Bar to Bar Through Beantown
An out of town review from our vacation in sunny Venice Florida!
Neighborhood: Venice, Florida
Address: 1600 Harbor Drive South
Date of Visit: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Bartender Name: Unknown
Sharky’s is the epitome of beach bar. Make sure to head this way for a sunset (well, like an hour or so before). Take a walk on the pier and grab some photos of pelicans and people-watch (you’re more than likely going to see someone in a wedding dress), and then hit the bar on your way upstairs. The bartenders are uber-efficient (mainly due to the pre-made frozen drinks that they shell out – you won’t often hear the whir of a blender here), and after checking our IDs (we were pretty sure Eric’s was going to get confiscated – he must’ve grown more handsome since his last picture), shelled out our “Bait Buckets” quickly before we made our way up the sprial staircase to the upstairs deck.
Upstairs it’s pretty much seat yourself. There were a couple of large parties (birthdays we think), so we grabbed a table that we ended up sharing with a local couple and grabbed an app. The waitresses on the deck were super attentive, grabbing us another round just before offering to take a picture of the group in front of the sunset (a beautiful silhouette shot!) – people sure are friendly down here!
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Miami Vice
Ingredients: 1/2 Deck Runner and 1/2 Piña Colada
Review: I’m pretty sure the picture here says it all, but alas I will elaborate! Although I had already sampled the Baitbucket (see below), I had read rave review’s about Sharky’s Miami Vice. While Miami Vices are traditionally made with half Piña Colada and half Strawberry Daquiri, this version was made with Sharky’s Deck Runner, which is their take on a rum runner, containing light rum, blackberry brandy, and banana liqueur. Needless to say, the Deck Runner aspect gave this drink an added level of fruitiness. Coupled with the view of the sunset, it was perfection.
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Baitbucket Margarita
Ingredients: Cuervo Gold Tequila, Triple Sec, Blue Curacao
Review: The Bait Bucket was suggested by my in-laws as Sharky’s Signature Drink, so of course I had to try one after hearing them talk about it for MONTHS leading up to our vacation. The cocktail was essentially a frozen margarita, made blue with Blue Curacao and served with a lightly-salted rim. The cocktail surprised me in that despite being somewhat of a novelty (and frozen, which I normally steer clear of), it was suprisingly well balanced between the sweet sugary flavor and the sour of the lime juice. The cocktail gave just the right amount of pucker that paired well with the salted rim (think finely ground kosher salt, none of those big flakes on the rim of this plastic cup). Overall, the Bait Bucket is what it is, a pretty well done frozen margarita, perfect as a party drink, but offering a limited amount of skill by the bartenders. Would I order it again? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t fly down just for this!
Wine Prices: Nine whites and eight reds (including two Sharky’s exclusives) are available by the glass for $6 to $9, and by the bottle for $21 to $31. Five champagnes are also available – two by the split only for $5 or $9 and the other three by the bottle for $32, $69 and $169 (Dom Perignon).
Beer Prices: Five beers are on tap, including Yuengling, and fifteen beers by the bottle – no prices listed on the menu!
Other: Sharky’s offers up seven “Famous Frozens,” along with the two above there are a Coconut Palm Colada, Deck Runner, Bushwacker (aka the Adult Milkshake), Mango Bango, and a Virgin Strawberry (alcohol free) . Written on the sign hung by the bar is “due to the alcohol content, we ask that you limit yourself to either 3 small or 2 large frozens!”