National Chicken and Waffles Day at Metro Diner

Close your eyes and imagine a large white plate filled with huge pieces of deep-fried, crispy chicken and golden waffles dripping with syrupy goodness. Are you hungry yet? This Thursday, August 8th, Metro Diner is celebrating National Chicken and Waffles Day. What gift are they presenting to the world? Their signature version of Chicken and Waffles for only $10.99! This sweet and savory dish is a combination that wows your taste buds with each bite, leaving you to crave it over and over again.

Chicken and Waffles at Metro Diner in Venice FL

Where Did Chicken and Waffles Begin?

Like many dishes throughout history, the origin of Chicken and Waffles as comfort food is a bit complicated. While it is mainly thought of as southern comfort food, there are many food scholars that argue it began in Harlem. A restaurant in the 1930’s known as “Wells Supper Club” to the privileged and Wells Restaurant to everyone else, added the now famous Chicken and Waffles to their menu, inspiring a national trend. The debate of whether this was the true birthplace of the dish is still heavily up for debate.

Random Fun Fact
Did you know you can thank Thomas Jefferson for his part in making this dish popular in America? During his time as foreign minister to France, he purchased four waffle irons in Amsterdam. This, along with recipes included in his granddaughter’s collection, only propelled the dish’s popularity.

National Chicken and Waffles Day

Metro Diner first opened in 1992 in Jacksonville, Florida but it didn’t transform into the chain of restaurants it is today until the late ’90s. With a wide menu that offers all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner with daily specials, it is everything we love about classic diners with locations all over the country. It’s most notable dish is… you guessed it, chicken and waffles. The unique spin on this dish is the sweet strawberry butter and the spicy syrup served with the dish.

Strawberry and Spicy?

I know what you’re thinking because believe me, I thought the same thing. “WHAT?!” Hear me out. Slather on the strawberry butter into the deep pockets of goodness on that waffle, watch it melt as you pour on their spicy syrup made with Louisiana hot sauce and dive in. Your tongue might just explode from the different flavors of sweet, spicy, salty and savory all in one bite. Then, as if that wasn’t delicious enough, you get this incredibly juicy fried chicken. An entire half of a chicken to be exact. A wing, thigh, breast, and drumstick! The drumstick may just be my favorite, tearing it apart and dipping it into the syrup is a peek into heaven’s kitchen.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Diners Drive Ins and Dives Guy Fieri Metro Diner

Did you know that Metro Diner was also featured on the Food Network? One of my personal favorite TV chefs, Guy Fieri, visited a Metro Diner in Jacksonville. While he didn’t sample the chicken and waffles, he raved about their meatloaf and other dishes.

Check out the episode here.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL For Venice, Florida!

We love working with local restaurants to promote specials and events in the area. If you would like to partner up, contact me!

What part about this dish are you most excited about?

FREE Preserve The Harvest Masterclass Preview

Preserve the Harvest Masterclass

‘Tis the season to grab some jars and figure out what you’re gonna can and how much. Then plan to dehydrate, or freeze the rest, right? Sounds easy enough….

Learn Something New

What if you’re not sure if you can can a certain food (think summer squash here)? Or you’re not sure if it’s better to dehydrate the food rather than can (think spinach).

Rediscover an Old Hobby

What if it’s been a while since you’ve gotten your canning equipment down? Do you really want to spend hours and hours researching the changes and new recommendations?

Never Thought About Canning?

It’s all new to you and you’re trying to stock your pantry but you don’t know where to start?

I’ve got you covered! Just head on over to The Preserve The Harvest Masterclass and sign up for the FREE preview of Self Reliant School’s canning and dehydrating classes.

