The place: 9th Street Bistro, inside Renaissance on 9th at 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, (941) 749-0100.
The fare: Fresh and satisfying weekday lunches, and a portion of sales benefits Meals On Wheels Plus and Manatee Food Bank.
The bottom line: There is a chef driving this small-scale operation. If he isn’t planning and preparing banquet meals or chow for Meals On Wheels clients, he’s lining up the day’s lunch specials for 9th Street Bistro. He always includes a homemade soup and half sandwich deal for about $6.25 as well as a hot lunch in the $7 range. There’s a well-priced standing menu of sandwiches, quiches, salads and sides, too. On a recent visit, the soup was a hearty and delicious tomato, blue cheese and garlic creation, which I happily devoured along with a generous turkey BLT on marble rye and a side of wonderful broccoli salad featuring tiny fresh florets tossed with cranberries and walnuts in a light vinaigrette. I added a freshly brewed iced tea for $1.30 and walked out a well-fed customer who definitely will return.
This article appears in the June 2012 issue of Sarasota Magazine.