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SRQ DAILY Aug 18, 2020

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"In the especially gripping absence of the iconic beer and dog duo, what is one to do?"

- Andrew Fabian, Contributing Editor

-Cutting Room Floor || A shot from SRQ's Forager's Ahead feature of the Albritton Blueberry Farm that didn't make it to print.
[Gourmet Hotdogs]  Seventh Inning Stretch, Minus the Baseball
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

With Major League Baseball opting to hold its season sans fans, the warm fuzzy feelings associated with America’s pastime are missing from many a baseball fan’s roster. No seventh inning stretch, no taking anybody out to the ball game or mingling in a crowd with peanuts and Crackerjacks. No husky dudes with enormous personalities marching up and down the stadium walkways peddling ice cold beer and hot dogs. And in the especially gripping absence of the iconic beer and dog duo, what is one to do?

Happy hour at Element: Steak. Seafood. Pasta is one option. Though the restaurant’s full name drives Microsoft Word crazy when used in a sentence and its ambiance does not quite capture the energy of a jubilant crowd, Chef Nils Tarantik has managed to sneak an item into Element’s happy hour menu that, like many of his creations, elevates the simple into the sublime. “I’m almost tired of saying it,” he jokes, “but my whole thing here is simple elegance.” The American Wagyu Hotdog ($7.50) is Tarantik’s homage to the hot dog varieties found all over the Northeast, especially the Jersey-style (typically deep fried and topped with sautéed onions, bell peppers and sometimes potatoes).

Tarantik scores the Snake River Farms hot dog before deep frying it, which helps accentuate the snap of the casing when it’s bitten into. Of course, one hardly needs a sensible reason to deep fry anything anyway. The dog is nestled into a buttered Hawaiian hot dog roll, then topped with a three pepper and onion relish. As a side, Tarantik went with a tasty slaw whose “mystery” ingredient ought not surprise anyone aware of his Swedish roots (dill). Again, without a packed stadium bustling beneath a cloudless blue sky, a completely faithful recreation of the baseball game vibe is hard to approximate.

But food is about impressions, and with eyes closed and a cold beer (in this case, Oberon wheat ale), one can almost hear the crack of wood on leather. 

Element: Steak. Seafood. Pasta., 1413 Main St, 941-724-8585

Click here for more information.

[Italian Food]  Cafe Baci is Here to Stay
Ariel Chates, ariel.chates@srqme.com

Cafe Baci is a Sarasota staple you might accidentally miss. A fixture on South Tamiami for nearly three decades, this family owned Italian restaurant has remained a classic for a reason. Greeted at the door by their personable front of house manager Leo, we are led into a warmly lit, large dining area with accented Italian stone columns reminiscent of ancient Roman architecture.

Although its high-angled roof and sand facade could easily be mistaken for an Alpine ski-lodge, the interior has true Mediterranean flair. In an Alice-in-Wonderland-like trick, once inside the space appears ginormous compared to the building you remember entering after you parked the car. The extensive menu ticks all the boxes for beloved Italian favorites: fettuccine alfredo, chicken parmigiana and lasagna, but the chef is also plating up a few more elevated takes on family-style, old-school Italian. One such dish is the special pasta of the night which featured fluffy, pillowy stuffed cheese pasta smothered in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce with notes of truffle. It was decadent, luxurious and delicious. The type of rich sauce reserved for a memorable night out—certainly a treat.

I have a habit of being drawn to sample as many dishes on the menu as possible, often leading me to order multiple side dishes of various pasta preparations to sample with an entree. At Cafe Baci, each entree is served with a piccola prozione of pasta selected from a long list of classic options. I've narrowed it down to either the Chicken Francese or Penne alla Vodka when our veteran server Susan spookily reads my mind and suggests the exact combination I have been contemplating. A psychic reading with delectable results.The Penne alla Vodka gets a hearty addition of thinly sliced italian sausage and thick cut pancetta, while the Chicken Francese provides a nice, light antithesis with a lemony caper sauce and bright, zingy green beans.

For those even more indecisive than myself, there is the Vitella Di Abondanza which offers a tapas-like sampler of three veal entrees— Marsala, Piccatta, and Sarda—served with a side of your choice. My dining companion opted for the Tortellini alla Pappalina, extending our journey through cheese-filled, cream sauce pasta,  which was finished with pancetta, peas and wild mushrooms. Of the three tastings, the crispy, thin Vitella Sarda topped with arugula and cherry tomatoes for a perfect summer bite, stole the show.

The service was truly outstanding, and the food hits the spot when you’re craving no-fuss classic Italian. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 4-9:30pm, Cafe Baci is the origin of nostalgic dinners which is what has earned them their thirty-year spot. 

Cafe Baci, 4001 S Tamiami Trail, 941-921-4848

Click here for more information.

