By Leslie N. Dees
The Star Herald
When you head toward coastal waters for vacation, fresh seafood is almost a given – Well, almost.
My husband, Paul and I recently traveled to Sarasota, Fla., and taking a page of food personality Adam Richman’s book, we stopped at a few place he visited during an episode of “Man Vs. Food”, featured on the Travel Channel.
If it’s featured on TV then it has to be good, right?
Richman goes in search of locally-owned eateries in search of the nation’s best food.
The Old Salty Dog
During a evening meal, we opted for fresh seafood – blackened grilled Mahi-Mahi and Grouper with traditional sides of boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables for me and fries and slaw for Paul.
The fish was cooked to perfection and was very flavorful.
However, the establishment is not know for seafood alone but for 1/4 pound, beer-battered, deep-fried, loaded hot dog.
During a later lunch-time visit, we tried the famous dog that is covered in several cheeses, bacon, sauteed onions and the usual condiments.
And, Richman was right. It was delicious. As an added bonus who doesn’t like to have lunch by the water.
The Old Salty Dog has been open since 1986.
Here the order is simple – Fried chicken is a must with country vegetable sides and you must stay for the pie!
A Sarasota tradition since 1975, Yoder’s Restaurant was started by Levi and Amanda Yoder, who moved from Indiana.
This establishment was also a stop on the Dees’ Man Vs. Food tour.
Being from the South, I’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken and this by far was the juiciest piece of chicken, I have put in my mouth.
It’s lightly breaded and not heavily seasoned and quite frankly, it’s a pretty large portion.
Yoder’s is known for its homemade pies – especially the Peanut Butter Cream Pie. It is “slap your mama” good. A chilled pie consisting of powdered sugar, crunchy peanut butter, vanilla pudding and whipped topping.
Paul tried the Chocolate Pecan Pie, which was also an excellent choice.
Our final stop was suppose to be another Man vs. Food stop at Munchies 4:20 Cafe but it was such a small eatery and it was so crowded. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Not a Man vs. Food featured restaurant but still worthy of a few lines was Captain Curt’s Seafood Crab and Oyster Bar.
Here, we sampled a new item on the menu, fried Trigger fish nuggets.
According to our server, for years people have been catching the fish and throwing it back not knowing what it tastes like.
And recently, it has become a hot item in local restaurants.
It’s a mild tasting fish and corn meal battered and fried. Ours was served with lemon wedges and tarter sauce.
Leslie Dees is managing editor of The Star-Herald. Email her at email@example.com or go online at www.starherald.net