Tag Archives: cake

Veg: 2164 Gulf Gate Dr. Sarasota, FL

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veg kale saladUpdate! I felt that it was important to add an undated entry for Veg. I actually go there pretty frequently on my lunch breaks from work and decided that my first review of it really didn’t do it justice- especially because at that point, I’d only tried take-out. This photo is of the amazing 2164 Salad: chopped kale, shoestring carrots, shredded raw beets, purple cabbage, toasted sunflower seeds, avocado, organic pea shoots; papaya seed citrus dressing. This salad has become my favorite at Veg and I can’t seem to stop ordering it. It makes me feel SO healthy and tastes seriously amazing. As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first, and the beautiful colors of the beets, carrots, avocados and kale make for an incredibly tasty display of color. There are tons of awesome choices on Veg’s menu, and I still have a long way to go before I’ve tried them all. I find it very difficult to move on to new choices when I get so easily hooked on the ones I’ve had so far. Bravo Veg! Thank you so much for giving me such a great place to go to for lunch. See you again soon!

Here’s the original post:

I had take out lunch from Veg a few days ago and it left a great impression on me. The menu had so many wonderful sounding, healthy and reasonably-priced options that I wasn’t sure what to order. When I called to place my order for pick up, I decided to ask if the women answering the phone had any recommendations and was told that the special of the day was looking excellent. I took her word for it and ordered the shrimp/lobster cake sandwich. It had a definite seafood taste, but was not filled with chunks like I was hoping for. It really could have been shrimp, lobster, fish, crab or anything else- but for under $10, I had a VERY filling and flavorful lunch on a hearty roll with a side of great cole slaw and a little slice of watermelon. Great deal, easy, peasy, done. I will definitely be back soon.

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Mythos Restaurant: 1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, FL

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I’m ENGAGED!

The love of my life proposed to me early on Saturday morning Sept 15th at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. I couldn’t be happier…and I’m quickly finding out that being engaged means lots of great treatment and freebies at restaurants. SCORE. Not the main reason I’m so happy and excited, but definitely a very nice perk 🙂

After riding a bunch of roller coasters, we were starving for lunch. In my pre-park research, I’d read that Mythos was rated the top theme park restaurant in the country. I perused the menu online, saw that the prices were pretty reasonable, and we decided we’d head there for lunch. It happened to be about 30 seconds from the exact spot that Gabriel had proposed to me that morning.

We arrived to a very short waiting time, and were seated in about 10 minutes in an awesome spot. The atmosphere here is very cool. It’s like a mythical cavern with fountains, waterfalls, and a great view of the lake and the park. Our waiter was very attentive right from the start, and having been informed by Gabriel that we were newlygaged, offered us each a glass of wine on the house. Awesome! He also brought some warm bread and butter over to us and told us about some delicious sounding specials. Being that it was lunch time on a hot day, we both skipped the rich/heavy specials and ordered salads.

I had the baby Spinach Salad with blueberries, hard cooked egg, blue cheese crumbles and a warm bacon vinaigrette. The salad was excellent- the vinaigrette was especially tasty, both sweet and savory and the perfect complement to the green and cheese. Gabriel had the Ahi Tuna Carpaccio with nori rice rolls, spring field greens and soy vinaigrette and it was also fantastic. This did NOT seem like typical theme park food at ALL and we were really impressed with the quality of the ingredients, the lovely presentation and the incredibly attentive service. We both cleaned our plates when, as a lovely surprise, the waiter appeared with a special warm chocolate and banana dessert for us- decorated with an adorable, sprinkle-covered ‘congrats’ on the side. What a sweet treat! We felt incredibly well-taken care of and really appreciated the celebration.

Overall, this was a perfect engagement-day lunch and I would absolutely recommend a visit next time you are on vacation in the area! Thank you SO much Mythos, for making our day even more memorable!