Make Your Own Pickles

Click here to register for FREE—–>CLICK HERE

In particular, some of the classes that will be offered include:

  • Introduction to canning (how does the process work)
  • Introduction to water bath and pressure canning
  • How to make and can applesauce, jams, and jellies
  • How to can fruit
  • Introduction to dehydrating
  • How to dehydrate fruit
  • How to dehydrate vegetables
  • How to store dehydrated food
  • …And much much more

Here is that link again….Hurry to sign up——>CLICK HERE

Preserve The Harvest Masterclass

P.S. Oh and I almost forget they’re giving away some bonuses just for signing up.

  • Dehydrated Food Storage Cheat Sheet
  • The Ultimate Canning Safety Guide
  • Using Dehydrated Apples ebooklet

Are you excited? What is the first thing you want to be able to preserve on your own?

All About Black Elderberry Syrup

All About Black Elderberry Syrup

13 Ways To Use Elderberry Syrup

Here are some facts… Boring But Important.

Black elderberry is the fruit from an elderberry shrub native to Central Europe (Sambucus nigra). Its subspecies Sambucus canadensis, is native to North America. Black elderberries are one of the easiest and most versatile shrubs to grow. You can find them growing wild along roadsides, backwoods edges, and abandoned fields. The shrub has fragrant, creamy white, edible flowers, as well as delicious dark purple to black fruits which hang in drooping clusters.

Benefits and Cautions

When harvesting black elderberries, harvest the bark, berries, and flowers only, as the stems and leaves can be dangerous. Ingesting an excessive amount of black elderberries can become problematic; nevertheless, you can eat raw black elderberries.

Elderberries and elderflowers are jam-packed with nutritional benefits. They’re high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, as well as an excellent source of antioxidants, which boost the immune system and keep it strong. Elderberries are also a low-calorie food.

Other health benefits of elderberries include:

  • Shortens cold and flu symptoms
  • Cancer-inhibiting properties
  • Inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Elderberries are an excellent diuretic
  • May have antidepressant properties

Elderberry Syrup

In case you’re feeling audacious, you can concoct your own elderberry syrup. The benefit of making your own is the customization of the elderberry syrup recipe, allowing you to have confidence in what you are ingesting by knowing every ingredient used.

Purchase elderberries and other ingredients online, at a local health food store, or harvest your own. You can find recipes online for elderberry syrup such as Wellness Mama’s Potent Cold + Flu Remedy or a recipe on AllRecipes.com

On the off chance you are the instant gratification sort, have no fear, as you can purchase black elderberry syrup at your local store or online.

13 Ways to Use Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is a staple in a lot of kitchen medicine cabinets for more than just nutritional value, it has an amazing flavor even your pickiest of eaters should enjoy. Here are a few ways for you to enjoy this medicinal goodness in your everyday meals.

  • Drizzle on top of pancakes and waffles either in place of or along with traditional syrup.
  • Swirl a teaspoon full into plain, unsweetened yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), or layer in a parfait with granola, berries, and yogurt. Alternatively, you can mix elderberry syrup into a flavored yogurt such as blueberries to add extra yumminess.
  • Use on top of your favorite warm breakfast; oatmeal, grits, and quinoa each provide a blank canvas for the sweet and tangy flavor of Black Elderberries.
  • Mix with water, freeze, then add to unsweetened iced tea, lemonade or sparkling water. Toss an ice cube or two into your hot beverage for a sweet way to cool it down.
  • The sweet taste of elderberry syrup can tone down the heat in spicy barbecue sauce, and it adds a layer of flavor to ketchup. Kids will love the purple color, too!
  • Stir into a steaming mug of your favorite herbal or black tea.
  • Mix some elderberry syrup, frozen or fresh fruit and toss in some kale or spinach with a little water for a green smoothie.
  • Mix elderberry syrup in your superfood breakfast or simply swirl it on top to jazz it up a bit.
  • Create a “Purple Sunrise” by swirling some syrup in a glass before pouring your morning orange juice.
  • Drizzle onto a scoop of your favorite ice cream to make a sundae. Garnish with mint if you’re feeling fancy.
  • Mix with Sriracha or another hot sauce and rub on chicken or tofu for a quick dinner.
  • Elderberry syrup makes a good substitute in place of sugar in freezer jams and similar items.
  • Drizzle over tangy and tart fruit such as kiwi, pineapple, and apples for a tantalizing contrast.

