Daily Archives: January 6, 2013

Guerrero’s Bakery & Restaurant: 3557 Webber St Sarasota, FL

Standard

guerreros 1 guerreros 2 guerreros 3 guerreros 4 guerreros 5 guerreros 6 guerreros 7

 

As I get older I’ve been gravitating toward stronger tastes, spicier spices and more flavorful seasonings. When the doctor I work for told me that this was his favorite Mexican restaurant in Sarasota, I took him VERY seriously being that he grew up in Mexico. There are so many Americanized ‘Mexican’ restaurants in this area that are more about tex-mex than authentic food, and though I have been a big fan of Mi Pueblo (https://bigforkinmouth.com/2012/06/13/mi-pueblo-university-walk-plaza-8405-tuttle-ave-sarasota-fl/) up until this point, I definitely have a new top pick.

Guerrero‘s has a totally no frills atmosphere. It does not have the awesome decor or waitstaff in costumes that Mi Pueblo or Two Senoritas has, but the food is awesome, and I’ll take that over looks any day. We sat right away and the waitress brought over warm, fresh, super crunchy chips and a bowl of very spicy salsa. Yum. These are already so different than most Mexican restaurants around that we knew right away we were in for some great food.

We decided to share shrimp fajitas and steak fajitas which came with rice, beans, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes with fresh cilantro (YUM). The menu said that it came with guacamole too, but the green sauce we were served was quite avocado-less. The waitress explained that it was what they call guacamole when we asked about it, but there was a language barrier that prevented us from finding out what it really was. There was also no cheese served with these fajitas- but It really didn’t need it.

The peppers and onions were caramelized slightly and served with the shrimp and steak in a sizzling pan. They were all quite good- but the standout were the REAL tortillas. What a difference to have those over the store bought ones. They were so full of flavor and texture- even though they did keep falling apart wrapped around our fillings. I guess we probably overstuffed them but we really couldn’t resist. The only criticism I had was that the rice and beans were room temperature (and that’s being generous) , not hot. I’m sure we could have sent them back, but we had enough other food that we really didn’t care that much.

Even though we were quite full at this point, we couldn’t help browsing the bakery filled with homemade Mexican breads and pastries. We each chose one to bring home and polished them off by the next morning. There is no question that we will be returning soon. We live close by and the prices are extremely reasonable- less than $10 for an entree? Wow. Awesome find. Thanks for the suggestion Dr. G!

Roessler’s Restaurant: 2033 Vamo Way, Sarasota, FL

Standard

roesslers 2 roesslers 3roesslers1roesslers 5 roesslers 6roesslers 7

I am a huge fan of living social/groupon type deals. I often buy too many at one time, and then realize that at least one of them is getting close to expiring. I bought the Roessler’s deal a while back when my honey and I were still trying to find a venue for our wedding. I had heard that Roessler’s was a really pretty setting and worth checking out, and then a few days later, I saw a $40 for $20 offered online and scooped it up. I figured it would be a perfect way to check out the setting and the food at a fair price. Roessler’s is known for being on the pricey side, so a Living Social opportunity made it a lot more doable for us.

We made our reservation for the exact day the coupon was going to expire because we literally could not find any other day that would work being the busy X-mas/New Year’s season. We arrived to find a really lovely restaurant in an unexpected place- along South Tamiami Trail among Target, Walmart etc. It was sort of off of the main street in the back, where you’d really never expect to find a pretty restaurant hiding.

We were led into a large dining room and seated by a window with a view of a garden. If we weren’t already totally thrilled with the beach front wedding venue we’d chosen, I could totally see having it here. Our waiter was a bit on the schmaltzy/theatrical/cocky side, but more or less entertaining none-the-less, and definitely efficient at his job. He brought us menus and water, and went over the specials for us. After seeing that the entrees were in the $30-$40 range, we decided on sharing a bunch of appetizers instead, and with a list of many appealing ones, the choice wasn’t easy. We settled on 2 salads; an excellent caesar and an iceberg wedge- which was described to us as having smokehouse bacon, fresh tomatoes and a buttermilk blue cheese dressing. When it came out, smothered in way too much dressing, and having one, lonely, halved, grape tomato, we were a bit disappointed. The dressing was really outstanding with it’s chunks of aged blue cheese- even though it was pretty much drowning the lettuce, but the one skimpy tomato, two sad croutons and tiny bit of crumbled bacon was sort of a let down.

Next we thoroughly enjoyed the smoked salmon appetizer. It was served with toast, cream cheese, capers, red onions and sliced hard boiled egg. The quality of the fish was clearly very fine, and we polished this plate off quickly.

The scallops in citrus sauce were probably my favorite dish. Huge scallops, cooked perfectly without a hint of chewiness. The sauce was buttery and fragrant and I admit to using bread to sop up some of what was left behind. The escargot were prepared in the classic French manner and were good, but not particularly exciting in their garlic herb butter. Again, however, the sauce made me want to ask for a refill on our bread basket, which I did.

For dessert, we decided on the chocolate mousse. Admittedly, it wasn’t the most daring or creative sounding option, but we saw a few go to the next table and it just looked so darn good. It arrived quickly and totally met our expectations. Rich and chocolatey and as light and airy as a heavy cream based dessert can possibly be.

The atmosphere (mainly the outdoor atmosphere)  is definitely the highlight at Roessler’s, even though the food is surely very good. It would probably thrill a ton of people, but my tastes tend to sway more toward very creative, original foods instead of the classics. The crowd here is definitely older and a bit stodgy, making this an ideal restaurant to take your grandparents for a fancy occasion. As far as coming back as a couple, I would doubt it.

Patricks 1481: 1481 Main St. Sarasota, FL

Standard

patricks soup patricks1 patricks2

As a fan of great burgers, Patricks has been on my ‘go have a burger‘ list since we moved to Sarasota since I’ve heard a ton of people raving about it. Gabriel and I decided to share a burger, soup and a salad instead of both totally stuffing ourselves and it worked out perfectly. It’s a great way to try indulgent food without feeling totally glutenous afterward.

The soup was a seafood chowder that was very much like a manhattan clam chowder, only with fish instead of clams. The broth was pretty good- but not outstanding, and the pieces of veggies and fish were a bit on the skimpy side. The tossed salad with grilled chicken was a very generous portion, although pretty boring with nothing except lettuce, radishes, cucumbers and carrots. The blue cheese dressing had good sized chunks of cheese but was only average- probably from a bottle and not homemade. The burger looked awesome and was cooked exactly as we requested, but the meat itself was nothing that spectacular to me. Not especially flavorful or juicy- just an average pub burger on a regular sesame seed bun, as far as I was concerned. The combo of regular and crinkle cut fries were crisp, hot and tasty and we polished them off quickly.

The service was very friendly and efficient and we enjoyed sitting outside on main street watching the passers by. Overall, our experience was pretty good- but not so amazing that I really understood why so many people gush about it. As far of a trek as it is, Burg Bar and Grill in St. Pete blows this place away, and is totally worth the drive if you are really craving a great burger. (https://bigforkinmouth.com/2012/11/28/the-burg-bar-and-grill-1752-central-ave-st-petersburg-fl/)  I’d love to know what other burgers in the Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch area you love…please comment and let me know!