Sometimes you just need a cookie--and Flour Parlor's take on the traditional molasses variety (above, far left; $2) is totally on point. It's sweet and spicy, with a crispy edge and chewy center, and the whole thing is finished off with a sprinkling of sugar. It's also enormous--so if you're the type of person who likes to share with your co-workers, this cookie is easily split-able. But we don't judge if you want to eat it all yourself, either.
If you want to enjoy an elegant lunch experience, let us suggest Sophie’s, the small and chic restaurant nestled in Saks Fifth Avenue at the University Town Center. The menu is varied with salads, entrees and sandwiches that go from demure to hearty (the grilled cheese on thick bread), and the cocktails are divine. But if you’re really hungry from all that shopping, order the Avenue hamburger ($19), then try to finish it. Thick, juicy, huge and adorned with everything you want, including a side of crispy fries.
Saturday mornings don't get any better than relaxing in the sun at the Sarasota Farmers Market with a brown paper bag heavy with empanadas from Empanadas By Stef, an outpost of Peperonata Pasta. These little $3 dough presents contain all sorts of savory ingredients, but in particular we love the sweet corn of the humita, the whimsical spice of the lamb and the sugary, gooey cheese and caramelized onion combo.
We were wowed by all the food at our Best of Sarasota 2016 party last night--including the Seafood Shack's shrimp and grits ($18), which are loaded with shrimp, white cheddar, bacon, andouille sausage, celery, thyme and, of course, butter--then topped with shaved parmesan. A rockstar dish, for sure.
Cheers to Selva Grill for its Maya shrimp ceviche ($14), a longtime fave also served up at our Best of Sarasota party on Tuesday. The key ingredients—shrimp, red onion, cusco corn and avocado—are marinated together in orange juice, for a delicious, meaty, savory cold stew in a sauce of bright citrus sweetness.