Now that you know all about black elderberry syrup you can begin taking your health into your own hands. Who knew taking a cold and flu remedy or an immune booster could be so sweet and good for you? Plus as an added bonus, none of the side effects which can arise with traditional over the counter medications!

About The Author:
Krissie McCoy is a stay at home mom to two beautiful little ones working her way through life one baby step at a time.

Local To Sarasota/Venice?
Check out Holly’s Magic Syrup!
In Bradenton, Palmetto or Ellenton?
Check out Jason’s Elderberry Syrup!

Restaurants Extending Savor Sarasota Deals!

Savor Sarasota

When the snowbirds fly back home and the locals start to venture back out to our favorite restaurants… Savor Sarasota hosts “Restaurant Week”! This year, it was from June 1-14, but some restaurants choose to extend anywhere from a few weeks to the entire summer!

Restaurants feature prix-fixe, multi-course lunch and dinner menus for just $16 and $32 per person!

Ending JUNE 30th!

Longer Extensions

10 Easy Recipes for Kids to Cook

When I first started to look at easy recipes for kids to teach my daughter, I thought about how my love of cooking started. It started at a young age watching my mother, father and grandparents cook. I was raised in a very loud, loving and stereotypical Italian family. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, grandparents… we all came together at the dinner table to listen to stories from the older generation and enjoy whatever dish was gracing the table.

Italian Family Dinner
My father, Forrest, showing off the table for a holiday meal in 1997.

Make Memories

Some of the best memories I have as a child involve the kitchen. Whether it was my grandfather making brunch for us on the weekends before watching the Wizard of Oz together, my grandmother baking sweet treats for family and friends, our large extended family sitting around the table at holidays or waking up in the early morning hours to smell my father making escarole and beans when he came home from work. It is important to me that my daughter has a similar upbringing that translates into a love of the kitchen.

Watching Food Network

From the time Elena was a little girl, we started watching Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman” on the Food Network. We love creating her recipes and shopping at Walmart to find products that were featured on the show. Elena gets so excited when she sees the same tools Ree uses in our own kitchen. With so many adorable kitchen tools, appliances and home decor items, we are truly a fan of all the Pioneer Woman items.

Kids Cooking Classes in Venice

In addition, Shark Bites Deli offers kids cooking classes on Tuesday nights at 6 PM for only $10 per child. Every lesson incorporates two different healthy recipes (usually one savory, one sweet), some trivia and basic cooking techniques like slicing, mixing or measuring. Each child gets a cooking tool to bring home with them too!

Check out my coupon page for an exclusive coupon to use while you are there!

What Are Easy Recipes for Kids?

I’ve put together a wonderful list of recipes from other bloggers that are kid-friendly, fun and easy to make.

How To Eat Low Carb in Venice

Eating Low Carb While Dining Out

Low Carb Restaurant Swaps

Dining at home is easier for low carb, thanks to meal prepping in advance. Eating out while on a low carb plan can be a little daunting, but it’s easy to make simple food choices to stay on track. Even fast food places can provide options with a little thought. So many people eat low carb now most restaurants accommodate special orders with no problem. Where you choose to eat will help determine how easy it will be to find what you want and need.

Where to Eat and What to Order

When you’re craving comfort food

Diners and cafes are an ideal choice since they generally serve breakfast all day. Eggs, meat, and veggies are a filling and tasty choice. Omelets are a wonderful menu item for low carb eating. Load them with cheese, peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, or any other vegetable you might like. Substitute pancakes or potatoes with sliced tomatoes and skip the toast.

