Burger & Beer Joint is Now Open at The Mall at University Town Center

By | April 24, 2015

Burger & Beer Joint

Burger & Beer JointBurger & Beer Joint recently opened at The Mall at University Town Center (their 5th location). Their menu is heavily centered on massive gourmet burgers and a huge selection of beer but they also have appetizers, salads and other items to choose from. You can select a burger from their signature list or design your own. Or if you’re really hungry try the Motherburger…10 pounds of Premium Black Angus Beef!

A unique offering is their “Adult Shakes” which are alcoholic drinks made with ice cream and various liquors. The atmosphere is a sports and rock & roll theme.

Check out their menu at

The Mall at UTC has emerged as a great destination for dining with Kona Grill, Seasons 52, Brio Tuscan Grille, Cheesecake Factory, Capital Grille, Sophie’s at Saks and now the Burger & Beer Joint. This is a great time of year to get out and visit some of these new and local favorites.


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Great Italian Restaurant in Sarasota

By | March 17, 2015

Mona Lisa portrait

Mona Lisa portraitHidden in The Meadows of Sarasota is a little gem of a restaurant call Mona Lisa. I had the occasion to dine there recently with family and will definitely return. This is a small, quaint spot in the Shopping Village within The Meadows neighborhood. There are about 12 tables with white tablecloths inside and several more on an outside patio overlooking a lake. It’s a very casual and comfortable setting.

Mona LisaThe food is not your run-of-the-mill Italian. I ordered one of the specials which was Seafood Sambuca which consisted of shrimp and scallops in a Sambuca cream sauce over linguini pasta…delish! All entrees come with your choice of house or ceasar salad , a side of pasta with your choice of sauce and fresh bread. Other dishes at our table were grilled salmon, tilapia with white wine and lemon and veal piccata and everyone was pleased with the quality of the food. The service was very attentive even though it was a busy night. They really do make you feel like they’re glad you’re there. Beer and wine are available.

Even though this is a small family operated restaurant they seem to be well known in the area. We were there on a Tuesday evening and it was busy with several groups waiting. I’d definitely suggest making a reservation if you go and I highly recommend that you try it next time you’re in the mood for an authentic Italian meal.

For reservations call 941-377-6562 or visit their website for menus and other information at


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Kacey’s Seafood and More

By | January 20, 2015

Kaceys Seafood

Kaceys SeafoodI’ve been seeing ads for Kacey’s Seafood for several months and this weekend we decided to give it a try. The food is what makes it worth the trip. The restaurant is in a strip mall on Fruitville Road just west of Honore Avenue. It’s a small casual space with about 20 tables inside and a few outside on the sidewalk.

We were warmly greeted and there were several parties ahead of us but we were seated within 15-20 minutes. Not bad for 7pm on a Saturday night in season! The menu is mostly seafood and the prices are very reasonable. Service was prompt and friendly.

Shrimp & Grits

Shrimp & Grits

We had a cup of the lobster bisque as an appetizer and for dinner I tried the shrimp and grits which were delicious…not too spicy but full of flavor. My husband ordered the Shrimp Kacey which was a generous portion of marinated and grilled shrimp served with a black bean cake. Everything was well prepared and served piping hot. It looked like the seafood baskets were very popular with shrimp, fish, fries, hushpuppies, etc.

They do serve beer and wine and open for lunch and dinner daily. We’ll definitely return to Kacey’s.

Check them out at 4904 Fruitville Road, Sarasota FL  941-378-3644

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New Dining at the Mall at University Town Center

By | December 22, 2014

University Town Center Mall

University Town Center MallSarasota has a tremendous variety of dining options and now with the newly opened Mall at University Town Center we have quite a few more including: The Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill, Seasons 52, Brio Tuscan Grille, The Capital Grill, Sophie’s, Mandarin Express, Antie Anne’s Pretzels, Rise Pies Handcrafted Pizza, Starbucks and Smoothie King. There are even more scheduled to open in the coming months: Burger & Beer Joint and Yo! Sushi.

If you’re looking for a fun outing…check out the new mall and try one of these new restaurants for lunch or dinner.

For their location and more information visit the mall’s website at



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CineBistro Coming to Westfield Southgate Mall

By | November 24, 2014


Great Job Westfield Southgate Mall and Cobb Theaters!


Westfield Southgate Mall on Siesta Drive in Sarasota has announced they plan to open a new 7-screen movie theater in 2015. CineBistro is a luxury movie theater for adults 21 and older. If you have not been to one of the current locations (closest is Hyde Park Village in South Tampa), you are missing out. It is the perfect combination of “dinner and a movie” set all in one place!

They feature reclining leather chairs, a chef inspired menu, playing first-run and independent movies. The Sarasota location is also planning a bar with a dining lounge and patio. The food options are: appetizers, entrees, salads, sandwiches and desserts. You may also order from a full bar, beer and wine list.

