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SRQ DAILY Oct 10, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"Sourdough is a living thing that needs a lot of care. If you do not feed it, it dies. "

- Jules Thuet, Co-owner and Baker at Bread Bandits.

[The Dish]  Sourdough is on the Rise at Bread Bandits
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

As a sixth-generation baker, Jules Thuet knows a thing or two about bread. He and his friend Brad Rutledge met at Thuet’s family’s bakery in Toronto, where they honed their craft. Dubbed the “bread bandits” by Thuet’s little sister because they snuck out late at night to start work at the bakery, Thuet and Rutledge recognized a “knead” for quality baked goods in the community. They moved to Sarasota, bringing with them years of expertise and enthusiasm for sourdough bread, and opened Bread Bandits in Sarasota, with the goal of elevating the local bakery scene through sourdough bread.

BBC Good Food defines sourdough bread as “a naturally leavened bread, which means it doesn’t use commercial yeast to rise. Instead, it uses a ‘starter,’ a fermented flour and water mixture that contains wild yeast and good bacteria, to rise.” The term sourdough refers not to the taste of the bread itself but to the process of making it. Bread Bandits’ starter, named Chad, is 120 years old. Thuet’s great-grandmother gave Chad the gift of life in France, and his father Marc Thuet brought Chad to Canada for his own bakeries. “Sourdough is a living thing that needs a lot of care. If you don’t feed it, it dies,” says Thuet. Chad requires feeding six times a day, but the resulting bread is worth the extra effort.

“Most of the flour in the United States has additives that make it easier to handle. It doesn’t gum up machines, but it does gum up the human body. Everyone thinks that gluten is the culprit, but when you dive into the ingredients, you see that America allows things to go into the flour that no other country does. We import organic flour from France because there are things in the flour in the United States that are illegal in France. All of our bread is sourdough with a natural leavener instead of yeast. It’s a 48-hour process in which fermentation breaks down the enzymes in the flour that make bread hard to digest,” he adds. These clean ingredients and traditional methods make for healthy bread and dynamic flavors.

Bread Bandits’ staples include white, whole wheat, rye and multigrain. “For the multigrain, we toast the grains low and slow for 12 hours, then add them to the mixture. Avocado toast on the multigrain bread is killer,” Thuet adds. The bakery’s most iconic offering is the Bandit Baguette, a versatile take on ciabatta that works well for dipping in oil or making sandwiches. He and Rutledge also sell classic French baguettes and croissants. “We like to work with the seasons. Florida has so much to offer in terms of fruit, and we want to support local farmers as much as possible,” he says.

For fall, Bread Bandits released a Pumpkin Spice Danish with pumpkin spice pastry cream and a cream cheese filling. The bakery’s November offerings go beyond bread, and guests can order complete Thanksgiving meals. Patrons can come to sip on a coffee and enjoy tasty baked goods, and the establishment’s menu will soon expand to offer items like salads and sandwiches. Wholesale orders from restaurants and other businesses mean that diners can sample Bread Bandits’ products at local favorites, like Hamlet’s Eatery. “We’re so happy to be here, and we love Sarasota,” Thuet adds. “So many people from the north who haven’t been able to find good bread come here and say ‘this is what we’re looking for.’”

Visit Bread Bandits at their bakery shop, the Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch at Waterside and the Siesta Key Farmers Market. Bread Bandits, 3546 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-413-5112, breadbandits.com. 

Pictured: Made using a sourdough starter and imported flour, the French baguettes at Bread Bandits are free of harmful ingredients like pesticides. Photo courtesy of Bread Bandits.