Local Suggestion: Venice Ale House
Try the Greek Salad or check out their specials on “Keto Thursday”

For a Special Night Out at a Steakhouse

Steakhouses are another good place for low carb choices. Grilled steaks and chops are satisfying and delicious. Skip the bread and baked potato here, and choose a salad or steamed vegetable instead. Be sure to pick a low carb vegetable such as broccoli rather than something starchy like corn. Caesar, chef, or side salads are available at nearly all restaurants. Add chicken, meat or seafood, extra veggies, boiled eggs, cheese, and nuts or seeds to amp up your meal. Take care to avoid sweet dressings and dried fruits, as they will add unwanted sugar. Keep in mind, if you want a savory dressing such as ranch or bleu cheese, full-fat versions have fewer carbs than low fat.

Local Suggestion: Chaz 51 Bistro
The Blue Cheese Steak Salad is mouthwatering, skip the croutons, you won’t miss them anyway. There’s also the sizzling naked burger, served in an iron skillet topped with cherry peppers and onions.

When You Just Want a Big Cheeseburger

American restaurants and gastropubs are fabulous for the whole family. When ordering a hamburger, ask to replace the bun with a lettuce wrap, or thinly sliced cucumber. If this is not possible, just ask that the bun not be served. Make it more of a meal by loading the burger patty with lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese, onion, or any other topping you like. If lettuce is available, request extra so you can wrap it yourself. Rather than fries, try a crunchy vegetable like carrots or celery as a tasty side with added texture.

Local Suggestion: Off The Wagon Brewery & Kitchen
With a number of different specials that change daily, there’s always something new to try. The chef is fabulous at making adjustments when needed for dietary restrictions. Try the best burger in Venice with a side of coleslaw and just skip the bun.

When You Need to Order Takeout Chinese or Sushi

Asian food can be a bit of a challenge. The best bet is to order a stir fry with extra veggies, but skip the rice or noodles. Sushi is rice based, so opt for sashimi instead. Try to order steamed vegetables, because sauces are usually not added. Sauces are often loaded with sugar or flour for thickening. Don’t hesitate to ask if a dish has added sugar.

Local Suggestion: Star Thai and Sushi
Chef Mike goes above and beyond for his customers. Instead of rice, ask for your sushi with a cucumber wrap instead!

Mexican can be the Ultimate Low Carb Indulgence

Eating Mexican is easier than you might initially think. A lot of places have bowl meals – basically the same ingredients as burritos or fajitas without the tortillas. If those aren’t available, simply make your own. Open up a fajita or tortilla and only eat the delicious ingredients inside. Deconstructed dishes are all the rage right now. Request extra sour cream, guacamole, olives, and cheese for extra flavor and to make it more filling. Taco salads will work the same way, as long as you can resist eating the bowl.

Local Suggestion: Latin Market and Restaurant

Fight the Challenge of the Carb Loaded Italian Cuisine

Italian restaurants can sometimes be the most for difficult low carb options. Certain chains have very limited options other than pasta and breaded dishes. Look for chicken breast meals or sandwiches here, and simply order them with no bread or bun. Request Alfredo sauce and cheeses as toppings since those have very few carbs, but add lots of flavor. Surprisingly, marinara sauce can be quite high in carb count, and so should be avoided if possible. If you simply must have marinara, ask for light sauce to cut down on added sugar.

Local Suggestion: Made in Italy

The chef is very accommodating of substitutions to allow meals to be as low carb as possible. In fact, if you give advance notice, he may even prepare a cauliflower crust pizza!

When You Want to Enjoy Local Seafood

Seafood restaurants are a great choice as long as you pick grilled or broiled fish or shrimp. Lemon juice and tartar sauce can add flavor, but try to avoid shrimp sauce, as it often has hidden sugars. Order a salad rather than coleslaw due to sugar content as well.

Local Suggestion: Pelican Alley

Newly renovated and reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, this beautiful restaurant has delicious grouper dinners that will delight your tastebuds. Go for the vegetable medley as your side dish and you are all set for a low carb seafood meal.

Think outside the box

Sometimes there just aren’t going to be many options on a menu and this is when you may have to get a bit creative.

