Archives for posts with tag: sarasota

I know I’ve said it time and time again, but seriously. The Mexicans have got it figured out. Another taco experience, another transcendental moment, another glimpse at bliss. Doña Betty’s taco truck, up 41 in Bradenton, in a little bit of a “What are you doing out here?” neighborhood. Wedged between the Joyland Dance Hall and a deserted BBQ buffet. Standard white truck enlivened with bright pink interior, three women rushing  in the cramped space to feed the giant line forming outside. I don’t think I’ve ever stood in line for a taco before. I think a line is a real good sign.

High quality phone pics, enjoi! Too much taco-lust to go home and get my camera before devouring…

Families huddled over the hoods of their car, frenziedly eating tacos, trying to finish them before all the spicy goodness dripped out out the bottom. Dudes with impressive moustaches hanging around waiting for their six, eight, ten taco orders. Little Anne ordered one al pastor and one beef cheek before slouching around the parking lot with the rest of the hungry, anticipatory mob. (I should come clean and admit that I didn’t discover this gem on my own, via some telepathic taco-truck location system. No, I read about it in Edible Sarasota, like a real white girl. But that’s ok. I still felt cool kickin’ it in the taco line.) Finally the taco queen, presumably Doña B herself, hollered “Veinte y cuatro!” and I reached up to the glowing window for my manna from heaven. Two tacos annnd a sweet little gratis side affair: a generous heap of pickled carrots and fresh-from-the-can pineapple. Review: Al pastor: chunkier than usual, spicier than usual. Two good things. Unexpectedly topped with a little queso fresco. Good. Barbacoa: tender, salty, spicy, heavenly. Heaped with onion and cilantro and lime, of course. And lots of the gently cool but simultaneously zingy green avocado-ish sauce and a healthy, sinus-clearing dash of the ominously red-orange hot sauce. The heat cut by the sour carrots, coupled with the sweet pineapple. Boom. Bang. Ok then. Doña B, you have my heart. Slammed that whole plate down, to the soundtrack of the country twang buzzing out of the dance hall and the wailing sirens of the cop cars bolting down 41, the contented chatter of taco truck clients and the pleas from the kids for “Just one more taco, just one!”

Don’t expect any interesting posts, all I eat is grapefruit and sushi

Ringling Roll = Seattle Roll (salmon, avocado, cucumber) + Tuna + Flying Fish Roe

Bliss, for $5.25

Literally nothing else sounds good

Except maybe foie gras

But you can’t eat that at New College

You’d get yerself shot by Freegans

Found a new market, found a new taco wagon. Sarasota Swap Meet, every Saturday, behind the Ringling Ave Circle K. Lots of dreamcatchers, barnacled skeleton keys, old tools, and treasures. If I love you, you’re probably getting something from the magic market for Christmas, just a heads up. Young girl is the best sort of person to be at flea markets, where a reliable 90% of the sellers are ancient men. Makes for good bargaining power. I got some good stuff. And tacos. A little lower-end than Red Barn, at this particular taco wagon it’s a dollar a pop, pretty good deal. They’ve got a cool set-up: communal tables with big bins of cilantro and onion, fresh salsa with big hunks of serranos, and lime quarters and bottles of varying hot sauces and for the very brave, bowls of whole chilies. You order your smattering of tacos and wait for your numero, then you just get the tortillas and meat. Plop down at an open spot at one of the packed picnic tables and you doctor ’em up as you like. I got barbacoa and lengua, as per usual, and covered them with a ton of cilantro, a little salsa, a smidge of the not-so-hot (but still hot) hot sauce, and a lotta lime. Then messily ate in the shade and talked in embarrassing (hopefully endearingly so) Spanish to my neighbors. And took pictures. I love markets and I love tacos and I love talking to people and I love taking pictures. Having a big camera has made me more friends than any amount of charm in my whole life. The rest of the day was spent studying in residual bliss. (Also, they had financiers at my regular coffee shop for me to dip into my tea. More bliss.)

Everyone loves tacos.

(P.S. New photos under the foto tab.)

Once the coffee shop people started giving me the funny “are you homeless or do you really have this much homework” look, I scooped up all my scribbley papers and scuttled across the street to Yume Sushi to meet the other two A’s for dinner. Starving me had (really good) miso soup and (pretty ok) gyoza while everyone else patiently waited for their meals like big kids. Alex had fried rice, Ariana an assortment of pretty rolls, Anne a bunch of little bits and pieces because I like marking a lot of boxes on the fish form. Flying fish roe (which I think I really freaked out Alex by eating), spicy tuna (my favorite), regular maguro, and “sweet shrimp,” which I’d never had before. Usually shrimp sushi is cooked (training wheels sushi), but this was raw and really quite good (and accompanied by a decorative bug-eyed, antennaed tempura-d prawn head, always fun). And the tuna was awesome, I just tried not think about it too much- sorry Greenpeace. Pretty good sushi, pretty good little sushi bar. Full of misplaced Ringling hipsters and confused ancients trying to be cool, eating their sashimi with knife and fork. Even complete with the chatty posse of sushi dudes behind the bar, smacking around knives and rolling up delicate little crazy-named rolls for the masses.

Plate of sushi, boat of sake.

And after dinner, A & A finally agreed to go to White Berry (knock-off Pink Berry, yes) with me, much to my delight. I’ve been wanting to go to the overpriced, mod little yogurt joint all year, and Coldstone always wins out. But at last, I got my plain-and-green tea swirled yogurt with blackberries and fruity pebbles, which I happily  devoured, perched in my little space-age orb chair in the shockingly pink shop.