Station 400: 8215 Main St. Lakewood Ranch, FL

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Apparently my friends are always slightly nervous when they are the ones picking the restaurant we are meeting at. It made me laugh to hear that, but I guess I can see why since you never really know what I’ll think of a place. Luckily for this particular couple that Gabriel and I were meeting up with for lunch, they pretty much always pick winners.

Station 400 is a couple of miles from where we live and we’d been meaning to try it. We met up for lunch and I was immediately impressed with the cute, train-themed atmosphere, complete with a model train periodically circling the ceiling in full view. The menu was full of great sounding choices and I knew it would be a tough decision being that brunch is my favorite meal of the day (unless you include dessert as a meal). It seems a shame when a restaurant only offers breakfast and brunch and overlooks the more lucrative meal of the day by closing before dinner time, but I suppose they know what works for them. Before I even ordered, I’d already assumed everything would be great and was thinking about what I’d pick the next time we came in. It was 1pm on a Sunday, and we’d woken up fairly early, had breakfast, and taken a yoga class, so by the time 1:00 rolled around, I was ready for lunch type foods. I was tempted by the truffle eggs benedict, the blueberry stuffed, almond crusted, croissant french toast (WOAH) and the salmon caesar salad, but wanting to stay on the healthy side, I ultimately ended up choosing the portobello sandwich (YUM) with a side of cucumber/tomato olive salad. Gabriel had the open faced roast beef sandwich with blue cheese, caramelized onions, horseradish and parmesan fries on the side and my mouth watered as I convinced him to share both meals. Both were excellent with fresh ingredients, perfectly paired ingredients and manageable portions. Our friend’s dishes also looked awesome, and I had to sample Rachel’s amazing sweet potato fries. Neil’s fried green tomato BLT also looked amazing and I made a note to myself to order that one on another occasion.

 

The incredible looking homemade muffins (with flavors like maple/bacon, strawberry/lavender and peach/ginger), cake and pastries looked too lovely to ignore and we decided to share a cinnamon roll to finish off the meal with something sweet and special. The icing on top was a rich, cream cheese based gooey treat, and the bun itself was crisp, cinnamony and clearly fresh-baked. Just like the entrees, this was wonderful and left us wanting more- even though we were totally full.

Clearly, we’d have to return frequently to try all of the tempting plates they offered. Good thing they are close and super reasonably priced with almost everything under $10. We will absolutely and positively be back soon.

 

Paisano’s Italian Bakery: 2732 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, FL

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This was the third and final stop on my father and my Gulf Gate area foodie tour today and the only one that didn’t blow us away. The case of goodies looks simply awesome when you first walk in, but I should have trusted my initial instinct about bakeries who put sprinkles on rainbow cakes. It’s just not right, and usually indicates that they don’t really know what they are doing. Beautiful cakes and cookies are nice, but if they don’t taste as good as they look I won’t be back.

We ordered rainbow cakes, (wrong consistency and flavor of the cake, chocolate that was too thick and kind of weird tasting, and the sprinkles, ugh)  biscotti (totally wrong texture, not hard or crunchy enough), an almond macaron (which was spelled incorrectly as a macaroon, which it definitely was not) and a raspberry linzer tart that was very sub par.

So yes, maybe I’m just a spoiled NYer with parents from Brooklyn who was lucky enough to grow up with access to some of the best cakes and cookies in the world, and maybe I should have turned and left when I saw the sprinkles (which, by the way I DO love on my ice cream but don’t want anywhere near my beloved rainbow cakes) but I didn’t. Oh well. Two out of three ain’t bad.

And yes, I will be eating salad for dinner tonight.

 

Burns Court Cafe: 401 S Pineapple, Sarasota, FL

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Gabriel and I stopped in for lunch today when we did a quick search on yelp.com and found a $5 for $10 deal. We arrived and saw a lovely case full of fresh sandwiches on baguette, quiches, pastries and other yummy looking treats. The friendly woman working there gave us some advice and time to look at the menus.

