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  • Writer's pictureChris A.

Weirdest, Kitschiest, Coolest Drink and Eating Spots in Sarasota

Sometimes all the places just seem to be the same. Here is a few that break that mold. Take your friends - you will either by the "god of cool" or they'll never let you pick the spot again!

The Blue Rooster has always been known for great live music. The Gospel Brunch is only on Sundays and reservations are highly recommended. Imagine Chicken and Waffles with a heavy dose of live gospel music. It is something that just lifts the soul especially after a couple of their famous Hail Mary Bloody Mary's. The Blue Rooster is located at 1525 4th Street in the Rosemary district just north of Fruitville Road.

Chicken and Waffles with a side of Gospel Music

It is one of my favorites and Sarasota's version of a speakeasy (but it's not against the law). Hidden down a dimly lit alley behind the Melange restaurant in downtown Sarasota, the hip Pangea Alchemy Lab is one of the most unique establishments in town. In my opinion they are the best mixologists who take their craft serious and create some of the most unique drinks you'll ever experience. If the doors locked knock! You will never be the same! Pangea Alchemy Lab is located in the alley behind 1564 Main Street in downtown Sarasota.

The Alley Entrance to Pangea Alchemy Lab

Wouldn't it be cool to have lunch with John Ringling? Well almost. Bob's Train restaurant is housed in one of the former Ringling Circus magnate's rail cars. After eating ,browse the pictures and memorabilia and chat with Bob in adjacent rail cars from the circus about days gone by in Sarasota. Bob's Train can be hard to find as it's located at the very north end of the Vengroff Williams Building parking lot at 2211 Fruitville Road.

The Dining Car on Bob's Train

In 1956 Elvis Presley played at what is now the Sarasota Opera House. He ate breakfast twice at the kitschy Waffle Stop and they have been milking it ever since! Have Elvis envy? Then this is the place! It's like an Elvis shrine and there's even a life size Elvis to greet you at the door. Be sure to try the "Elvis is in the Building" breakfast so you can say you ate like a King. The Waffle Stop is located at 660 South Washington Blvd.

The Kitschy Waffle Stop

Imagine eating alligator and being watched by hundreds of (dead) animals while you do. Opened in 1945 as a fish camp and located on the shores of the Braden River east of Interstate 75 Linger Lodge has been named one of the top 5 weirdest restaurants in America. If "Road Kill" is a menu item that you'd like to try this then is the place (It's only served after dark I've heard). Last time I was here they had what I thought was the mythical "Jackalope" stuffed on the wall. Call in advance, they have been closed due to COVID and hopefully will reopen soon. LInger Lodge is located at 7205 85th St Ct E, Bradenton, FL 34202.

Some of the Critters at Linger Lodge

Enjoy exploring the weirdest, kitschiest and coolest spots in Sarasota and next time friends and family are in town take them to one of them for something out of the ordinary that they will be talking about for years!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

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