Food adventures with Mike

Anyone who has met my husband knows that he can be a bit of a picky eater. In Mike’s mind, the only thing better than meat with potatoes is meat with meat.  Slowly over the almost 13 years we’ve been married, I have managed to get him to try some new foods, mostly at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  This past Sunday, while we were looking for a place to have lunch after visiting Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Mike suggested we try Carmel Kitchen and Wine Bar in Sarasota, FL.  It is near the new Mall at University Town Center.  For an appetizer we shared the small order of chickpea fries.  YES!  I said CHICKPEA FRIES.  They were served with a tomato jam and a saffron aioli.  

They were absolutely delicious.  I wanted to lick the little bowl that the tomato jam was served in.  It was so tasty.  The saffron aioli had a bit of a kick to it and it was Mike’s favorite. We both said we would order them again.  

I don’t have a picture of Mike’s lunch.  He had a pressed angus burger.  It had caramelized onions, manchego cheese, and chili aioli.  The sandwich was so big that he couldn’t finish it all. 

I had the chicken pita with a side of cranberry-pistachio quinoa.  I couldn’t stop eating the quinoa.  It is a food that I really don’t enjoy preparing but love it when someone else makes it for me.

I would have loved to try one of the desserts but I was full.  I asked our waiter for a wine suggestion.  After a few questions, he suggested two wines.  I chose the Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling.  It was the perfect pairing.  

I wish Carmel Kitchen and Wine Bar was closer to home.  I could spend many happy meals tasting all of their food. If you are ever in the Sarasota area or any of their other 7 locations, I suggest you give them a try.  If you are an adventurous eater, you will be very happy.


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Kathy Harriott

My husband, Mike, and I moved from NJ to Southwest Florida in September 2006. I currently work for the local county Facilities Dept. and fill my free time with crafts, reading and my experiments in the kitchen.

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