This Above All: To Hamlet's Avocado Toast be True

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Pictured: Hamlets crab variant of avocado toast combines fresh, complementary ingredients in and a fun, lively atmosphere. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

If anything could rouse Shakespeare’s Hamlet from his brooding, soliloquizing melancholy, it would be the Sarasota food truck that bears his name.

Hamlet’s Eatery, permanently located at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, is a tucked-away spot that delights the browsing shoppers who prefer their art local and their dining ambiance al fresco. The truck’s tagline — “To meat or not to meat” — is a nod to the fact that pretty much every meaty dish is available as an equally delightful meatless version.

On the day my wife, Janet, and I brought our five-year-old daughter, Summer, we were greeted by Hamlet’s friendly chef Lisa Shields, who helped us pick out a few perfectly portioned lunch options.

I thought I knew avocado toast. As polarizing as it can be to some culinary sophisticates, I tend to enjoy its simplicity as a meatless, filling, refreshing brunch option. It’s not avocado toast’s fault that it’s been pic’d, posted, and memed to death on social media platforms over the last 10 years. It’s go-to for me as a default when I can’t decide, but it was this bold take on the classic that drew me to Hamlet’s version. The smashed avocado, thinly sliced cucumber, smoked salmon, dill and a citrus sour cream are topped with pickled shallots, an over-medium egg and small handful of summery microgreens.

I devoured every last goopy bite, the flavors commingling into a marvelous melange. The egg with the smoked salmon in one bite, the avocado with the greens in another, the bread with the pickled citrus sour cream and pickled shallots. The combinations were fun and plentiful and made for a dish that evolved brilliantly as I ate it.

Shields swaps out her avocado toast recipes fairly regularly, so the salmon take that I had may not be on the menu when you go. Based on the accompanying photo that captures the crab version, I’m guessing you won’t be disappointed.

Adding to our enjoyment, my wife and I watched my daughter play with a fellow diner’s puppy between bites of her kid-friendly plate of grilled cheese and a heaping pile of french fries that would be a serious contender for Sarasota’s best. This is the type of spot where diners can’t help but have a smile on their faces. The vibe is chill, open air, inviting to all.

I’m embarrassed to admit that this was my first time visiting the Bazaar, which is just a few minutes from downtown. It was the perfect mid-day getaway — an ideal way to refresh and recharge. To top off the experience, Summer walked out with a free children’s book — as all kids who visit the Bazaar are welcome to do — and I couldn’t help but think how well a place like Hamlet’s Eatery would do in the Dane’s hometown of Elsinore. And how lucky we are that it’s here.

Hamlet’s Eatery, located in The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota, 941-445-1938.

Pictured: Hamlets crab variant of avocado toast combines fresh, complementary ingredients in and a fun, lively atmosphere. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

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