Bread Bandits

[The Dish]  Tavern-inspired Oak and Stone Artisan Pizza Craft Beer Now Open in Downtown Wellen

Oak & Stone is now open, featuring a 50-tap craft beer wall and casual family-friendly vibe in its newest location in Downtown Wellen. The two-story restaurant serves dinner, lunch and weekend brunch, accommodating up to 185 guests with indoor and alfresco dining areas, a bar and a 1,000-square-foot rooftop patio with views of downtown’s 80-acre Grand Lake. “We are thrilled to welcome Oak & Stone and expand Downtown Wellen’s thriving dining scene,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “Oak & Stone is sure to be a popular spot to socialize and dine with its variety of seating options, including our first restaurant rooftop terrace, and fan-favorite pizzas.” As an inspired twist on the classic tavern, Oak & Stone offers a scratch menu featuring an array of specialty pizzas, slow-roasted stone oven-baked wings, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and plant-based choices. Customer favorites include the crispy grouper BLT, voodoo chicken, watermelon refresher salad and smoky gouda mac ‘n’ cheese. Oak & Stone also offers a well-curated selection of whiskeys, bourbons, wines and craft cocktails, and the famed beer wall highlights local and international pour-yourself craft brews. Brunch, with options for bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Downtown Wellen is the sixth location for the Sarasota-based restaurant company and its first two-story venue. Open daily, Oak & Stone is located at 19795 Wellen Park Blvd., Suite 3. For more information, visit oakandstone.com or call 941-258-3606. 

Pictured: Oak and Stone is a two-story restaurant that serves dinner, lunch and weekend brunch, accommodating up to 185 guests with indoor and alfresco dining areas, a bar and a 1,000-square-foot rooftop patio with views of downtown’s 80-acre Grand Lake

[The Dish]  Tickets on sale for Crosley Dinner Series and Bulls Bistro at USF Sarasota-Manatee

The School of Hospitality and Tourism management is preparing to host a number of delicious events as part of the Crosley Dinner Series and Bulls Bistro, coming soon to the Sarasota-Manatee community. Proceeds from ticket sales will support student scholarships and programs in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at USF Sarasota-Manatee, which has experienced unprecedented growth since expanding programming last year to meet industry demand in a post-pandemic world. Crosley Dinner SeriesThe public is invited to enjoy an elegant night out at the Powel Crosley Estate, where Sarasota-Manatee students will deliver an unforgettable hospitality experience from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 17. The event promises to delight guests with a gourmet spread, including risotto, salmon, steak, dessert and an opportunity to customize their own “potato martini” with sautéed Spanish onions, roasted garlic confit, apple smoked bacon and other savory toppings. A second dinner will take place on Nov. 14 at the same location. The semi-annual dinner series is an opportunity for students in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to gain hands-on experience in designing, preparing and executing an all-inclusive dining event. “This will be a dynamic learning experience for all of them,” said Joe Askren, a professor of instruction in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, who, along with his colleague Angad Dang, will assist the students throughout the night. “We look forward to showcasing our students’ skills at these events.” Visit usf.to/taste to purchase tickets. Bulls Bistro: Tickets are also on sale for Bulls Bistro, which will return to the Café on the Sarasota-Manatee campus on Oct. 10, Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. each night. Hosted and prepared by students enrolled in Restaurant Operations (HFT 3803), the three events will feature food from around the world. Tickets include three tapas and two glasses of wine or two domestic beers. RSVP to one of three upcoming events. 

