Saturday, April 6, 2013


Good morning! Welcome to the week before TAX day.  For all you procrastinators like me who  are waiting until the last minute to send in your return, there is a mail depository at 850 Tallevast Rd. right behind the airport with Saturday pickup at 5 and 7:30pm.

Tonight, MAD MEN returns from 9pm-11pm on AMC for its sixth (and second-to-last ) season.  This is one of television's finest programs. It takes us, and especially me, back to the early days of broadcast advertising.  Since my career began at the time of MAD MEN, I can attest to the authenticity of the culture.  Carousing, drinking and smoking were all part of it as were elaborate lunches, which for the underlings took place of dinner and was a money saver for a poorly compensated business at that time.  

One quick story.  I learned early in my career not to drink at lunch and to conduct most business in the afternoon when everyone else was too tired or half-drunk to pay close attention.  I would get to the restaurant early and tell the server to bring my "usual" when everyone else ordered a drink.  My "usual" was a glass of soda water with lime! My biggest account was Rust-Oleum. Of course, two heavy drinkers handled their time-buying.  I took them to lunch at one of Chicago's finest restaurants, watched them down three perfect Manhattan's each and then proceeded to help them with their buy. You can guess who walked away with the bulk of their dollars.

A recent visit to the TARGET CENTER gave me a bird's eye view of  progress being made at THE MALL AT UNIVERSITY TOWN CENTER.  Any day now, structural construction for a late 2014 opening will begin.  The picture above is the entrance to TOWN CENTER.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I will be able to tell you some of the exciting retail and dinning additions who have signed on.  click here for more information .  At site you can watch a virtual tour video by clicking on photo and video gallery and then video.  You are looking for University Town Center/Sarasota.

The famous golfer above is SAM SNEAD.   Born in 1912, he lived two more years than the number of PGA titles he won, 82. This is the number Tiger Woods is chasing as he prepares for the Masters next week.  BUT, this is not about golf, rather a restaurant in Snead's name at the corner of Osprey and Hillview in SARASOTA.  Referred to as an American Bar, it is much more than that with a menu for every foodie.  My favorite is their Florida Cobb Salad, but ribs are fantastic, flat bread as good as anywhere, a hamburger as good as it gets, and steak or  prime rib that compete with SARASOTA's best. You won't go home hungry (you'll probably take some of your meal home).  SAM SNEAD'S takes and honors reservations.  Get there early for happy hour.

We had dinner again on Saturday.  The restaurant was full, but our 7pm table was ready upon arrival.  Roberta's prime rib was super.   Our server was excellent, and we could even hear each other , though like most SARASOTA restaurants on a Saturday night, the noise level is at high volume.  As we left through the bar we watched the end of Louisville vs. Wichita State.  Very exciting finish.
A few weeks ago, Roberta and I along with several Longboat and SARASOTA friends attended a wonderful birthday party for dear friend Bud Bronska.  It is hard to believe he will be 90 later this summer.  He is in magnificent shape (well his hearing leaves a little to be desired) and swims regularly every morning.  In fact, he has not missed a day in 4 years while residing on Longboat Key during the winter months.  His wife Nancy and several children and grandchildren made the evening memorable for all of us.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUD.

A new restaurant on University near Tuttle, rev-el-ry Pub and Grill, is opening soon.  Some of you may well avoid it, since it sits on the site of former failures...Johnny Carino's and Malanga.  I met the owners John and Angela and their enthusiasm excitement and unique menu (still under construction) won me over.  They are scheduled to open sometime in early May.  Stay tuned for my review.

 With only fresh (never frozen) ingredients and local produce (when season permits) they are attempting to distance themselves from others who are not so particular with their ingredients.  The pub menu, reasonably priced, will be available throughout the restaurant.  Your choices will include Ahi Tuna Tartare as well as pizza, fresh fish and of course burgers.  A happy hour will allow you to indulge in your favorite drinks at reduced prices.  This is in no way a recommendation.  Just a heads up to know what you have seen under construction may well be what that area is looking for...a quality restaurant beyond University and 75 other than Outback and Lazy Lobster.
Located in a small strip mall on US 41 somewhere between Fruitville and Blvd. Of The Arts is one of SARASOTA'S best breakfast/lunch restaurants.  TOASTED MANGO CAFE is relatively new to the restaurant scene, but in a few short years has become a favorite for residents, visitors and tourists.  The owners and many of the staff were trained at BLUE DOLPHIN another popular and very good breakfast/lunch restaurant on Longboat Key.  If you love oatmeal as I do, theirs is one of the best.  They also have wonderful omelets and pancakes.  Be prepared to wait.

Last week's blog told you of several SARASOTA residents recent visit to Philadelphia.  Missing from that report was their favorite dinner at a restaurant  owned by Fran and David Lambert's son,  SAVAONA in Lower Marion. They feasted on a meal created by the head chef.  The food tasted even better knowing they were eating in a room in the house which was once Aaron Burr's.

This week's rant has nothing to do with SARASOTA, instead it has to do with one of our favorite pastimes.....watching television on Sunday night. Relaxing from the weekend and looking for escape entertainment  before turning in for the night...why is it MOST of the better programs compete with each other....MAD MEN, THE GOOD WIFE, GIRLS, and now MASTERPIECE THEATER (which by the way has an exceptionally good mini-series, MR. SELFRIDGE, starring Jeremy Pivan) MR. SELFRIDGE is the true story of Selridge's London department store. And, to make it even worse, next Sunday VEEP returns to HBO at 10.  The DVR gets a good workout in the Fox household on Sunday.

Have a great week and we'll do this again next Sunday.  Thanks to Tracy for helping me put the blog together.......JIM


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