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Fried Chicken

It is certainly worth the drive for their fried chicken and other tasty items.

The gas station on Rt 70 in Myaka City use to have terrific fried chicken but the last two times there, the quality has declined.

Oct 06, 2012
Arthur16 in Florida

Best southern fried chicken in Sarasota

Try the fried chicken at the Texaco Station just past I75 on Fruitville.

Jun 12, 2012
Arthur16 in Florida


Cafe Bologna used to be one of my most favorite restaurants in and around Sarasota. I didn't mind the prices being a little higher than they should be, thought the food was good and liked the friendly service. Also, it has a nice list of wines—also higher priced than they should be.

However, a couple of weeks ago I stopped in for lunch and ordered a nice antepasta of mixed cured meats and mixed cheeses. One of the meats was a bit “off” and one my friends complained that he had stomach trouble during the night. Now whether that was caused by the mortadella being off is a question. I did ask that we should not be served slices from the end piece of the mortadella, but my request went unheeded. The pasta was simply not good. Since I was hosting the lunch for two of my friends I did not complain about the lunch(s). We had bottled water, two rounds of coffees (espresso) and two glasses of wine. The price was a shade under $100 with tip.

I haven't yet returned, but I will soon and discuss my complaints.

By the way, their bolognese sauce is not traditional bolognese sauce. That doesn't make it bad however.
In fact it is usually quite good notwithstanding that. It was not good the day on which this brief report is based.


Jun 07, 2012
Arthur16 in Florida

Good lunch restaurants in Sarsota FL where it is easy to hear

Lavanda in Towles Court would meet the requirements you are seeking for your Grandfather. The food is very good, decent wine, competent, friendly service and the setting is delightful whether one chooses to sit outside or inside.Lunch is simple with only a few choices but each are good.

Cafe Bologna is also an excellent choice for lunch--or dinner for that matter. At lunch there is not much business which makes for a delightful couple of hours. The food is excellent, a very good wine list, nice people, properly made espresso but a bit more expensive than it should be by about 10-20%. Still, that does not preclude me from going there often.

After several disappointing meals at Libby's we have decided not to return. I think for starters that it needs competent (adult?) supervision. Notwithstanding that it is still very noisy.

Apr 02, 2012
Arthur16 in Florida


I enjoyed a pleasant lunch today at the small but comfortable Bologna Café. They now have a fuller lunch menu than they had in the past, which now makes it a much better place for lunch. Also, their wine list has been much improved. Everyone there is very accommodating. No wi-fi though.
I had a delicious, sharp provolone (not as sharp as I would like) for an antipasta, excellent bread and then a tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce. They were kind enough to open a fresh bottle of Dolcetto d’Alba from which I had an enjoyable glass of it with my meal. I was already late for an appointment so an espresso was not able to be enjoyed.
The Bolognese sauce was delicious, but it did not seem to be a “traditional” example of a Bolognese. However, it wasn’t the ersatz example of the famous sauce which is unfortunately common in most restaurants.
Only two tables were taken while I was there. My guess is that lunch business is always slow, but from my experience it is quite busy for dinner.
I highly recommend Bologna Café. It is nice to have a restaurant of this quality in the area

Oct 11, 2011
Arthur16 in Florida

Yummy House vs. China Yuan in Tampa

A few of us are driving from Sarasota to Tampa just to have Chinese food for lunch. I have narrowed the choice down, after reading many reviews and comments about both, to the Yummy House and China Yuan. I am leaning towards Yummy House, but which one of the two Yummy House’s do we try?

The Yummy House on 2202 West Waters or the one on East Hillsborough Ave? Or, is the choice between the two indifferent?

Am I making a mistake by choosing Yummy House over China Yuan?

Too bad that ABC in St. Petersburg is not open for lunch, which would be a third choice. We will have to arrange a night for dinner there in the near future.


China Yuan
8502 N Armenia Ave Ste 1A, Tampa, FL 33604

Yummy House
2202 W Waters Ave Ste 1A, Tampa, FL 33604

Aug 27, 2011
Arthur16 in Florida

Rec`s for Sarasota!

