Friday, October 16, 2015

Original Word of Mouth Restaurant in Sarasota - Very Nice

There are two Word of Mouth restaurants in Sarasota - the original Word of Mouth ( in the Gulf Gate area, and Word of Mouth Downtown ( They are separately owned, and both have good reputations. They are breakfast and lunch restaurants with similar menus.

The other day, I joined six friends for lunch at the Gulf Gate Word of Mouth. We all enjoyed our meals. I had a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and bacon on sourdough bread. Usually, restaurant tomatoes are so-so. The flavor of the tomato in my sandwich was terrific! 

One friend had a catch-of-the-day sandwich with Basa fish. Another had an albacore tuna sandwich, a third had a quiche. All were very tasty.

The service was excellent.

I would happily return.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Snapper's Sea Grill - St. Pete Beach - Very Nice

On a recent visit to St. Pete Beach, my wife and I searched the Internet for a special restaurant. We were attracted to Snapper's Sea Grill ( because of the very large number of great reviews on Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Zomato. There was one particular menu item that caught our attention - the Risotto Oceana.

Consequently, we went to Snapper's and ordered the risotto. It was terrific. It was a lobster risotto with pan-seared diver scallops and jumbo shrimp, finished with a lemon-basil oil, diced roma tomatoes, and fried leek garnish. The lobster part of the risotto was a sauce that did not have identifiable pieces of lobster in it.

It came with a nice salad. They also gave each of us at no charge a small slice of delicious key lime pie.

The cost of each risotto, with salad, and the free pie was $26.95 (although the on-line menu shows $24.95).

My wife had a glass of Danzante Pinot Grigio and I had Block Nine Pinot Noir, which was very nice.

Our server was both pleasant and professional.

Italian Chicken in a Skillet

This chicken recipe is nice and easy to prepare. It takes a total of 30 minutes to prepare and cook. I found the recipe at one of my frequent sources, ( I suspect it's more Italian-American than authentic Italian.


- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 & 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 & 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
- 1 15-ounce can chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used a fresh tomato)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups small shell pasta, shells, macaroni, etc.


1. In large skillet, brown chicken in oil

2. Add onion, peppers; and cook for 5 minutes 

3. Add broth, tomatoes, and spices

4. Cook 2 minutes

5. Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until pasta is done.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Castile Restaurant, St. Pete Beach - Excellent

The Castile Restaurant ( at the Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach offers very nice dining experiences. My wife and I enjoyed one dinner, two breakfasts, and two desserts there during our stay at the Hotel Zamora.

For the dinner and the first dessert, we were joined by wonderful friends from Tampa, who endured heavy rains and drawbridge delays to join us and make our evening.

We started the evening with a cocktail at the Castile's Rooftop 360 bar, which offers views of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway. We sat facing the Gulf, and had hoped to enjoy the sunset. However, it was fairly cloudy, so we only saw a partial sunset.

(The bar is closed when it rains.)

We then went to the restaurant itself, which is two floors below.

We found a nice Groupon deal for dinner. It included an appetizer and an entree. The restaurant calls its appetizers "tapas." However, the servings are much larger than traditional tapas.

My wife's delicious appetizer was Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata with fig balsamic redux, candied orange zest, and grilled sourdough baguette. (Burrata is a semisoft Italian cheese made with mozzarella and cream.)

My fantastic appetizer was Mussels Zamora with sambuca, fennel, blood orange, heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, and grilled baguette.

My wife and I both had the same wonderful entrée - Seared Diver Scallops with creamed corn casserole, candied pancetta, smoked tomatoes, and jalapeño prosecco cream.

We also had dessert, wine, and coffee, which were not included with the Groupon deal.

My wife's tasty dessert was Flan Cheesecake - cheesecake in the shape of flan, with candied orange caramel, guava gastrique, and mint oil. She enjoyed it so much, we had to return for a repeat the next evening after dinner at another restaurant.

My incredible dessert was Guava Empanadas filled with Fuji apples and grapples, accompanied by a banana mole pistacchio gelato. 

I also had a Jamaican coffee with Tia Maria, rum, and whipped cream.

