Thursday, October 20, 2011

Circus Trains and Chocolate Spaghetti

     Our recent vacation was spent in several different places. After a couple of days at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, my husband, daughter and I headed to my dad’s place on Siesta Key, Florida. Siesta Key has won numerous awards for the beautiful beaches and we all love it. My parents have owned a place there since the 70’s.
     My dad has been telling me for months about a new restaurant he found, Bob’s Train. On our way into Sarasota, he decided we would stop there and have lunch before heading out to Siesta Key. I have to tell you, my first impression was a bit of shock. After hearing about it so much, as we pulled into the neighborhood, I was a little afraid to get out of the car. This is a real train, on real tracks in a neighborhood that isn’t exactly a place I would normally go. However, it is certainly an interesting eating experience.


     Bob’s Train is an actual train... a circus train. In fact, it's the only circus train in the world owned by an individual. Bob Home, the owner and chef is a walking, talking history book and expert on Sarasota and it’s circus history. His vast collection of vintage circus photographs and posters line the walls of the train cars and you can even walk through his largest collectible, JOMAR (JOhn and MAble Ringling), the famed private train car of circus magnate John Ringling. It is in the early stages of restoration and very interesting and still quite a mess!

This woman looks so much like my sister when she was younger!

     The food is very good. My daughter and I had salads, the men had burgers and homemade chips. The surprise item was dessert. My dad insisted we try the Chocolate Spaghetti. Now, I didn’t think it sounded good at all, but I was wrong. The flavor was a rich chocolate which coated the spaghetti perfectly. Bob came to the table and explained that it is basically a thinned down ganache (what’s not to love) stirred into angel hair pasta that has been tossed with butter, brown sugar and vanilla. A bit of peach schnapps and lots of whipping cream and you have a very rich, unusual dessert.

     Bob has led a very interesting life and when he isn’t cooking, he is quite the talker. If you happen to go at a time when they aren’t busy, he can give you quite the education on food and all things circus related.


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Glenda/MidSouth said...

Sounds and looks like a interesting/fun place to eat.Chocolate spaghetti - Hmmm! Have to think about that. :D

Barbara F. said...

I love spaghetti and I love chocolate - put together in one dish?? Not sure about that. I love dining at unique places like this. There is a dept. store in the city and they have a restaurant decorated like a Pullman car called Le Train Bleu - one of my favorite places to go when I was working. xo

La said...

Oh my. This looks like a fun and unique dining experience. Chocolate spaghetti? Brilliant!

Linda said...

Wow...when I first saw the pictures I thought you took a train ride...that's a cool place...and chocolate spaghetti...count me in!! Looks wonderful!!

Gypsy Heart said...

I'm sure it was fascinating chatting with Bob. I'm not sure about mixing that combo for a dessert but hey, you don't know until you try!


Angie said...

What a fun dining experience! So glad your dad introduced you to such a neat spot. What an interesting dessert...reminds me of the time I had sweet potato fries with ice cream :)

Kathleen said...

Sounds very interesting. I have several friends who live near there, I will tell them about the place.
Hope all is well, haven't seen you in awhile!

Really Rainey said...

Hummmmmm... great post! Very interesting and different.

~Rainey~ @ The Project Table

Hi, I'm Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Who knew! Chocolate spagetti! My husbands family lives in Florida. I will have to give this a whirl the next time we visit.

koralee said...

What fun...I want to go on a train now...have really never travelled by train..I think it sounds so romantic!
Hugs. xoxoxo

xinex said...

Very interesting, Sue! I drive by Sarasota all the time when I visit between kids because 2 are in the Tampa Bay area and 1 is in Fort Myers, but I've never heard of this restaurant. Will have to try it sometime....Christine

Lori R. said...

My husband and I visited the Ringling Estate last Christmas with a high school friend who now resides in Punta Gorda. The full size museum on the estate includes the private car of John and Mabel Ringling. Is this car a second car or was the one at the estate removed? Just curious becuase the one at the estate has already been restored. The entire estate is fascinating to visit. Will have to see about visiting this restaurant next time we are in town. Thank you for sharing.

Hines-Sight said...

That is really interesting. I've never heard of chocolate spaghetti.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What fun, Sue! I have never heard of this, and it is something I will have to tell Missy for Cecelia and Clement. Thanks!

Looks like great food in a fun atmosphere!