Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Best of Sarasota, Part II

Sarasota, FL       High:  81     Low:  64

Sparky blew it! Wouldn't be the first time....  :-)  (Glad she said that, and not me, says E.)  When she did the "Best of Sarasota" list, she forgot our favorite place to hear great music---Ocean Blues! Ocean Blues is on Hillview Street in Sarasota, near the hospital.  Great food, great music seven days a week, and the most hospitable and friendly wait staff....

It was Monday night, and you know by now, Monday night is Jazz Jam Night at Ocean Blues, so off we went with very special guests--Terry and Pat Walker, the couple that we met from the NAARVA rally here at Sun 'n' Fun. Pat and Terry have been following our blog since the first day we started full timing back in 2010! They are from Atlanta, GA. They love live music just as we do, and expressed an interest in going to hear the jazz jam at Ocean Blues....

Another great night spent in great company!

The music was wonderful! Steve Arvey, our favorite musician was there along with Brian Pope, our favorite drummer, Ed Kinder, a fantastic keyboard maestro, and Bruce Glassburg, an amazing trombonist. There were many more new players that kept coming up to the stage-- a guy with bongo drums, so that sparked a set of samba type music....A new base player by the name of John DeWitt joined the group. We had a wonderful night of jazz and toe tapping rhythm....

Sparky had her usual pizza which was terrific, Eldy had the great fresh pretzels, and Pat and Terry tried some sandwiches which were very good, they said. Sparky would have taken photos of Pat and Terry's food, but thought that might be a little extreme. (That was a blessing, that would have been a little embarrassing and a bit much! says E.)

Eldy talked trumpets with Steve Rolland, one of the trumpet players who regularly comes and plays on Monday nights...
It was another great night for music! We really love Ocean Blues....

Some more "Best of Sarasota" in Sparky and Eldo's opinion.....

Best Seafood Restaurant:  Anna Maria Island Oyster Bar, Eldy says EVERY time we've been there, "It's the BEST fish I have ever had, bar none!" We did mention this before, but having just ate there again, we decided to give it it's own special category!

Best Alternative Beach: When Siesta Key gets ridiculously crowded, head over to Coquina Beach. Anna Maria Island. It's huge, the shaded path/sidewalk walkway that runs along the beach is gorgeous, and there's a little market there every Sunday.

Best Moderately Priced Restaurant: The Lazy Lobster on Longboat Key...The Amelia burger...mushroom glace sauce over an Angus burger with a stacked, pressed cheesy potato bake on the side that is absolutely out of this world. They have two locations, but we have only been to the one on Longboat Key. Barnacle Bill's Seafood--Downtown Sarasota--We like this one for the "early dining special" for 11.99. Get served before 5:15 to get this price.

Best Kept Museum Secret: Museum of Art and Whimsy--a small quirky little museum with unusual art and sculpture with an outdoor sculpture garden across the street.

Best Mexican Restaurant--Mi Pueblo--really fast service, friendly wait staff, and excellent food. Closer to authentic Mexican food than your usual American Mexican restaurant.

Best Authentic Local Sarasota Experience--drum circles--Siesta Key Beach every Sunday, Nokomis Beach every Wednesday and Saturday about an hour before sunset....

OK, NOW Sparky thinks she's covered the best of Sarasota..... :-)


  1. A nice summary of Sarasota, thanks for sharing!

  2. How great that you have been there so long you can create your own best of Sarasota. I know next time I'm there I'll look up these posts and do what Sparky and Eldy do.

  3. You guys will miss your favorite jazz players when you go!

  4. We haven't been in one place long enough to compile a "best of" list. But what a great idea. Now when we visit Sarasota we'll know where to go.