For her first breakfast, my wife had fried eggs, Chicharron bacon, and boniato sofrito hash browns. (Boniato is a type of sweet potato whose color is white. Sofrito in Spanish cuisine is a mixture of garlic, onion, paprika, peppers, and tomatoes.)

For breakfast the next day, she had steel cut oat meal.

My first breakfast was the Castile Omelette, with smoked chicharrons, Mahon cheddar, guanciale pepper, heirloom tomatoes, caramelized onions, avocado, and boniato sofrito hash browns. It was wonderful, but too large for me to finish.

The second day, I had scrambled eggs with chorizo mixed in, and the boniato sofrito hash.

The Castile morning coffee was nice and strong.

The service at the restaurant was excellent.

The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining, with tables facing the Intracoastal Waterway.

Coincidentally, the Sarasota Herald Tribune published an interview with the restaurant's executive chef, Alex Rodriguez, shortly before we chose to stay at the hotel and dine at the restaurant. The interview is at

Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach - Very Nice

The Hotel Zamora ( in St. Pete Beach combines spacious, comfortable rooms, and a warm atmosphere with beautiful views, excellent service, and a very nice restaurant. Some rooms have nice views of the Intracoastal Waterway, and others of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the hotel has a rooftop bar with views of both bodies of water.

One View from Our Room

We enjoyed a pleasant, short stay there, and were fortunate in finding an excellent Groupon offer for the room and another for the Castile Restaurant in the hotel. (I will describe the restaurant in a separate posting.)

Looking Toward the Intracoastal Side

The service at the hotel was excellent. I was particularly impressed by Takesha at the registration desk. 

Our room was a Waterview King Junior Suite with a king size bed and a sleeper sofa. We had a small balcony with two chairs and a table. It was a handicap-accessible room, which we required.

There were a couple of negative points:
1. The awning over the arrival area leaked water, which was a problem because it was raining when we arrived. This creates a negative impression at the start of a stay.
2. The only available parking is valet parking, for which the fee is $18 per day
3.There is also a mandatory daily resort fee of $15 per day.
4. The free Wifi is unencrypted, so it's unsafe, and should be avoided.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sauteed Sauerkraut with Apples and Raisins - a Nice Side for Bratwurst - Revised

I decided to serve a sauerkraut side dish with the Publix bratwurst I was going to prepare for dinner last night. I couldn't find a recipe that was quite what I wanted, so I started with one I found on the Internet, and changed it to meet my preferences. I was very happy with the results, and found it very easy to prepare. It provides two very generous servings.

At the suggestion of a friend, I added two tablespoons of brown sugar the second time I made this recipe. It significantly improved the taste.

(You can find the recipe that was my starting point at:


- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 apple cut into bite-size chunks (I used a honeycrisp.)
- 1/2 a sweet onion, sliced
- 2 cups of sauerkraut, drained. (I used Silver Floss Sauerkraut from the refrigerated section of Publix. It is on sale through next Wednesday, October 7.)
- 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider


1. Heat olive oil over high heat in a large frying pan.

2. Add the apples and onion, and cook for 5-8 minutes until they soften and brown.

3. Add the sauerkraut, raisins, brown sugar, and caraway seeds; and cook for one minute. Do not cook longer or you may overcook the sauerkraut.

4. Add the apple cider.

Publix Fresh Bratwurst - Delicious!

The topic of my weekly lesson with my German tutor this week was German food and dining. During the discussion, she mentioned that she and her husband, who is an accomplished German chef, consider Publix fresh bratwurst to be the best in the Sarasota area. They even prefer it to the bratwurst of Geiers Sausage Kitchen, which she and her husband prefer for most German food. She added that it was Publix regular fresh bratwurst, not the beer brats,

Consequently, I decided we had to give it a try - just so that I could properly study German culture and not because of my craze for sausage of all kinds :)

We had it for dinner last night and it was fantastic! I had it on excellent Publix rolls and topped it with Inglehoffer Stone Ground Mustard. I cooked it in a stovetop skillet, following the simple Publix instructions on the package.

The side dish I served was a combination of sauerkraut, apples, and raisins, whose recipe I will post separately.

This morning, I mixed the leftover sausage with scrambled eggs. That was wonderful as well.

Dankeschön liebe Tutorin,