Lucky No. 5: Gecko’s Grill and Pub is scheduled to open its fifth location by the end of the month in the space that housed Big Sugar (1900 Hillview St.), which is one of the oldest buildings in Sarasota. Mike Quillen, Gecko’s co-owner (with Mike Gowan and Brian Jantzen), says, “We felt the Hillview Street location was a natural fit for Gecko’s Grill and Pub because we bill ourselves as a neighborhood grill and sports connection with casual dining, great service and a diverse menu and the Southside neighborhood is a premier, central location in Sarasota.”
On another front, Quillen, Gowan and Cary Spicuzza (of Hob Nob fame) gave The Rusty Hook Tavern (3824 Tuttle Ave. S., 924-5103) a complete renovation in classic Florida style and is offering Sarasota a new nightlife spot.
Worth the wait: Pei Wei (8511 Copper Creek Blvd., 359-8570), the restaurant based on parent company P.F. Chang’s, wasn’t quite prepared for the rush of fans it would garner when it opened in Sarasota six months ago. Pei Wei’s routine requires patrons to stand in line and wait to order until a table opens up, because the food is that fast. The recommended best time to go (especially on weekends) would be before 6 p.m. or after 8 p.m. (Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Be patient, because the food is worth the wait. Follow @PeiWei on Twitter for contests and coupons.
Dish of the Week
… goes to Owen’s Fish Camp’s (516 Burns Court) fried softshell crab BLT sandwich with basil mayo ($12). This month-old restaurant has been the talk of the town since its opening, and the talk this week surrounded this sandwich. “The sandwich is fried perfectly crisp, but when you bite into the sandwich, it bursts with juicy flavor of sweet softshell crab,” says fan Judi Gallagher. “A mound of bacon atop doesn’t hurt, either.”
The Observer is looking for your favorite restaurants, your beloved entrees and favorite mouth-watering desserts. Send your suggestions and restaurant tidbits to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- 516 Burns Court.
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4 "Gloria Musicae Celebrates America"
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
19 Steel Magnolias
2 Fine Arts & Crafts Extravaganza
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
4 10th Anniversary Perlman Gala Concert
Ranch rallies against cancer
East County residents will rally to fight cancer Saturday, May 18, as the American Cancer Society hosts its annual Lakewood Ranch Relay for Life event at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.
Barista pours on fun for daughters
State Road 70 Starbucks barista and East County resident Cyndee Vanderford showed her daughters the world of lattes and mochas for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day April 25.
Troop plants Freedom's courtyard
Girls in Girl Scouts Junior Troop 181, at Freedom Elementary School, recently earned their Bronze Award by researching and planting the back of the school’s courtyard.