[Brunch Time]  Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille Blues Brunch Sunday

Don’t miss August’s Blues Brunch at Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille in Downtown Bradenton. Enjoy delicious chef created brunch menu items and this month’s featured blues band, RJ Howson.
Fire branded in the Chicago blues circuit, roots rocker and bluesman RJ Howson picked up his skillful guitar chops performing and jamming with blues icons at Buddy Guy’s Legends club, Rosa's Lounge, Kingston Mines, BLUES on Halstead and many other clubs in the Windy City and performing all over the Midwest. Since relocating to Bradenton Beach, he has been busy playing a steady stream of shows all over Florida including performances at Thunder by the Bay festival, the Dan Toler Benefit with Dickey Betts headlining, and Jannus Landing. RJ will get your toes tapping to some of the best blues music around. In addition to enjoying authentic blues, Chef Alex has created a brand-new Brunch Menu to make your dining experience complete. Choices of brunch items include Stuffed French Toast, Duck Confit Crepe with Blueberry Mascarpone, Niman Ranch Steak and Eggs, Riverwalk Breakfast, Omelets, Poached Egg with Avocado Toast and much, much more. Brunch drink options include a build your own bloody mary menu and mimosas made with fresh, local orange juice.  Mattison’s Blues Brunch Sundays are in conjunction with the Bradenton Blues Fest, hosted by Realize Bradenton. Reservations are suggested. 

Click for the full menu.

[Grant]  Wilson-Wood Foundation Supports Girl Scouts in Need

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida has received a $10,000 grant from the Wilson-Wood Foundation to support Girl Scout troops in under-resourced areas of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The award will help offset expenses for the council’s Fully Funded Troops program, which provides a traditional Girl Scout experience to girls living in economically challenged areas. Some 200 Girl Scouts participate in the program annually. All basic program costs, including curriculum books, supplies, and materials, as well as fees for membership, field trips and other special activities are fully covered. “The program is a blessing not only to the girls, but to the leaders as well,” said Nancy Krizen, leader of Troop 1912. “With the funds provided, the girls can not only earn badges that help them develop skills they can use every day, but we are also able to take them on educational field trips and teach them about giving back to their local community through various service projects.” For more information about Girl Scout membership, programs, financial assistance and volunteer opportunities, visit www.gsgcf.org, or call 800-232-4475. 

Click for more info.

[Recognition]  Julie Ann Soriero Achieves NAR's at Home with Diversity Certification

Julie Ann Soriero of Wagner Realty Lakewood Ranch has been awarded the At Home with Diversity certification from the National Association of Realtors. Soriero joins more than 17,000 other real estate professionals in North America who have earned the certification after completing an eight hour course addressing topics of diversity, fair housing, and business planning development. The program is designed to meet the nation's fair housing commitment by educating and equipping NAR's members with the tools they need to expand homeownership opportunities. 

Click here for more information.

[Virtual Learning ]  Women's Resource Center Hosts Information Session on Free Home Health Aide Workforce Training

As concern grows about the spread of coronavirus, many people are turning to home health care as an alternative to long-term care facilities.  This is driving up the demand and the wages for trained home health aides in the region. The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is partnering with Help at Home Homecare to provide a webinar about how individuals interested in this occupation can receive free training. The information session is part of WRC’s monthly Career Connections program to link women to quality jobs and funded trainings. WRC is hosting the home health aide free informational webinar on Wednesday, August 26, 12:00-1:00pm. To register, go to www.mywrc.org/CCHealthCareersor call 941-256-9721. Participants can tune in by phone or computer to learn more. Free individual career coaching is also available. The objective of the webinar is to recruit candidates for a fully-funded training program that pays students $10 per hour to participate in the two-week class, held in Sarasota, which runs Tuesdays to Thursdays, 8:30am to 3:30pm After completing the program, graduates will receive starting wages of $13 per hour. “The unique aspect of this workforce training is that participants are paid to learn, making it feasible for them to take the time to gain in-demand skills,” explains WRC CEO Ashley Brown. 

Pictured: Help at Home Homecare home health aide trainees.

Click here for more information.

[In This Issue]  Road to Recovery
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Engaging regional business leaders for a dialogue about the future. 

Click here to read the full article from SRQ's Summer 2020 edition.

[Sale]  GroundWorks Sale Extended

Designing Women Boutique and GroundWorks sales is extended through August 31st. Enjoy 50% off the lowest ticketed price on GroundWorks items with a yellow or black ticket marked with the GW code.  

[COVID-19]  Manatee School Board Revises Face Mask Policy

On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, the School Board approved a version of Policy 8450 mandating that all employees, visitors and students wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth while on school property, facilities, transportation vehicle, including school buses and/or engaged in school activities. The Emergency Board Meeting was called to discuss possible revisions to the version of Policy 8450 passed on Tuesday.

