1481 Main St,  Sarasota, FL 34236,  (941) 955-1481

It was Tuesday, the weather was beautiful, and my business partner Tom and I try to get away once or twice a month from business and take a midweek bucket trip to check on the photo industry competition, source new vendors and ideas, and grab a day away from…people we know.  Our fun target was Sarasota, FL, downtown for a vendor in electronics.  

With the work and purchase completed, we recycled our thoughts to food and cooking for the afternoon, thus the first fun stop was the La Sur Table store on Lemon St. the culinary Mecca and Valhalla for Chefs. 

Had we a few million dollars stashed we would of bought everything on the shelves. Tom is a creative baker and I am a hardcore chef, lover and writer of good table food. The required lunch was next.   A local said try Patrick’s.

Patrick’s is almost in the center of an upscale downtown, which evolved from an artist’s revival of that area. It’s a clean downtown, safe, lots of art, lots of people during the season, lots of shops, and lots of eating places all done very nicely.   It is also known as a very acceptable town, and one of the few communities that doesn’t shove the street people out of town, or incarcerate them as long as they behave.  

We are experiencing a very busy tourist season; and mother nature has a way of coming through when the local economy is in need of replenishment. The Sarasota downtown hosts a cluster of restaurants ranging from hot dog vendors, ethnic store fronts, popular local hangouts and high end cuisine. Bring change to flip coins as there are lots of choices.

After we paid homage at the La Sur Table store we walked the one block away, there stands Patrick’s 1481.  It’s a grand Irish themed bustling place with lots of people seated, indoor seating, bar seating, big tables, round tables, outdoor seating, you name it. There’s a chair for every posterior.

It’s a large menu, Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, Fish, Poultry, meat dishes like Pot roast, Pulled Pork, ten specialties like Carnitas and an Oriental Stir fry, Steaks, Flat Breads and lots more…

We were seated quickly, we were very hungry, they were busy, our server Michelle, was very nice. I had the days special and Tom had the pulled pork sandwich. My dish was regardless of what they called it a pork chop filet cut in half with garlic mashed and green beans. The potatoes and beans were perfect. The pork chop needed a chain saw. The gravy was classic brown gravy and the salt taste reminded me of the cans of it I have in my pantry. Tom said his was ok, not great, but OK.

Everything about this place was not great but very comfortable, clean, fairly efficient, my downer from a four to a three was the pork chop. I usually say nothing until three trips to be fair.  

Lesson learned: We have to go back three times before we pass judgement. It's in the middle now. A three, It's also one of those places which features E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. a very large menu, and sometimes that backfires, no real identity. Just too many things you don't specialize in, so mediocrity sets in. So I asked our server, " I had the house special but whats the house specialty…?’   Burgers.... our half pound burgers, she trip....we'll see. I am a burger aficionado.


4/27/2014 - We went back to Patrick’s and I brought my frequent flyer guest eater with me who turns her nose up at any kind of bad food. She is the reverse “Let Mikey try it”.  Her version is “ Let someone else try it”.  

We went for the burgers as promised and our server was AMY, a very personable individual.  Again, we were seated quickly and the food came in a reasonable amount of time. The burgers were fine, between third and half pounders or so, mine medium pink in the middle and I went overboard and smothered it in all kinds of  onions, cheese, etc.  

Hers was more conventional, done medium well and she was happy with it. Her wine was a Riesling and not cheap at eight dollars but usual tariff for Sarasota downtown.

I saw this happen, Im not condoning it but:  Next time in any restaurant with ridiculous liquor prices, I will do what I saw a gentleman do at another table at another place. I bought on Amazon a beautiful small stainless flask that holds about two ounces of alcoholic libation.  

I will order a Sprite and sneakily add one ounce of rum.  I lived in Jamaica and Rum and Tonic is very popular with lime.  Rum also goes with Coke and is called a “Cuba Libre”.  High cost of alcohol solved.

Naturally something was wrong, “ What else is new in this business”.  The “Done fried,  twice fries”.  And when Amy came over to check on us and noticed we had not touched our fries.  I believe, “Total carbonization” might be the term I would have used or possibly re-enacting the scene from Star Wars  where Hans Solo is frozen in time. 

She looked at the fries, I did not say a word, and she offered and said, “Thats not right, those fries are too cooked, give me a minute”.  A couple minutes later she appeared with fresh out of the hooper beautiful fries and apologized for the burnt ones. With the new fries the meal jumped from three to four. Only because an employee cared more about her work as a professional.  

The food business is a business of themes, products, staff, culinary skills, innovations, dreams, ideas, and sometimes a simple thing like changing the fries and showing you care is a key part of success. Kudos to AMY…  The burgers were great.