  • You may be able to order a couple of appetizers rather than an entree to fill your needs.
  • Chicken wings are a great item, but take care to pick the right sauce or no sauce at all. Boneless wings are often breaded, so ask before ordering to make sure you know what you are getting.
  • Keep in mind not every meal must include meat. A vegetable plate can be delicious and filling.
  • Side dishes are sometimes the yummiest things on a menu and can fit your dietary needs better.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask about the ingredients used in dishes so you can make an informed decision.
  • Since so many sauces and dressings have more sugar than you want, try adding avocado, lemon juice, salsa, full-fat salad dressings, and oil and vinegar for more flavors.
  • Order raw veggies and ranch dressing as a dip rather than chips.
  • Fried meats are fine as long as they are not breaded. If you must choose a breaded option, simply pull the breading off and discard it.

With a little forethought and a trade-off here and there, you can eat out nearly anywhere without feeling too restricted. By taking a few minutes to check the menu online before heading out the door, you can be sure to get what you want without sacrificing your health.

About The Author
Raye Wiedner is an active widow, living in the Midwest. She has been a health care worker for most of her life, with a passion for trying new adventures.

Family-Friendly Dining in Venice

Family-friendly restaurants in Venice Fl

Just south of Sarasota, Venice is a small city on the Gulf of Mexico mainly known for its retirement communities. However, in recent years families have been moving in and making Venice their home. With a number of wonderful places for families to spend their day like the splash pad near Centennial Park, the various playgrounds or hunting for shark’s teeth at the beach, at the end of the day the question remains. What family-friendly restaurants are in Venice?

BrewBurgers

Two locations in Venice: 370 Commercial Ct & 525 Tamiami Trail BrewBurgers has all the makings of a hometown favorite place. With fun retro-style decor for casual indoor/outdoor dining, you can feel comfortable bringing in your kids and still enjoy an awesome meal. Serving bar and grill-type fare with a flair, they are kid and pet-friendly. BrewBurgers is well known for huge specialty burgers, and they have a large beer selection.

Pinchers

900 Venetia Bay Blvd.
Pincher’s is a local chain known for its fresh crabs and seafood. The kitschy decor befits the menu. There are sandwiches, ribs, and pasta offered for those who are not crazy about seafood. A kids menu is available with alternatives, as well. Bonus! Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree.

Off the Wagon Brewery & Kitchen

2107 Tamiami Trail
Don’t let the bar imagery fool you, while this is a local hotspot for nightlife, it is extremely family-friendly the rest of the day. With a kids menu featuring items like macaroni and cheese with hot dogs and adult entrees that will delight your tastebuds, this restaurant has something for the whole family. They serve craft burgers (voted #1 Best Burger in our Venice Foodies Community!), tacos, sandwiches, steaks and more. Come ready to be entertained, as they have live musical acts nearly every night. Early-bird specials are offered daily, and kids eat free all day every Tuesday. An added note, this is a brewery, so be sure to check out the fantastic beer selection and see how it is made right behind the glass window from the dining room!

Gold Rush BBQ

661 Tamiami Trail S.
This restaurant has a gold rush theme from the decor to the menu items. The decor includes mining supplies and rocks, and some menu items are even served on miner’s pans. There is a souvenir rock shop on site following the theme. They serve bbq, catfish, ribs, and more. There are some all you can eat specials, but be sure to ask as they change from time to time. Starting in May and going through the summer season, kids eat free on Mondays.

Shark Bites Deli

1740 E. Venice Ave.
Shark Bites specializes in fresh deli foods, such as sandwiches and salads. They have indoor and outdoor seating, with a shaded seating area. They are very family friendly and offer a special kids area with toys, puzzles, and games available. Also, kids eat free from the children’s menu with an adult entree.
Tip: If you check out our specials page, you can score a free side of their baked beans with any sandwich or salad purchase!

