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SRQ DAILY Sep 27, 2022

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"You are going to see ingredients and components in every dish that are going to be mind-blowing as we aim to hit all of your senses."

- Christopher Covelli, Executive Chef, Sage Restaurant.

[Farmers Market]  Meet the New Sarasota Farmers Market Superstar: Azteca Rojo
Kevin Allen, kevin.allen@srqme.com

One bite. Just one forkful was all it took to recognize greatness this weekend when my family and I tried the tamales from the Azteca Rojo stand at the Sarasota Farmers Market.

For years, Azteca Rojo owner and chef Roci Mendez has been delighting farmers market faithful in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Wesley Chapel with her tamales. After spending time on the waitlist for Sarasota’s, she has unleashed her talent on a local audience, and she tells SRQ Magazine she plans to stay for the foreseeable future.

Every tamale Mendez serves is handmade, and she stays up late Friday night — sometimes nearly the entire night — steaming her tamales for the morning. The recipes she uses have been passed down from her grandmother, and her style is heavily influenced by her cuisine native to her hometown of San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

I had already devoured half of my daughter’s avocado toast when my wife, Janet, walked up with a brown box. “There’s a new tamale place,” she said. My eyes grew. My pulse quickened. I waited patiently for Janet to offer me a bite, and she had to wrestle it back from me. These tamales are LEGIT.

The tamal itself retains all the sweetness of the corn from the light and airy masa, but the real star of the show for the version we ordered was the chicken. Mendez slow cooks the shredded chicken breast in a sauce that boasts the roasty, earthy-yet-spicy flavor of the guajillo chili. In addition to the chicken, she offers a traditional cochinita pibil (Yucatan-style barbecued pork), plus a veg option.

The combo version is served with a side of fresh pico de gallo, made from ingredients purchased from the very farmers markets where Mendez sells her wares. There’s also a carrot salad that is sweet with a citrus tang and a spicy kick at the end. It also comes with a side of refried black beans, which are so rich and creamy — while lacking the heaviness of the pinto bean version — that they alone are worth the price of the entire meal.

For now, Mendez’ crew sets up in front of Dimmitt Automotive Group on State Street. (You know — that luxury car dealership where you walk up to the window and drool while you point out the car you could never afford.)

Look, I know that logically, it’s simply not feasible for me to eat Azteca Rojo tamales every Saturday for the rest of my life, but hey … a boy can dream, right?

Azteca Rojo, Sarasota Farmers Market, Saturdays, 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., State Street, facebook.com/AuthenticAztecaRojo/ 

Pictured: Azteca Rojo serves handmade tamales at the Sarasota Farmers Market every Saturday. Photo by Kevin Allen.

[Fall Menu]  Sage Restaurant Reopens with New Fall Seasonal Menu

The Realm Restaurant Group is pleased to announce the reopening of Sage Restaurant after its annual three week fall hiatus. The restaurant was set to reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 27 but due to the storm, they are delaying their reopening date to FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 with a new seasonal menu for fall, which includes a number of new entrees, appetizers and cocktails. The culinary team, led by executive chef Christopher Covelli, has continued to honor the restaurant’s mission of offering a global culinary experience by introducing new menu items that demonstrate French, Italian and Asian influences. “This fall menu is bringing back that original creativity that we saw in the first two years we were open,” said Covelli, co-owner of Sage Restaurant. “You’re going to see ingredients and components in every dish that are going to be mind-blowing as we aim to hit all of your senses.”

Some of the new seasonal entrees include jamón and manchego salad with toasted walnuts, sherry geleé and a saffron vinaigrette; shrimp escabeche over a medley of roasted corn, tomato and okra; seasonal apple and capicola tartlet with a tarragon foam; pan seared foie gras with dried papaya, pistachios and tandoori spice; bison short rib with sunchoke puree, Szechuan carrots and roasted mushrooms; house-made rigatoni with braised lamb, cardamom yogurt and pickled blueberries; and Maple Leaf Farms half duck with bourbon foie gras butter, swiss chard and baby roasted potatoes, among others. The new seasonal cocktail list offers a number of creative and refreshing alcoholic beverages crafted by Sage Restaurant bartenders, including specialties like the Down to Earth, Unbeetable and Masa Colada, among others. To view the entire seasonal menu, visit SageSRQ.com/Menu. Sage is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. To make a reservation, visit SageSrq.com or call 941-445-5660. 

Pictured: Seasonal apple and capicola tartlet. Photo courtesy of Sage Restaurant.

