I love food that has a history. Even if its not my history.
I always marvel at the sheer volume of stories that can be told through food. It might take the form of a frequently re-lived family tale that is rooted in a particular dish. Or, it may be a meal that triggers memories in us of an unforgettable time and place. The reality is, food history is powerful.
Sarasota it seems has the just right mix for fueling some great food history. Even though its not quite as diverse as some other parts of Florida, we still have an interesting assortment of folks from different parts of the world.
Were pretty lucky when it comes to the diversity of our dining scene. If youre looking for local restaurants dispensing their own unique versions of food history, youve come to the right town. Pick a cuisine style and chances are we have something to satisfy that desire.
Things are really getting interesting in downtown Sarasota, north of Fruitville Road. Its there that a great local breakfast and lunch place is now serving dinner six nights a week. If you havent been to the Savory Street International Café for dinner yet, youre behind the curve. If you have already been, you get a gold star for coolness.
Without a ton a fanfare, Savory is becoming one of this towns best dispensaries of food history. Mexican food history. If youre looking for typical American Mexican fare, youll need to look elsewhere. Owner Claudia Johnson is serving up dishes that are part of her culinary past. And, theyre fantastic.
Savorys take on the traditional Christmas Salad says all that you need to know about this menu of innovative dishes.
They call this little beauty the Seven Wonders Salad. This colorful salad sports roasted beets, goat cheese, citrus segments, Jicama, toasted peanuts and Palmitos. Its all on a bed of red oak lettuce with citrus mustard dressing and nestled tenderly in a delicious parmesan shell. WOW! Cant Christmas come every day?
Its a fantastic example of using a recipe that has deep roots as a base for the dish and then making it your own. I loved this and I dont even like beets!
The Savory@Night menu has a little something for everyone to enjoy. Theyve even included some creative vegetarian options. Heres a peek at traditional dish with a little modern accent.
Ancho Seared Salmon. The two things that make this dish really shine are the tamalito and the cilantro crema. Similar to a tamale, this tasty little aside is wrapped in a banana leaf, rather than a corn husk. I could eat a plate of those alone.
History is a funny thing. Its always open to interpretation. The dishes of Claudias culinary past have been interpreted in a way that will have people standing in line at the corner of Orange and Fourth. Do yourself a favor and taste some REAL history.
THE SAVORY STREET INTERNATIONAL CAFE & BAKERY
411 North Orange Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
Click here to check out more images from the Savory Street International Café.