Kids Eat Free Bonuses

In addition to all the local family-friendly small business type spots, there are several chain restaurants in Venice offering specials for kids:

IHOP– offers kids eat free every night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m
Denny’s – offers kids eat free every night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Perkins – offers free kids meals every day from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Pizza Hut – offers free kids meals every Tuesday.
Firehouse Subs– offers free kids meal with the purchase of a medium sub on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Bob Evans – kids eat free after 4 p.m. on Tuesdays.

There are plenty of restaurants in Venice to suit everyone’s tastes. This is sometimes a challenge when eating out with children. Not only does Venice offer great family-friendly options, but most of the places on this list offer take out or use Door Dash for delivery! If you want to add a little adventure, there are plenty of parks and areas to have a picnic as well.

Traveling to Florida with a pet soon? Read more here.

About The Author
Raye Wiedner is an active widow, living in the Midwest. She has been a health care worker for most of her life, with a passion for trying new adventures.

Meal Subscription Boxes, Are they worth it?

Meal Subscription Boxes

Do you hate cooking? Don’t have time to cook? Don’t know how to cook? Then someone made a subscription meal box just for you. There is an abundance of options available, but are they worth the cost? They offer convenience and can be much less expensive than take-out food, but are depending on the box, may cost more than a grocery store.

So, What are Meal Subscription Boxes?

They are exactly what they sound like. You sign up for a weekly subscription, choose your meals, and receive all the ingredients and cooking instructions for 3-4 meals, with 2-4 adult sized servings.

Benefits of Boxes

Convenience and Saving Time
Instead of shopping and buying ingredients that you would only use once, the box includes the perfect portion of each ingredient. Aside from small prep work, most meals are prepped, cooked and ready to serve in 45 minutes or less.

Instructions
Most boxes come with printed instructions; often including photos for each step. If you don’t know how to cook, this is an easy way to learn. The recipe will guide you through prep and cooking so everything gets to the table at once; no more scrambling to get side dishes finished at the same time as an entree!

Adaptability
If you follow a specific type of diet, (vegan, gluten-free, diabetic, allergy avoidance, etc.) you can find specific plans to fit your needs. Most plans will offer a way to pause delivery or skip a week or two completely. If you are going on vacation, having guests, or simply want to make your own meals, you can usually change your order dates with a quick adjustment on their website.

Fresh Ingredients
These meals are usually well-balanced and healthy choices. Most ingredients last in your refrigerator for 3-5 days, allowing you to choose when to cook.

Choices
Most people make the same recipes over and over. These plans offer meals you may never have thought of, or may never have tried otherwise. You wouldn’t want to buy a whole bottle of curry powder if a recipe only uses a teaspoon when you aren’t sure you are going to like curry. This way, you can order a curry meal and try it first. Though they are rare, some companies are now offering breakfast, lunch, and snack boxes as well as dinner. While the majority of meals are fresh and allow you to cook from scratch, there are also some which come with some ingredients pre-chopped, and others come completely cooked and ready to be popped into a microwave. You can have one meal a week delivered, or four, depending on your needs.

The Downside

Each company has the same basic premise. Some, however, are much pricier than others. Prices vary from as little as $5.00 per person per meal to $20.00 per person. While you can choose meals for 2 or 4 people, it’s going to be more expensive if you have a larger family. Keep in mind they are calculated on an average adult-size serving, which may not march your idea of portion size.

Subscription meal boxes don’t offer all the food necessary for every meal of the day. Most subscriptions allow up to four meals a week, which means you are still going to do a lot of your own grocery shopping and meal planning. Meals come with nearly all elements needed, but you will most often have to provide small things like oil, salt, and pepper, butter, or a little milk.

There are many plans which try to cater to specific dietary needs, but not all are easily accommodated. For example, you may require gluten-free, organic, and vegan. Not all subscriptions are going to offer all three choices. You may not be able to find a plan with everything you want.


About The Author
Raye Wiedner is an active widow, living in the Midwest. She has been a health care worker for most of her life, with a passion for trying new adventures.

Check out these dealsfrom Venice Foodies!

