Tag Archives: ice cream

S’macks: 2407 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL

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s'macks

Arghhhh. TOTALLY unacceptable! I ate an awesome lunch here and completely forgot to take photos. Darn pregnancy brain. I will definitely need to go back asap to have the same meal again so I can provide the lovely, mouth-watering pics that should go with this entry. Please forgive me!

Anyway, It was a GREAT meal! My father had recently stopped in and raved about the custard. He is like me in that when he finds a noteworthy meal or food, he basically insists that you take him seriously and go try it for yourself. Luckily, I am not one to deny the man the pleasure of passing on a new and delicious discovery to someone else.

I stopped in and was pleased to find plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. I was also really pleased to see that almost all of the ingredients on the menu are locally sourced from farmers in the area. Very cool- and especially cool to see the map on the wall showing where each ingredient comes from.

I easily decided on a portobello mushroom with a slice of provolone, pickles, ‘S’macks’ sauce (which is basically a kicked up mayo), lettuce, and tomatoes all on a yummy potato bun. I also ordered a side of fries and a lemonade.

As I went to sit down to wait for my order, the owner was walking around passing out samples of their coconut custard and I couldn’t possibly turn that down. WOW. Super creamy with that hint of coconut threaded texture, just the right amount of sweet, the perfect temperature and consistency. Dad was right, it’s sooooooo good. If I hadn’t already told myself that the fries were the indulgence I was allowing myself today, I would totally have ordered a cup of the custard after I ate lunch.

So then my meal arrived at my table looking amazing. The portobello sandwich was perfect- juicy mushroom, not drowning in cheese and sauce, topped with pickles and the fresh veggies that I requested. The fries were crispy and hot, crinkle cut, and super fresh. I was going to have this with my lemonade, but the owner brought me some peach iced tea that was refreshing and ice cold and it went really well with my meal..so I alternated between the two drinks.

Even though I was stuffed at this point, how could I turn down the incredible coconut/chocolate shake he also brought over when I was done eating lunch?? I was only going to have a sip to taste it but….Well, the end of that story goes as predictably as you’d imagine.

Overall, I am DEFINITELY a fan of S’macks and will surely be back soon. Actually, today is my day off from work and writing this entry up has sparked a craving…so I may just make it over there later today. Give it a try!

 

 

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.

Jim’s Small Batch Bakery. 2336 Gulf Gate Dr, Sarasota, FL

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Stop #2 on my father and I’s little culinary adventure in Gulf Gate led us to Jim’s Small Batch Bakery and WOW this was the highlight of the day for me. This tiny little shop tucked away in the corner of Gulf Gate is just awesome, with a staff who clearly has a ton of integrity about what they do. Jim was on hand to chat and give us some samples of his sorbets and ice creams and I simply couldn’t resist. I ended up with a scoop of coconut sorbet and a scoop of strawberry sorbet and they were both so incredibly delicious. Smooth, creamy and very natural with nothing but the fruit, a little sugar and a binding ingredient. Some of the best sorbet I’ve ever had actually. I couldn’t help topping my cup with a lemon sand dollar cookie that was super thin, crisp and delicate. I also tasted my father’s vanilla ice cream which was equally outstanding.

The case full of treats was extremely tempting, and I’m lucky that I work pretty close by. I will absolutely be back for lunch soon- as they had a wonderful little menu of sandwiches, soups and quiches in addition to their baked goods. The almond croissant was LOUDLY calling my name and I promised it that I’d come back for it soon. The lemon bar, breads and cakes also looked amazing and I’m sure I’ll eventually try them all.

YUM. I will be back within a week, I’m sure of it. Thanks Jim!

Pop Craft Pops: Sarasota Farmer’s Market. Sarasota, FL

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It was a HOT day at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market today. Not a cloud in the sky and pushing at least 90 degrees, what better way to cool off than with a delicious, refreshing, icy cold artisan popsicle!?!?

The creative and unusual flavors handwritten on this vendor’s board were what caught my eye and I couldn’t resist. I chose the blueberry/lemon/basil flavor and was SO happy I did. For $3, I had a wonderful and healthy snack that was bursting with farm fresh flavors. It cooled me off instantly, and I finished it before too much of it could melt it’s way down the stick. FANTASTIC. I can’t wait to go back and try the other flavors. YUM.

