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SRQ DAILY Jul 11, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"We want Americans to learn about our food and flavors. Like they have adopted the taco, we want them to adopt a bit of our gastronomy."

- Rebeca Fernandez, Owner and Chef of Chipis Food

[The Dish]  A New Venezuelan Food Truck Brings Beachside Bliss to Bradenton
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

The scent of sizzling seafood floats through the air surrounding Chipi’s Food, a new food truck in Bradenton. The truck’s ocean blue hue calls to mind relaxing days spent lounging on the beach, listening to the crash of the waves. For Owners and Chefs Rebeca Fernandez and William Jimenez, the husband and wife team behind Chipi’s Food, their mobile restaurant is the ideal vehicle to blend beachside staples from their native Venezuela with American delights like tacos and sandwiches.

The couple started Chipi’s in March 2023, but Fernandez began her culinary career at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota, where she had the opportunity to work in the kitchen, preparing meals for banquets, the restaurant and room service. “After I had my child, I left that job, but I always had the desire to do something for myself, something with food,” she says. The pair brainstormed the idea of opening a food truck that would feature a menu different from most other similar establishments’ specialties. They called the truck Chipi’s Food, paying tribute to “chipi chipi”, the nickname that Fernandez’s mother used to call the small children in her family. “I told my husband, what if we did seafood?” she adds. “You can go to a restaurant and get seafood, but we don’t have a lot of street seafood here.”

Inspired by Venezuela’s culture of beachside food vendors and iconic coastal cuisine, they developed a menu highlighting some of the country’s most beloved dishes. One of their bestsellers is the Fried Red Snapper, a whole fish served with tostones (crispy fried plantains), avocado and housemade coleslaw. The red snapper is a common sight on tables in Venezuela and across the Caribbean. “Google recommends us as the best fried fish in the area for our Red Snapper,” says Jimenez, “and this is a great achievement because we’re a food truck that’s just opened and is competing with businesses that have been open for years.”

Aside from snapper, diners can chow down on crunchy tostones, which are served with cheese, homemade sauce and coleslaw. While Fernandez and Jimenez don’t want to be just another taco truck, their shrimp tacos and fish tacos pack stellar flavor and freshness. Don’t forget to add the homemade red and green salsa for an extra kick. To appeal to Americans’ palettes, the truck offers Shrimp Po’Boys, Grouper Sandwiches and Lobster Rolls, but the owners hope that Chipi’s introduces them to Venezuela’s food culture. Patrons can sample refreshing seaside dishes like a cold seafood medley called Rompe Colchon and a Tuna Antipasto, which Chipi’s packages in portable jars perfect for beating the heat by the water. The business also sells Frescolita, a cream soda that adds a sweet twist to any meal.

As the menu expands, Fernandez and Jimenez keep the restaurant’s ties to Venezuela strong. “We want Americans to learn about our food and flavors,” adds Fernandez, “and like they have adopted the taco, we want them to adopt a bit of our gastronomy.”

Chipi’s Food, 3326 Cortez Rd W., Bradenton, https://www.canva.com/design/DAFbs9W2wGo/cmHe0i8FS9UNx7wEd2-rNQ/view?website#2:menu. 

The Fried Red Snapper is a crowd pleaser, from the Carribean Sea to Sarasota Bay. Photo by William Jimenez.

[Nonprofit News]  Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Hosts Senior Night for a Record 131 Graduates

On, Thursday, June 8th, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties celebrated 131 graduating seniors from area high schools at the organization’s annual Senior Night. The seniors have participated in a variety of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties’ leadership and service programs such as SRQVolunteen, STAR Leadership Training and Keystone. Guests, including the seniors’ friends and families as well as school board members and community partners, gathered in the gymnasium at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club for a memorable evening of celebration and recognition. Eight different awards and scholarships were presented to 29 seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academic success, outstanding character and a commitment to leadership and service. The scholarships included the EmpowerED Scholarship, the Shannon Staub Excellence in Leadership Award, The Club’s Post-Secondary Transition Scholarship, the Dick Vitale Scholarship, the Knight Foundation Scholarship, the Drs. Robert and Patricia Gussin Endowed Scholarship at Duquesne University, the Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Scholarship, and the Youth of the Year Scholarship. High School Senior Alex C., who was presented with the prestigious Drs Robert and Patricia Gussin Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Endowed Scholarship at Duquesne University said, “This scholarship has opened a door in my life to reveal an opportunity that will bring monumental change. Most importantly, now my mom can see the person I have become as a direct result of her efforts in raising me. We are both truly grateful.” Established in 2014, the Gussin ​Endowed Scholarship is a unique opportunity for outstanding high school students to attend Duquesne University in Pittsburg​h, Pennsylvania completely free of cost. Alex will be an incoming freshman at Duquesne University in the fall and plans to major in Athletic Training. An impressive group of 16 members joined the existing 60 Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Scholars which provides a two-year Florida Pre-Paid Scholarship to the state community college, vocational school or four-year institution of their choice. Townsend Scholar recipient Daria T. shared, “This scholarship will mean that I will not have to worry about debt throughout my first year of college, as it allows me to spend more time on my studies.” Daria is a soon-to-be Freshman at Florida State University where she will study Computer Science and Political Science. 

