Officially announced in 2018, Miss Susie’s Newtown Kitchen was the brainchild of restaurateur Steve Seidensticker. The idea was to create an affordable nonprofit restaurant to serve the historically Black neighborhood of Newtown and also act as a training ground for young Black residents hoping to enter the hospitality industry. But after Seidensticker died, the project ground to a halt, and the building that was supposed to house Miss Susie’s remains unfinished. For many, it’s another example of a promise to Sarasota’s Black community that has been broken.

But the project isn’t dead. Lisa Seidensticker, Steve’s daughter, and partners Andrew Grossman and chef Golden Monix III launched a Miss Susie’s food truck this summer. The idea is to build momentum for the completion of the restaurant by bringing its cuisine to people around the area, and to begin to offer some of the job training opportunities that were at the core of the original concept.

The truck has a busy schedule, with multiple stops scheduled for most weeks, most of them located in north Sarasota. The restaurant’s menu concept was what is called a “meat and three,” one main meat dish accompanied with a selection of sides, and the truck replicates that, but with a smaller selection. One day, you might choose from either sweet and smoky barbecued chicken or a thick wedge of savory meatloaf, with corn, green beans and light, fluffy mashed potatoes on the side, while the next day you might be enjoying gumbo, jambalaya or fried chicken. Very tasty. I hope I’ll be eating more of it at the completed restaurant before too long.

To find the Miss Susie’s Newtown Kitchen food truck, click here or follow the restaurant on Facebook or Instagram.

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