There were lots of appealing sounding salads but I decided on a Caprese baguette ( mozzarella, tomato, basil, olive tamponade, pesto, ciabatta) that came with a side salad. Gabriel ordered the Quiche Lorraine (delicious) with a side salad. He also got a chocolate/banana/prune shake that tasted a million times better than it sounded to me. We actually decided to buy some prunes to use in our at-home smoothies because they added so much healthy sweetness.

We chatted a bit with the owner who is extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the area. She clearly takes a lot of pride in her business and it shows. We went to sit at a table and she brought our food and ice water over to us quickly.

Our lunches were awesome. I gobbled up my sandwich SO fast. The fresh bread it was on was SO wonderful. It had a nice bite to it- crisp outside with a doughy interior. I also really enjoyed the fresh dressing on the side salad. It’s amazing what a difference a good quality olive oil and vinegar make to some mesclun leaves and tomatoes.

Overall, this is a great cafe to stop into for lunch or some great coffee. I know that I will definitely be back- and if it’s not quite so hot outside next time, you’ll probably find me sitting at one of the cute sidewalk tables.

Thanks Burns Court Cafe! Well done! Next time, croissants! (They looked SOOOOO good)

Salute!: 23 N Lemon Ave, Sarasota, FL

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My family and I went here for dinner tonight after our first attempt had an hour long wait and our 2nd attempt was closed. Salute has a great outdoor eating area with available tables and we were seated right away. Our waiter came over with menus and went over the specials. None of us wanted to order cocktails so we just asked for flat water. I also asked if, when he had a moment, he’d bring over some lemon for the water. When he came back to take our orders and to bring us bread and dipping olive oil, I again reminded him that I wanted some lemon. When he came back a third time to bring us our appetizers, I asked him for a third time for some lemon. Finally, he came back with 3 slices of lemon (for our table of 4. Hmmm) and my water glass was, by then, empty. Big fail. The bus boy overheard me complaining about the timing of this and re-filled my glass. Ok. Better late than never.

For my app, I shared an arugula, endive, radicchio salad with Gabriel. It came with a creamy balsamic dressing and shaved parmesan. Very nice and fresh, but kind of on the boring side.

For my entree, at the suggestion of our waiter, I ordered the chicken parmesan with penne. It was a great portion sized- very manageable and not overwhelmingly large which I appreciated. The chicken, however was totally overcooked, stringy, dry and unimpressive. The sauce and cheese on top were mediocre at best. I’ve had better chicken parm at a diner.

For the prices here, I would not return. Just a few nights earlier, we went to Cafe Baci for the same price and MUCH better food. I guess you’re really just paying for the lovely outdoor seating here and not much more.

Oh well, they can’t all be winners.

New Pass Grill & Bait Shop: 1505 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL

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Gabriel and I stopped here for a quick lunch today before our fun day of going to see a waterski show and then to the Mote aquarium (both just down the street). It’s a great setting, right next to the Longboat Key bridge at the water’s edge. Tons of boaters dock here for lunch, beer and bait, and it was cool to see them coming and going as we ate outside under an umbrellaed table.

We stood in line for about 15 minutes waiting to place our order at the takeout counter. We decided to share a cheeseburger and a clam basket (which consisted of clam strips, fries and cole slaw). I was happy to see that they had malt vinegar– something I really love on fries that not a lot of places have available. We sat at a gulf-side table and waited for our name to be called over the loudspeaker that our lunch was ready to pick up at the side door. About 10 minutes later it was ready and we picked it up. The burger was basically cafeteria quality. The bun was better than average, but the meat patty was pretty poor. Not juicy, not flavorful, not really any better than a frozen grocery store cheapo one or one you’d get at a fast food joint. The clam strips were very good, not greasy, just super crunchy and a generous portion. The fries were also better-than-average. Super crunchy and tasty. We also shared a large, unsweetened ice tea that hit the spot.

I wouldn’t recommend coming here for great food, but for a lovely, casual setting and fun people, bird and boat watching, this is a great choice. For just under $20, I think next time we’ll choose to make sandwiches and sit at one of the many waterfront park picnic tables.