Restaurants

Great New Pub in Sarasota

By | August 29, 2011

I had heard through the grapevine that Jimmy’s Sand Trap had the best pastrami sandwich in town and since my husband has been on a quest to find just that, we stopped in there for lunch recently. Marty confirmed that it is the best he’s had in Sarasota. I ordered a BLT which was loaded with Applewood smoked bacon, crisp lettuce and nicely ripe tomatoes. Each sandwich comes with a Half-Sour pickle and one side. The menu has a wide variety of choices and ours were delicious. They have a selection of over 100 beers to choose from on draft and in bottles including many microbrews as well as a full bar. Daily happy hour is from 4-7pm.

One thing I particularly liked about the place was the pub atmosphere without the smoke (it is a non-smoking establishment). The decor is tastefully golf themed and seating is comfortable. Jimmy’s is located in the shopping center in the southeast corner of Webber and Beneva and is open for lunch and dinner during the week and for dinner on Saturdays.

If you’re looking for a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner, owner Jimmy Galanis will warmly welcome you and serve up a great meal. And if you, like Marty, have been looking for the best pastrami sandwich, you should definitely give Jimmy’s Sand Trap a try.

 

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New Waterfront Dining in Bradenton

By | July 23, 2011

We were happy to discover a new restaurant located right on the bank of the Manatee River in Bradenton. Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar has just been open a couple of weeks but judging by the crowd last night, people have already discovered this great spot for dining or just having a drink.

There is a dining area under cover with tables around a large bar as well as outside tables with umbrellas. Almost all of the seats have a view of the water. They are well prepared if the occasional rain shower rolls in as the restaurant has roll down plastic walls with windows to keep you dry. Even in the heat of the afternoon we were kept cool with the many fans fitted with misters. 

They are open for lunch and dinner and the menu has lots of variety so there is something for everyone. During happy hour (3-6pm) there are drink specials and bar bites at very reasonable prices. The atmosphere is very relaxed…it was like being on vacation for an afternoon!

Adjacent to the restaurant is a thatched roof tiki hut with another bar and lots of seating. They maximized the water views with bar/railing and stools all along the riverfront. If you’re up for an activity, there is a sand volleyball court and they have “cornhole” games set up between the restaurant and bar. And for the sports fan there are a number of big screen tv’s mounted in the tiki hut. Live bands perform every evening. It’s just a fun place so check it out if you’re in the area…you won’t be disappointed!

The location is just north of SR64 (aka Manatee Avenue) on 7th Street East next to the Manatee Landings Marina. If you prefer to come by boat they are at MM24 and have plenty of docking space.

 

 

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Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

By | July 20, 2011

Buffet Table at Polo GrilleIn Cajun, that means ‘let the good times roll’ – and that’s definitely what happened this weekend at Polo Grill’s 4th annual Shrimp Boil! I’ll be honest, I went for the food – there’s nothing like Billeaud’s boudin and fresh shrimp to get me rolling – but it was the ambiance that really made this a night to remember.

Featuring newspaper-lined tables, dollar drafts, and live music from the Gumbo Boogie Band – where they found a real, live, Louisiana cajun band I’ll never know – the normally restrained restaurant was transformed into a rollin’, trollin’, shrimp-boilin’ good time.
 

 

Here are some more pics:

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Mar Vista Restaurant on Longboat Key

By | July 11, 2011

Outdoor dining is great anytime of the year and we were reminded this weekend while on Longboat Key. We stopped in at Mar Vista which is on the north end of the key on Broadway just before you cross the bridge to Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island. This restaurant is one of three owned by Ed Chiles (son of our former Governor Lawton Chiles) which include the Sandbar in Anna Maria and the Beach House in Bradenton Beach. All are waterfront locations but Mar Vista is the only one on the Bay side of the Key.

At Mar Vista you can dine inside which is an old home dating back to the early 1900’s or outside either on the patio or under the shade trees. We opted for the latter as there is a great view of the water from there and fans to keep you cool.  I ordered one of the daily specials which was a Caribbean Grouper Wrap with a side of fruit which was wonderful and Marty had the Flounder Poboy; both were fresh and tasty. Seafood is their specialty but they have plenty of variety on the menu including tropical drinks if you’re in that vacation state of mind.