Photo courtesy of Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.

To read more about the other scholarships and recipients, visit:

[The Dish]  First Watch Remodels Classic Downtown Sarasota Restaurant

First Watch, the Bradenton-based Daytime Dining concept serving a chef-driven menu of brunch favorites and seasonal specialties, has renovated its Downtown Sarasota restaurant to feature an open-air patio with a built-in bar and outdoor mural designed to complement the area’s vibrant arts scene. The newly refurbished restaurant at 1395 Main Street was First Watch’s third restaurant in Florida, having opened in 1992, and has evolved significantly since its time as the original site of the breakfast, brunch and lunch concept’s corporate office in its early years. The mural facing the Selby Public Library was designed by muralist Effie Theodosiou (@lzysunday) and brought to life by Florida-based lettering artist, muralist, and illustrator, Morgan Elyce (@uhbeautifulmes). Nestled within the design are breakfast essentials like a pot of coffee with nods to the fresh seasonal produce grown in the Sunshine State and sourced for First Watch’s rotating seasonal menu, such as oranges and watermelon. The renovations come just as the restaurant concept unveils two new specialty iced coffees and launches its new summer seasonal menu with five limited-time offerings – from a Strawberry Tres Leches French Toast to Lone Star Brisket Hash – available now through August 13. With its headquarters based in Bradenton, First Watch has been a Florida brunch staple for more than 35 years with more than 110 locations across the state. The concept serves its entire menu seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for pickup, delivery and dine-in service. To place an order or join a digital waitlist, guests can download the First Watch App available for Apple iOS and Android or visit FirstWatch.com.  

[The Dish]  Rock and Roll with MonkeyFinger

For the first time ever, the award-winning food truck, Hamlet’s Eatery, is hosting a rock and roll bash featuring Sarasota's favorite local band, MonkeyFinger! Mark your calendar for this Saturday, July 15th from 6-9pm, for an evening filled with live music, delicious food, and drinks! And the best part? There's no cover charge! So, come and dance the night away. MonkeyFinger is no ordinary band - they've got two singing chick drummers! With their incredible talent, they'll be playing classic rock, pop, and hair metal hits from some of the greatest bands of all time. Think .38 Special, The Beatles, Pat Benatar, Boston, Bryan Adams, CCR, Cheap Trick, EMF, Fleetwood Mac, The Foo Fighters, Joan Jett, Loverboy, Poison, and many more! Don't miss out on the fun! Located at 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. There is plenty of seating under a covered patio with fans and loads of room for dancing. For more information, visit HamletsEatery.comor call 941-445-1938. Let's rock and roll!



[The Dish]  Summer Happenings at Brick's Smoked Meats

Brick’s Smoked Meats is excited to share their new daily summertime features. Come in and enjoy the best flavors of our popular dishes and cocktails. Taco Mondays, why wait until Tuesday? Weekly Taco Feature includes two of our fresh, flavorful tacos with a house side for $12.00. Order our featured margarita for $9.00. Rib Tuesdays- a half rack of our Slow Smoked St. Louis Ribs with two house made sides for only $16.00. Order a refreshing Texas Ranch Hand Cocktail for only $10.00. Wing Wednesdays- enjoy a savory Bakers Dozen of our most popular smoked wings for $16.00. Bucket of Miller Light or Michelob Ultra for $22.00. Meatloaf Thursdays- our homemade Meatloaf with Brussels and Mashed for $15.00, BBQ Smoked Old Fashion for $11.00. Filet Fridays- 6-ounce hand-cut filet with smashed potatoes and grilled asparagus $34.00, Decoy Cabernet $11.00. Dino-Rib Saturdays- our one pound smoked braised short rib with choice of homemade side $22.00, spicy Paloma cocktail $10.00. Sunday Supper BBQ Platter- feeds 4 people, $50.00. Enjoy an order of our house made deviled eggs appetizer, followed by the BBQ Platter: 4 St. Louis Ribs, 8 ounces of our 18-hour smoked brisket, 8 ounces pulled pork, jalapeno cheddar sausage, 4 ounces burnt ends with sides: macaroni and cheese, brussels sprouts and potato salad and apple crumble skillet for dessert. 