“The Columbia, why the insult? And your Sysco snipe is an affront to many”

Why are you taking my comments about The Columbia as an insult? I eat there once a year to see if there is any improvement and there never is. It is, in my opinion, popular for the day visitors to St. Armand’s Circle. None of my neighbors or friends go there. Not even to take their visitors. Sysco? The freshest ingredients are not those delivered by truck once every couple of days. Fresh ingredients for a restaurant means that the proprietor goes out early every morning to various markets to buy his produce for
that day. The proprietor’s menu will feature dishes prepared with the produce bought during early morning hours.

I didn’t say that Sysco is not a very good company. My comment about Sysco was in reference to the laziness of restaurant operators relying on a delivery service for supplies. Because of the direction that restaurants are going, Sysco would be a consideration for a purchase of its common stock.

This from Sysco’s investor page:
Fiscal 2008 featured sales of $37.5
billion, a 7.1% increase from the prior year. Additionally,
-Operating income grew 10% to $1.9 billion.
-Net earnings grew by more than $100 million to $1.1 billion.
-Diluted earnings per share grew 13%.
-Return on total capital grew by one point to 21%
“Sysco is the biggest and didn't get that way by screwing up. They do have everything for the restuarants, and seem to control most of the market.”

That’s the problem! Nothing wrong with Sysco, What’s wrong is the behavior of restaurant owners.

“I disagree with many of your suggestions Arthur16, sorry. Epicure is descent but I never really enjoyed the place and service is always lousy. I still vote for Columbia and Phillipi. Bijou is ok, over priced for what you get. I guess that is whats makes it interesting with everyone different opinions of favorites.”

Epicure’s service is on a par with most places. As with most restaurants, regular customers tend to get better service. I did mention that Bijou is a bit overpriced. Instead of Phillipi, go to Cortez Kitchen in Cortez instead.

C’est La Vie, a café on Main, has excellent pastry and breads, but it has the worst service of anywhere that I have been in Sarasota. Still I go there for lunch.

These are the places listed in Sarasota Magazine that the locals have rated “best”.

Note the many that are part of chains.

Jun 20, 2009
Arthur16 in Florida

Rec`s for Sarasota!

I have been to a great majority of the ones listed above. Some are barely ok, most are not any good at all. Those to stay away from are Phillipi Creek, Café Bacci, Colombia (which I pass several times a day and am stunned that it does the business it does), Pacific Rim, and Mattison’s downtown Sarasota. Euphemia Haye will greet you with an attitude. It is noted for Caesar Salad and a couple of other things. The Caesar Salad is far from authentic as are most things in and around Sarasota. Mediocrity reigns!

You will be able to get close to authentic Neapolitan pizza at Epicure at Main and Palm in Sarasota. The pizza is made by a guy from Naples, Italy and baked in a wood fired brick oven. Ask for fresh mozzarella on the pizza. It is a little toothin for my taste but that’s what everyone seems to want these days. The pizza pictured here looks much like the one you will get at Epicure ( Of course it won’t have all of its ingredients from Italy.

You can also get a decent dish of pasta at Epicure and at its sister restaurant, Mediterraneo which is at Main and just before route 301. The pizza is good at Mediterraneo but not as good as Epicure. Epicure has a very good selection of Italian wines, but as most places do, it charges a bit too much for the better ones. At least they keep their wines at a proper temperature in a temperature/humidity controlled wine cooler.

Authentic is tough to find. There are a few Tacos trucks parked on old route 301 and a couple of Mexican dives dotting that road too that I think could be described as authentic.

Restaurants with good wine lists? That is really tough.

I will also recommend a delightful restaurant in the Towles Court area. It is Lavanda ( The wine list there is short but decent—nothing on the list to bowl you over. I like Bijou, which is across the street from the library and the opera house. It is a bit overpriced, has good service, a decent wine list and a pleasant atmosphere. We often find ourselves there.

The food won’t bowl you over at Harry’s on Longboat Key, but it is pleasant to sit outside, have a bloody mary and enjoy the ok food.

