I'm currently working down in Sarasota, FL. We had a chance to get out and about to take a look at the surrounding area and we just happened to drive by this resturant. Well, you know I can't resist a place who's tag line says "An American Legend". We have to see what this is all about.
They have a 1800's gold mining theme going on here, as the dishes are served up inside of mining pans. They had a lot of mining stuff on display around the resturant.
We decided to order up something different. They had an appetizes called "Fried Yam Patties" which we thought would be more like a sweet potatoe fried potatoe chip. Instead it was almost like a desert. It was those yam patties that you buy in the store that are round like a hockey puck sort of thing. They fried this up and covered it with a brown sugar sauce and pecans. Actually this was pretty addicting, especially for someone who has been trying to get off of sugar and use more splenda. This sort of messed up the day for me, but it was very good and something I could probably make at home - although not that often for dietary reasons.
I ordered a comba with chicken and chopped pork. The sauces were all red based. They had a regular sauce and a hot sauce. The hotness of the sauce tasted more like a Datil pepper, a kind found in Florida. I wonder if that is what it was. The sauces were also sweet, not having a vinegar taste. It was more akin to the Heinz darker, sweeter sauce, than like a mustard or hot sauce based flavor. It was good, but it was more "safe" than anything. The slaw wasn't was creamy as I thought it should be being mayo based. The beans were decent, but I am not sure they were really baked. The cornbread tasted like the Jiffy cornbread you make at home. It was sweet, but it went well with the meal.
I would say that this was more "safe" BBQ for people who are only casual about their Q and generally want stuff like what they grill at home on gas grills. It's not bad, but its not for hard core folks. It's definitely not an "American Legend", the title for which only Dreamland currently qualifies to be at this time. But I think its great to have a BBQ place like this right in the middle of the retirement hub of Florida where seafood reigns as far as resturants go. I think most of the yankees who come down here to hang about probably wouldn't know good Q anyway, so its better to have a place that caters to their false sense of being. Sort of like getting BBQ at Disney World and thinking you have been to the best BBQ place on earth. Don't talk to me about Q until you've traveled through the dirt roads of AL, TN, and TX.
Gold Rush BBQ earns a 4 on the Q scale.