Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sarasota Food Blog - SRQ Chew - Happy 1st Birthday Funky Fusion

Filipino fusion food at its best. (September 2017 featured post) Check out Jenna & Jackie's food truck schedule on their social media pages. ( links below ) They are regulars at Calusa Brewing, JDub's Brewing Company, Big Top Brew Company and Brew Life Brewing. One cannot go wrong with pairing any of Funky Fusion's offerings with a good local brew. Pictured is Brew Life's Pink Guava Double IPA. So good!

Thanks, J2 for asking me to take pics of your yummy food. Congratulations and all the best! Cheers to many more birthdays!

To know where and when to find Funky Fusion follow them on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


Copyright 2018 Kyra Barger. All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Kyra Barger of Faso Photography

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sarasota Food Blog - SRQ Chew - Cafe BarBosso

Cafe BarBosso is authentic Italian food at its finest and a Sarasota hidden gem. My good friends kept telling me about this place and how great the food was. At the time I had only been there for their take out pizza. "The place in the strip mall by Office Max?" I replied. "Yep! That's the one. Their food is stunning," they said. My friends invited our family to a Chef's tasting. We were blown away. The food, the artsy atmosphere, the way we were taken care of by our waiter, Nick and Owner/Chef Joe DiMaggio, Jr. truly made for an exceptional experience.

Owner/Chef Joe DiMaggio, Jr. hails from NYC. We were told he is the nephew of THE Joe DiMaggio - the baseball star. Chef Joe got his culinary start in the kitchen of his friend, Frank "Frankie Bumps" BarBosso who owned NY restaurant, Little Charlies. In honor of his friend, Frankie, Chef Joe created Cafe BarBosso.

Our first course of the Chef's tasting was Joe's Grandma's margarita  pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, garlic and oregano. The simple ingredients and homemade crust was pure perfection. The "effin shrimp" was our second course. The jumbo white shrimp was sautéed with cherry peppers, lemon and white beurre blanc. Effin fantastistic! For our third course Chef Joe offered a forty-eight hour marinated rib-eye lettuce wrap. The rib-eye was tender and tasty and with the asian flavors it was a nice surprise among the Italian dishes. For the fourth course was a giant scallop over mushroom risotto. The scallop was buttery and the risotto was creamy and all that a proper risotto should be. Italian Grandmas everywhere would approve.

An Italian buffalo milk cheese called Burrata (pictured below) was our fifth course. The cheese is made from mozzarella and cream and served with beets and heirloom tomatoes with a white balsamic and basil vinaigrette. The Burrata was light, soft and creamy inside with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity from the vinaigrette. For our sixth course we tasted the chopped lobster with shrimp and spinach. The lobster dish was served over angel hair pasta with roasted garlic and a Chardonnay sauce. There was lobster and shrimp in every bite. So good! I thought the lobster dish was our last course before dessert but Chef Joe had more for us to try. Next came a beautiful seven-grain crusted salmon. The salmon was served with a lemon tarragon beurre blanc and the taste and presentation was lovely.

And for dessert we tasted a toasted almond tiramisu (a recipe dear to Chef Joe's heart), a cannoli with chocolate chips, and a flourless chocolate cake. A decadent trio of Italian tradition. We were stuffed and satisfied beyond belief. The price of this amazing 8 course meal was only $40. A steal.

The beauty of local artists working in their space surrounded by their artwork and the chefs creating their masterpieces in the kitchen makes Cafe BarBosso a rich and inspiring experience both for the palate and creative soul.

CafeBarBosso / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

5501 Palmer Crossing Circle

Mon. Closed
Tues. - Thurs.   4 - 9  pm
Fri. - Sat.          4 -10 pm
Sunday             4 - 9  pm


Copyright 2018 Kyra Barger. All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Kyra Barger of Faso Photography

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sarasota Food Blog - SRQ Chew - Five-O Donut Co.

Donuts are serious business. Somewhere in the sugar-glazed haze they have become a high-end dessert. I'm a bit of a donut floozie! Let me tell you,  I have been around when it comes to donut places. For this blog I will let my images speak for themselves and just say you have to go and experience Five-O Donut Co. near downtown Sarasota. Chef/Owner, Christine Nordstrom's yeast raised, gourmet small batch from scratch donuts are "arrestingly good".  This friendly, happy place also takes care of the vegan and gluten free peeps. Five-O 's croissant donuts are something really really special and left me with no words, mostly because I had my mouth full of them. 

Five-O Donut Co. / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

2241 Ringling Blvd.

Open 7 Days
M - Fri.  7am -sold out
Sat. & Sun.  8am -sold out

Please check out Christine's other bakery, SIFT Bakehouse. Christine also has a community kitchen, RISE that offers a bake space and mentoring for culinary entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams. 