Home Chef Review
$30 Off Your First Box of Home Chef!

Home Chef

$30 Off Your First Box!
Each week, they offer at least 3 Calorie-Conscious meals and at least 3 Carb-Conscious meals. You can also customize your protein, add easy lunch options and smoothie kits!

Green Chef

  • 4 Free Meals in your First Box!
  • 2-Person Plans include Omnivore, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Keto, Heart Smart, Lean & Clean, Mediterranean, and Pescatarian plans.
  • Family Plans include family-style Omnivore and Carnivore Plans.
Green Chef Review
4 Meals FREE in your First Box!
Green Chef Review
NurtureLife Review

NurtureLife

$20 Off Your First Order!

Ready in 3 minutes or less, giving you more family time! Quality ingredients and backed by pediatricians, these meals start at $4.38 for Babies and $8.90 for Toddlers & Kids

7 Date Night Ideas in Venice

Date Night in Venice

After getting through a long week and dealing with all of the stressful day-to-day activities, an impending date night out on the town sounds amazing! People wait all week for date night, but when it actually gets close, they are often at a loss for ideas. In a town like Venice, you have lots of options to keep you and your honey amused, so plan ahead! Whether it be an old favorite dining spot or a new exciting activity, go out and enjoy the nightlife.

Make Date Night an Adventure

1. Venice Theatre

140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice, FL 34285

When is the last time you saw a play? It’s time to put on that little black dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion, grab your date and go experience the performing arts at this historical local gem. The Venice Theatre is one of the most active community theatres in the US, so they always have something interesting on stage! Some of their productions feature full-scale musicals, cabarets, comedies, dramas and more. Check out the Venice Theatre website for a schedule of productions and box office information to get an idea of what you may want to go see. and box office information to get an idea of what you may want to go see.

After your show, have dessert and a glass of wine Made In Italy, located only a block away. (I recommend the cannolis!)

2. Gr8 Escape Challenge

571 US 41 Bypass N, Venice, FL 34285

Are you over the club scene and have been wanting to try something a bit more adventurous? At the Gr8 Escape Challenge, you can choose from a variety of themed rooms and collaborate with your date to use your investigative ingenuity to decipher the clues, decode the puzzles, and plot your escape – in only 60 minutes! Check out current room options.

After all that excitement, treat your palate to some authentic Indian food from “Gr8” Tikka Indian Cuisine. Life is all about your experiences, so why not fill it with unique ones! The dishes may seem intimidating when you are unfamiliar with the cuisine, I suggest the Tikka Masala curry or a creamy tomato curry dish with chicken served with rice and the heat level can be adjusted to your preferences.

3. Daiquiri Deck

300 W Venice Ave., Venice, FL 34285

You’re ready for a fun, fruity blended drink to start out your weekend, right? Why not make date night a staycation, and go check out Daiquiri Deck’s wall of colorful daiquiri options. Located in historic downtown Venice, you don’t have to go far to experience one of their unique daiquiri flavors like Fudgesicle, Electric Lemonade, or Southern Peach. In addition to their extensive drinks menu, the food isn’t too shabby either. Word out on the street is that the crab cake sandwich is pretty exceptional! Check out their food and drink options.

4. Shogun Japanese Steakhouse

1219 U.S. 41 Bypass, Venice, FL 34285

If you’re into interactive eating experiences, Shogun Japanese Steakhouse is a great place for good food and a lively ambiance. If you order their Hibachi, you and your date (along with other restaurant patrons) sit at a special hibachi table while the chef prepares your dinner right before your eyes! Make an exception this one time – get out your phone and take some Instagram-worthy pictures. You are sure to see an outstanding Hibachi show with lots of tricks at Shogun.

5. The Zebra Lounge

217 Miami Ave., West Venice, FL 34285

If you are looking for something a little different for your date night, look no further. Take delight in the relaxed atmosphere and charming decor of The Zebra Lounge while listening to some engaging piano music. This piano bar offers fabulous light fare and delicious desserts that perfectly complement their extensive wine menu, featuring wines from around the world! Have a couple of glasses of wine, share a pizza, and don’t forget cheesecake, because it’s date night, after all.

