You’d expect the brand-new Veronica Fish & Oyster to have a lobster roll because the kitchen focuses on seafood, and you'd be right. The Veronica lobster roll ($24) differs slightly from the traditional in that this one includes in the ingredients a caper aioli and tiny capers too in the mix. On the top, a crumble of crisp potato chips. The roll is served with lemon wedges and a cup of triple-fried French fries with a lovely mayonnaise-based dipping sauce. Familiar, but a little bit different, too--and delicious.
Sarasota is home to an impressive number of Indian lunch buffets, none better than Tandoor, located in the Cooper Creek shopping plaza. The restaurant’s long $9.99 spread is loaded down with most of your longtime South Asian favorites, such as pakoras, butter chicken and vegetable biryani. The simmered items are tender and creamy, the basmati rice fluffy and herbal, and everything gets a jolt of pizzazz from the varied collection of chutneys. They might have to drag you away.
Joey Cucculel’s Mother Truckin’ Good food truck is garnering a well-earned reputation for superbly gourmet sliders (think duck confit with fennel/apple slaw or pork belly with chive mayo), and his wee “classic” beef burgers, which come two to an order, are no exception. First of all, you have to love a guy who asks you how you want your sliders. Order “medium” and you get a juicy round of beef with a hint of pink inside, topped with creamy boursin and a firm tomato slice, all on a pillowy roll. Don’t be surprised if you go back for seconds.
The chicken taco at Poppo’s Taqueria ($3.50 each) is seasoned with ancho chili pepper and then braised and braised and braised some more, Poppo’s turns the normally blah chicken taco into something especial. Multiple locations, poppostaqueria.com
The Parmesan beignets ($9) at Indigenous are a classic for a reason: the plump, light-as-air little pastries are completely addictive and served with honey, pears, thyme and a shower of Parmesan cheese. A perfect appetizer, and don't worry--we won't judge if you get two orders.