The only place that I know that has what is considered authentic Cuban is Jose’s on 8799 Cortez Road West. I had a pressed Cuban and black bean soup there a few weeks ago. Both were pretty good, but I have not returned for a second time.

Café Bologna on 5770 S Tamiami is a nice small place with good cheeses and sliced meats. It also has a good lasagna Bolognese as the husband and wife are from the Province of Bologna in Italy.

The market fresh ingredients you strive for is another tough request. At virtually all restaurants in and around Sarasota the freshest ingredients are the ones that Sysco delivers every other day or so to most, if not all, restaurants.

Jun 19, 2009
Arthur16 in Florida

Venice: The Great Binge of '09

"Il Ridotto ( ) is the most interesting restaurant in Venice, one of the most individual in all of Italy. Only two restaurants in the country have a food rating higher than the 55 which Gambero Rosso gave it in a visit last year."

This is not true--there are 3 or 4 in Venice itself that have higher ratings in GR than Il Ridotto.

Mar 25, 2009
Arthur16 in Italy

More Excellent food in Sarasota

The food and service are good. But, be prepared for a very noisy meal unless you sit outside.

Lately I have been enjoying C'est la Vie on Main Street for a light lunch.Their bakery products are wonderful.

Feb 13, 2009
Arthur16 in Florida

Good Eats Around Sarasota/Bradenton

The French place's name that I referred to in Gulf Gate is Le Parigot. Their soups were excellent.

Dave Pasternack is the chef at Esca and his partners are Bastianich as mentioned above and Mario Batali. Pasternack is an avid fisherman who often brings his catch to the restaurant.

Had a delicious fried grouper sandwich at the Cortez Kitchen today.

IThe Taco truck on old 301 has good tacos.

Jan 03, 2009
Arthur16 in Florida

Good Eats Around Sarasota/Bradenton

A review of Cafe Bologna can be found here:

The reviews of Cafe Bologna and Esca will give the reader some idea of the amateurish nature of restaurant reviews in the area. Too, I can assure you that this Esca and the one on 43d and Ninth in NYC are worlds apart in all-around quality. By the way, Esca means bait in Italian. The Esca in NYC is one of our favorite restaurants in NYC.

Dec 21, 2008
Arthur16 in Florida

Good Eats Around Sarasota/Bradenton

The little French place in Gulfgate is now closed.

What the area needs are a few good, knowledgeable food critics rather than the ones that like everything. One would think that the local magazines would be the first place to find a responsible food critic.

Gordon Ramsey would find many restaurants for his TV show here.

On a pleasant day it is delightful to have lunch on Lavanda's patio in the the Towles Court area. The Towles Court section has many art galleries.

I istill have hope for the little Cafe Bologna on Tamiani Trail South. Too bad it is not open for lunch but it is worth a try for dinner.

Dec 21, 2008
Arthur16 in Florida

Good Eats Around Sarasota/Bradenton

This area is dominated by chain and mediocre restaurants. So brace yourselves so as not to be disappointed. Those that get top reviews here and elsewhere fall short on a good, full experience. Those include Derek's. Euphamia Haye, Bijou, Beach Bistro, Selva Grill etc. The chefs at these and others have a hard--maybe impossible--time in deciding which ingrediants to leave out of a dish. They have no trouble adding too many ingredients. Take a look here:

However, good pizza can be found at Epicure especially now that they have just installed a wood-burning oven. Plus the fellow making the pizzas hails from Naples, Italy where he was a pizza baker. He is making the pizzas a bit too thin to be true "Neapolitan" but he tells me that's what his customers want and expect.

We eat out almost every day and are continually disappointed. The other night we tried the new restaurant on Osprey Ave. Liddy's has replaced the one that was there. The salads were good, my wife's rare tuna was good, the fried calamari was good any my two small crabcakes @ $26 were inedible. On top of that I was somewhat forced to explain what I didn't like about the crabcakes when I just wanted to pay the check (with the crab cakes included) and leave. A couple of other things the place was crowded and very noisy so that a normal conversation was difficult. Too, there was no "adult supervision" just a couple of attractive young women walking around asking if everything was ok.

Dec 21, 2008
Arthur16 in Florida