This Week Events in Sarasota. New Dog Bar, Fat Tuesday and More!

Here’s Where to Get Paczki, Just in Time for Fat Tuesday

What are paczki—and why are people from all over flocking to Yummies Donuts & BBQ in Venice to celebrate a day dedicated to them? Here’s the lowdown on these deep-fried treats and where to find them so you can satisfy your craving, just in time for Paczki Day on March 1. (You’re welcome.)

What are paczki?

To put it simply, paczki—pronounced “punch-key” or “ponch-key”—are the Polish equivalent of fried jelly donuts. (In case you’re wondering, paczki is plural. The singular form is paczek.) These deep-fried pockets of dough are filled with sweet, sticky goodness like cream, jam or custard, then topped with powdered sugar. A tradition hailing from Poland but celebrated by many in the U.S.—especially in the Midwest—paczki are traditionally eaten just before Mardi Gras, on Fat Tuesday—the final day to indulge before the Christian fast of Lent. This year’s Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day falls on March 1.

“We’ve had people come from Fort Myers and Sebring,” says Karen Sayre Tines, co-owner of Yummies. “A lot of people plan their vacations around Paczki Day.”

Vanilla custard-filled paczki from Yummies

Vanilla custard-filled paczki from Yummies

Is paczek just a fancy word for jelly doughnuts?

Short answer: no. Think of the paczek as the jelly doughnut’s lavish cousin. While a good jelly doughnut is light and airy, a paczek is denser and more brioche-lik, thanks to more eggs in the dough.

“The dough is also packed with more spices,” Tines explains. “Ours contains nutmeg and cinnamon.” The added spices create a deeper, richer flavor than that of an average doughnut.

Many paczki also contain another flavor element, like a splash of Polish vodka, a concept that Tines says Yummies plans to utilize this year with the help of Detroit City Distillery’s Paczki Day vodka.

“We like to do cocktail donuts sometimes, so we’re going to try something new,” she says. “It’s going to be a Paczki Day vodka paczki!” 

Where and when to buy paczki in the Sarasota area?

From this Thursday, Feb. 24 through March 1, the official Paczki Day, Yummies will be serving its scratch-made paczki, available with a variety of fillings. According to Tines, the fan favorites are black raspberry and custard. Other flavors include lemon, apple, chocolate and the traditional paczki filling—prune. Paczki will be available for purchase at the counter, but customers can also choose to place an order in advance by calling or emailing Yummies. The deadline for ordering in advance is Saturday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. 

Yummies Donuts & BBQ is located at 2001 S. Tamiami Trail. For more information visit Yummies’ website or Facebook page. To order paczki for pickup, call Yummies at (941) 493-7170 or send an email to [email protected].

At Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar, You Can Enjoy a Drink With Your Four-Legged Friends

An interior rendering of Boo's

An interior rendering of Boo’s

Ever find yourself having to decide between spending a night on the town with your human friends or taking your furry one for an evening stroll at the park?

Starting this summer, you can do both, thanks to Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar. Opening in the historic Ice House building on 10th Street in the Rosemary District, Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar hopes to provide dog-owners, dog-lovers and everyone in between with the ultimate social spot.

“This has probably been five years in the making for us,” says Mindy Kaufman, co-founder of Boo’s and the proud owner of two Pit Bull mixes—one of which is named Boo.

The idea to open a dog-centric hangout in Sarasota was inspired by Kaufman’s own experience going to one in St. Pete.

“We just had such a fabulous time,” she recalls. “We would go there periodically even without our dogs because it’s so much fun. At some point, we started joking that we should bring one to Sarasota. Then that became reality.”

So what can our four-legged friends look forward to when Boo’s opens its doors this summer? Well, first of all, there will be 5,000 square feet of interior and exterior dog space, divided into gated indoor and outdoor puppy play areas where dogs can choose to lounge in the shade or chill in the air conditioning. There will also be a “puppy chow” menu, comprised of a collection of scratch-made, dog-friendly meals and treats, which will include ice cream, because “it’s Florida—you have to have ice cream,” Kaufman says. Boo’s also hopes to add a small retail area offering fresh doggie baked goods like cakes for birthday parties.

And don’t worry, Boo’s hasn’t forgotten about the dogs’ owners. Boo’s will offer human guests a selection of wine, beer and spirits, along with comfort foods and shareables—think pizza, burgers and poutine—with some vegan and gluten-free options.

Kaufman emphasizes that safety for both humans and dogs is paramount to making sure everyone has a good time. To do this, the bar will require that all visitors who want to bring their dogs complete a membership application and screening. This will ensure that all dogs have been properly vaccinated and are appropriate for group play. Each puppy play area will also be monitored by “wooferees” or “doggy bouncers”—the formal name has not been decided yet—to assure that pups are playing nicely.

With Boo’s, Kaufman also hopes to continue to uphold the social tradition of the ice house, a concept that began as a place to store ice and facilitate deliveries, then morphed into a saloon and convenience store.

“People would go there to socialize and gossip,” says Kaufman. “So we’re going to take that concept and apply it to Boo’s. It’ll be a community destination where people can come with their dogs, and socialize and grab a drink and gossip. And we’re really looking forward to being part of the Rosemary District and the dog community.”

Boo’s will be located at 1340 10th St., Sarasota. For more information and updates visit Boo’s website or Facebook page.

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