I’m a big believer in doing something special on every birthday. Last year, I threw a dinner party for 18 friends at Total Wine and spent two days cooking seven courses to pair with exceptional Italian wines. This year, I’m exploring some areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast that have been on my bucket list for far too long.
Today we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Veg, a Sarasota vegetarian and seafood restaurant that is a bit off the beaten path. Marty and Maggie Gluckich are the talented chef-owners who turn out creative, incredibly delicious meals from the restaurant’s tiny kitchen. Our new friend, Sue, a vegetarian like me since 1974, suggested Veg for lunch and we grabbed the last available four top.
Since I’d checked out the lunch menu on line, I already knew that I wanted to try Mike’s Favorite “Brisket” Sandwich on rosemary foccacia bread. The thinly sliced seitan baked in sweet and tangy barbecue sauce was positively brimming with flavor and featured carmelized onions and plump golden raisins. A delicate coleslaw provided a creamy contrast.
We met Maggie and I told her that I’d give a shout out to their creative restaurant. Veg has both gluten free and vegan dishes, and we loved the fact that our friendly server greeted us and promptly asked if anyone in our party was vegan, gluten intolerant, or had other allergies. Maggie kindly brought us a slice of their raw famous fruit and nut pie to share “on the house” even before she knew it was my birthday! I tasted dates, figs, and walnuts in the mixture and am already trying to figure out how to replicate its wonderful flavor at home!
Finding fresh inspiration in unexpected places is big part of the delight of traveling – especially on my birthday! Please check out Veg if you are traveling in the Sarasota area. Many thanks to chefs Marty and Maggie for a memorable lunch!