Part of the fun of living in a new place is all of the discovery. It seems that we are still finding new shops and new restaurants and new things to see and do!
Yesterday we stopped at a place we had seen many times from the road as we have driven past and always meant to check out. Finally we stopped. It was a German market and butcher shop, Geir's Sausage Kitchen. It turned out to be an immaculately clean, very friendly place filled to the rafters with jars and cans and boxes of things I've never heard of. Every single shelf was crammed past capacity with mysterious and wonderful things. And then behind the glass cases of the butcher shop were some of the loveliest examples of why carnivores eat meat. There were boards listing specials and boards listing all of the many and various sorts of sandwiches you can have made. They had Christmas decorations galore and those advent calendars where behind every numbers is a chocolate treat. It was Glorious! It was impressive! And in fact, it was so impressive that we ordered our Thanksgiving turkey from them. Check one more thing off of my ever-growing list of Holiday related things to do!
What does Geir's Sausage Kitchen have to do with the photo of a white paper bag with Floribbean's Flo's stamped on it in red you ask? Well it was in conversation with those aforementioned lovely people at Geir's Sausage Kitchen that we heard of Floribbean Flo's. We had at least seen the sign for Geir's before. Nearly every time we drive to Sarasota we pass it and remember that we keep meaning to stop there. But Floribbeans Flo? Nope. Never heard of it. Not a whisper. Not a hint. Not a glimmer of a hint. But the nice lady behind the butcher counter at Geir's said that they were amazing and we should check them out. Ok. We will! And so we did.
We were told that it was right across the street, the street being a very busy 4-lane highway. Or is it six? Regardless it's a noisy busy road the sides of which are crammed with businesses and offices and side streets and plaza's which are in turn loaded with tiny shops of one sort or another. So Tim bravely managed to get us to the other side and we began prowling in and out of plaza's, peering down alleyways and side streets looking for this "amazing" bakery.
Finally, just as we were about to give up, we pulled into a little plaza that had seen better days and Tim spied it, kind of beside and behind the end. Quickly we parked the car and entered a Caribbean coloured, bright, happy shop filled with the most delightful smells. There were decorations and interesting little this's and that's up front but we bee-lined for the back where the goodies were.
There were home made cookies and cakes and candies on display and a very nice lady behind the counter to help us. We began chatting and admiring and she kindly offered us samples tastes. Sample Tastes? Seriously! Okay I am already in love with any bakery that offers sample tastes. Wow! That is a first time I've ever experienced a bakery giving away samples and considering how many bakeries I've been in lifetime total, that is saying something. We decided to taste the key lime and the pumpkin pies. Oh me oh my!
The pumpkin was perfect. It was flavourful and homey and the spices were perfectly balanced. No one flavour outshone the other. The texture of the filling was creamy and the crust was flaky, precisely as it should be. We were wowed. Next up was the Key Lime. Now we have tasted a lot of key lime since we moved to Florida and most of it was good (some of it was very bad). But this was the absolute best I have ever had. It was sweet but not cloying, tangy but not bitter, the filling was some magical combination of velvet and satin and holy cats I think I am in love. We rolled our eyes and then our tummies and then she asked if we wanted to try any of the candies. Well of course we do! But since we already knew what the quality was going to be for everything in that shop, we just went ahead and bought a few to take home with us.
We waited until we got home to eat the candies and in fact, waited until the next day. The joy of anticipation is a real thing, my friends. Just knowing that two sea salt caramel truffles and two chocolate covered pretzels were waiting for us was enough at first. And postponing the actual tasting of it was part of the pleasure. We were not disappointed in the slightest. Candy Perfection! I ate my truffle first and then waited a few hours before eating the pretzel. Not sure which was better. The best sort of salt/sweet combos.
So there you have it. Because we are adventurous and try new things and because we are friendly and strike up conversations with random strangers, we learned about two of the best new to us discoveries in awhile. Bravery is rewarded once again!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.