Thursday, October 27, 2016

OCTOBER 30, 2016


How many trick or treaters do you expect at your house??

Speaking of treats,  if you have not been to YUMMY HOUSE in awhile, I suggest you go now before the chances of finding a quick table will be null and void.  My Romeo group recently had lunch, and each of us came away with a very positive impression.  Not only has the food improved, but so has the service.  Yummy serves the best Chinese in Sarasota. 

And in answer to several of you, NO, I still have not been invited to break  bread with the George Miles Romeo group. However, after discussion with my group I am withdrawing my request!!  The only way they'll see me is if we happen to choose the same restaurant on a Tuesday.  Their loss!!!

But,  I did hear from many of you last week regarding the "unsubscriber" and his "nasty" comments......Marlene M writes.." What is wrong with people.  Whoever wrote this is mentally ill or has allot of hate.  A blog is suppose to be fun.  Why read if you don't like it."

  Mark F writes.."would like to know who the guy is.  Dumb and did not pass his first spelling test."  Arnold G writes...Some nasty guy sending you  that email. Very open of you to publish."  Debbie Y writes.."Wait until your "unsubscriber" finds out it's impossible to get off the list.  He will be getting your blog forever."  And finally Larry C writes...."Well whoever your unsubscriber was he didn't know you very well.   You are not fat!!"

There were more, but you get the idea.

Looking for an adult movie?  That's actually thought provoking and well acted?  No bombs exploding or special effects?  Then go ASAP to see DENIAL.   A true story of acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt.  She must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually happened when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.  Starring Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson it is easily one of the best this year.  I predict when Award time comes around DENIAL  will be among the contenders!!

Sarasota has so much going on at this time of year, it's hard to do it all.   One attraction that keeps on giving throughout the year is the Ringling Museum.  With so many different venues,  it would take up too much blog space to present all to you.  Here is one that shouldn't be missed.

The Circus Museum's current exhibit, ASIA UNDER THE BIG TOP,  explores how stereotypes and fantasies of ASIA played to American audiences.  With the help of   a series of lithographs printed to advertise the Circus,  you will be taken back to a time when going to a  Circus was a major event.   While at The Circus Museum,  if you haven't already seen the continuing Howard Tibbals circus collection, it is a must.  I've been back over the years and find new delights every visit.

Looking for a Pest Control company?  If so, I highly recommend  HIRED GUN PEST CONTROL.  We've been using them for years with great results.  They're reasonable, dependable, and able to get rid of most insects on the first call. Quarterly control is recommended.  In addition , Gun will perform your annual termite inspection as well.   You can reach Russ at 941-747-2948.  Leave a message, and he will respond in minutes.

 Once HALLOWEEN is behind us we all know what lies ahead!!!  Well, we have to take care of some important business next week like electing a President.  But after that we have Thanksgiving and shortly thereafter guessed it Christmas....which brings me to my last  story of the week.

For the  43rd time, First Sarasota, The downtown Baptist Church presents their SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE.  I realize it's early, but  with only 7 scheduled performances they usually sell out.  Tickets are on sale now.  All the information is available on ad posted here.

Saw the show several years ago.  It is entertaining, unusual and a great place for out of town visitors.  If you love traditional Christmas music, this is your cup of tea.

JIM'S RANT....With polls showing the almost certain passage of an amendment allowing  for the sale of medical marijuana in Florida, you'd think the state would be ready to go forward on day one.  BUT NO, our slow to react County Commission is calling for a moratorium on the sale of this necessary product. I totally agree with zoning regulations and whatever else is necessary for consumer protection. But, knowing the strong possibility of  passage,   I  feel they should have been ready no later than January one to be open for business.

Until next week when we finally vote on the above and that other matter make this one a good one......JIM

As blog goes to press THE WORLD SERIES is in progress....Does not look good!!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2016

OCTOBER 23, 2016




I saw this show at the Van Wezel a few years ago, and it was a knock-out.  I can't imagine how much more entertaining it will be at the Gompertz Theatre when it opens FST's 2016-2017 Winter Season.  Winner of a Tony Award when it was on Broadway several years ago, the musical was inspired by a true story of the famed recording session where icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley came together for one unforgettable night.

