It has been there on South Orange Avenue in Sarasota for the past seven years – but this was our first time dining at Fresh Start. I must tell you it’s a hidden gem.

We love Sarasota and generally go for the Saturday farmer’s market. But there’s also the Museum of Whimsey, The Ringling Museum, Unconditional Surrender and Jungle Gardens to name a few of the fun things in and around the city.

The Fresh Start Cafe

We had been shopping, found The Fresh Start Cafe on Trip Advisor and went on the strength of the reviews. It is unassuming from the front. However, once inside, they have made use of their dining areas both inside and out for the maximum seating.

Outside seating is under both a tree canopy and brightly colored umbrellas.

Inside, tables are well spaced and easily moveable. When we were there the owners had created a place in the corner for a group planning a wedding party. Staff still was able to take care of the rest of their tables and not miss a beat.

The inside had plenty of seating, but there still is room to walk between the tables.

Our Dining Experience

Naturally, the menu is the most important part, the “two Jewish girls” who run the place boast that they “put a fresh spin on traditional flavors.” Those are more than idle words.

They offer frittatas, egg dishes, salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts. Although I am a burger guy at heart, I went out of my depth and got the roasted eggplant with goat cheese and arugula. Mrs Funmeister got a Mediterranean wrap but instead had it put on 9-grain bread.

The portions were generous and the food delicious

Mine came with a luncheon salad, while hers came with olives and dolmades. It was a true dining experience.

Our waiter Eitan was very accommodating. Not only did he move my wife’s wrap to a sandwich – he got her several cups of ice to make her hot green tea to iced green tea.

In Closing

A Fresh Start is one of those places that makes you want to come back again and try some of the other things that are on their menu. This will be easy – inasmuch as already we have seen things for lunch and on their breakfast menu we want to try.

If you are vegetarian or gluten-free, chances are they have something tasty and wonderful. If you want to go to a place where they play a lot of attention to the food and to you as a customer, this also is the place.

Just remember, as a cafe, they only are open from 10am until 2pm. They also are tucked away on South Orange Avenue kind of off the beaten path (which I guess makes them a hidden gem). But it’s worth the time and effort to get yourself the Fresh Start Cafe.