If you choose to dine while watching the movie, the wait staff efficiently takes your drink and food orders just after being seated in the theater. Right before the movie begins, the staff delivers your order so as not to disturb you or the other guests in the theater. I initially thought it would be a good fit for the Lakewood Ranch area, but like this choice better. Southgate is a perfect place for those in all areas of Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, but will also allow our residents and visitors to Siesta Key and Lido – Longboat areas to make a quick trip.

I’m looking forward to the Grand Opening! Here is the website to keep an eye on the new location opening and check out other locations…

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Bijou Cafe for Fine Dining in the Theater & Arts District of Sarasota

By | October 24, 2014


bijouThe Bijou Café is a charming Continental-American restaurant located in the heart of Sarasota’s downtown Theatre & Arts District. Over the years the cuisine, award-winning wine list and exemplary unobtrusive service have set the standard for dining on the Sun Coast and established the Bijou as one of Sarasota’s most sought after fine dining destinations.

Since 1986, Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and his wife Shay have owned and operated The Bijou Café. It has grown from a small 50-seat restaurant to a seating capacity of 140 people in three separate dining rooms. The enchanting décor you’d expect in a quaint, but modern European café surrounds you with French windows and doors throughout, sparkling glassware, bouquets of freshly-picked flowers and the soft glow of candlelight.

We recently visited the Bijou Café with our neighborhood dining group of 24 people. It’s great to have a place that has wonderful food, service and can easily accomodate large parties or be a perfect spot for a special dinner for two.

Check them out at

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By | September 1, 2014

Hickory Hollow BBQ

Hickory Hollow BBQWell I couldn’t have said it better myself than this writer for Ticket Sarasota. My husband and I visited Hickory Hollow last week in search of barbecue that rivals that of his favorite in Atlanta, Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. Well we found it at Hickory Hollow. Very casual atmosphere, great service with friendly wait staff that help each other out when busy. We had a really pleasant time and a great meal. So, it’s in Ellenton. The next time you head to the outlet mall, plan a visit. I hear the crab cakes are exceptional. We are saving those for our next visit. Read more about it here…

For more information visit their website at

They are located in Ellenton at 4705 US Highway 301 N.


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Happy Birthday Smacks Burgers & Shakes!

By | August 2, 2014

S'Macks Logo

S'Macks LogoS’macks Burgers & Shakes, the younger sibling of Gecko’s Grill & Pub, is celebrating a big birthday. Wednesday, August 6th marks the beginning of the Better Burger concept’s one year milestone at the corner of Bee Ridge & Shade in Sarasota.

S’macks is Polished Casual food with a conscience. With its 100% Hormone and Steroid free Bison Burgers, Choice Angus, and locally sourced Top Dogs, S’macks’ original menu evolved to honor the requests of our guests, and now includes Chicken and Vegetarian options, daily Chef Specials, specialty Iced Teas, and inspired Frozen Custard flavors. S’macks’ Fries, a tasty crinkle cut, immediately earned “Best Fries” distinction with SRQ Magazine.

Join S’macks to celebrate its Birthday with Frozen Chosen Happy Hour from 3-5pm Monday through Friday this week, where you can make a Birthday wish and enjoy your choice of Frozen Custard, Shakes, or Concretes for half price.

Smacks Burgers & Shakes
Compliments SRQ Daily

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The Hob Nob Drive-In in Sarasota

By | July 4, 2014

Hob Nob SignThe Hob Nob is an institution in Sarasota that has been around since the 50’s. Located at the corner of Highway 301 and 17th Street, this open air diner has retained its historical charm. Lots of black and white checkerd tile and chrome seats with red vinyl. It’s a casual, friendly atmosphere and almost always bustling with activity. Recent renovations included roll down shades for rainy days and heaters for our few winter days.

Hob Nob Drive In They have all the old fashioned diner food: burgers, fries, milkshakes, etc. plus alot more. We were in the mood for hot dogs and onion rings with a cold beer after a day at the beach. This was the perfect spot! We sat at the counter and were amazed at how much food was coming out of that little kitchen. The servers are friendly and efficient. There are no frills here but it’s a fun place to stop in for a bite. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Check out the menu at

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Blu Mangrove Grill in Palmetto

By | June 27, 2014

Blu Mangrove Grill

Blu Mangrove GrillBlu Mangrove Grill is located in the marina at Riviera Dunes in Palmetto just north of downtown Bradenton on the Manatee River. They are open for lunch and dinner and offer both indoor and outdoor patio seating. Even on the warmest of days the patio is comfortable with umbrella tables, fans and misters throughout.

Blu Mangrove Grill TableThe menu features smoked infused cuisine featuring hardwood grilled favorites cooked low and slow over hickory and apple wood with a selection of steak, chops, fowl and fresh seafood. In addition there is a wide variety of appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches and even a kid’s menu. They have a full bar and regularly offer drink specials and happy hour. Service was prompt and attentive.

We are always on the lookout for a good waterfront dining spot and found this one to be really enjoyable so if you’re in the area check it out!

For more information visit their website

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