[Celebration]  Sarasota Pride 2023, Celebrating Love, Inclusion, and Unity

What happens when the city of Sarasota’s most thriving, artsy, inclusive, fun, and creative neighborhood hosts a festival that matches it in energy, enthusiasm, and spirit? You’re about to find out! After 25 years of a beautiful run in Bayfront Park, the Sarasota Pride Festival has found a new home in downtown Sarasota’s dreamy and vibrant Rosemary Art & Design District (RADD). And we couldn’t be more excited! On Saturday, October 21st, 2023, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, RADD will come alive with rainbow-clad joy along the Boulevard of the Arts and Florida Ave as Project Pride SRQ hosts the biggest and most dynamic LGBTQ+ Pride Festival Sarasota has ever seen! Our new location means more space, more people, more entertainment, more events, more vendors, more artists, more organizations, more food, more character, more charm, more connection, and more fun! It also means that Sarasota’s beautiful downtown shops and restaurants get to be a part of the celebration like never before. Join us as this fun fall festival kicks off @ 11:30 a.m. with the Community Pride Bike Rally, led by our Grand Marshall, Tom Edwards of the Sarasota School Board, and honorary Grand Marshall Ally, Donna Koffman. We’re providing bikes for the first 50 people! Show up, hop on a bike (or bring your own), and breeze along Sarasota’s iconic Main Street to the festival grounds. The Festival’s mainstage will host an incredible lineup of live performances featuring renowned LGBTQ+ artists, local talent, and sensational drag queens, including an extended performance by Thorgy Thor, an international celebrity and musician who appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 8) and All Stars (Season 3) and is known for an unrivaled combo of music, comedy, and lip-sync that is pure, full-throttled fun. When hunger strikes, head to the Food and Beverage Village for a diverse array of sweets, treats, and eats to keep you fueled and happy throughout the day. You’ll find local favorites serving up delicious food from food trucks and food stalls, with options to satisfy every palate. For attendees 21+, a dedicated beverage zone will pop, pour, and provide all the fizzy, frothy, and fun drinks to keep you dancing like no one’s watching. Artists, crafters, and entrepreneurs will be on hand in a lively and colorful Artisan Marketplace showcasing local creativity and offering a variety of handmade goods and unique finds just in time for the upcoming gift-giving holiday season. The festival is also hosting a Community Resource Fair where you can connect with LGBTQ+ organizations, local businesses, and support groups from Sarasota and the surrounding area. But wait, what if your pet wants to celebrate pride, too, you ask? It can! Well-behaved furry, scaly, or feathered friends are invited to join a parade of their own- the first-ever Sarasota Pride Festival Pet Parade! Prideful pet owners and their precious pets of all sizes can meet up @ 3 p.m. near ALSO Youth (Boulevard of the Arts & Lemon Ave.) to walk, strut, slither (eek!), and sniff their way to the main stage, where cute contestants will win accolades and prizes! The Sarasota Pride Festival is an inclusive, welcoming, fully family-friendly event. 

To learn more, visit

[Visit Sarasota County]  Discover Natural Sarasota - The Legacy Trail

The Legacy Trail

For fitness fans in search of the perfect place to bike or rollerblade outdoors, the search is over with the newly-expanded Legacy Trail. This 18.5-mile multi-use recreational rail trail connects Venice to Downtown Sarasota and runs along a former portion of the Seminole Gulf Railway corridor. The smoothly-paved path offers free parking areas, a series of interpretive signs and stop stations. Multiple trailheads provide access to other amenities. 

Central Sarasota Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34238

Check out more on this feature!

[Forage]  Divan Intervention
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

DIVAN INTERVENTION | In Gulf Gate, the red flag of Turkiye signals new flavors, October 2023. 

Read Here!

[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]  GALLERY: Gaze & Graze , October 20, 5:30pm

Limited tickets are on sale now for Gaze & Graze, a progressive dinner and gallery tour, Friday, October 20, starting at 5:30 p.m. Gaze & Graze is presented by Creative Liberties and Grae Productions. Guests will visit seven locations, including Hamlets Eatery, Vino Bistro, SPAACES, Define Art Gallery, Art Ovation Hotel, and Creative Liberties. Featured local food includes Hamlets, Vino Bistro, Skinny Niks BBQ and Tzeva. Tickets are $125 per guest, limited tickets are available. For more information, or to purchase tickets visit creativeliberties.net/ggdinner.

[SOON]  FOOD: Taste of New Orleans at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , October 28, 5:30-7:30pm

Taste of New Orleans will take place on Saturday, October 28th at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This event has developed an exceptional reputation, providing guests with hors doeuvres, live entertainment, and an unforgettable bayfront setting. Taste of New Orleans sponsorships are available at a variety of levels. Proceeds support Truly Valued programs, that increase confidence and better decision making skills through changed behaviors of the youth and families that we serve. Visit https://trulyvalued.org/taste-of-new-orleans to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  GALA: Resilient Retreat Farm to Table , November 5, 4 pm

