Sun Garden Cafe
Over Labor Day weekend we decided there really is no place like home, and that our "somewhere over the rainbow" is right here in Sarasota. So we booked a long weekend stay at Casa De Mariposa on Siesta Key and hunkered into glorious beach living.
Sweet potato pancakes
Casa de Mariposa is a spectacular townhouse loaded with all the amenities, just across the street from beach marker 10 and an easy walking distance from Siesta Village. Our plan was to grill each night at the casa and venture out for breakfast or lunch. Great plan, since we discovered a new favorite that will become a weekend staple. We dove into Sun Garden Café and we could hardly wait to return each morning.
I'd heard rumors that the fish tacos were incredible--and oh yes, they are! In fact, I would go so far to proclaim them the best in Sarasota County. Since I had also heard that Sun Garden had some pretty good sweet potato pancakes with pecan butter, I opted for a small stack. Sure, it made for an odd combination, but what the heck? One must put food to the taste-test, and the rumor-mongers sure were right.
Overall, the restaurant seems very California: lots of alfalfa sprouts, avocado and fresh-squeezed juices. There are also decadent offerings like The Elvis (fried chicken topped with fried eggs on homemade biscuits with wavy gravy), and benedict lovers can tuck into the Cajun Benedict--crawfish, Gulf shrimp and blackened mahi-mahi topped with poached eggs and REAL homemade hollandaise. (Using a powdered mix for hollandaise should be a federal culinary crime).
The Green Flash salad
Lunch is more my thing, so I highly recommend the Green Flash: fresh baby spinach and arugula with blackened shrimp, avocado, radishes, apples, spiced walnuts and ginger vinaigrette. And yes, I mentioned the fish tacos to start--trust me, trust me—really, really good!
Meat lovers might like the Gnarley Marley–turkey pastrami on grilled rye with jerk Spice Island dressing, arugula, swiss and onions--kind of like surfer dude meets deli man.
If anyone remembers Monroe’s from way back when (the only restaurant that served such good food in that downtown location), you will be pleased to know that the owners of the original Monroe's are the brainchildren behind Sun Garden Café--no wonder it is so fresh and so delicious, and right here in our own backyard.
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