Saturday, June 15, 2013

SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2013



A few weeks ago during Savor Sarasota we had dinner at FLEMING'S. I'll let George Miles tell you about his experience first..."Janet and I went to Fleming's last Sunday night...I ordered a bone-in rib eye(need I tell you the price).  It was one of the worst steaks I have ever had....tasted like fast food...I told management of my bad experience...they were apologetic, but unmoved...hopefully this was a one time experience..."  I'm sad to say that Roberta and I along with two friends took advantage of Savor Sarasota and had a similar experience.  The place was packed, the service lacking ( which used to be a highlight) and the steak was minuscule, tasteless with ordinary potatoes.  No way to use a promotion to get me back again!!!

Those of you who are here in the winter months and frequent Longboat have a favorite restaurant DRY DOCK.  We went on Friday and it was as crowded as an evening in March.  The twenty minute wait was well worth it.  We had Salmon BLT with fries and cole slaw...yummy and reasonable.  The service was swift, the atmosphere exciting, the food as always delicious and only 17 minutes from University Park.  We'll be going again.

Another major chain restaurant opens this week in SARASOTA...P.F. CHANG'S China Bistro located in its own building on the corner of Mound and Osprey.  I've been to their Tampa location, but that's a long way to go for Chinese cuisine!  I've also been at PEI WEI, their fast-food Chinese restaurant at University Park, but having a PF Chang's around the corner makes my mouth water.  I am in no way giving up YUMMY HOUSE, but welcome the opportunity of choice.  Stay tuned for a review next....I'll be shocked if it's anything but excellent.

Now playing on only 44 screens across the country, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is one of the best coming of age movies I've ever seen for both adolescents and their parents.  It is the story of three boys who leave the comforts of difficult family settings to build their own home in the woods and provide for themselves.  The film won several awards at CANNES and should be going into wider release in a few weeks.

For those of you who don't already know, I have a "sweet tooth" and long for the good old days of the corner bakery.  Well, I found one!!!  Not exactly on a corner, but in one of the many shopping areas in GULF GATE VILLAGE near Mama Mia's....Jim's SMALL BATCH BAKERY (no, I don't own it, but wish I did) featuring real SCRATCH baking.  On a daily basis, Jim bakes cookies, croissants, breads, bagels and other delicious pastries even better than Main Street's PASTRY ART and much less pricey.  Jim also serves lunch daily  11:30-2:30 offering a variety of homemade soups daily.  Several customers recommended that day's chicken soup. The address is 2336 Gulf Gate Drive.  Open Tues through Friday 8-4 and Saturday 9-3.  It is well worth the drive.

Last week's blog was replaced by JASON'S GRADUATION.....moved indoors due to Tropical Storm ANDREA it was a very special event for Roberta and me..  After receiving his diploma Jason heads to Camp Skylemar as a counselor this summer and then to Tulane for four of the best years of his life.  While in Baltimore, we had Maryland blue crabs at OCEANPRIDE and crab cakes at PAPPAS.  You can fed ex order from them and have same day delivery. For more information click here.   Anyone who advertises Maryland Style crab cakes in Sarasota is guilty of false advertising....there is only one Maryland crab cake and you get it there!!!  Roberta and I toured Harbor East, a new area in Baltimore's  Inner Harbor.  If you have the opportunity to visit Baltimore you will be impressed with the area's activity and improvements.

Also took in an O'S game against the Los Angeles Angels, who so far this season have under-achieved big time.  It rained most of the game, but we were spared due to Club Seats undercover.  Go ORIOLES!!!!

After graduation, we took an overnight visit to Philadelphia to dine with
Sarasota friends and visit two of the most amazing exhibits....The National Museum Of American Jewish History and The Barnes Foundation.  Several months ago some of you went and I wrote about your experience, but one has to see the exhibits and buildings themselves to get a real feel of the depth of presentation.  The Jewish Museum takes you from the very beginning of Jewish immigration to the USA to present time and features prominent Jews from business to sports to show business.   The Barnes is a collection of art and objects purchased through the years by Albert C. Barnes, an ordinary chemist who had a keen sense for art and artisans and years later finds his billions of dollars collection in a modern building in the heart of downtown Philadelphia.  Do not miss the video that begins your tour.  And the Cafe Restaurant is as good as it gets at a Museum.

Nik Wallenda continues to practice at BENDERSON PARK for his......LIVE.....walk across Grand Canyon next Sunday 8pm on the Discovery Channel.  Hopefully the NBA and NHL playoffs will be over by then and Nik will have the stage to himself.  If you are currently in SARASOTA, Wallenda practices daily at 10:30 and again at 6 and 3 on Sunday.  Get there early since schedule is strictly adhered to.
JIM'S RANT is food related.  Savor SARASOTA is a wonderful promotion to get people to eat out during a slow time of the year.  It is also a way for restaurants to showcase their menu.THEN WHY IS IT several restaurants choose this time to skimp on portions, presentation and service?  $29pp is not inexpensive these days even with three courses.  Some restaurants like MOZAIC  have extended their Savor SARASOTA menu until the end of June.  They are worth a visit, as their product now is as it always is outstanding.  I cannot say that for several of the participating restaurants.
Father's enjoy your day.  Thank you Tracy for the fine editing and proofing this week.  Thank you to George for your contribution as well.  And congratulations to JASON on his High School Graduation!  Good Luck at Tulane.  Until next week....have a great one...JIM


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