According to Tripadvisor, Abel's Ice Cream on Stickney Point Road about a block west of Route 41 (Tamiami Trail) is the No. 1 restaurant (out of more than 800) in the Sarasota area. It also has received awards from the Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post and South Florida magazine. Of course, it isn't a conventional restaurant. It is an ice cream parlor. But Abel's gets rave reviews from all of its customers. And ice cream is as important to native Floridians and tourists as air conditioning and fresh-squeezed orange juice and a sunny day at the beach. There are many ice cream parlors in Sarasota and on Siesta Key and we've been to all of them. There aren't any bad ones. Have to ever tasted bad chocolate ice cream? Abel's goes a few yards further. For openers, it offers 36 ice cream flavors from coconut to spumoni to coffee chip. You can get cones and cups, pints and quarts to go, ice cream cakes and pies, banana splits, sundaes, milk shakes, sodas, root beer floats, smoothies, jams and jellies, chutneys salas and dips, cheese ball mixes, dessert toppings, even frozen Cappuccinos. You also can purchase chocolates, including truffles, toffee, fudge, nuts, almonds and chewies. You might miss it at first. Abel's is tucked in a small strip mall across the street from another strip mall that is headlined by Peltz shoes and Carrabba's restaurant. And the sign just says "Ice Cream." But once you've found it, you'll want to go back again and again and again.
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