Copyright 2018 Kyra Barger. All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Kyra Barger of Faso Photography

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sarasota Food Blog - SRQ Chew - Happy New Year!

All the best in 2018! May this year be filled with joy, laughter and good food shared with those you love. 

Copyright 2018 Kyra Barger. All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Kyra Barger of Faso Photography

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sarasota Food Blog - SRQ Chew - The Best Of - Year in Review

It has been another fantastic year of eating, drinking and meeting people who make the Sarasota food scene the best in Florida. Here is my list of the best local Sarasota restaurants, microbreweries and coffee houses I visited this year along with their websites and social media links. 

Buttermilk Handcrafted Food is truly a modern place for bringing people together and should be shared with friends. When one pairs fresh local ingredients and homemade recipes with exceptional coffee and tea it is a meaningful experience and the intention of Buttermilk. More bacon jam please! 

Baker & Wife is a spot-on place to go for a delicious, casual and fresh experience. You will not be disappointed with the diverse menu offerings and cheerful atmosphere. Be sure to check the times they are open before you go.

Located in Siesta Key, Lelu Coffee Lounge is a really groovy spot to hangout. Their coffee, food, drinks and music never disappoint.

'62 Bistrot is quaint, authentic, and perfectly Parisian. A lovely French bistrot offering seasonal French classics that Chef Alex and his wife, Vanessa grew up enjoying in France. 

If you're in the mood for some British comfort food and a proper cupa tea, you need to visit 4 & 20 Pasty Company. Brits, Richard and Barbara offer a variety of hand held pies to suit every taste whether it's sweet or savory. Everything they offer is made with the freshest ingredients and a lot of love. 

With its stellar craft beer, friendly and laid back vibe, Calusa Brewing is top on my list for some pints     with friends. Calusa's beers are fierce, intelligent and rich in Florida's natural resources.

Funky Fusion is a Filipino-American inspired food truck. Owners, Jackie and Jenna's love for people and for Filipino culture makes me so happy and will make you happy too. Filipino comfort food at its best in Sarasota.

Living in Memphis, Tennessee for sixteen years, I get a craving for good BBQ and ribs once in a while. Nancy's BBQ definitely is the place to satisfy my craving. 

I also visited two incredible places that need to be mentioned but I did not have my camera with me at the time. The first place is Indigenous. Indigenous is a beautiful seasonal inspired restaurant. It is evident from the menu offerings created by Chef Steve Phelps that he believes in carefully sourced local and sustainable ingredients. When someone asks me what my favorite place is for dinner in Sarasota I always say Indigenous. Honestly it is one of my top five meals I have had anywhere, including Paris, London and Montreal. I look forward to featuring Indigenous on SRQ Chew in the coming year. It is really really a special place.

The second noteworthy place is Five-O Donut Co. People who know me know that I love donuts and good coffee. Their yeast raised, gourmet, small batch donuts are "arrestingly good" and the coffee  is excellent. They also take care of the vegan and gluten free peeps. Cronut holes anyone?

Thanks to everyone who follows my Sarasota food blog, SRQ Chew. Cheers to 2018! Happy eating and drinking local.


Copyright 2017 Kyra Barger. All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Kyra Barger of Faso Photography

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sarasota Food Blog - SRQ Chew - Sarasota-Manatee Originals' Set the Bar

Last month the Sarasota-Manatee Originals and Aloft Sarasota Hotel premiered Set the Bar cocktail competition. Cocktail lovers celebrated National Vodka Day while tasting handcrafted cocktails 
made  with Tito's Homemade Vodka and other yummy natural ingredients.  

Everyone at the event voted for their favorite in the Peoples' Choice Award. First place went to The Waterfront Restaurant of Anna Maria with their charcoal infused libation. Second place went to Siesta Key Oyster Bar for their all natural honey, lemon, mint and tea cocktail. There was also a blind  judging and first place went to The Waterfront again. State Street Eating House + Cocktails came in second for their creation.

Set the Bar was a fantastic night and all the proceeds of the evening went to Tour de Cure which is even more fantastic. Glad to be a part of it all. This is just one more reason that makes Sarasota a great place to live.

Thanks to all who participated. Check out their links below and enjoy eating and drinking local.

The Sandbar Restaurant


Made Restaurant

Ophelia's on the Bay


Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood

The Waterfront Restaurant of Anna Maria



State Street Eating House + Cocktails


The Beach House Restaurant


Pier 22 Restaurant


Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB)


Turtle Beach Natural Foodservice provided our member restaurants with amazing, all natural product to help create the delicious dishes served during the event.

*Tickets complimentary from Sarasota-Manatee Originals. Thank you.


Copyright 2017 Kyra Barger. All Rights Reserved.

Photos by Kyra Barger of Faso Photography