Lunch stop scores high grades all around
Long time pal Andy Caldwell and I were invited to try out the new Gainesville Ale House restaurant now situated like an oasis of food, fun, and all things grilled. Located just West of Interstate I-75 just over the newly constructed four-lane yellow-brick highway joining Butler Plaza and Celebration Point dedicated to capitalistic spending.
This was a Friday night dinner invite and the impressive, newly built joint was jumping with happy foodies.
'Joint' is certainly the wrong term for this new lunch stop replacing a 23 year-old, 1st generation Miller's Ale House façade on Archer Rd. Most folks will agree the old building should have been torn down10 years ago.
"Have you tried the Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese Boneless Chicken Zingers," John Hodge asked Andy and I as he walked up to us with a Drill Sargent look in his eyes. "They are so good, loaded with cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo and delicious," the Ale House Regional Manager added seeking affirmation from the GLOB Master.
Mr. Hodge was on a roll continuing his dinner suggestions with dessert as he directed us to a table overlooking the restaurant. "Be sure you try the Captain Jack's Buried Treasure for dessert' Hodge said. "It is so good I tried eating it every day for two weeks hoping I would get sick of it," the intense food professional explained as if testifying at a foodie anonymous meeting.
Gainesville Ale House General Manager Kristin Scott introduced our Server Noel Davidson explaining how after working at the Archer Rd. Location for several years how the entire staff was excited about their new restaurant digs.
"You can't imagine how everyone is so excited, happy about coming to work after being in at the old building for so long," Kristin said,
And they have a right to be feeling good about this new lunch stop GLOBers. Bright, and airy there is no feeling of clutter and dark spaces. Two giant bars in the middle of the restaurant offer quick lunches for those in a hurry. 68 TV Screens around the dining area making this a perfect location for weekend sporting events. This sporting event concept is enhanced by a full service bar with several of the local craft beers available as well as an extensive list of all the favorite liquors. Spacious outside seating looks inviting. However my suggestion sitting outside you should get your back to the Interstate unless you are the car counting kind of lunch outer.
I can't believe the GLOB Master is talking about building a wall but a 10 foot wall on the parking lot perimeter adorned with passion vine climbing, filling up the grey area with beautiful flowers. Passion Vine is the Gulf Fritillary butterfly host plant. That will would would certainly be dramaticly ingaging, plus it would calm the Highway noise a bit.
The formalities were fun. The Ale House is certainly an excellent addition to the burgeoning complex of shops and restaurants bifurcating US Highway 75.
A look at the Ale House menu is no small task with page upon page of choices from Appetizers – STARTING LINE-UP, to salads – ON THE GREENS, entrees from the grill, the sea, or fajitas – MVPs, Sandwiches – TWO HAND GRIPS. A kids menu, The FINAL PLAY dessert menu and a SHAREABLE menu are also available. Check out the sharing the Tex-Mex Chile Chicken Nachos with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, white queso, tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, sour cream, jalapeños, pico de gallo salsa. OMG! This entrée is reason enough for a return visit.
(Are you picking up on the Golfing theme here GLOBer?) There is a complete Gainesville Ale House menu at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.
The aforementioned Zingers with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, sour cream, pico de gallo - $10.49 - did sound like a good idea for a starter. I added a side order of hot sauce from the fifteen plus list of Zinger and wing sauces.
The Zingers are very good. This pieces of chicken white meat were batter fried perfectly with an impressive assortment of goodies to add on, accompany, or to dip you're zinger into. These Zingers would make an excellent, tasty meal on their own.
I enjoy a good, serious, red meat protein from time to time. Overwhelmed by the myriad of choices I chose the Grilled Flat Iron Steak Fajita a second look with the sautéed bell peppers and onions, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded lettuce, warm flour tortillas, and guacamole.
Andy Caldwell was considering a surf and turf dinner but decided on the North Atlantic Lobster Tails consisting of two 4-ounce tails, drawn butter, lemon wedge. The proximity of these Eastern lobster tails raised interesting conversation about the choice and flavor of up East lobster, as opposed to Florida Lobster tails. Like most conversations with Andy conclusions are typically irrelevant. BTW never ask Andy about the sun rising over the daily time zones of America.
Our Server Noel was making my dinner feel very special. Our meals were served quickly and filled our table with an incredible array of delectable looking proteins and carbohydrates.
Andy enjoyed his lobster tails and found the lobster tender, very moist and delicious with the drawn butter. Andy ordered an awesome looking side of mashed potatoes and gravy of the likes I dream of at night. "This is really good," Andy said. "The two tails are the perfect size entrée, and presented in a dramatic way," he added.
I'm not a big fan of entrees I have to make, create, or compile which is why I normally shy away meals like fajitas.
That said the sizzling sound of a hot skillet arriving at our table with my assortment of bell peppers, onions, Monterey Jack, cheddar cheeses, pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and guacamole - $12.49 - looked way inviting. I quickly made my first fajita wrap trying to include all the ingredients.
What a flavor explosions highlighted by the picco degallo, and guacamole. The small pieces of the flat iron steak were cut exactly the right size to ensure a charred flavor along with the chewy, surprisingly tender RMP bites. (that is Red Meat Protein). The sauteed peppers, onions were delightfully fresh, crunchy, and simmering in a delicious au jus that had me wondering why I don't order Fajitas more often.
All right readers, about this Capt. Jack's Buried Treasure dessert. This masterpiece of slow sugar death is a triple layered vanilla ice cream cake, Oreo cookie crust, Heath Bar crunch crumble, caramel and hot fudge sauce - $6.49 - is really something to reckon with.
That sounds yummy just reading it.
OMG! How good was it? Andy and I shared a slice certainly big enough for three. Unflinchingly, ignoring any chastising diabetes thoughts I might be hearing I happily dived directly into the chocolate cake and chocolate syrup gleefully.
After several healthy size bites Andy moved the dessert from the middle of the table declaring, "I think you have had enough GLOB Master."
Darn right I'm going back to the Ale House. Next time I will be there for lunch, at the bar. by myself, so I can eat, and enjoy whatever the hell I want.
The Pluses and Minuses of Gainesville Ale House:
Gainesville Ale House ( +) indicators: Fun, popular place for meeting friends. Tasty Zingers are worth your consideration. Something fo revertine in the vast Ale House menu.
Gainesville Ale House ( - ) indicators: Celebration point is a continuation of the Archer Rd. Triangle.
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