Beautiful Sarasota, Florida! Not only does it have beautiful beaches and stunning views, it also has all kinds of fun foodie places that are truly each an experience! I had heard of Yoder’s Amish Restaurant, The Old Salty Dog, and Munchies 420 Cafe multiple times from many different friends and then Adam from Man vs. Food went to all 3…but until yesterday I had not gotten the chance to experience them all myself. When I received this months email about Foodbuzz’s 24×24, I knew it was finally time I made the hour and half drive down and get to see for myself what all the fuss was about! So we hopped in the car, drove down to Sarasota, and went to all 3 restaurants in one day! 5 friends, 3 restaurants, 1 day. We like to keep things odd…as I am sure you will see for yourself…
First stop was Yoder’s! Yoder’s opened in 1975 and has become a staple in Sarasota. They make almost the whole menu homemade and the inside does not appear to have been changed since it opened.
We ordered many things, and tried each others dishes. I brought along my Handy Dandy Notebook (Blue’s Clues anyone?) so I could take notes of everyone’s thoughts and share them here with you.
Fried Chicken: Delicious, crunch skin, with lots of flavor. However the actual chicken was dry.
Baked Apples: HEAVENLY! These were done to perfection.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes: They do not have these all the time, but if they have them when you go, make sure and get them! They were awesome! I am sure they had a ton of brown sugar, but they were so worth it!
Fresh Baked Bread & Apple Butter: Before your meal they bring your homemade bread and they have homemade apple butter at your table ready to go. DO NOT SKIP IT! The apple butter was so amazing we each got a jar to take home!
Mom’s Meatloaf: Great flavor and is served with brown gravy. The green beans that were served with it were canned, so try a different side!
Corn Fritters: I was not a fan of these…they were just a pancake with corn in it. However Jorge thought they were pretty tasty.
Then it was time for PIE! The real reason any one goes to Yoder’s! The pies are baked fresh daily and are truly all delicious! The slices are HUGE and should be split, or be prepared to take a doggie bag home! The crust on each was fabulous and honestly perfect. We each tried a different kind…and again all shared of course!
Shoofly Pie: Order this one warm with vanilla ice cream and it is great. The warm molasses flavor goes perfect with the crust and ice cream.
Peanut Butter Pie: This is a cream pie and is incredibly rich. It was delicious, but after two bites I could not take any more peanut butter. However if you are one of those people that eats peanut butter out of the jar, this pie is for you!
Dutch Apple Crumb Pie: Great apple pie! The crust really made it, and of course the filling was just right. Really good!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: While this pie was good, I was sad to say it was not as good as some others I have had. I think it was to heavy on the rhubarb and lacking in the strawberry department. It would have also been a lot better served warm with ice cream.
Fresh Strawberry Pie: This was probably my personal favorite. It was light and fresh and a perfect end to the meal. The strawberries were ginormous and the crust, filling, and whip cream were perfect together.
Next up was The Old Salty Dog! This was my personal favorite place of the day. It was not the best food we had, but I love the fun, relaxed atmosphere of a good beach bar with tasty food and this was just that. It had a fun name, great patio to sit at, and beer. What more could you ask for?
Along with a few beers, we ordered a few entrees and appetizers to share between us since we were still STUFFED from Yoders!
SaltyDog: If you go, you must have a Salty Dog! The Salty Dog is a 1/4 pound dog, beer battered, and fried. It was crunchy, hot, and delicious. We were happy to see it was not like a corn dog at all because the beer batter is very thin and just adds crunch, unlike the thick breading on a corn dog.
Fried Mushrooms: Well…they were good and bad. The mushrooms were huge, which was great. But were not very flavorful.
Onion Rings: Again, same problem as the mushrooms. They were missing flavor. Perfect batter, and fried just right….but missing flavor!
Grilled Cheese: They offer many different cheeses and add-ons and it was honestly a great sandwich!
After the first two stops we needed a break from eating and drinking and headed over to the beach. We were on Siesta Keys Beach which is honestly my favorite beach in the world. I have been to a ton of beaches along the Gulf Of Mexico, in the Caribbean, and along the east coast…but it is still my favorite. The sand is soooo soft, will never get hot and is almost like baby powder. If you ever get a chance to go to Florida make sure that Siesta Keys is one of your stops!
So we walked the beach, posed for pictures, and just generally had fun! It was a gorgeous day out and we were so thankful for the good weather and sun. The beach was not too packed which was great because it allowed us to be silly and not have to worry about getting in anyone’s way.
And then on our way to our last stop we saw some dolphins! They are so beautiful! I wish we could have gotten a picture of them all swimming, but sadly we were driving and were not able to stop right there and wait for a perfect picture opportunity…or at least that is what Jorge said. I think we could have backed up traffic for a good dolphin picture!
After the fun on the beach, we thought we were ready for our final destination…Munchies 420 Cafe! We got there at 8:30 pm and were not served until 9:30! So when you go, make sure and do what everyone else around us seemed to know…Call Ahead! Munchies was truly an experience. They are open from 4:20 pm till 4:20 am…and the menu truly seems to have been made up by someone with some serious munchies! The menu was crazy big for a little place like it was, and anything you could dream up, they had it!
We ordered some of the most outrageous things on the menu…because well…When in Rome…
Fat Sandy: Which is…2 cheeseburgers, mac-n-cheese, chicken fingers, onion hoops, spuds and mozzarella stix all wrapped up in a sub! Not gonna lie…with some ketchup it was pretty damn delicious! Would I order it again? Probably not because my ass doesn’t need any help…but it sure was a fun experience!
Fat Daddy: Which is…cheeseburger, philly works, chicken fingers, onion hoops, spuds, mozzarella stix, mayo, lettuce, and tomato all wrapped up in a sub! This one is truly the mac daddy! If you like a juicy, messy, 500 lb sandwich…this is just right for you!
Jalapeno Poppers: Good, not great, but good.
Chicken Fingers: Tasty and the homemade chips that come with them are awesome!
Fried Twinkies: Hello it’s a Fried Twinkie. Do you really not know?
All in all, it was a fabulous adventure with wonderful friends and if you ever get the chance to do this…DO IT! But make sure and wear stretchy pants!! To say the least we had a very fun day and tried lots of new and once in a lifetime foods! Thanks Foodbuzz!
And now for a few outtakes…
The Salty Dog
Samarie And Alec
Jorge and Tim outside Yoders
The Gang: Jorge, Me, Tim, Alec, Samarie
To see all the photos from our Taste Of Sarasota please check out The Novice Chef Blog’s Facebook!