Songs from our youth such as Blue Suede Shoes, Folsom Prison Blues and Great Balls of Fire are just a few in this nearly two hour songfest.  Call 941-366-9000 for tickets.  There is no better theater value in all of Sarasota.

Veronica is a spectacular looking restaurant
If you are a weekly reader of this blog then you will remember our review of Veronica when it opened at least a month ago.  Truthfully, I've never been there, but several of you have.

Initially,  comments were negative, but now comes a very positive review, that given a few weeks to work the kinks out this is one extraordinary restaurant.

Marlene Meyer, a foodie herself, writes: " We had a great dinner at Veronica last night.  Sat at table near front door, and though noisy, we could easily talk among the din. Our waitress was well trained and helpful with menu items.  Gary had Whole Snapper Thai Fish while I had Grilled Oysters served with delicious french fries.  All served hot and fast.  Though bar was packed with people waiting for a table, we never felt rushed, and will definitely go back again." 

Here's still another restaurant addition to the UTC area.  It has been confirmed, Tampa-St.Pete favorite for Greek food, is opening its first Sarasota location next door to JPAN.  Not even under construction, there is no telling when it will open, but the space is more than ready for occupancy.

Speaking of JPAN, hats off to Daniel Dokko and his exceptional staff for creating a fine addition to the restaurants in and around UTC.  Had dinner there the other night with several other friends and we all walked away stuffed and well satisfied with our meal.

  If going for dinner, I suggest reservations, as this time of year the place will be packed.  Call 941-928-0824 for reservations either here or Paradise Plaza.

"Welcome back Bridge Players."  So says Michelle Golden, owner and operator  of In-Between Bridge Club, 501 N. Beneva Rd. Unit 612 in Courtyard near Fruitville.  With games Monday-Saturday beginning at 1pm now is the time to reserve your space for the next several months.  You can call 941-365-7875 for reservations.  In addition to the regular games there are Lessons and Workshops.  Easybridge 1 is on Thursday mornings from 9-11:30 and Easybridge 2 Saturday mornings, same time.  Easybridge Workshops are Monday from 7-9 pm. To view lesson and game schedule click here.

Scene from last year's Sarasota Walk
Mark your calendar and join in the 27th annual WALK TO END ALZHEIMER'S, this year at easy to access and walk Nathan Benderson Park.  Beginning in 1989 with only a handful of walkers at one location, the walk has grown into  several walks not only in Sarasota, but throughout the country.  Thousands of walkers and millions of dollars are  raised for the care and treatment of people afflicted with this disease.   Sarasota's Walk is Saturday November 12.  Registration begins at 8 with the walk starting at 9.  

Florida is now the state with the third largest total of patients and as our population ages so does the threat of Alzheimer's striking a friend or someone in your family.  To learn more about the alzheimer association and to register for this event click here. Join your friends for a fun walk and help create awareness of a national epidemic.

There is no charge to register, but sponsorships and contributions are encouraged and welcome.

Good reviews for this 2015 film
Opening night film
True story of poet Pablo Neruda
Tickets for 2016 CINE-WORLD Film Festival are now on sale at Burns Court Cinemas box office or on-line by clicking here. You can also get information on the movies scheduled here as well.
Above are three movies that look outstanding.  All received excellent reviews from several critics as well as high Rotten Tomatoes scores.  I will dig deeper next week.

Letters....I Get Letters....I am gratified at the number of you who read Jim Knows Sarasota and respond with email either agreeing, disagreeing or in one case this week, unsubscribing.  I won't identify the person,  but this is the gist of his double whammy: "Your opinions suck-you come off as a fat old man-bury your head in the sand and suck it until you choke"; "You represent what is wrong with Sarasota-an old fart-good by(his spelling), good riddance(again his spelling)".  So sorry to see him go!!!

JIM'S RANT.....For those of you living in a cave and have not heard about Hamilton, the Broadway musical breaking box office records, and now in Chicago, you are in for a treat.  PBS is featuring a 90 minute special on the making of the show.  It is available on demand....don't miss it....

