As promised, this next series of blogs are reserved for the highlights, and some lowlights, of my foodie adventure in Sarasota.
Overall, I’d say Sarasota is a great town for foodies. There is an amazing downtown that features a wide variety of the fried, filleted, and fricasseed with a variety of choices between Spanish, Mediterranean, upscale American, and casual cafes. Then, in the Siesta Key area, there are some fantastic bars and restaurants for people who are bikinied and as fresh out of the sea as the fish on the plate. I feel like I did a lot of eating in one week and I barely scratched the surface of culinary options.
Starting with Sunday evening and running through Saturday morning, I visited Rico’s Pizzeria,Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar, Barnacle Bill’s Seafood, Ceviche Tapas, Café Amalfi, Daiquiri Deck, Gold Dynasty, McKechnie Field Ball Park, Sarasota Kennel Club, and Alpine Steakhouse. I’m going to space out my posts on my food adventures of the week as I get caught up on putting notes to paper.
A much better seafood and cream choice is the award-winning Clam Chowder I got at Tiki Bar at Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar. This is a series of buildings that have a café and a late night bar, called the Tiki Bar. The chowder was thick and I worried that it would be too heavy and gummy with thickened cream, but the chowder instead was full and comforting. Although some chowders skimp on meat, Captain Curt packs there’s with big pieces of meat so that you get clam in every bite.
A lesser success at Captain Curt’s Tiki Bar was the Tiki Shrimp Rangoon, which is butterfly cut shrimp that is fried in a light batter and served with cream cheese on top. I ordered this because I had never had shrimp with cream cheese and I wanted to see what it was like. I think the idea has potential, but Captain Curt’s execution mixed the mark. It was a very dense, rich cream cheese that was literally dolloped on top. As served, the cream cheese and shrimp never really unified, and the very sweet, somewhat citrusy dunking sauce didn’t help bridge the gap. This is something I’d like to experiment with at home by using a whipped cream cheese that is flavored with old bay or lime zest. If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes.