sun staff writer
BRADENTON BEACH � Victory is sweet for Joe and JoAnne
Spallino, of Joe�s Eats and Sweets, which was named
the best dessert place in Tampa Bay in a recent
contest sponsored by AOL�s City Guide.
"I�m really excited," JoAnne said after learning
about the honor. "I�m really happy." The City Guide
called Joe�s �a genuine beach treasure in this tiny
town on the southwest coast." The City Guide is
a network of local entertainment information on
the Web that includes 300 cities throughout the
country. It lists the best options each city has
to offer including restaurants, bars and date spots.
The City Guide editorial team selects nominees and
criteria include commitment to quality and service,
reputation for value, character and uniqueness.
Winners are selected by a vote of City Guide users.
One reviewer wrote, "The �Sweets� part of this pink
restaurant�s name is the real beach treasure. Stand
on the wrap-around deck and watch the Gulf kiss
the shore as you lick up chocolate sauce, bite into
fudge cake or scoop into sundaes that will make
you forget all about fruits and vegetables."
SUN PHOTO/PAT COPELAND
Above:Joe and JoAnne Spallino
"There were a lot of heavy hitters in the contest,"
JoAnne pointed out. Joe�s was the only nominee in Manatee
County, and it beat out the renowned Bern�s Steakhouse
in addition to Sideberns, Wright�s Gourmet House, Antojito�s,
Bo�s Ice Cream, Marc and Didi Deli and Cafe, all in
or near Tampa. Joe and JoAnne have owned the business
at 219 Gulf Drive S. since 1990 and have employed many
of the Island�s teens through the years. "I like to
watch the kids as they grow up and come back," JoAnne
said. "It gives you a comfortable feeling." JoAnne said
the couple has hired their first manager, Tracy Jenkins,
and noted, "Now we can take some time off." Joe�s specialties
include brownie and turtle sundaes and a pineapple sundae
served in a pineapple half, chocolate dipped cakes,
frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and nuts or sprinkles,
chocolate dipped marshmallows and homemade fudge. Homemade
ice cream comes in 44 flavors, fat-free yogurt comes
in 60 flavors and sugar-free ice cream comes in eight
flavors. There is also lactose-free and low carb ice
cream. Homemade waffle cones can be dipped in chocolate
and nuts or sprinkles, and sugar and cake cones are
available. Other offerings include expresso, cappuccino,
smoothies, hot dogs and a variety of sandwiches. Hours
are noon to 10 p.m. daily.