[Rowing]  Sarasota Crew Hosts Inaugural Summer Festival of Rowing, July 12-15

Sarasota Crew, in partnership with Visit Sarasota County, is proud to announce the highly anticipated Summer Festival of Rowing, taking place at the renowned Nathan Benderson Park from July 12th to July 15th. This exciting event marks a new era in summer rowing, offering a refreshing departure from the traditional time trials that have become all too common in youth rowing competitions. Breaking free from the monotonous routine, the Summer Festival of Rowing is designed to provide young rowers with an enriching and dynamic experience. The meticulously crafted schedule allows for a greater number and variety of races, ensuring participants can accumulate valuable racing experience. Spread across four action-packed days, each day will feature distinct events, with races taking place in the mornings and college showcase events in the afternoons. In a groundbreaking move to enhance college opportunities for high school rowers, the Summer Festival of Rowing introduces the College Showcase. Unlike conventional races where college coaches struggle to identify individual athletes, this showcase offers a unique platform for rowers to display their talent directly to collegiate recruiters. On Wednesday, July 12th, college coaches from across the country will have the opportunity to witness the racing up close from specially designated launches. Representatives from 15-20 esteemed colleges such as the University of Iowa, University of Connecticut, University of Tennessee, Drexel University, Jacksonville University, US Naval Academy, and Stetson University, will be in attendance. While the Summer Festival of Rowing maintains a strong focus on competitiveness, it also emphasizes the importance of fun and camaraderie. The organizers strive to create an unforgettable experience that resonates with young rowers long after they return home. With 10-boat races that pit competitors against each other simultaneously, the adrenaline-fueled excitement is unparalleled. The event promises an abundance of grand finals, petite finals, and heats, all without the need for time trials. Furthermore, this year's festival proudly includes the renowned CanAmMex race, featuring U19 national teams from Canada, America, and Mexico, showcasing elite talent from across the continent. The Summer Festival of Rowing has attracted widespread participation, drawing teams from prominent rowing clubs and schools nationwide. Among the notable attendees are Greenwich Rowing Club (CT), St. Joe's Prep (Philadelphia, PA), Vero Beach, Miami, and participants hailing from various regions, including Hawaii, Canada, and China. Sarasota Crew and Visit Sarasota County are thrilled to host this groundbreaking Summer Festival of Rowing, fostering a vibrant and inclusive environment for young rowers to excel, connect with college coaches, and revel in the joy of rowing. For more information and updates, visit https://rowingcampsofamerica.com/index.php/theregatta/the-regatta. 

[SOON]  FOOD: RADD BBQ Bash , July 13, 6:30 pm
The Rosemary Art and Design District presents the RADD BBQ Bash. Enjoy delicious barbeque alongside friends, family, and neighbors in the hottest spot of downtown Sarasota at The Rosemary Park. There will be music by Sunsets and Soundwaves. Arrive at 6 pm for the Blvd Bike Ride, a community staple. Rosemary Park, 1386 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota.
[SOON]  FOOD: 14 juillet Apero , July 14, 5 to 7 pm

Join the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota in Celebration of 14 juillet/Bastille Day at Bijou Garden Cafe. The apero is a great way for Francophiles to come together and share their passion for the French language and Francophone cultures. Bijou Garden Cafe, 1287 1st St., Sarasota, afsarasota.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Geckos Grill and Pubs Trivia , July 1 – June 1, 7:30 pm

Geckos Grill & Pub’s Award-winning Trivia-Think While You Drink! If you love Trivia, join the fun at Geckos all year round. All Trivia starts at 7:30pm. We will have prizes, giveaways and specials plus the Geckos made-to-order fare, signature cocktails and hospitality you love. Monday trivia will be held at the Clark Road location in Palmer Crossing and on Tuesdays at the SR 64 location in Braden River Plaza. The SR 64 location will be taking a break from Trivia in October, but will start back up in April. On Wednesdays, trivia will take place at the Hillview Street location in Southside Village. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  THEATER: 2023 Players New Play Festival , July 10 – July 14, 7:30 pm

Running July 10 through 14, The Players is back with the 2023 Players New Play Festival Each night hear a brand new play written by a local playwright, directed by a local director and performed in readers style theatre by local actors. The winner will be produced in The Players 2024 summer season. The Players Shop, 2169 10th Street, Sarasota. Visit theplayers.org for detailed information about each play and to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Webb Space Telescope Anniversary , July 12, 6:30 pm

Join us in The Planetarium at The Bishop as we celebrate the one year anniversary of the first Webb Telescope images. At 7 pm, we will join the NASA live stream featuring expert panels and a new image. After the live stream, our Planetarium Manager will open the floor for questions and discussions about this historic mission. The evening begins at 6:30 pm in The Planetarium Lobby with free NASA giveaways where drinks are available for purchase. Visit bishopscience.org to purchase tickets. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St W, Bradenton.

