But let’s face it, some nights just beg for takeout—and lucky for us, Sarasota has a plethora of great restaurants that will brown-bag a wonderful meal for you so you can eat it in the comfort of your own home without having to touch a single pot or pan.
We were curious as to where local chefs eat on nights when even they don’t feel like cooking, so we did a quick poll. Here are their answers (note the Mediterranean and pizza themes!):
Sean Murphy (Beach Bistro/The Concession)
“Best, favorite takeout is Jose’s Cuban Grill on Cortez Road in Bradenton—and it will be featured soon on [Food Network’s] Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They have great pulled pork and Cuban sandwiches, and Jose also has Fidel Castro toilet paper—cool!”
Nancy Krohngold (Nancy’s Bar-B-Q)
“I love El Greco for carry-out, specifically the chicken gyro platter. I always request extra tzatziki sauce. The hot, grilled chicken on top of a soft, fluffy, warm pita…the cool tzatziki sauce…the rice pilaf with tomato sauce on top…the crisp Greek side salad with the great dressing, which always includes two beet slices—so old school! It’s the perfect non-barbecue carry-out meal for me!”
Derek Barnes (Derek’s)
“I like getting takeout from Sahara Café. I usually get the gyro platter with hummus and tabbouleh. It’s fast, delicious, affordable and always consistent.”
Fran Casciato (Libby’s Cafe + Bar)
"Il Panificio is our favorite for the pizza margherita. Friday night is pizza night in our house, and Il Panificio has a great brick-oven version—it’s simple and delicious with high-quality ingredients."
Lan Bradeen (Lan)
“My first choice for takeout food is El Greco—it’s convenient to both my home and work. The lamb shank and moussaka are awesome; or sometimes I get the Hellenic white pizza or El Greco Stromboli.”
Charlie Flint (Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar)
“My favorite—and the staff’s here at the restaurant—is Rico’s pizza. The crust is perfect, and the sauce has just the right tang. Nothing is more heavenly than a pepperoni and extra cheese pizza from Rico’s.”
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite no-fail, always-delicious takeout spot?