A Burger A Week – Sunnyside Cafe
We’re up on North Tamiami Trail for a burger this week!
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I guess there are surprises around every corner. The last time we ventured to North Tamiami Trail, we found a little hidden gem. (You can read about our trip to The Mable HERE) So why should we be shocked to find another sparkler in the shadow of SRQ?
My friend Sarah recommended this slightly inconveniently located place to me. She knows Sarasota restaurants, so of course, I trust her judgment. She didn’t make the trip with me on this sunny, hot Sarasota afternoon. But she was there in spirit!
It seems like a weird location; I will grant you that. It’s not in the UTC area, where everything is so new that it still has a bubble wrap smell to it.
It’s not on a barrier island where frozen daiquiris and margaritas are pushed over the bar a half dozen at a time.
And it’s not one of the newest restaurants to pop up along downtown’s bustling Main Street. No, this place isn’t in any of those “prime” locations. This place is here…
You might not consider this an ideal spot for a Hungarian-influenced restaurant. But that hasn’t stopped Owner Eva Katz and Chef Tamas Benkovics from packing folks in. This place does a very brisk business. And deservedly so.
They’ve got some relaxing outdoor dining space.
Inside has a cozy, simple, and fresh feel.
It’s an “open kitchen” concept, which is just perfect if you want to watch all of the action.
And they have a surprisingly nice wine selection. (I’m here for the burger, so maybe wine for my next visit 🍷)
Wrap all those things up, and you’ve got the Sunnyside Cafe!
Let’s talk about our Sunnyside Cafe burger experience…
RESTAURANT: SUNNYSIDE CAFE (4900 N. Tamiami Trl (941) 359-9500)
DATE OF VISIT: JUNE 12, 2023
STOP #: 35 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: THE SUNNYSIDE BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: 8oz. Black Angus Burger with arugula, bacon, homemade Dijon mustard, red onion, and Gorgonzola cheese ($14.00).
• The Gorgonzola cheese is the star of this burger show. I’m sure you probably know already that it has a pretty strong flavor. That flavor is VERY forward here.
• This is a BIG burger (it seemed much bigger than the ½ pound it is described as being). I guarantee that you will not push away from the table hungry. It’s a lot for lunch. It’s big enough to split with a friend if you’re eating at noontime.
• It has a fantastic combination of toppings. The spicy arugula, the red onion, and the homemade Dijon all shine through in their own unique and individual way.
• As strange as this may sound, I wasn’t a fan of the bacon on this burger. (I know, when have you ever heard me say that about bacon!? 🥓) It was just there, kind of OK. This burger didn’t need bacon to be great. If I were the burger-builder, I would use a thicker, smokey slab bacon that could stand up to all the other bold flavors at work here. Or maybe skip it, and let the other delicious ingredients do the talking. 🗣️
• The Fries! 🍟 Fantastic! A great, well-cooked skinny fry! Natural cut, the perfect amount of NaCl and there were more than enough on this plate to make any fry lover smile. 😊
• I’m super intrigued by the Mangalica Burger. It’s Hungarian pork! 🐷 I need to try this! Looks like there’s probably another Sunnyside visit somewhere in my future…
Let’s check out how all of this looked when I ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: This is a fun little find • At $14, it’s not a bad value (you get a lot of burger for the 💵!) • As you would guess by the location, it’s a VERY local crowd • Really friendly staff and spot-on service • You’ll love the fries! • The bar is a great place to sit if you’re solo, OR just want to make a new friend!
👀 SNEAK PEEK: We’re taking our friends from Sarasota Magazine to the most Sarasota of Sarasota burger institutions. Yes, you can get a burger. But a post-burger car wash is also a super convenient possibility. 🚗
🚨 It’s time for a little mid-summer break. We need it, and you probably do too. We’ll be back in your inbox in a couple of weeks. We’ve got a few more burgers to write about, another Make it at Home, AND the kickoff to our Happy Hour Sarasota series! Stay cool! 😎
✅ Did you miss a week? No worries. Here’s a link to our A BURGER A WEEK SERIES ARCHIVE! 🍔
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WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
JUL 12 – Wine Cellar Social Club – Michael’s Wine Cellar
JUL 14 – Bastille s Day Dinner – Mademoiselle Paris
JUL 19 – National Daiquiri Day – Daiquiri Deck
JUL 29 – Orin Swift Wine Dinner – GROVE Restaurant
AUG 19 – Laughter in LWR! – GROVE Restaurant
SEPT- 23 – Sarasota Opera Food & Wine Festival 2023 – INFORMATION
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EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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