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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Food, fun and adventure less than an hour away

My better half and I desperately needed a day away to refresh ourselves and our perspective. As the saying goes, “All work and no play...” is just no fun.

So off to Sarasota we went.

Bringing home food is almost always a part of any trip I take, so before leaving I threw a cooler in the trunk. The first stop of our “day-cation” was the Toasted Mango Café at 430 N. Tamiami Trail, just north of Fruitville Road.

We were curious to see if breakfast there lived up to the hype and rave reviews my brother gave it during a recent business trip to Sarasota. This popular breakfast and lunch spot serves eggs, waffles, pancakes and breakfast wraps, as well as hearty sandwiches and salads.

Watching my carbs, I ordered the banana split. Hey, who doesn’t want dessert for breakfast? This creative twist on a healthy breakfast was made with a split banana cradling fresh strawberries, blueberries, mangos, strawberry yogurt and granola. I wished all mornings could start this way. It was scrumptious!

My partner chose the create-your-own scrambled egg wrap with sausage, avocado, peppers and onions from among the 14 ingredients offered. It was served with seasonal fresh fruit and an order of pico de gallo.

Service was excellent.

Happily fueled up for the day, we were ready to shop.

We took our time meandering through Trader Joe’s, the Woman’s Exchange and Sarasota Architectural Salvage. I always find plenty of “good schtuff” at all three spots.

But then came the pièce de résistance – Geier’s Sausage Kitchen, 7447 S. Tamiami Trail.

Geier’s is an old-fashioned meat market, delicatessen and online food store that has been in business for more than 25 years. Being of German heritage I’m ashamed to admit that even though I lived in Sarasota for seven years, I’d never been there.

Inside the shop, Geier’s mega-selection of bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, bacon, pungent cheeses, mustards, pickled herring and beers from halfway around the world made my heart race and stomach rumble.

And who knew there were so many different types of liverwurst? Some were made with additional ingredients such as ham, some were smooth in texture; others were coarse.

Fresh sausages are made in-house, and all of the enticing deli salads are made from scratch daily.

Oh, happy day! I loaded up on just about every kind of sausage they had, filling the cooler to its brim. Thanks to the two bags of ice the Geier’s folks gave us we kept everything cold while attending an afternoon movie in Bradenton before heading home.

There’s about as many variations of traditional recipes for preparing currywurst as there are German grandmothers walking this earth. Here’s my version – and I’m sure it will please some of you currywurst fanciers out there. Guten appetit!

Lynn Kessel is a freelance food columnist. For more of her recipes, visit southshore.tbo.com and enter the search words Lynn Kessel.

Simple Currywurst

1 pound bratwurst

Oil for frying

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 teaspoon paprika


1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

10 drops Worcestershire sauce

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet and cook sausages until brown outside and heated through, turning periodically.

Pour ketchup into a small saucepan and add paprika, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and curry (to taste, usually at least a tablespoon.

Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Remove sausages from heat once fully cooked and slice into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick pieces. Serve the currywurst sauce over bratwurst pieces with an extra sprinkling of curry.

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