Doughnut lovers, rejoice: The Amish Baking Company is here to make your dreams come true. Sadie Peachey and her brother, Nate, serve fresh, hot, yeasted doughnuts (and pretzels!) from their mobile food truck every Wednesday at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market using recipes that have been passed down through their family. The doughnuts are enormous and pillowy, dripping with vanilla glaze, and they go down real easy. Look for more about Amish Baking Company in our April issue; in the meantime, just follow the smell of fried dough and sugar at the Wednesday market.
One of our favorite tried-and-true dishes is the fresh spring rolls at downtown Sarasota's Pho Cali ($5.50). The rice paper wrappers are stuffed with lettuce, mint, bean sprouts, vermicelli and your choice of protein (we pick shrimp, but you can have tofu, pork or meatball, too), then served with an addictively creamy peanut sauce. Yum.
The macadamia tart at Jim’s Small Batch Bakery is baked as a whole tart, but you can order it by the wedge for $4 a slice. It’s a medium sized, not really big enough to share, but oh so rich. There’s the sweet crumbly crust, gooey filling, chocolate and nuts. It’s chewy, smooth, crunchy and silky all at the same time. A perfect dessert for someone who wants it all. And, of course, you could call ahead and order this whole dessert for a dinner party at your house.
We're loving the grilled grouper Reuben at Captain Eddy's in Nokomis ($11.99). The sandwich is stuffed with fresh, pan-seared, lightly blackened grouper with the Reuben's usual supporting characters: Thousand Island dressing, melted Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The flavors work together perfectly, and the house-made fries that come along with it are the perfect accompaniment.
Potato lovers, this spud's for you: Soma Creekside in downtown Bradenton offers a creative take on traditional tater tots. Chef Dave Shiplett tosses his tots in black truffle oil and Parmesan cheese, and serves them with a side of spicy Russian dressing ($5). They make a perfect happy hour 'tizer, especially when paired with one of the restaurant's creative cocktails.