That Queasy Feeling

By staff April 24, 2007

Did the brisket do me in?


By Judi Gallagher

It happened at the end of last weekend. Napkin in hand, I was ready to discover new flavors, summer wines and perhaps a hot list cookbook. And then it hit me, right as I turned into a Starbuck’s parking lot and for the first time since I was pregnant more than 20 years ago did not want any coffee.

When bad things happen to good food writers.


A wave of queasiness became a monsoon , and before long the Sarasota stomach flu had taken full effect. How sad and ironic that a food writer must hang up her eating utensils, put down the gourmet magazines and develop a personal relationship with warm Canada Dry ginger ale and box of good ole Mr. Saltine. Less than a week earlier I had feared that I was personally responsible for poisoning my son with leftover brisket. Can you imagine the shame of walking into the emergency room and filling out the details: “Professional chef and good Jewish mother feared to be the cul de sac poisoner, living a double life as salmonella queen.” Needless to say, I called my neighbor and told her to dump the brisket I had sent over: life saved—she had not taken the first bite of her afternoon meal.


     The next day, two friends called me to cancel lunch because of the green skin coloring they had awoken with. Had they snuck into my house and taken a portion of brisket? Had I caused an outbreak throughout Southwest Florida? Nope, their toddlers came home from school the week before and it had been making its run through most of south Sarasota and Nokomis.


And then it hit me. I had disposed of the near-perfect batch of brisket leftovers for nothing. I had robbed a neighbor of a memorable beef sandwich. So I knocked on my son’s bedroom door, jostled him out of bed, gave him a dry piece of toast and a cup of peppermint tea and told him to shower and get to work. I had not been responsible for any green feelings and dismay; my brisket reputation remains in tact.

South American chick and more from Maria's


Fortunately, I totally rebounded by Thursday ,and by Friday I had made a scrumptious new chicken discovery thanks to friend Bobbie Groeschel. Maria’s Chicken, (Pollos a la Brasa) is a delightful little take-out and dine-in spot that specializes in South American grilled chicken, steak, pork and shrimp.  Tender and flavorful, the pork with chimichurri sauce is the real deal, and a must order are the yucca fries—salty and crisp. It’s at 1100 North Tuttle Ave. in theGrand Slam Plaza.

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