Pigfish Perfects The Fish Sandwich
It’s Pigfish + Calusa Brewing! A terrific tandem.
WORDS: 779 = READING TIME: 3 MINUTES
This is new, but it isn’t “news”: Chef Steve Phelps can really cook! 👨🏻🍳
See what I mean? Yes, his flagship Indigenous Restaurant is award-winning. But can his sustainable approach to seafood translate to a much wider audience? I think you know the answer, but let’s do this anyway! 🐷 🐠
This is Pigfish!
It’s new. It’s already comfortable. And it has a unique home.
🗒️ WHAT’S ON THE MENU
WHAT: The Pigfish (Oceans Forever) 🐠
WHERE: Pigfish (5377 McIntosh Rd. (941) 777-5220) – Inside Calusa Brewing
There’s been a buzz 🐝 People have been talking about Calusa Brewing moving to their new location for what seems like years. Everybody loves Calusa beer. But what we didn’t know way back when they announced their new taproom and brewing facility was that it would come with a tasty little bonus.
⌛ Let’s go back to 2019… That’s when it was reported (August 2019) that Chef Phelps would be opening a new restaurant named Pigfish in the Rosemary District. We all know what happened in the first quarter of 2020… 😷
COVID changed a lot of plans. And as local restaurants used every bit of their creativity to survive, new plans were hatched. Sometimes, the most challenging circumstances produce the most inventive and delightful outcomes.
Is there a REAL Pigfish? Why YES, there is!
If Steve’s goal is to bring the sustainable seafood message to the masses, he just might have the proper venue. Who would have thought that a craft beer taproom would double as a classroom for such a vital issue to our local aquaculture?
😎 Calusa’s new space is light, bright, and energetic.
Yes, they brought some beer from the Derek Avenue location! 🍺
And, of course, you’re still able to carry out your favorite flavors for home consumption.
A standard restaurant kitchen wasn’t a thing at their old home. They relied on our deep bench of local food trucks to feed their hungry beer lovers. And for years, we gobbled it up!
There’s been a BIG change. With the addition of the in-house Pigfish restaurant, guests at Calusa can now enjoy a delicious menu that features Chef Phelps’ creative spins on old standards.
🚶🏻 People are lining up. The opening weekend included lines. Long ones. And that is pretty much to be expected. But people queued up without complaint. They knew that their wait would be more than worth it.
📝 The line was like a music festival entry line. Complete with folks comparing notes. “Oh, were you here last night? WOW, could you believe that…” It was that same kind of shared experience vibe.
📸 PICTURE THIS!
Here we go. Let’s take a look at what the wait will bring…
This is the signature Pigfish Sandwich. Sustainably grown Kanpachi, crispy pork belly, green tomato relish, bacon tartar sauce, shaved cabbage, red onion. (Now you get the whole Pig + Fish thing!)
SIDES ARE NICE. As delicious as that sandwich is, it still deserves a comforting companion. And what could fit that description better than an order of Hush Puppies? The ultimate go-with for a fish sandwich.
These can be paired with any (or all) of a quartet of tartars ($1.50 per). I went for the Nori Tartar and could not have been happier. The perfect cool umami blast!
The items that filled the trays of folks walking to their tables were fun to check out. It represented the menu from top to bottom. Nothing was left out of this Pigfish Party!
🎣 SOME LOOSE ENDS
• Pigfish is open on TUES-SAT from 5PM to 9PM (or until sold out).
• Calusa is still planning on having some food trucks to fill in the gaps. Check the website or FB Page.
• Bring your kids! There’s an area set aside with some games to keep them happy!
• There’s lots of parking (but it can still be pretty hectic on weekends).
✅ THE BOTTOM LINE
Chef Steve Phelps has elevated the humble fish sandwich and all that goes with it. Everything here has been well thought out and executed in a way that fits its Calusa Brewing surroundings and the chef’s wonderful reputation. This is a fun weekend afternoon or happy hour spot. It’s also a perfect meeting place for any size group!
⬇️ WHERE DOES PIGFISH GET ITS INGREDIENTS? ⬇️
ℹ️ MORE INFO
🧑🏻🍳 HEY CHEFS AND RESTAURANT OWNERS! 👩🏻🍳
🗓️ SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS 🗓️
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info.
⭐⭐ If you have an event, we’d like to help you spread the word. Let us know! (EMAIL IT)
📖 BUY A COPY OF OUR 2023 SARASOTA DINING BOOK! – ORDER HERE 📖
😋 MICHAEL’S ON EAST – MONTHLY EPICUREAN MENU – SOUTH AFRICA
🚶🏻 TASTE MAGAZINE WALKING FOOD TOURS OF BRADENTON – INFO
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
Yes! Things are finally starting to pick up a bit in the local food event department. Our calendar is filling up little by little. ⬇️
NOV 9-13 – Diwali Celebration – Turmeric Indian Bar & Grill
NOV 11 – Bashert – Some Things Are Meant to Be – Players Center
NOV 12 – Sarasota Orchestra Brunch – INFORMATION
NOV 14 – All Star Twinkle Ball – INFORMATION
NOV 14 – Plumpjack Wine Dinner – Michael’s Wine Cellar
NOV 17 – Alsace Wine Tasting – Mademoiselle Paris
DEC 3 – Feast Upon the Fields – INFORMATION
DEC 9 & 10 – Breakfast with Santa – GROVE Restaurant
FEB 4 (2024) – Farm to Fillet Event – INFORMATION
🧑🌾 FARMER’S MARKET INFO 🌾
EVERY SUNDAY – Siesta Key Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – The Meadows Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (Oct-Apr) – DETAILS
THIRD THURSDAY NIGHT – RADD Night Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Downtown Bradenton Public Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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