Retrobaked luhadm

Good news for Retrobaked fans: The Village of the Arts bakery, which specializes in vegan, gluten-free treats, will now be open on a second Friday and Saturday every month, in addition to the usual monthly Art Walk. This weekend, you can stop in for treats like oatmeal creme pies, chocolate chip banana bread, brownies and cupcakes (pre-order ends today). Our pick: a classic chocolate cupcake ($4.95 each; $28 for a half-dozen), which is crowned with a swirl of vanilla buttercream then rolled in colorful sprinkles. Just as tasty, if not more so, as its gluten-filled counterparts. 

Everything tastes better when sipped from a copper pineapple. That's the lesson we learned at Libby's Café + Bar this weekend, when we slurped down a $20 summer cocktail giant enough for two that came served in a chilled, sweating, gleaming metal fruit. What was inside that pineapple-shaped chalice? Hmmm... tough to remember exactly. We vaguely recall ginger beer, tea, sharp fruit juices and booze of some kind or other. It was delicious. We remember that much.

Drunken Poet is offering a lunchtime special menu that features eight different Thai street-food favorites. Each dish is $9.  We especially liked kao na gai, which is an artful presentation that visually makes the most of simple food. A cylinder of snowy jasmine rice is surrounded by chicken in a light,  flavorful sauce with baby corn, mushrooms and seasonings. A sprig of cilantro and a few coins of crunchy cucumber completes the plate, which is crowned with a fresh orchid. What a pretty meal--and quite tasty, too.  

Jack Dusty pastry chef Lyndsy McDonald is renowned for her whimsical take on delicious sweet treats, and her peanut butter banana bread pudding (a special on the restaurant's dessert menu) is no exception. Made with buttery croissants, creamy peanut butter, smashed bananas and heavy cream, this is a dessert that would make Elvis proud. Run, don't walk.

Summer is the perfect time of year for long, lazy brunches, and MADE, in downtown Sarasota, is one of our go-tos. We love the vegetable breakfast tacos ($11), which are comprised of grilled flour tortillas, scrambled eggs, roasted sprouts, smoked mushrooms, grilled corn and sweet red onion, charred jalapeno pesto, goat cheese, guacamole and salsa. It's all awesome, but take note: there's so much food you’ll be asking for a doggy bag!

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