Despite the challenges of inflation, worker shortages and the lingering threat of the coronavirus, new restaurants continue to open in the Bradenton area.
The newest, The Food Mine, 1160 Whitfield Ave., opened on April 29 and serves a new, modern American-style menu. A full liquor bar will soon be available.
“We offer a lot of modern twists on classic dishes,” said Matthew Jackson, Executive Chef and General Manager.
Jackson, a 2006 graduate of Manatee High School, grew up in the restaurant business and started washing dishes when he was 8 years old. His father was also an executive chef.
Stops along the way during his career include the Lakewood Ranch Country Club, LeRoy Selmons and the Karol Hotel in Clearwater.
Geoff Luebkemann, FRLA senior vice president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, explains why Jackson and other restaurateurs are opening new restaurants.
“Florida’s restaurant industry is ideal for growth. There is only one Florida, from unparalleled natural beauty and outdoor experiences to top restaurants, resorts and theme parks. The desire and demand for the Florida experience is strong and will continue to drive growth. Whether as a resident or visitor, leisure or business traveler, Florida is the epicenter of global hospitality, and savvy operators understand that there’s no better place to launch and refine concepts, both in catering and accommodation. Despite the headwinds of the situation, we remain optimistic and anticipate continued investment and growth across the state,” Luebkemann said.
The Food Mine aims to be the premier dining experience in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Even though the restaurant has a Sarasota mailing address, it’s in south Manatee, and Jackson said that’s a plus, making it convenient for diners in both counties.
“It’s perfect for date night or as a brunch spot,” Jackson said. “We want everyone to come for the good atmosphere, a good time and great energy.”
The menu includes brunch, take-out, appetizers, as well as sides, appetizers, salads and desserts
The Food Mine serves brunches all day. Deals include Miner’s Morning (two eggs, choice of bacon or sausage, house fries, and toast or cookie for $12). Other breakfast offerings include biscuits and gravy, hot chicken and Nashville waffles, a garden omelet, hash browns (three hash browns each with a different filling), and avocado toast.
Also noteworthy on the brunch menu: bowl of jalapeno bacon cheese grits topped with sausage etouffee. You can also get it with shrimp, snapper, or lobster.
Appetizers start at $11 and include fried green tomato and lobster salad, a charcuterie board, brown sugar-brined chicken wings, eloté (Mexican grilled corn), and more.
Handhelds start at $14 and include tacos, jalapeno bacon ranch burgers, California turkey burger, brunch burger and steak sandwich.
Appetizers start at $28 for half a chicken sous vide (cooked in a sous vide bag), then fried, coated in blackening seasoning and honey, and served with two sides.
Other entrees include Seafood Country Boil (choice of one lobster tail or two clusters of snow crab, one pound of shrimp, one pound of mussels, served with boiled egg, potatoes land, corn and sausages for $45, surf and turf (8-ounce filet mignon with choice of a lobster tail or six jumbo shrimp and a red wine demi-glace (rich brown sauce) served with two sides for $46 , and salmon and latkes, for $32.
Note: the 24 Karat Gold Prime Tomahawk Ribeye (two pounds of premium beef wrapped in 24-karat gold foil) for $150.
The food mine is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. For more information, call 941-242-0064 or visit The Food Mine’s Facebook page.