[Hurricane]  Hurricane Evacuation Centers in Sarasota County

Sarasota County schools will close Tuesday, Sept. 27, out of an abundance of caution and to allow for time to prepare schools that serve as emergency evacuation centers. While there are no evacuations issued at this time, the county is expecting to announce an evacuation alert for Level A on Tuesday morning. To locate the nearest emergency evacuation center, visit scgov.net/beprepared. Please note that the following traditional public schools are serving as Hurricane Evacuation Centers in Sarasota County; Atwater Elementary School – 4701 Huntsville Ave, North Port; Booker High School – 3201 N Orange Ave, Sarasota; Brookside Middle School – 3636 S Shade Ave, Sarasota; Fruitville Elementary School – 601 Honore Ave, Sarasota; Gulf Gate Elementary School – 6500 S Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota; Heron Creek Middle School – 6501 W Price Blvd, North Port; North Port High School – 6400 W Price Blvd, North Port; Phillippi Shores Elementary School – 4747 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; Southside Elementary School – 1901 Webber St, Sarasota; Taylor Ranch Elementary School – 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail, Venice; Woodland Middle School – 2700 Panacea Blvd, North Port. Register for emergency notifications at alertsarasotacounty.com. Stay in the know by monitoring local media stations, following @SRQC on Facebook and Twitter, or call the Sarasota County Contact Center by dialing 3-1-1. 

[Closure]  The Manatee County Clerk & Comptroller Announces Office Closure This Week Due to Hurricane Ian

The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller office will be closed from Tuesday, September 27, through Thursday, September 29. The Clerk & Comptroller’s website, www.ManateeClerk.com, will be offline at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27. Jury duty is cancelled this week from Tuesday, September 27, through Thursday, September 29. For court appearances, please visit the Twelfth Judicial Circuit website at https://www.jud12.flcourts.org/ for updates. The Clerk & Comptroller-operated historical sites: Florida Maritime Museum, Manatee County Agricultural Museum, Manatee Village Historical Park, and Palmetto Historical Park, are closed for the remainder of this week. Please visit their respective websites for reopening notices. The Clerk & Comptroller is committed to ensuring its customers and staff are safe during this time. Follow Manatee County Government for continuous storm updates at https://mymanatee.org/. 

[Upcoming Event]  Sarasota Opera’s DaCapo Society for Young Professionals Returns

Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce that the DaCapo Society, a dynamic group of opera patrons between 21-40, will be returning to create a shared experience for all young professionals at Sarasota Opera's acclaimed productions. Members of the DaCapo Society will have access to fun and exciting social events, discounted performances, and a fantastic community of like-minded individuals. The DaCapo Society Thursday Night Subscription includes three operas in the 2023 Winter Opera Festival with the ability to add additional performances for only $50. Various social events will be held leading up to these subscription dates. See details: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly - February 23, 2022; Mozart’s Don Giovanni - March 2, 2022; Verdi’s Ernani - March 16, 2022. A reception will be held prior to each performance listed. On October 13th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Sarasota Opera will host a Kick-Off party at the KanayaCondominium rooftop for all DaCapo Society members and future members. The first of many events, the Kick-Off Party will feature delicious bites, signature drinks, delightful performances, and will be entirely free to all who wish to join our community! 

[Cancellation]  Discoveries Concert Cancelled due to Hurricane

Due to the threat of Hurricane Ian to orchestra operations this week, including rehearsal and travel schedules for its musicians and guest artists, Sarasota Orchestra has announced that it will cancel its Discoveries: Mozart and Tchaikovsky concert that was scheduled for this Saturday, October 1 at the Sarasota Opera House. The Orchestra stated its intention to move the program to next season if possible. Ticketholders can request an account credit, receive a full refund, or donate their tickets via a webform on Sarasota Orchestra’s website at https://sarasotaorchestra.org/.


