ANNA MARIA ISLAND -- Eat Here is the ultra-cool culinary brainchild of Florida restaurant legend, Sean Murphy. Amazingly, Murphy openly admits that this awesome concept was little more than a creative whim at its inception. With the repeated requests for a more approachable version of his famed Beach Bistro coming from customers, and the personal desire to create some "less serious" food, Murphy created Eat Here in a matter of weeks. This fun-loving, lighthearted, but seriously delicious restaurant is not to be missed.
Eat Here Tacos
photo by Matt Allison
The atmosphere at Eat Here is comfortable and inviting. You feel at home in a room that is warm and almost familiar. The staff is phenomenal, a knowledgable bunch who not only know the menu, but eat it as well. It's wonderful to find a waitstaff that is able to give you honest feedback on food they've enjoyed.
The menu at Eat Here achieves what most menus only hope for, it genuinely has something for everyone. It is a cohesive variety of culinary delights that have a sense of humor. "The Titanic" is a traditional steakhouse iceberg and maytag blue cheese salad with a twist: cranberries. It was delicious, crisp, and the cranberries were a sweet surprise. The Tempura'd Beets got the attention of our surrounding tables, who wondered about them but had not ordered. After it was tasted, we shared, and everyone agreed they were amazing!
I am personally a huge fan of escargot, so I was skeptical of the Eat Here version made with shrimp, but it was great. Light, sweet, and buttery, a perfect rendition minus the snails that so many are put off by. "Not Mama's Pot Roast" is just that. It is meaty, rich, and very masculine. It's the ultimate man meal. The tacos are wonderful, and are available in lobster, chef's pick seafood, and braised beef varieties. They are both refreshing and tasty, and their portions are generous and fit for sharing.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that my favorite dish of the night was the "Eat Here Sausage" pizza. I must first say that I love pizza, but rarely find one when eating out that I like. However, if this pizza was available for delivery I would order in several times a week. This tender thin-crusted rustic pizza was topped with several kinds of amazing sausage, a perfect amount of sauce and cheese, and fresh peppery arugula. I have only one word...perfection.
Eat Here has two locations, one on Anna Maria Island, and the other on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota. The Island location is intimate, while the Sarasota location is larger and often has live music. Either way, you are guaranteed to have a lovely and delicious evening at Eat Here.
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