Happy Birthday, Jason.  Don't go wild on Blue Moon Thursday!!!

Thanks again for reading.  What an exciting way to end the week.....JIM

Saturday, October 15, 2016

OCTOBER 16, 2016

Congratulations Chicago Cubs


Your hunt is on for a FLORIDA delicacy.  You can find them all over the place, and as you would expect, prices are pretty high as we begin to consume this 7 month item.  Depending on the catch as we go forward, prices  tend to moderate.  Check with your favorite provider and dig in.

Last week, my ROMEO Tuesday group tried a new and very popular new  restaurant LILA 1576 Main St.  Along with a  tastefully appointed dining room complete with counter seating and  claims of  "Purely Inspired Cuisine",  they deliver what they promise; however no one in my group was happy with their meal.  Truthfully, it is a restaurant designed for  those who favor Organic and Vegetable entrees along with salads, soup, and small plates.  There is a Sarasota market for LILA....females of all ages and younger men who now eat this way.

This week our group had lunch at one of Sarasota's favorite  breakfast and lunch spots, TOASTED MANGO.  I've been there several times and indulged on their delicious omelette platters. 

Had never tried one of their HUGE salads until this trip.  Served  in a saucer looking dish my chef salad came chopped (by request) with all turkey, and numerous vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese.  I added feta cheese as well.  One of the BEST salads in Sarasota, and reasonably priced.  Located 430 Tamiami Trail and open 7am-3pm daily. Also open and thriving in their second location 6621 Midnight Pass Rd. Siesta Key.

Romeo group 1/2014 George has Cap!
While on subject of ROMEO, I am sure you are now aware of the George Miles group which also meets on Tuesday.  George, if I can believe him, has attempted to get me an invitation to join them for a one- time eat and greet. 

 Their recent vote went against me, with only George voting YES.  Even fellow Chicagoan, Booker Rice, who is celebrating his birthday today, is my age, went to Phillips High School,  competed against Senn High (my school) and is rooting for the CUBS, voted NO!

Are you looking for a totally different dining experience??  The University of South Florida is training students in the art of dining and hospitality at its Culinary Innovation Lab on Main St. in Lakewood Ranch.
 Here students cook specialized meals pairing them with craft beers or red and white wine.  Their first event in September featured Spanish-inspired tapas dishes and was a sell out.  A very limited number of tickets are available for their next three events, Oct. 27, Nov. 3 and 27.  Tickets are $20 per person and includes drink and food. To purchase your ticket NOW you can click here. Only a limited number remain! 

An event featuring International and National competitors is coming to Sarasota October 21-23.  Nathan Benderson Park is host to the Modern Biathle/Triathle Championship. More than 800 athletes from 40 nations will be participating in the events which range from run-swim-run to a shoot-swim-run-format.  Expected to compete are the defending champions, recent Olympians, and the world record holder of the Swim competition, the University Of Florida's Logan Storie. 

Mark your calendar!!!  The 27th annual CINE-WORLD dates are 11/4-13.  Schedule of movies has not been announced, but when it is, I will have my picks for best of show. 

Top grossing,  Girl On A Train is a must see.  If you read the book you'll be able to follow this twisted tale of love and murder.  If not, I suggest a synopsis.  Emily Blunt is terrific in a role propelling her to the group of Hollywood's best actresses.

Saw The Accountant Saturday afternoon.  What a waste of time and money!!!! A definite NOT SEE!!!

And if you haven't lost your taste for the Presidential race and debate, there's one final chance.  Wednesday at 9 on most news and Network channels, the third and final debate takes place.  I don't know about you, but I'll be happy November 8 when we know our new President, can stop watching their horrible negative advertising and get into some good old-fashioned CHRISTMAS advertising....YIKES!!!!!

JIM'S RANT....Two Sunday's ago, on the eve of the Jewish New Year,  Sarasota Herald Tribune printed a letter to the editor that smacked of anti-semitism. It's main thrust was the United States was wasting money supporting Israel and could use the money better elsewhere in the Middle East.  It took almost two weeks for them to publish a rebuttal.  How insensitive and ill-advised.