[SOON]  THEATER: Divas Three , July 11 – September 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents Divas Three, a dynamic music revue featuring four decades of hits by some of the most influential women of music. With songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Carole King, and more, this original revue pays tribute to the artists whose musical impact has earned them the coveted title of diva. Created by Nancy Allen Productions, Divas Three begins playing on July 11 in the FST Court Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Create and Send Your First Email Campaign in 15 Minutes or Less , July 12, 12 pm
Not sure how to get started with your first email campaign? Do not worry, we will take you through how to create and send your first email campaign. By the end of this session, you will know how to create an effective email campaign that looks great on any device and gets your subscribers to take action. Free, online event. To enroll, visit score.org/manasota.
[SOON]  FILM: Mission Impossible at Cinema at The Bay , July 13, 8 pm

Join us for a free screening of the OG 1996 movie that kicked off this blockbuster series at The Bay Park. Bring your blankets, chairs, family, and friends to enjoy a wonderful evening under the stars. Enjoy tasty food from Simply Greek Food Truck and refreshing beverages from The Nest. The Bay Park, The Oval at The Bay, 1055 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, thebaysarasota.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Black Pearl Sings , June 28 – August 6, Various times

In 1935 Depression-era Texas, two women from very different backgrounds discover the other holds the key to everything they have each been searching for. Susannah is an ambitious Library of Congress musicologist, determined to record undocumented slave songs. Pearl is an African American woman with a soulful voice, a steely spirit, and a sentence in a high-security female prison. Pearls memory is a treasure-trove of unrecorded slave era music, but can she hand over her ancestors’ songs without giving up something of herself? Black Pearl Sings tells the evocative story of an unlikely bond, preservation of musical heritage, and the human need for hope and healing. Florida Studio Theatre, Keating Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Creative Collaboration , July 1 – July 28, Various times

The newest artists at Art Uptown Gallery will be featured in the July exhibit, Creative Collaboration, showcasing their original paintings. Meet the artists, Donna Grossman, Christine Hales, Debbie Kadagian, Maureen Riesco and Kathryn Adele Schumacher at the First Friday public reception on July 7 from 6-9 p.m. All five award-winning artists are local, full-time residents of Sarasota. The exhibit opens on Saturday, July 1 and runs through Friday, July 28. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse work of regional award-winning artists is exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  FOOD: SIN Nights at Geckos on Hillview , May 12 – August 31, 10 pm to midnight

Enjoy SIN Nights for Geckos Hospitality and Service Industry Colleagues. Join Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village and let us serve you late at night after your shift on Friday and Saturday nights. We will keep the light on late for you and offer Geckos food and drink specials just for you from 10-Midnight. Come in wearing your uniform or bring in your schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at Geckos on Hillview. 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota, www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Comedy Lottery at Florida Studio Theatre Improv , June 3 – July 29, 7:30pm
It is the lottery where everyone wins. Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team by selecting the nightly lineup of games. Our cast of funny people are off to the races spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. Bownes Lab, 1265 First St., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Summer Circus Spectacular , June 9 – August 12, Various times

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat this summer at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts, thanks to the continued partnership of The Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling. The Summer Circus Spectacular returns this year, with exciting acts signed on for the one-hour, action-packed show. The 2023 Summer Circus Spectacular, which has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups alike, takes place from June 9 through August 12. Tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under, and tickets for the 7 p.m. opening night performance and celebration on Friday, June 9, which includes a gala reception with the artists, are $50. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for an additional $5. Visit Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399 to purchase tickets and learn more. The Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  DANCE: Saltare Mortis In Studio Series at Sarasota Contemporary Dance , June 9 – July 17, 7pm
At the Saltare Mortis In-Studio Series, come take a glimpse into our lives as detectives as we attempt to solve a mystery in a town where crime is next to none. Though detectives in training, we have many tools up our sleeve to help us solve the mystery. But we could use your help. Put your detective skills to the test to help us unmask the criminal. You never know what surprises we will run into along the way. Shows will run in person on June 9 and 10 and July 14 with virtual options on June 19 and July 17. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sarasotacontemporarydance.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Surfer Boys at Florida Studio Theatre , June 13 – August 13, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with The Surfer Boys,an energetic tribute to the music of The Beach Boys. Featuring such hits as California Girls, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, and Surfin USA, The Surfer Boys is filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music. The Surfer Boys begins playing June 13 in the FST Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

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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