Archive | 4:33 pm

Floribbean Flo’s

12 Jun

Discovered this great little bakery and gift shop on the South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Nancy Renko showed me around and gave me a taste of several of their products. Key lime cake, Key lime pie, cocoanut cream pie, and, last but cerrtainly not least, passion fruit pie. The latter was amazing — must go back and buy a whole pie (about $13). One little nibble was not enough. I purchased one of their “Florida Cracker” cookies, which are made with rolled oats, French cocoa, and Caribbean rum. Yummy!

I also bought a bag of plantain chips made by Tropical Chips (ARA Corp.) in Miami. The chips were sliced thin and had just the right amount of salt. For those of you who haven’t tried plantains, they are sort of a cross between bananas and potatoes – more savory than sweet – interesting flavor. People seem to either love them or hate them. I really like them. – this site listed on the bag doesn’t seem to be functional at the moment.

The Linger Lodge

12 Jun

The Linger Lodge in Bradenton – This unique spot is not easy to get to, but it is well worth your time for the atmosphere alone. Some of the early Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weismuller were allegedly filmed on location here. The décor at the Linger Lodge is Old Florida at it’s best. Extremely rustic throughout, the Linger Lodge is either a taxidermist’s dream come true or a small child’s worst nightmare. Snakes, fish, gators, bobcats and more — they are all preserved and lovingly displayed in the restaurant’s dining rooms and bar. Scenic views of the Braden River off the back deck will have you looking for gators and snakes slowly making their way through the murky waters.

The menu here is pretty All-American (burgers, seafood, and steaks), but they also offer alligator and frog legs (both served with their “Rattler Venom” sauce) for the more daring customer. This backwoods dive was founded by Ol’ Mike Bennett, the Gator Wrasslin’ Champ of the State of Florida in 1945. That happens to be the very same year the Linger Lodge first came to be. TV’s Al Roker, another very hungry, big-mouthed creature, once called the Linger Lodge one of the “Top 5 Weirdest Restaurants in the USA.” Creepy man, creepy.



A Look from the Nook

12 Jun

Beautiful dusk on Siesta Key tonight. Clouds to the east were puffy and bright orange. It made my nightly romp around the neighborhood with Dixie (me on my bike, “Dix” on her paws) that much more enjoyable. Here is a photo Eileen snapped from our front yard — looking east on Sandy Nook Street. Beautiful!



The Hob Nob Drive-In

12 Jun

Celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2008, the Hob Nob in Sarasota looks like a set for the old “Happy Days” TV series. This open-air burger stand has been a longtime fixture on the local dining scene. Fine dining it’s not, but if you’re in the mood for a good old greasy hamburger and some crispy fries, this will get her done. Skip the tiny cup of cole slaw (dry and bitter to my taste) that comes with most orders and focus on the tried and true standards. The Hob Nob makes a mean handmade milk shake with Edy’s ice cream — so save room if you can.

Prices at the Hob Nob are reasonable, but not exactly fast food cheap. A cheeseburger with fries and slaw will run you about $7. Add a shake and you’re well over $10 for lunch. Your bill comes to your table with a wooden clothes-pin to prevent your ticket and/or cash from blowing out into oncoming traffic on Highway 301. The onion rings are only average here (I’m guessing they’re of the frozen variety) but it’s really the history and ambiance that keeps bringing the crowds back to this classic drive-in. In an interesting twist, the Hob Nob also owns and operates a car wash and laundromat right next door. How’s that for one stop shopping?