Please join us for the annual Resilient Retreat Farm to Table dining experience on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00 pm. The funds raised at the event are critical to Resilient Retreat to continue to serve survivors of trauma and first responders and helping professionals. Come immerse yourself among the majestic oaks at 84 acres of conservation land on the retreat. In true farm to table fashion, our local chefs will craft a tasting menu featuring the very best local seasonal foods. Dine under the stars nestled among the beautiful live oaks while experiencing al fresco farm to table dining. Farm to Table proceeds will benefit the Resilient Retreat mission to empower survivors of trauma to thrive through self care and community. Visit https://givebutter.com/farmtotable2023 for more information and to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  FOOD: Uncommon Edibles , November 9, 6:30-8pm
Join experts from UF and IFAS Extension and the Manatee Rare Fruit Council to discover some of the lesser-known edible plants that can be a successful addition to your garden or landscape. Attendees will tour the fruit tree orchard and participate in a planting activity. Palma Sola Botanical Park, 9800 17th Ave. Northwest Bradenton.
[SOON]  FOOD: Suncoast Food and Wine Fest , November 11, 1-4pm
Suncoast Food and Wine Fest offers an afternoon of samplings and tastings from a large selection of fine restaurants as well as a variety of fine wines and other beverages in a beautiful outdoor setting. Your participation by purchasing a ticket provides financial assistance to many charitable organizations within Sarasota and Manatee counties, and other Rotary projects. Premier Sports Campus, 5895 Post Blvd., Lakewood Ranch.
[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[SOON]  FOOD: Noshing in Nature Halloween Special, Eye of Newt and Chicory Root , October 26, 6-8pm
Botany has never tasted so good. In this new series, learn the plants behind your favorite foods and beverages and sample your way through science. This Halloween-themed event will highlight the history and science of sinister potions, murderous plots, and poisonous plants. Learn from a Selby Gardens horticulturist why plants create toxins, the benefits of being poisonous, and why a plant would choose a carnivorous lifestyle. Then, really celebrate Halloween by joining a master mixologist and an executive chef in an open dialogue about global culinary culture. Finally, put your new knowledge into practice by sampling witchy cocktails featuring a special Chicory Liqueur from Cathead Distillery. And for the frightening food, the chefs at Sage have concocted terrifying recipes crafted from gruesome botanical ingredients. Downtown Sarasota Campus, Selby Gardens’ Banyan Tree Patio, 1534 Mound Street Sarasota. Members $66/Non-members $69.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Small & Shrewdly Specific, A Sarasota Dining Guide, Featuring Roxanne Baker with Special Guest Chef , October 16, 6-7pm
Not sure where to eat? Roxanne Baker has done the work for you. Come listen to her dish on the experience of writing a small and shrewdly specific restaurant guidebook for Sarasota as she is joined by a special guest chef. You will also sip some wine and enjoy a sampling of some small bites. Tickets for this event are $15 and include a copy of Small and Shrewdly Specific, A Sarasota Dining Guide. Bookstore1Sarasota, 117 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. sarasotabooks.com.
[SOON]  FOOD: Bourgogne Wine Dinner , October 19 – October 20, 6:30-9pm

Journey to Bourgogne, France with a wonderful 4-course dinner paired with 4 glasses of wine, great ambiance, live music and friendly staff at Mademoiselle Paris University Town Center and Anna Maria Island locations. UTC dinner on Oct. 19, and AMI dinner on Oct. 20. mademoiselleparis.com.

[SOON]  GALA: Brunch on the Bay at USF Sarasota Manatee , November 5, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Tickets are on sale for Brunch on the Bay, the annual marquee fundraiser for the USF Sarasota Manatee campus, which returns on Nov. 5. Attendees will enjoy culinary delights from local restaurants and caterers, and get a sneak peek at a major campus expansion project, a new student center and residence hall set to open in the fall of 2024. Proceeds from the 2023 Brunch on the Bay will support student scholarships and campus initiatives. Brunch on the Bay will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, on the USF Sarasota Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Visit sarasotamanatee.usf.edu/brunch for ticket and sponsorship information.

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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