[Photography]  Selby Gardens to Showcase Photography of Rare Orchids in Annual Orchid Show

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will continue “The Year of Photography” at its Downtown Sarasota campus with an exhibition that celebrates the stunning scientific photography of Selby Gardens’ own rare orchid collection. “The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot,” presented by Better-Gro®, is built around the massive body of beautiful photos taken by a group of dedicated volunteers who help Selby Gardens scientists document the institution’s living research collection. The show will include original horticultural vignettes inspired by the art of scientific photography in the Tropical Conservatory, along with gallery installations in the Museum of Botany & The Arts. This year’s Orchid Show runs from October 15 through December 4. The “living art” for which Selby Gardens is well known will be on full display inside the Tropical Conservatory, where installations will pay homage to the practice of photography by playing with lenses and mirrors while showcasing hundreds of live orchids in artistic arrangements. Different collection specimens will be rotated into the show throughout its duration, helping to ensure a new experience with repeat visits. The Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase 15 large-format prints of the distinctive scientific photographs, which feature striking close-ups of their orchid subjects set against a jet-black background. Interpretive material will detail the photographic process and highlight six volunteer photographers who have contributed to an archive of more than 100,000 digital images of Selby Gardens’ plant collections. As a special feature of this year’s Orchid Show, a temporary photo studio will be set up in the Museum, where individual volunteers will periodically do their work in view of visitors and answer questions about it. The exhibition will be complemented by several programs and activities, including a virtual lecture on October 26 presented by Selby Gardens botany staff and an “Orchid Evening” on November 2 that includes after-hours access to the show and a live performance by The Circus Arts Conservatory. Access to the exhibition is included with general admission to the Downtown Sarasota campus. Admission tickets may be purchased in advance at selby.org or at the Welcome Center upon arrival. “The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot” is presented by Better-Gro. Sponsors include PNC Bank, Williams Parker Attorneys at Law, and WUSF Public Media. 

Pictured: Paphinia herrerae. Photo by Phil Nelson.

[Living Lakewood]  Living Lakewood Fall 2022 Edition


Check out and stay tuned for these Lakewood Living features through this link, on our social media, or in the September edition of SRQ Magazine! 

Read the Issue Here!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County: Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Fair , October 1, 8am-1pm

2022 Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Fair is an exciting community event, drawing in a variety of consumers from casual houseplant owners to dedicated horticulturalists. Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 8:00am to 1:00pm UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County will be hosting a plant fair at the Barbara Davis Educational Gardens located at 1303 17th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221. Instead of buying your next plant at a big box store, why not find a more affordable, expertly grown plant that supports your local community? All our plants are grown by Master Gardener Volunteers and all proceeds go towards supporting and maintaining Manatee County’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program. People can register for free for a one hour time slot on the UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County Eventbrite page. 1303 17th Street West, Palmetto Saturday, October 1, 2022 8:00 am - 1:00 pm Information Call Alyssa Vinson at 941-722-4524 extension 1822


[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: New York State of Mind: All the Hits of Billy Joel With The Uptown Boys , August 9 – October 2, Varies.

With more than 40 years of cumulative work on some of Broadway’s biggest hits, The Uptown Boys use Billy Joel’s rich songbook as a way to share their stories of life, love, and trying to make it in New York City. Whether you’re a fan of Billy Joel’s entire catalogue or just a casual listener, The Uptown Boys have something to satisfy everyone. Featuring such hits as “Only The Good Die Young,” “For the Longest Time,” “Piano Man,” and many more you know and love. New York State of Mind: All the Hits of Billy Joel With The Uptown Boys™ by Alexander Aguilar and John De Simini will play beginning August 9, 2022 in FST's John C. Court Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret

[SOON]  THEATER: Manatee Performing Arts Center: RENT , September 14 – October 2, Varies

La Vie Boheme! Jonathan Larson’s iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning musical that shaped a generation of audiences and taught us all to measure our life in love. Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Rent has become a pop cultural phenomenon. with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. This is theatre at its best – exuberant, passionate and joyous. For more information visit www.manateeperformingartscenter.com, Ticket Office 941-748-5875

Manatee Performing Arts Center , 502 Third Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Venice Theatre: The Revolutionists , September 16 – October 2, Varied

The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson. Four bodacious women lose their heads (literally) in this irreverent, women-centered tragicomedy set during the French Revolution. This witty, thought-provoking, raucously funny adventure was inventively conceived by one of today’s most-produced American playwrights. * Includes adult language/themes. Audience discretion advised. September 16-October 2, 2022. Tickets Adult $29 College/Educator $21 Youth $15 For more information visit venicetheatre.org, Ph. 941.488.1115, email info@venicetheatre.net 

Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave. W Venice, FL 34285 (The Box Office is currently closed for walk-up business)

[SOON]  MUSIC: Artist Series Concerts: Virtuoso Violins Magnificent Markovs , October 2, 4pm-6pm

