Archive | 1:56 pm

Gus’ 12th Street Cafe

21 Jun

This is an out-of-the-way diner (in a former gas station) is located in an industrial part of Sarasota. The reason they have made a go of it is really two-fold. First, they are located directly across the street from Ed Smith Stadium, which is the Spring Training Home of the Cincinnati Reds. Business at Gus’ booms during the months of February and March. The rest of the year they rely on a small yet loyal working class clientele — including the Reds year round staff from the neighboring training complex.

Secondly, the food is consistently good (try the homemade soups), prices are fair, and they make a terrific homemade corned beef hash. Now where else can you find folks who take the time to make fresh hash? It’s always been easier to crack open a can, but the difference between fresh and canned can be stunning. Gus’ offers traditional diner fare along with a few Greek specialties (including a pretty decent gyro slathered in yogurt sauce), but we believe it’s the corned beef hash that demands you stop at this primarily locals only establishment.

Hangin’ at The Monkey Room

21 Jun

I found my favorite sandwich in the Sarasota area at this out of the way gem on upscale Longboat Key. The Colony Resort & Raquet Club is a very popular resort on the Gulf of Mexico. It is especially popular with the tennis crowd — many elite tennis pros have trained or vacationed here including Maria Sharapova. The resort does have an upscale restaurant, but I prefer dining amidst the laid back vibe of the tropical Monkey Room. The Monkey Room, named for it’s decidedly primate décor, offers casual fare and a tremendous open-air view of the Gulf. The sandwich is made up of spiced and seared ahi tuna chunks, melted swiss cheese, and a mango cole slaw served on buttered & browned Texas toast. Sounds a little strange, I know. But it is really an amazing blend of flavors and textures. The cheese and buttered toast bring a certain richness to the party. The tuna, left a little pink on the inside, delivers the fresh taste of the briny deep while the slaw packs a fruity crunch. It’s not a cheap lunch but I guarantee it will be a memorable one.

The Monkey Room on Longboat Key

The Bongo Bar at The Monkey Room

Champs Sports Event

21 Jun

Eileen and I had a great time at a Champs Sports fundraiser in Lakewood Ranch tonight. I got to rub elbows with many famous athletes. I have included something of a photo gallery below for your enjoyment.


1) Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets                

2) George “Ice Man” Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs 

3) Hall of Fame Pitcher Goose Gossage                   

4) The great Sam Jones of the Boston Celtics

5) Light Heavyweight Champ Antonio Tarver

Eileen also tried to capture an image of me and 7′ 2″ Artis Gilmore living it up, but there was obviously too much disparity in our heights and the camera flash couldn’t quite reach Artis’ melon. Eileen still hasn’t stopped laughing. For those of you who don’t remember what Gilmore looks like, I have included some vintage ABA shots from the 70’s when Gilmore starred for the Kentucky Colonels. 


Guess which one is not Artis?