Sarasota's Bobby Jones Golf Club is closed to golfing until 2022 as it undergoes a major overhaul, but you can still walk or jog on the course for recreation. There's one more really good reason to swing by: G's Southern Kitchen.
G's, helmed by and named for chef Gordon Gregory, has occupied the course's clubhouse dining room for a year now, serving an eye-catching selection of chicken wings, sandwiches, salads and sides. When I arrive on a Thursday evening, a handful of people are lingering, waiting for takeout orders. The restaurant's phone has been ringing off the hook with carryout business; G's also offers delivery through Bite Squad.
The wings, which can be ordered as an appetizer for $7.99 or as a meal with sides for $10.99, are so massive they look like they were snapped off of Big Bird. Breaded and deep fried until craggy and crispy, they're fantastic. Gregory also makes a mean fried chicken sandwich ($8.99) dressed with lettuce, tomato and bacon. I could eat one every day.
For his Southern Egg Rolls, Gregory wraps cooked collard greens, yellow rice and turkey in a cylinder of dough and fries it. I dig the concept, but the breading overpowers the flavor of the greens. They're tastier by themselves as sides added onto the restaurant's entrées. Other sides rule, too. The candied yams are tender, but still substantial enough to offer some bite. The cabbage and bacon is just cabbage and bacon—simple and delicious.
My only critique might be the fact that I have to order it for takeout. Fried food can lose its crispy exterior when packed in Styrofoam for too long. Gregory's Bang Bang Shrimp Basket ($13.99), for example, features fried crustaceans tossed in a sweet sauce. The flavors are right on, but by the time I'm tearing open the container at home, the shrimp aren't as crunchy as I'd like. Same goes for the fries served on the side.
My solution? Since the golf course is shut down, let's open it up to picnicking. While you can stroll or run on the cart paths every day, setting out a red and white checkered blanket, adjusting your cravat, popping a bottle of rosé and chowing down remains prohibited. That's a bummer.
Alternatively, I could just move closer to Bobby Jones to reduce the amount of time between when I pick up my food and when I'm able to eat it. Uproot my whole family to be closer to those wings? I'm considering it.
G's Southern Kitchen is located in the clubhouse at Bobby Jones Golf Club, 1000 Circus Blvd., Sarasota, and is open 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. For more info, call (941) 706-3156 or visit the restaurant's website.