The original concept of Trader Vic, which I had hoped for, is a throwback to the ’60s and ’70s, serving flaming Pu Pu platters and sizzling pork with grilled pineapple and Asian duck tacos. This new “American” version focuses on wings, quesadillas, a few Cajun specialties and even a hot dog, perhaps trying to please everyone too much—from sushi rolls to spaghetti marinara. Fear not, fellow Polynesian fans, there are several delicious signature dishes such as Asian pot stickers, Orange Chili Chicken and yes, those infamous Mai Tais.
Best way to enjoy Trader Vic’s–a load of appetizers and a great Mai Tai.
Trader Vic’s is best for appetizers, drinks and gathering with friends. The Caribbean BBQ chicken wings were outstanding and very saucy—I see a take-out order coming our way for Super Bowl Sunday. Beef Cho Cho is Grandpa Vic’s well-known skewered tender beef set in a teriyaki style sauce and presented as a mini hibachi. Creative, and as close as you will get to an original Pu Pu platter.
Spider rolls and sliders on the same menu….it works.
The décor is tropical and “islandy” with a comfortable outdoor space. While I do hope to see more classic menu items on the Sarasota menu in time, Trader Vic’s newest version, Island Bar & Grill, is perfect for a casual good time, especially if you are going by Sam’s Club.
Polynesian style orange chicken…and yes, you can buy a set of salt and pepper shakers.