It rained all day today...So Sparky decided to do a blog on the "Best of Sarasota".....There's a great monthly magazine published that's all about Sarasota, it's called SRQ. It's a terrific magazine. The April issues had a feature "the Best of SRQ Local". ("SRQ" is the airport abbreviation for Sarasota)....Sparky thought she'd share what the magazine had to say. We have tried some of these but not all of them, so here's the majority of opinion from the residents of Sarasota themselves...Here goes.....
Best Breakfast: Station 400, second place Word of Mouth, third place and our favorite--Broken Egg. Station 400 (we're gonna have to try it) has the "Fry Up"..scrambled eggs with marinated mushrooms and tomatoes. Their French toast is stuffed with apples, cranberries and almonds. Sounds delicious! And they have a great story behind their restaurant...Bet it's got some great atmosphere!
In 1852, a quaint railroad depot was built in Kentland, Indiana, when railroads were essential for long distance travel. Passengers took pride in each trip and made time to explore the station while waiting for their departure. It was a period in time when a slower speed of life was appreciated. In order to recreate this feeling, the old depot was painstakingly pieced apart and reassembled in the Rosemary District of Sarasota, Florida. After much attention the building is now reminiscent of how it looked over 150 years ago, rich with old character and traditional charm.
Best Salon: Nuovo Runner up--Yellow Strawberry, and Cutting Loose... Nuovo gives soothing scalp massages when you get your hair shampooed. Haircuts start at 25.00...Sparky goes cheap on haircuts, but sometimes will splurge to get a better one. You get what you pay for. A great haircut grows out nicely, a super cheap one doesn't! Thank goodness, hair grows back fast!
Best Fashion Boutique--L. Boutique--runnersup--Foxy Lady, Lotus, and GOODWILL! Sparky has heard Goodwill has some really great stuff in the Sarasota locations. The best one in the bunch is the one on Clark Street, everybody says. She heard that Goodwill is really great down here in Sarasota. She's heard that over and over from the people at the park, so a Goodwill stop is in order in the next few days....
Best Burger--Patrick's..First runner-up, Square One Burgers
Best Seafood--Walt's Fish Market and Restaurant We really liked Anna Maria Oyster Bar/Restaurant on Cortez Blvd, and a second one is on Tamiami Trail.
Best New Restaurant--State Street Eating House, runner up--Darwin's with home brewed beer....
Best Place to Take Visitors--Siesta Key Beach...No surprise there....runners-up--The Ringling Museum, Marie Selby Gardens, and Mote Marine....All of which Sparky has visited and just loved!
Best Grouper Sandwich--The Old Salty Dog at Lido Key....runner-up--Phillippi Creek
Best Farmer's Market--Sarasota Farmer's Market...It's wildly popular with the locals...distinct stands and the weekly "doggie parade"...everybody just brings their dogs to stroll and browse the stands. Live entertainment on almost every corner...We've visited the Farmer's Market several times and it's always different and fun!
Best Coffee--Pastry Art...Sparky doesn't drink coffee, she drinks Coke in the morning, but she does love the smell of good coffee...First runner-up is Java Dog which has the Java bus at the Farmer's Market every Saturday.
Best Pizza--Il Panificio, gonna try this one. We've had Main Street Trattoria Pizza, excellent! We also like SRQ Pizza which is not too far from Sun 'n' Fun and if you sign up for their texts, you'll get a different special every day of the week.
Best Sandwich--Anna's Deli..we'll have to try their "World Famous Surfer Sandwich" sometime..
Best Sweet...Lollicake Queen...queen of cakes on a stick...It's a sweet, sister owned boutique, they have house made butter cream icing and gourmet chocolate. Now, of course, we have to know that Sparky can't just blindly make food recommendations, she has to check out as many of these as she can before we go. We tried to check out the bakery/sweet shoppe/boutique today, but they closed at 4:00 PM. Phooey! The closest Sparky got to a sugar fix was taking a photo through the window. Back we go another day....Sparky LOVES buttercream icing on anything! (ANYTHING??? She means on cake, muffins, cinnamon rolls, etc. explains Eldo)
Best Outdoor Dining: Ophelia's on the Bay....First runner-up is Mattison's City Grill...We also like Woody's River Roo near Ellenton...It's got live, outdoor music on a regular basis, too.
Best Place to Find A Unique Gift--Elysian Fields..meditation CD's, unique gifts, books, this is the place to find something thoughtful and different. Sparky hasn't checked it out, but it sounds really great.
AND----Sparky's own suggested categories.....
Best State Park--Myakka River State Park--gators, airboats, kayaking, canoeing, camping, the Deep Hole for gator watching, hiking, the Canopy Walk, wow....what a place!
Best Family Physical Activity---Tree Umph! Sparky hasn't been there, but there is all kinds of stuff to climb, jump, hang and do--zip line, included.....not cheap, but guaranteed to wear the whole family out. Mote Marine is another wonderful place for the whole family.
BEST RV Park--Sun 'n' Fun...But of course! We've been here five months, it's gotta be good to keep Sparky's attention all this time, haha.....See all our previous blogs all about Sun 'n Fun!
And that about wraps it up......Lots and lots of wonderful places in Sarasota to eat, shop and enjoy all kinds of nature.....It's our favorite destination of all......