Violin phenom Alexander Markov has wowed audiences playing his gold electric violin in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and packed stadiums. This program unites him with his gifted violinist parents as the “first family of the violin” presents classical favorites, followed by Alexander Markov’s original composition Caesar, for electric violin, organ, choir, percussion, rhythm section and orchestral musicians.  Sunday, October 2, 2022 4:00 PM 6:00 PM at the Sarasota Opera House For tickets visit artistseriesconcerts.org Ph. 941-306-1202

Sarasota Opera House , 61 North Pineapple AvenueSarasota, FL, 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: Guys and Dolls , October 5 – November 20, Varied

A Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Guys and Dolls tells the story of New York City gambler Nathan Detroit, who dreams of setting up a big dice game while avoiding the authorities—and marriage to his longtime fiancée. Meanwhile, fellow gambler Sky Masterson ends up wooing a strait-laced missionary in a scheme to fund the game. WBTT will add its own special twist to this crowd-pleasing show! Performances run October 5th-November 20th, 2022. For more information visit westcoastblacktheatre.org, Ph. 941-366-1505, Box Office questions email boxoffice@westcoastblacktheatre.org

The Donelly Theatre , 1012 N. Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FILM: Sarasota Film Society: Movies For Heroes , September 13 – December 13, Varied

Sarasota Film Society is proud to present "Movies For Heroes", a year long Salute to our Military. Active, Non-Active, Retired Personnel & their family are welcomed to join us once a month at 11am at Burns Court & Lakewood Ranch Cinemas starting in January of 2022 for a year of free movie screenings. 10% of the concession sales from these screenings will go to Wounded Warrior Project. Space is limited, reserve your tickets today. Location Burns Court Cinemas 506 Burns Court Sarasota, FL 34236.

506 Burns Court Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Art Museum: Jazz Thursdays , January 13 – January 12, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Jazz Thursdays at Sarasota Art Museum will runs through January 12, 2023 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members. Sarasota Art Museum invites you to be our guest at our first Jazz Thursday at SAM, featuring Hot Club of SRQ. Sarasota Art Museum is partnering with the Jazz Club of Sarasota for Jazz Thursdays. Join us for our special late-night performances on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Jazz Thursdays will occur on the second Thursday of each month until January 12, 2023. Galleries + Bistro + Shop will be open.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Limelight Market , April 23 – December 17, 10am-3pm

Every 3rd Saturday from 10-3 The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime opens their outdoor space for guest vendors, dog rescues, and live music. Check out the 40 local creators and curators inside The Bazaar every Thursday - Saturday. Enjoy a delicious lunch and support local. Free, until you buy something amazing! 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Friendsgiving - Dessert and Wine Auction , November 5, 6:30pm-9:30pm

Save the date for Friendsgiving, a Dessert and Wine Auction to benefit local shelter animals on November 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 at the Elks Lodge #1511, 2511 75th St. West Bradenton. Delectable desserts made by professional bakeries and gift baskets will be available by live and silent auction. There will be a wine raffle, lite bites and a cash bar. Free to attend. Proceeds benefit: Grace and Friends Medical Fund, Heal My Heart treating heartworm positive dogs, Slumber Fund for dog beds, Traveling Paws transporting dogs to northern forever homes, Enrichment and Food for Ferals. 

Elks Lodge

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Stuff The Bus Food Drive , October 23, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

The annual Stuff The Bus event, which was started in 2009, was created through the kind hearts of the School District of Manatee County Transportation Staff. They wanted to give back to the community and knew of “Stuff the Bus” events in other cities and suggested placing one school bus in front of one Publix store in Manatee County. The leadership of Publix thought it was a great idea and requested a bus at every Publix store in Manatee County. Since 2009, nearly 1.1 million pounds of food has been donated through the Stuff The Bus food drive. Since the first Stuff the Bus event thirteen years ago, this event has evolved to include many Community Partners, including: United Way Suncoast, Publix, Herald-Tribune, the School District of Manatee County, and of course, the Transportation Staff of the School District. We are thrilled to have Mosaic as our presenting sponsor this year. All proceeds and donated food will benefit The Food Bank of Manatee, a PLUS program of Meals on Wheels PLUS. Please stop by your local Publix in Manatee County to support this event. Goal: Raise 150,000 pounds of food to feed Manatee County residents! All Manatee County Publix Locations. 

Meals on Wheels PLUS

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Proof , January 12 – January 22, Varied

Proof by David Auburn. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, Proof tells the story of Catherine, a troubled young woman, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death and on the eve of her 25th birthday, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit? January 12-22, 2023 For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

SRQ Media Group

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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