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The Savory Street Cafe
July 11, 2012
Posted By: Assunta Swier
There aren't too many places you can go and satisfy even the tallest order. More often than not these days the average consumer is looking for a variety. From mainstream cuisine to special diet needs to flavors your palate will feel like they've traveled across the ocean to experience. I found all of this and so much more at The savory Street Cafe and Savory @ Night. The Savory Street Cafe (by day) and Savory @ Night are located in the adorable Citrus Square just boarding Sarasota's downtown district. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and a full inhouse international bakery where you’ll find baked goods from every corner of the world. Locally owned by Claudia Johnson and jim lampl (lower case is NOT a typo, it's a request) this little Sarasota gem is a MUST.
I sat down with Claudia and Jim to get the inside scoop on just how these two keep it all together.
3K: Claudia, you are a full time mother who lives in St. Pete, FL but yet you are here everyday in the kitchen as well as the creator for the recipes on the dinner menu. How in the world do you keep it all together?
Savory Street (claudia): (she smiles big before she answers and let's out a gust of laughter) "like all mom's who work, you just do" she say's. If I had to tell you how, I'm not sure I'd know but what I do know if that I love what I do. All of it!
3K: Jim, you're the front man. The one everyone knows and see's all the time. How do you keep it all together?
Savory Street (Jim): "I don't have 5 minutes of restaurant experience but I love this job and the people who make it possible" say's Jim. I know everyone's name and if I don't know when they come in, I know it before they leave. I work and live in downtown Sarasota and Savory is your neighborhood place to be. We have guest that come in time and time again from all over the world and tell Claudia and I how much they love being here. They feel comfortable when they're here and that's important to us.
3K: What was your inspiration for The Savory Street Cafe?
Savory Street: "I have always loved to cook and entertain." says Claudia. Where I am from in Mexico, you can always find everyone in the kitchen laughing, cooking and of course, eating. I wanted to do something that allowed me to share my love for that and invite the community in to share it with me. I think of it as an extention of my home.
3K: What triggered your decision to begin Savory @ NIght?
Savory Street: Honestly, it was inspired by our loyal customers. We offered specials to our daytime menu and found that more and more request were coming in to keep those items on the menu. So, I'd have to say it was the demand for more that gave us the support we needed to make the next step. In Dec of 2001, Savory @ Night was born.
3K: You have many unique ingredients that you offer on your dinner menu, where did you discover your passion for these foods?
Savory Street: "Most of the ingredients you see on the Savory @ Night menu are inspired by my heritage in Mexico."say's claudia. We wanted to quench even the most indigenous appetite by using ingredients that arent common but still offer a familiar option to those who feel like playing it safe. We hope that in time our patrons will again demand more of the unique menu items because we enjoy changing things and mixing it up from time to time.
3K: What do you want the community to know about Savory and Savory @ Night?
Savory Street: That we are one location with two very different experiences. We do everything from change our menu to our staff between night and day. It is critical to us that our same loyal consumers that visit us each morning can come back here at night for dinner and feel as though they've gone somewhere new. We also don't feel as though many people know that we run an entire wholesale bakery right out of here. We can do private parties in our garden room. Serve organic teas and our specialty coffee is local. We have wi-fi, so many of the downtown community uses The Savory Street Cafe for working/power lunches. It's a fantastic spot to have lunch meetings as well. Stop in a pick up dessert for your home at night or come in and let us take you somewhere else.
3K: If you could describe the experience one would have here, what would it be?
Savory Street: “we want our customers to feel as though they have left Sarasota through their dining experience at Savory @ Night” say's Jim. I was a loyal customer to Savory Street Cafe, I live in the neighborhood and when I decided to become a partner I knew it was a perfect fit. Claudia and I feel that Savory offers so many different things to the community. "don't take our word for it, come try it for yourself" encourages Jim with a huge smile on his face. There's nothing I love more than sitting down and hearing about how someone has gotten to where they are in their life. To me, everyone's story is fasinating in some way or another when you take the time to listen to it. I loved getting to know the two master minds behind this great place known to Sarasota as The Savory Street and I too encourage you to give it a try. If you see Jim or claudia running around, tell em 3K sent you and they'll say "who?"
Be sure to check them and all of their great summer promotions out HERE