Nokomis Groves: 111 Albee Farm Rd. S, Nokomis, FL

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My father, whose opinion on food I take very seriously, recommended this place to me. Since it’s only a couple of exits from where I

rehearse with my duo, Painted Echo (please see http://mikesolomusic.com/home.cfm for more info) It was not hard to find time to swing by.

It was 95 degrees out on Sunday so after rehearsal, I decided it was the perfect time for a refreshing treat. I pulled up to a fairly full parking lot and people happily licking cones on benches in the shade. I went up to the counter and asked which flavor they suggested, and they told me that the orange/vanilla was by far the most popular. Thinking back to how much I loved creamsicles as a kid, I was excited to try a homemade version.

The woman who made my cone was nice enough to hold it for a photo before the melting began. I can honestly say that I ended up eating it so quickly that I had no need for a napkin. All dripping was easily averted.

This is a delightfully refreshing treat indeed. The vanilla is creamy and the orange is a bit more on the sherbet-y side. It’s lower fat/calorie than most ice creams, and didn’t leave me feeling like I had just totally pigged out at 4 in the afternoon. Nope, no dinner spoiling here, just a wonderfully cold snack with awesome flavor and charm to boot. I’ll be back!

 

Momofuku Milk Bar: 251 E. 13th St. New York, NY

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I read a few rave reviews about Momofuku Milk Bar a couple of years ago and up until today, it seemed like every single time I passed by it, I had *just* finished eating and was too full to try anything. Today was different, having come from a running coaching session, and I was excited to have a cookie and a little taste of the cereal milk soft serve I’d heard such good things about.

I have to say, as someone who is almost always thrilled with any sugary tastings, I was less than impressed today. The cereal milk ice cream, while it WAS nice and cold on a very hot day, and it DID really bring me back to the days of savoring that delicious leftover milk in the bowl after breakfast, was only eh. More icy than creamy, and a little too sweet- even for me. I’m guessing this one is much better if you’re a local NYU stoner than a 34 year old without a munchees-induced palette. The cookie was also only eh. This blueberries & cream cookie was suggested by the baker on site as her favorite one. The dried blueberries had a nice chewy consistency, and the small pieces of white chocolate were pretty good in their slightly caramelized state, the cookie itself was the perfect stage of just barely finished baking, with a soft inside and a slightly crisp outer edge, but overall it really didn’t blow me away for some reason. Maybe it was simply because white chocolate never seems quite as wonderful as dark or milk chocolate to me. Maybe because before I asked for a suggestion, I was really more drawn to trying the marshmallow and chocolate one. Or maybe just because it was only an okay cookie.

Oh well, sometimes I guess when you wait long enough and hear so much hype about a place, it’s only natural that there might be a little disappointment.

Omonia Cafe: 3220 Broadway, Astoria, NY

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When dinner time rolled around last night, G and I decided to wander into Astoria to find somewhere to eat. Although I AM a fan of little hole-in-the-walls that no one has discovered yet, I also find super-crowded places to be very appealing, holding trust in the masses. Omonia Cafe (although I must say  that I hate that the name sounds like ammonia, not at all appealing associated with food) was completely hopping late on a Sunday night, with tons of outdoor seating and a vibrant, lively scene.

We were seated right away at a sidewalk table and took a few minutes to peruse the large and varied menu. Everything from breakfast foods, to salads, to paninis and 3 pages full of pastries, ice creams and other desserts sounded great.

We shared the calamari to start, and it was hot out of the deep-fryer, certainly not one of the healthiest choices I’ve made, but ohhhh so worth it. Not too much breading, generous cuts of calamari and a very good marinara dipping sauce made a great starter and we cleaned the plate pretty quickly.

For my entree, I had a Greek salad that totally hit the spot. Perfect ratios of romaine, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumbers, onions and feta with triangles of toasted pita on the side. The only bizarre thing was that they didn’t have any Greek dressing to go with it. Huh? Oh well, I ordered some ranch dressing but didn’t really like it and wound up using the red wine/vinegar that was on the table instead.

With 3 pages of dessert offerings, we really couldn’t leave without trying something…and being that we’d already had a fairly indulgent weekend, we decided one more overdo was at that point, not really a big deal. hahaha. So we ordered a peanut butter, hot fudge sundae and I got a really excellent cappuccino. Little did we know, the sundae was the size of a bowling ball. Somehow, we managed to do some pretty serious damage to it. Today, I am on no-sugar, eating only vegetables/fruits and fish…and feeling quite a bit less gross already 🙂

 

*photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders. http://www.magicsandbox.com/enter/Magic_Sandbox.html