The Old Salty Dog Serves Breakfast with a Slice of Paradise

Good Bite

Pictured: The shrimp and grits at The Old Salty Dog on Sarasota's City Island is the ideal order for breakfast with a view. Photo by Kevin Allen.

Waterfront breakfast. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It sure sounded appealing to my wife and me on a recent weekend morning, and we found an ideal landing spot at Sarasota’s Old Salty Dog on City Island.

Salty Dog is a Sarasota tradition. It’s been around since the 1980s, and its eponymous dish — the salty dog — is a deep fried, foot-long hot dog with options to add cheese and bacon. It may be Sarasota’s least cardiologist-friendly meal. What is cardiologist approved, however, is the calming view one takes in as they dine at Salty Dog. You get a perfect panorama of New Pass, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the boats puttering in and out of Sarasota Bay.

Breakfast is relatively new to Salty Dog, and the offerings are a mix of breakfast standards and some clever takes on Southern favorites, like my order: the blackened shrimp with cheesy grits. Perhaps it was the warmth from the sun, the quiet lapping of the water against the dock, or my desire to speed my recovery from the previous night’s shenanigans, but a bloody Mary sounded just right. It's a spicy take on a standard with no ingredient overpowering the others. At some restaurants, the bloody Mary has become an unnecessarily overcomplicated thing. If I hear “bloody Mary bar” I’m immediately turned off. I don’t need an entire charcuterie assemblage jammed into my glass like a death row last meal wish list. I prefer it simple, straightforward, and Salty Dog delivers (in this case, it delivered in multitudes).

The shrimp and grits were rightly portioned for breakfast, with a side of fresh fruit that did not disappoint, along with an expertly prepped soft boiled egg.

With local mainstays like First Watch, Toasted Mango, Broken Egg and the like, Salty Dog may not be top-of-mind when considering a breakfast out, but it should be. The view is incomparable, the service is swift and the bloody Mary is strong. The City Island restaurant is currently the only of the Old Salty Dog locations open for breakfast. While we didn’t see any dolphins in the distance as we’d hoped, but we did see why Salty Dog should be considered among Sarasota’s top breakfast destinations.

 The Old Salty Dog, 1601 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, 941-388-4311, theoldsaltydog.com

Pictured: The shrimp and grits at The Old Salty Dog on Sarasota's City Island is the ideal order for breakfast with a view. Photo by Kevin Allen.

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