The revisions passed by the School Board today, along with Operating Protocols to Board Policy 8450, more closely align the policy with current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They also make certain allowances to students and employees when it comes to the face mask mandate, such as:

  • Students who need a break from their face mask, may do so with teacher permission provided social distancing can be maintained.
  • No face covering is required during physical education classes, recess, or other outdoor activities.
  • Employees who need a break from wearing their face mask while on school property, may do so if alone in their own office or classroom or outdoors maintaining social distancing. 
[Date Change]  Bruce Hornsby's Sarasota Debut Rescheduled to 2021

Due to a tour schedule change, Bruce Hornsby’s performance on November 17, 2020 has been rescheduled to November 11, 2021.

The Van Wezel’s Box Office will be following up with patrons directly affected by these changes. Patrons who wish to attend the rescheduled performance should keep their tickets, which will be honored for the future performance date. Patrons who will not be able to attend the rescheduled performance have the opportunity to donate their ticket or receive a refund. This generous donation will enable the Hall to deliver on world class entertainment, bring arts integrated learning to children, families and educators, and invest in the power of the human spirit. 

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Try Your Hand at Poetry: A Zoom Workshop , July 28 – August 18, 6pm-8pm

Join us for Try Your Hand at Poetry led by Georgia Court. There will be four Zoom sessions: Tuesdays at 6pm: August 4, August 11, August 18. Have you always wanted to write poetry, but thought the genre was just too difficult? This is your chance to give it a try using Ted Kooser's The Poetry Home Repair Manual as a guide. A fee of $30 is required for participation. This includes a copy of The Poetry Home Repair Manual and all four sessions. The book can be picked up curbside (We will send you an email when the book is ready for pickup) or you can have it shipped to you via email. This Zoom workshop is limited to 12 participants. If the workshop is full and you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email georgia@sarasotabooks.com. Complete the registration and we will get you the book with plenty of time before the first meeting. The Zoom link will be sent one day prior to the book club meeting. Ted Kooser is a former US Poet Laureate and, as a human being, as humorous and folksy as anyone I have ever meant. His personality shines through this book and makes all of us feel like we could actually be poets. We'll write our own poems based on his advice and share them with others in the club. This is the perfect place for absolute beginners and for more experienced poets who just want to have a good time with poetry. Oh, and as an added bonus, we'll be joined from time to time by two experienced and well-published poets: Phil Terman and Rick Hilles.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Lakewood Ranch Yoga in The Park , July 26 – August 30, 9am-10am

Join us for free yoga on the second Sunday in the beautiful setting of Bob Gardner Community Park just off of White Eagle Blvd. The Yoga Shack Florida will host the morning flows starting at 9 am. Please bring your own mat and water bottle. Mats must be placed at least 6-feet apart from others and we ask all participants to closely follow all social-distancing guidelines. Thank you to the Brain Health Initiative for sponsoring this event. Learn more about BHI on their website.

Bob Gardner Community Park, 2710 White Eagle Blvd Bradenton FL 34211

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Try Your Hand at Poetry With Well-Published Poets in Online Class , July 28 – August 18

A Zoom Workshop will be offered Tuesdays at 6:00 pm on July 28, August 4, August 11, August 18. Led by store owner, Georgia Court, this is a chance to give poetry writing a try. They will be using Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual as a guide. As a bonus, two experienced and well-published poets, Phil Terman and Rick Hilles, will be making guest appearances. A fee of $30 is required for participation. This includes a copy of The Poetry Home Repair Manual and all four sessions.


[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Monthly: Beer Garden Bazaar Night Market , July 31 – December 25, 6pm-11pm

Join us in the Motorworks Beer Garden every last Friday for our monthly “Beer Garden Bazaar” Night Market featuring local makers showcasing their original arts, handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind goods, plus live music from 7-11pm, food trucks, delicious craft brews (of course) and extensive wine & cocktail offerings. Invite your friends, swing on by the Beer Garden and mingle with a drink in hand while perusing tons of awesome local wares. Eat, shop and drink the night away under the glow of the moon and beautifully lit old oak tree. Family & Pet Friendly Free Event.

Motorworks Brewing, 1014 9th Street West Bradenton, Florida 34205

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: 5th Annual Reef and Beach Cleanup , September 12 – September 13

Calling all Scuba Divers, Fisherman and Land Lubbers! This event is for everyone who cares about our shoreline and water ways. This is a "one of a kind" competitive trash collecting event. Bring friends and family. Trash collectors of all ages are welcome. There is NO entry fee. Community Service hours available for groups and students. Over $6,000. dollars in prize money will be spread out over 20 different categories. Categories include: most anchors, most recyclables, chain & other metals, tires, non-recyclable trash, fishing gear, nets, rope, tackle and an award to the most unique item brought in (as determined by judges). We've added a new category this year. There is now a category for Lion Fish. Lion fish are taking over our reefs. They are an invasive species that are killing off indigenous species.

Bradenton Yacht Club, 4307 13th St. West, Palmetto, FL

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SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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