Pizza Wars nearly killed me—seriously. I didn’t eat another real meal until Sunday night and even then I still had serious carb coma side effects. Tasting 36 slices of pie (at Evie’s on Bee Ridge, to benefit the Firefighters Benevolent Fund) was beyond any normal capacity. When I last checked, fellow judge Paul Mattison was looking for some soda water after loosening his belt, Coach Sprague from Riverview was on his third cigar, while China Smith had clearly come in training and seemed like the Muhammad Ali of pizza eating. Meteorologist Bob Harrigan from ABC 7 was just hoping the station would call him with an important weathercast to cover so he could break from hours of nonstop pizza eating. Moreover, Bob from the Broken Egg was just trying to figure out how to call in “over-eated” for the following morning at his own joint.
Hats off to the organizers and all the volunteers of this event that brought hundreds and hundreds to eat great pizza for just 5 bucks a head and support the fund. Next year we need Alka Seltzer and a second round of judges.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has some fabulously creative new menu items and a killer steak sauce called the F 17. Did I catch cookbook author Jaden Hair trying to get them to list the 17 ingredients? Good try, Jaden.
Leave it to Chef Charlie to point me in the direction of Tillamook Bay Petrale Sole in a luscious lemon butter sauce served with—wait for it—crab beignets! Yup, this one’s a keeper. Then again, so is the mushroom ravioli appetizer and the….well, you can just check out all the new items yourself.
If you have not been out to Benderson Park to see the crew competitions, make sure you put that on the must-do list. Amazing rowing that will soon be extended to include Olympic qualifying races—but enough about that, how about the food? Teams have racing parents preparing gourmet meals for the full weekend of races. Good pal Laura Leeming has this catering gig down to a science, boots and all. Sarasota Crew parents even bring a full menu board for their starving rowers and, yes, a chandelier for ambience.
Now if I can only convince them to get into the wedding business we will have a new catering team that can bring class and gourmet style to the wilderness.