I know. It’s the day after Thanksgiving and everyone is still stuffed. That means you did your job yesterday. Take a bow (if you can).
I completely realize that you’ve (hopefully) got a fridge full of leftovers from the feast. There are turkey sandwiches to make and consume. Maybe, just maybe, some pie. Probably a few random side dish casseroles with the remnants of an indistinguishable vegetable (you’ll be pitching those within 48 hours, take my word for it!). Oh, and a soon to be turkey soup carcass (more on that Tuesday!)
But once you get past the weekend, you’re going to need to eat something that might not be classic American comfort food. I’ve given it some thought. What could be 180 degrees from roast turkey and stuffing? Thai?, Yes. Sushi?, for sure. What about Italian? We have a lot of choices here that can break you out of your Thanksgiving food coma.
Well, we have spun the wheel. And it’s landed on MEXICAN! Yes, that’s right no cranberry relish on these menus. And you would be super hard pressed to find a green bean casserole or plate of stuffing anywhere in sight. We have some pretty great options for Mexican cuisine here in Sarasota. As a note, we’re not talking tacos today. They deserve their own special Bulletin space later on down the road, and we’ll be giving it to them! Watch for that.
Let’s have a look at where you can satisfy that itch for something that might not taste and smell like garlic/rosemary or cinnamon/nutmeg.
SOME SARASOTA MEXICAN DINING OPTIONS
These places all have a wide variety and a great selection of dishes.
El Melvin Cocina (1355 Main St., (941) 366-1618)
This is the newest entry to our local Mexican dining landscape. Here is a weird little occurrence. El Melvin opened in the same space that used to house another beloved Sarasota Mexican restaurant, Two Senoritas. Yes, that same place on lower Main Street. It must have good bones.
The place was spruced up by new ownership, and a brand new menu was rolled out. This all took place in the fall of 2019. We all know what happened a few months later. Yes, the start of the COVID pandemic. And along with it, all the accompanying things that made the restaurant business so challenging during that initial period. Just opening a new restaurant is tough enough. To survive all of that, you’ve got to be pretty committed.
El Melvin has a different twist on traditional Mexican fare. We’re talking about tuna poke tostadas, crispy duck flautas, and an open faced chicken quesadilla. Oh, they also make a fantastic margarita!
El Toro Bravo (3218 Clark Rd., (941) 924-0006)
El Toro Bravo has a long Sarasota history. Ruben has been serving his delicious Mexican cuisine here since 2005. Remember we’ve had this conversation before. Anything over about ten years is a lifetime in the restaurant business. For those of you that were either living here or visiting back then, you’ll remember that little storefront on Stickney Point Road. Always a wait, nearly impossible to get in during season, a tiny parking lot, and a super family-owned, casual atmosphere.
Nothing has really changed all that much since the move a few years back to a larger space on Clark Road. The same great Southwest Mexican cuisine. Just a lot more room to eat it in. The chips and salsa are still a must. It’s hard to make it past those sometimes, but you’ve got to push through!
The Grasshopper (7253 S Tamiami Trl., (941) 923-3688)
A “newish” addition to our Mexican cuisine scene. Jesse and Cleo Rosales are originally from Michigan. They brought their “Tex-Mex” style menu here a few years ago and it caught on fairly quickly. They feature more than a few different styles of nachos for an appetizer. But the fajitas are the star of the show at The Grasshopper. You can smell them (and hear them) exiting the kitchen. You know what I mean by that, don’t you?
Guerrero's Bakery and Mexican Restaurant (3557 Webber St., (941) 923-4459)
This is the most traditional and authentic overall Mexican cuisine in town. So, if that’s the kind of experience you’re looking for, this is for you. Not only is Guerrero’s a fantastic place to grab a meal, but it’s also a Mexican market! Yes, they’ve got stuff that you can’t find in other places around Sarasota. Oh, of course you can grab an ice cold Mexican Coke out of the cooler, but there is so much more.
PRO TIP: They sell fresh homemade soft corn tortillas from the cooler at the register in the market. You should absolutely grab some of these. Other restaurants in town use them too!
Mi Pueblo (8405 Tuttle Ave., (941) 359-9303)
Last on our Mexican cuisine roundup is Mi Pueblo. They have been serving their style of traditional Mexican cuisine for the past twenty years. They’ve got a few different locations too. The one highlighted above is their main one. This is a fun place for a family or group outing. It has a super casual and relaxed feel to it. Their menu features a mix and match they call, “Platos de Combinaciones”. They’ve got nine dishes you can custom combine to form the combinacion of your choosing. That makes it ideal for just about any taste. For dessert, the fried ice cream of course!
So, there you have it. Some very un-Thanksgiving like choices to break out of your comfort food fog, at least until Christmas rolls around! And that’s coming quicker than you think…
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