. The brunch menu contains much less interesting food than their normal offerings. It was hard to understand why at least some of the regular food couldn’t be made available, but we ended up with a 420 burger and a spinach salad, two of the few non-breakfast items. Both were very good. I particularly liked the toasted brioche bun on the burger.

Bruch seemed popular with large families with many kids, which wasn’t exactly the gastropub ambience I was expecting, but good for them, if they’ve found a way to increase business on what might otherwise be a slow day. However it took close to 45 minutes to get a hamburger, which suggests they either had more business than expected, or need more organization. Perhaps the newness of the menu slowed things down, but frankly there weren’t many people still ordering at 2pm on a Sunday when we arrived.

I would like to return when the normal menu is being served, and give them a try on true gastro pub food.

The Crooked Spoon Gastropub
200 Citrus Tower Blvd
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 404-7808