To a New Yorker like me, moving to Sarasota presented a huge change on the “to-go” front. Dinner talk went from whatever you want to take out or order in to, “Where can I get good Chinese takeout in this town?” The subject, of course, is ready-to-eat food, and our query went to individuals with a variety of lifestyles.
The question was, “Where do you go for ready-to-eat food for dinner?” Responses show there are plenty of options for those nights when one is home for dinner but cooking, for whatever reason, is not on the menu. Surprisingly, what’s missing includes Morton’s Gourmet Market, a personal favorite for the breadth of selection of entrées and sides. And, of course, Chinese!
We like Il Panificio on Main Street and Valentino on Clark Road. Coming from New York and Connecticut, we haven’t found much that compares to that area. We would like to discover a good Chinese restaurant for takeout, but have not had much success. The pizza at IL Panificio is as close to New York and Connecticut as you can get. The chicken Francese at Valentino is great, but it is a long trip up Clark Road.
Joe and Carla Ennis
It’s simple, I choose Chutney’s on Hillview. Whether we are in the mood for vegan that day or not, something spicy, something with pizzazz or traditional, they’ve got it all. Owners Ash and Denise (Shukla) make it so easy that it is not uncommon that after a busy day I can call them and say, “Surprise us, order for me.” They always seem to know what we love, and it is always so fresh and delicious. My particular favorite is their stuffed cabbage with ground turkey, an order of hummus and a yummy fresh Greek salad. I think they may even have the best, fresh homemade soups in town.
Melissa Lerner, practice manager, Lerner-Cohen Healthcare with husband, Dr. Brad Lerner
Michael and I eat out a fair amount because we’re emptynesters, and we like variety, but when it comes to bringing something home, we’re pretty predictable. Nancy’s BBQ is our go-to comfort food supplier ... whether it’s brisket or pulled pork, we know we’ll get more than one meal out of their stick-to-your ribs entrées and delicious sides. At least once a month, we order a pizza from Francesco’s because we know it’s going to be toothsome and fresh. The hardest part is agreeing on the toppings, ‘cause Michael likes things hot!
Ruth Lando, freelance writer
I frequently order Nellie’s Deli for board meetings, so when I pick up lunch, I get a ready-made dinner like chicken and rice or meatloaf. The office knows when I’m not cooking, because they find my keys on my meal in the office refrigerator (reminder). They also have gluten-free choices, a recent lifestyle change. I must add that my daughter and I would be lost without the help of SunniBunni’s smoothies on Bay Road — they give us energy when we get home late for dinner. They are the best and have great customer service! Her favorite is the Jackie Bunny.
Tamara Chapman, director of marketing, Boys and Girls Clubs, and her husband, Todd
If I’m not feeling well and can’t seem to pull it together to cook, I often will go to TooJay’s for their delicious matzo ball soup. Other favorites are: Whole Foods hot bar and salad bar or take out from Yume Sushi. Chris’ favorite place to eat anytime is Tijuana Flats!
Associate director of development, Jewish Family & Children’s Service
Best takeout meal is at Carrabba’s. I order a pan of lasagna that feeds about 12, so there are leftovers and order meatballs and extra pomodoro sauce. Don’t tell anyone though — they think I make it.
President, Judi Gallagher & Associates
IF YOU GO
1940 Stickney Point Road
2875 University Parkway
1944 Hillview St.
3664 Webber St.
1703 Main St.
6630 Gateway Ave.
301 S. Pineapple Ave.
15 S. Beneva Road
1916 Bay Road
3410 Clark Road
5202 Ocean Blvd.
1635 S. Tamiami Trail
3404 Clark Road
3501 S. Tamiami Trail
4045 Clark Road
1451 First St.
1537 Main St.
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