Vegging: Palmetto, Florida Dining

An old Florida tomato town grows ever tastier.

In the 1920s, Manatee County harvested 6,000 acres of vegetables. By year 2000, that had stretched to 28,000 acres producing 450 million pounds of tomatoes.

Chances are, most of those tomatoes made their way through the tomato-shipping warehouses of Palmetto, Florida, to reach the world.

At least two gave their life for the wonderfully fresh and sneakily fierce salsa I dipped into at Alvarez Mexican Food.

A mainstay of Palmetto dining since 1976, it represents the culinary traditions for one side of the tracks of the Palmetto dichotomy: growers vs. pickers.

A newer, riverfront scene represents the upscale side of old Palmetto, which rises again from its lovely streets and river shores.

But let me back up, because I suspect many will be wondering at this point “where the heck is Palmetto, Florida?” Read more of this post