Barbecue and Ice Cream Fuel a Late Summer Win

Todays News

Pictured: The smoked turkey at Bricks Smoked Meats is a perfect canvas for the restaurants tasty sauce trio. Photo courtesy of Bricks Smoked Meats.

If I had to pick my absolute perfect meal combination for these waning summer days, it would have to be barbecue and ice cream.

We’re days away from pumpkin spice everything, fall menus, and (for our less fortunate pals up north) sweater weather. Why not soak up one last memorable summer experience while the weather is impossibly hot and soupy? And since I was seeking this specific Q-and-ice cream double down, I turned to State Street neighbors Brick’s Smoked Meats and Rise & Nye’s.

With my wife out of town, I brought my six-year-old daughter, Summer, along with a phalanx of her fairy action figures and a newly-acquired stuffed llama.

We received an immediate, warm greeting from general manager Meghan Croke, who understands that barbecue, perhaps as much as the food itself, is about connecting with people. Throughout the evening, she bounced from table to table, engaging with each, showing that authentic hospitality is alive and well here.

While some claim there are few guarantees in life, at Brick’s there are two: Summer will have the mac ‘n’ cheese (which she dubbed Sarasota’s creamiest), and I will order the smoked turkey. Ahh, the Brick’s smoked turkey. Croke let me in on the secret to its succulence: It’s dusted with Brick’s sweat heat rub and brined for 48 hours with salt and brown sugar. From there, it’s smoked for six hours while vacuum packed with butter.

Its subtle, not-too-overpowering smoke flavor, mixed with a velvety, oh-so-tender texture create a perfect target for any of the three signature sauces on every Brick’s table: sweet, spicy, and a Carolina mustard. I paired it with a smoked jalapeno cheddar house sausage link that delivers just a touch of heat, followed by a complex arrangement of smoke and spice notes that fold into each other like shuffled playing cards.

Did we treat ourselves to a dessert bang bang? If my wife is asking, no. I can confirm, however, that the brulee banana pudding, with nilla wafers on the bottom and torched bananas on top, made me rethink my previously held misconception that bananas should have no place at the dessert table. And the s’mores … unreal. Toasted marshmallow greets you on top, and beneath it lies an evolving surprise of silky chocolate pudding, and a graham cracker crust that gives it just the right amount of crunch.

Summer reminded me I had promised her ice cream as well (she forgets nothing). So, we ventured next door where Rise & Nye’s offers espresso for those dads flying solo and needing to stay awake on the drive home after consuming a giant plate of smoked meat.

There are many reasons to love Rise & Nye’s, starting with its dedication to hiring employees with developmental and learning disabilities. The ice cream is pretty darn good, too. The staff is always incredibly friendly, welcoming, helpful, and on this night served up an evening-ending pillow of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles on top. The perfect end to a summer that I wish could be endless.

Brick’s Smoked Meats, 1528 State Street, Sarasota, 941-993-1435, https://www.brickssmokedmeats.com/. Rise & Nye’s, 1534 State Street, Sarasota, Florida, 941-217-6449, https://riseandnyes.com/

Pictured: The smoked turkey at Bricks Smoked Meats is a perfect canvas for the restaurants tasty sauce trio. Photo courtesy of Bricks Smoked Meats.

« View The Tuesday Aug 30, 2022 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Sage Restaurant Reopens with New Fall Seasonal Menu

Sage Restaurant Reopens with New Fall Seasonal Menu

Sep 27, 2022

Meet the New Sarasota Farmers Market Superstar: Azteca Rojo

Meet the New Sarasota Farmers Market Superstar: Azteca Rojo

Kevin Allen | Sep 27, 2022

The Kore Experience is Pure Joy

The Kore Experience is Pure Joy

Kevin Allen | Sep 20, 2022

Sarasota-Manatee Originals Set the Bar Cocktail Competition is Back for Another Round

Sarasota-Manatee Originals Set the Bar Cocktail Competition is Back for Another Round

Sep 20, 2022