Restaurant Buzz: Fresh Start Café

By Megan McDonald June 26, 2012

Mmm-fresh-baked muffins.

I have often owned up to not loving breakfast. I can usually deal with a small taste of plain yogurt or a handful of blueberries, and sure, on vacation I indulge--but I have no idea why the romance of a full breakfast at a beautiful inn in Maine seems to be a natural, but in my own town I prefer eggs or blueberry pancakes for dinner instead of the first meal of the day.

Well, shame on me. Sarasota is filling up with some great breakfast joints that are offering fresh, creative dishes. Just take Fresh Start Café.

A great cup of coffee leads to a simple but, as promised, fresh menu with many healthy options. Of course, I could not pass up the display of homemade muffins. Warm from the oven and almost large enough to share (though I confess to not offering my companion a single bite), I discovered the pleasure of mango and orange on my first visit and pumpkin ginger on my second (during which I still forgot to share--oops!).

While I was familiar with the homemade hollandaise--and yes, it was most delicious and most homemade atop a poached egg and fresh sautéed spinach a slice of toasted rye—according to my fellow foodie friend, Kanak Bal, the bureka is really the dish to try.

Bureka, an Israeli puff pastry breakfast item.

Bureka is an Israeli puff pastry filled with salted cheese or hard-cooked egg, tomato and black pepper. I can see it being enjoyed as a simple street food, though I prefer the muffins and poached eggs.  And rumor is the turkey sandwich is delicious, so count me in for lunch soon. Best of all: The service is as nice as can be, and that, my friends, is worth plenty.

Country Pancake House's mammoth pancakes.

Also on my radar again is the Country Pancake House. We recently gave them a huge thumbs-up not only for the sheer size if the pancakes, but also for the fact that the potato pancake breakfast and the baked pumpkin spice pancakes are really delish. Call ahead if you are ordering a baked pancake as they take up to 40 minutes, but I would certainly invest in the time and bring along six friends-the portions are ENORMOUS.

But don’t get your hopes up that I am turning over a new leaf and will start feasting on omelets and stuffed French toast at 9 a.m.--I have the cheese and bacon stuffed grass-fed burger at the farmer’s market to meet my morning needs.

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