6. Sharky’s On The Pier

1600 Harbor Dr. S, Venice, FL 34285

Do fresh seafood and a picturesque sunset overlooking the Gulf sound like a perfect date? Sharky’s is your spot for a fun and festive atmosphere with live music near the bar and idyllic views. Plan ahead, because this place is popular and there could be a wait, but it’s definitely worth it. Sharky’s is located right off the beach making it an ideal spot to take a romantic walk along the beach and to the pier.

7. Cafe Longet

239 Miami Ave W, Venice, FL 34285

Experience Cafe Longet’s authentic French fusion cuisine in this charming little bistro. It’s a nice change of pace from many booming restaurants along the strip. In addition to its excellent menu, Cafe Longet also has a nice selection of wines by the glass. Check their facebook for upcoming events such as Wine Pairing Dinners for an upscale twist on date night. Y

You can read about our experience at Cafe Longet too!

What adventures have you found in Venice?

Guest Post Written By:

Stefanie Resciniti is a graphic designer and marketing professional with a passion for learning, traveling and trying new things. She is excited about any opportunity to inspire creative content.

6 Reasons to Love Venice, Florida

6 Reasons To Love Venice

Are you looking for a vacation spot somewhere along the Gulf Coast? Or are you looking to relocate? Or are you just looking for a beautiful place to visit for the day to find some awesome food? Then you will fall in love Venice, Florida. It has a small town atmosphere and a vintage charm while still having the finer touches of a culturally rich city.

Amazing White Sandy Beaches

Venice is home to one of the most beautiful beaches located on the Gulf Coast – Venice Beach. It is a Certified Blue Wave Beach and is home to a large number of marine turtle nests between the months of May and October. There are also many opportunities to see dolphins, shorebirds and other wildlife as well as a scenic view of the Venice Public Fishing Pier.

Some of the Best Fishing

Looking for some fishing? You have come to the right place! Just visit the Venice Fishing Pier to catch a variety of the most popular gamefish. There is no fee or fishing license required to fish on the Pier, and if you need equipment head to Papa’s Bait Shop. If you are ready for a bite to eat then make sure you head to Sharky’s on the Pier. Both shops are located conveniently on the pier.

Everything From Fine Dining to the Pub

Venice is also home to a wide variety of food. Whether you are in the mood for some Italian food, good old fashioned burgers or some local organic smoothies, Venice has you covered. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a place everybody will enjoy. Check out the specialsto see what places are offering deals and happy hours!

Or You Can Dine-In

Not the dining out type and prefer to cook at home? No problem! Just head down to the Venice Farmers Market and browse the 51 vendors of fresh produce, freshly baked goods, fish, and other food products. They also have many wonderful arts and crafts for sale as well. The Venice Farmers Market accepts EBT and SNAP.

Family Fun and Friendliness

Need something for the whole family? How does a Shark’s Tooth Festival sound? A fitting place to go in the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”.

How about Centennial Park? An amazingly beautiful park with a splash pad, picnic tables, veteran memorial, restrooms, and free parking.

If hiking or biking is more your style then be sure to check out Shamrock Park and Nature Center.

Community

Venice is the kind of community where neighbors meet up at the local farmer’s market on the weekends, or where friendly rounds of golf are played daily then Venice is home. With some neighborhoods better suited for certain lifestyles, you are sure to find a place to call home in Venice.

Convinced yet?

If you are looking for a quaint, vintage little town with a whole lot of community and a lot to offer, then Venice is your destination. Between Venice’s beautiful beaches, its diverse variety of local cuisines and it’s family friendliness you can’t go wrong in making Venice your #1 choice in location.

Guest post written by Krissie McCoy –
Krissie is a stay at home mom to two beautiful little ones, working her way through life one baby step at a time.