Saturday, November 22, 2014

NOVEMBER 23, 2014


AND PREPARE FOR THE ONSLAUGHT OF SHOPPING TO BE DONE IN THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS LEADING UP TO CHRISTMAS/HANUKKAH......Don't you sometimes stop and ask yourself "where has this year gone?"..I know I do almost every day.

With full stomachs and aching feet, it is not too early to think of those visitors young and old who will be with us later this year.  SAILOR CIRCUS is once again presenting December 27-30 performances at their location on 2075 Bahai Vista.  The area's longest running and highly acclaimed youth circus has been entertaining SARASOTA for years.  Reasonably  priced tickets starting at $12 are on sale now. For more information click here.
HELPFUL TIP: AVOID WAITING AT CHEESECAKE FACTORY!   Ever since this UTC favorite opened the wait has been long; sometimes as much as two hours.  You can shop during that time, but really no restaurant is worth the effort.  However, if you're willing to eat around 6:00-6:15 you can walk right into the bar!!!  That's when happy hour ends and the place empties out.  All those nice high-top tables in the center are free as is most of the bar.  So eat early, shop late and beat the crowds!!!

The recently concluded Cine-World Festival was one of the best in years.  In the coming weeks, I will review those movies we saw as they open.  The first movie is in general release next weekend and will be a featured attraction at Burns Court Cinemas...THE IMITATION GAME.  It is based on a true story, takes place during WW11, is filled with espionage, great acting, and unexpected turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.

At last week's Hollywood Film Awards, it was one of the evening's most lauded films, with acting honors for Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley and a directing prize for Morten Tyldum.  If you are in the mood for an intelligent adult movie see this one.
Cumberbatch was also on The Daily Show with John Stewart last week and got his ringing endorsement, as well on the cover of Time Magazine.

While downtown  we revisited two delightful Caraguilo family owned restaurants, the afore mentioned CARAGIULOS Italian America and OWEN'S FISH CAMP seafood and more.

OWEN'S sits next door to Burns Cinema, and is as popular today as when they opened several years back.  Most important, the food is as good as ever.  Though reservations are accepted only for larger parties of 5 or more, be prepared to  wait for lesser sized parties.  There is a cozy front porch for outside dining, and though small, Owen's has found a way to squeeze several at the bar or a community table in front of the bar.  It is noisy, but exciting at the same time.  Our party of 6 would definitely go back. For menu click here.

CARAGIULOS sits on Palm Ave a few doors from Main St.  Their menu has the same popular items the family has been offering for several years.  I am a big lover of salads, and their Chopped "1989" is one of SARASOTA'S best.  It is available in whole or half portions.  If you are sharing a pizza or pasta you can easily share the salad.  BUT, it is big enough to have as a meal.  And, along with their famous Italian bread, you will be quite satisfied. For menu click here. When the weather warrants, outside dining is perfect here!
Those of us who saw The Prima Donnnettes last season at FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE are in for a return engagement as they return in a new revue Dancing In The Street at the John C Court Cabaret through February 7.  Songs range from dynamic 50's girl groups like The Chiffons and The Chordettes along with more familiar artists like Aretha Franklin, Cher and Amy Grant.  This is a soundtrack packed with the hopes and dreams of women everywhere featuring among others, Chapel of Love, Delta Dawn, I Will Survive and Gypsy's Tramps and Thieves. For a schedule of performances or to purchase tickets click here.

PANERA BREAD, recently opened their newest SARASOTA bakery-cafe in an area immediately across from UTC.  Just off Cattleman Rd. it sits in an  outparcel featuring an already open JOS A. BANK  and soon to  open AT&T store, as well as a new eatery to the  area, BLAZE PIZZA.  It could be the location or the new design, but to me the food is tastier at this one.

I had breakfast and lunch over the weekend.  Their egg white sandwich and new cobb salad were tasty and inexpensive.  And unlike other locations, you get a pager , set it down on your table-inside or out, and the food is brought to you rather than waiting.  Another SOLID addition to the Cattleman Rd. area.

During this time of year, Jewish Family Children Services asks the community to "Adopt a Family for the Holidays".  Benefiting families of all faiths, JFCS, with your help, provides the  less fortunate with basic life necessities such as food, blankets and clothing. In addition if the family has young children toys are provided.  For more information email Lauren Fair at

JIM'S RANT......there will be no rant this week, as we pause to give thanks for all our blessings. Family, friends, the good life of  SARASOTA, the freedom to speak your mind on any issue and not get jailed for it... and, .I, especially want to thank all of you who read this blog week in and week out.  From a few, readership is now in the hundreds!!!! Have a great Thanksgiving....happy shopping....

Tracy, as usual, did a fantastic editing job.....see you next week....JIM

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