  Until next week, thanks for reading...JIM..OOPS!!!  Almost forgot to wish Adam Finkelstein a happy 20th birthday.

Going to party tonight!!!


Saturday, October 8, 2016

OCTOBER 9, 2016



They're at it again.  Trump and Clinton go at each other for the second time  in a town hall setting with ABC's Martha Raditz  and CNN's Anderson Cooper as co- moderators.  Two weeks ago over 84 million watched and then listened to spin from both candidates.  With football and baseball as competition, don't expect as large an audience for this one.

Alec and Kate
If you haven't seen the first two shows of this season's  Saturday Night Live, you are missing their most creative one in a long while.  Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump impersonation  is spot on, and Emmy Award winner Kate McKinnon's Hillary is as good as ever.   Add Larry David again as Bernie Sanders and you will laugh through opening sketch as well as most of the program.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda,  creator of the smash hit Hamilton was  guest host the 8th.  For those of you who read Jim Knows Sarasota on Saturday, then you can catch him live at 11:30.  There is always ON DEMAND or YouTube if you read this Sunday or later in the week.

Tomorrow (10/10) is COLUMBUS DAY.  A perfect time to hunt for sales at most major retailers.  In fact, some are extending their sales through next weekend.  Still  another excuse to start CHRISTMAS shopping early; as most stores, along with their HALLOWEEN merchandise,  have already started to display decorations and other items for CHRISTMAS. 

Not be outdone by its many competitors, MOZAIC, one of Sarasota's better restaurants, is also offering an October menu hard to beat.  Known for its Mediterranean style food, you now can take advantage of several amazing October specials. 
Click her for a $15 coupon.

Tuesday night is Far East Night!  Asian specialties along with sake cocktails for $6.  Wednesday is Paella Night!  And Thursday is designated Steakhouse Night! Angus Filet Mignon or NY Strip $29.  And as a bonus 25% off all bottles of red wine!

We have had several outstanding meals at this Main Street eating establishment over the years and recommend you give it a try.  Great for special occasions or a quiet evening of dining.   Located at 1377 right in the heart of downtown Sarasota.

Since 2004, The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast has been a winter fixture in Sarasota. Growing from a month long  program, it now occupies venues well beyond that.  In fact, this week is the first event of the 2016-17 season.  Under the guidance of Toby and Itzhak Perlman young talent has been discovered right here!!  This Thursday 7-8:30 alumni Brian Hong(violin), Max Tan(violin) and Nico Olarte-Hayes(cello) bring string quartet repertoire to the Sarasota Classic Car Museum.

Doors open at 7:00p, with plenty of time to purchase a glass of beer or wine and take a stroll throughout the museum.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased that evening or click here for additional ticket information.


Good friend George Miles writes  " On Tuesday Janet and I EXPERIENCED about an hour of rehearsal for THE WIZ.  We have seen every WBTT performance over the past 6 years and this could be BEST OF ALL...GREAT MUSIC...FABULOUS CHOREOGRAPHY...TERRIFIC STAGING...WONDERFUL YOUNG PERFORMERS."

What George did not write was the vote result of my request to join  his ROMEO group on a future Tuesday.  Am I in or out?   My ROMEO group had our first and last LILA experience.  More on both  next week.

JIM'S RANT...Kudos to Governor Rick Scott for seizing the moment and declaring a state of emergency ahead of hurricane Matthew.  Taking charge of situations has not been one of his strong suits, but he seized the moment and saved lives by doing so. Also President Obama for acting quickly with FEMA assistance. Thankfully,   Sarasota was spared Matthew's wrath. Here's what it looked like at another part of the state.

Due to technical issues, some of you were not able to open last week's blog.  This has been resolved and if interested, scroll down for what you missed last week.

As usual, Roberta had a few things to say about this week's blog; most of them not to be repeated in public.  And she too had her umbrella out this week.  Until next week......have a good one...JIM