If you’re on Longboat Key and looking for a great casual spot for lunch or dinner check them out: http://marvista.groupersandwich.com/

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Siesta Key – Lunch at The Hub

By | June 19, 2011

Our first dining experience as Siesta Key summer residents was at The HubThe Hub is located in the Siesta Key Village at the corner of Canal and Ocean Blvd.

  We sat outside on their large porch overlooking the Village.  It was fun to watch all the happenings in the Village while we listened to live music performed by an acoustic guitar player.  Almost immediately we were swept into the relaxed feel you get on Siesta Key.

The menu was filled with many delicious choices; it was tough decision but in the end I chose the fish tacos and Joe chose the chicken burrito. Both were served with black beans and rice and both were out of this world!  If you are looking for a great meal and atmosphere stop in at The Hub, you will not be disappointed!!

For more information and menus visit The Hub’s website at http://www.thehubsiestakey.com/

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Nancy’s Bar-B-Q

By | May 27, 2011

Southern Comfort Foods…Southern Hospitality…Southern “Old Florida” Charm! Dine in…Take Out. Sweet Tea…Cold Beer and Bar-B-Q. “It’s a Sarasota thing”.

Sandwiches, Ribs, Chicken, Beef Brisket and Pork… slow cooked for hours allowing spices and smoke to permeate and tenderize the meat. In addition to Nancy’s time-tested dry rub, there are two sauces–sweat or spicy…you decide. I suggest you try both!

Side dishes include…but not limited to…Beans, of course, slaw, roasted mixed veggies or several other ‘creative’ choices. Dessert available…to put closer to your dining experience. Prices start at $5.50…

Bon Appetit!

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q
Downtown Sarasota
301 S. Pineapple (Corner of Pineapple @ Ringling)
Open Monday thru Saturday 11:30 AM
941/266.2271

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Bonefish Grill

By | February 15, 2011

 

I lived in Chicago for half a decade, and I would have been mortified to bring a weekend guest to the Cheesecake Factory downtown.  Shortly after I moved here, a new friend suggested we go to Bonefish.  I said “sure!”all while turning up my inner nose at the idea.  Who would go to a chain restaurant with all these great seafood restaurants around?  Years later, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a regular.  The service is always great, the food is always excellent, and as odd as it may be, it’s actually quite the locals scene.  It’s so packed during Season that you have to hover and stalk seats at the bar and common tables, but it’s a fun energy.  We usually sit in the bar, but if you want a table expect to wait an hour and a half during season.  Don’t worry though, they pass tasty snacks around on trays while you wait!  The bartenders make it a point to know your name too, which is a nice touch.  I get the same thing almost every time: Jumbo Sea Scallops and Shrimp (except I ask for all Scallops, and they don’t charge me extra!), around $16.  They are never overcooked and are always properly cleaned so you don’t bite into that tough little morsel from hell that they’re supposed to cut off.   You can pick from among four sauces (Pan Asian, Lemon Butter, Chimichurri, or Warm Mango Salsa), but if you’re nice you can ask them to serve your fish grilled and sample several of the sauces!  I like the Lemon Butter and Chimichurri.  I was brave enough to try the Imperial Longfin the other day and it was TO DIE FOR.  Fresh, tender, flaky, and rich enough that I suspected Paula Deen might just come walzing out of the kitchen yelling “Hey y’all, surprise, it was me that cooked this!” (Sidebar: Just how cool would that have been?)  They also have a seasonal side, which right now seems to be some kind of spaghetti squash which is just ok, but for $1 you can substitute one of their other sides, which I will now be doing on a regular basis.  The Haricot Verts and Potatoes Au Gratin are the best, though the Garlic potatoes are excellent as well.  On Wednesdays bang bang shrimp are $5, so if you want a seat at the bar come early.  When there is a bargain Sarasota, the locals will pack it in!  Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to go when they have the chocolate crème brulee, get it, but plan on your bill being permanently more expensive because you will always feel incomplete without it.  I’m not one to turn down bread, but if you plan on getting dessert or an appetizer (AHI TUNA, don’t ask, just get it), do yourself a favor and skip it unless your ultimate plan for the evening is laying on your couch in misery.

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