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We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

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cleveland
posts: 791
reviews: 36
We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

And found a whole sand dollar on the beach!

Day three of our trip and all is well with the huge exception of Rod and Reel being closed for repair. The pier is a daily stop for us and with it being out of the picture, it is pushing us to other things...which is good, too. Tonight, for example was our first sundown at Sandbar...and that turned out great with a free bottle of champagne.

I will write full reviews later, but a big thumbs up today to Island Spice, the Indian restaurant in Bradenton Beach. When we told them we were vegan, they took extra care and the man cooking our food even came out to ask if we had wheat issues, too (we do not, but thrilled he would be so careful for others who do). We took carry out to Coquina Beach...yum.

Also, enjoying AMI Health and Fitness, the 24-hour gym, not the other gym with similar name. Very friendly. No attitude. Great pass options for island visitors. Most classes, like Zumba, are free with pass.

The beer at Bortell's is still cold and red ashtrays still line the bar and tables...we are turbo anti-smoking...and yet I find Bortell's smoky smell somehow comforting...nostalgic, even. Stupid, I know...but I dig this place.

But City Pier cannot compete with Rod and Reel...bigger is not better in this case...

Tampa
Destination Expert
for Anna Maria
posts: 4,086
reviews: 43
1. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Congrats, I'm with you, I love Bortellas, just something about it. If you can handle the smoke you might enjoy rubbing elbows with the locals at the Drift Inn on Bridge Street, cheap, strong drinks and Doreen is an awesome bartender. Decoy Duck is another local bar, they have the best bloody marys on the island!! Enjoy your trip.

cleveland
posts: 791
reviews: 36
2. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Rusty, thank you for the tips (and for all your information posted here...much of which we have used even though it wasn't intended for us). I think we will certainly hit those spots...especially if it's warm enough to have open doors (that helps with the smoke smell).

FYI: We just went to Waterfront Restaurant for a craft cocktail. We think it has made the best use of the new liquor licenses allowing hard liquor. When you walk into the bar, two tin-like containers line the counter filled with fresh herbs, a signal of good things to come. I had the snowbird, which was garnished with some fantastic candied ginger...and hubby had the jalepeno (or hot) martini, which was full of fresh herbs. Thumbs up. Even last night at Sandbar, I had the skinny margarita and it involved agave (no sugar) and fresh lime, not mix. So high five to Sandbar, too, for going fresh, not bottled mix.

Tampa
Destination Expert
for Anna Maria
posts: 4,086
reviews: 43
3. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

That sounds great, we will have to check out the new cocktails at Waterfront, thanks for the report.

sunderland, uk
posts: 945
reviews: 31
4. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

sorry to jump in but do all bars/restaurants with outside areas allow smoking. Just we are all non smokers but don't like to be stuck with being indoors.

cleveland
posts: 791
reviews: 36
5. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

I am sorry...I do not know. Like I mentioned, we despise smoking...and have never had an issue outdoors....

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 37,205
reviews: 22
6. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Congrats, and well done on your win!

Missouri
posts: 2,405
reviews: 35
7. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Waterfront Restaurant cocktail sounds yummy! On my list for next visit! Thanks, amagar!

Somerset, England
posts: 776
reviews: 4
8. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Can someone please explain what has changed to the liquor license? Just curious as in the UK if you have a license to sell alcohol there is really no exceptions.

Many thanks

Missouri
posts: 2,405
reviews: 35
9. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Nemisis, I think it had to do with licenses in the city of Anna Maria which were only allowing beer and wine to be sold. Some places like, the Sandbar, were "grandfathered" in, and that didn't seem fair. So I guess the law was changed to allow newer restaurants the same competitive chance to sell liquor.

Renfrewshire
posts: 182
reviews: 115
10. Re: We "won" sunset tonight at Sandbar!

Hey amagar, It's too bad about R&R pier as it's a great place, sure it will be up and running soon. Congrats on your sunset fizz at the Sandbar. We also love Island Spice and need to have a spice/curry fix there every time we go to AMI. Our friends who moved to Florida three years ago say it's the best Indian food they have found since the move. Bortels is also one of our fave bars on the island even though we don't smoke and as Rustykat say's Drift inn is also great....not tried the BM's in Decoys yet although have had a few beers in the bar!