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Road Trip: Reddick, MJ's Country Cafe & Buffet

Southern style cookin', Deep South love

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

102113MJsfI need to start with the GLOB Master's signature line, "I'm coming back" to MJ's Country Cafe and Buffet in Reddick just south of McIntosh. There is an Eating Professional's objective staring me down, challenging every heart healthy promise I have ever made.

I am talking about MJ's Favorite Cowboy Burger (image at top).  This protein explosion consists of a half–pound of hamburger sandwiched between TWO grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. This lunch time belly bomb is served with your choice of French fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries, or fried okra.

102113MJsignIf my daddy were alive I would take him to Reddick to treat him to this hamburger. If any GLOBers have eaten this big-boy burger and lived to talk about, please identify yourself!  What do YOU think about the MJ Favority Cowboy Burger stomach stuffer?

MJ's is the perfect weekend diversion get-away-- a short drive 'back to a slower time in old Florida." This 30- minute destination south of the Urban GLOB "out on highway #441 where the cars sound like waves crashing down on the beach" is the ideal foodie get-away.

The GLOB Master is talking serious, home style, southern cooking with stick-to-your-ribs meat loaf, fried chicken, pot roast, baked chicken, fried okra, okra and tomatoes, greens, mac 'n cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn bread, biscuits, white bread . . .  have I made you hungry yet?

Click here for the complete MJ's Menu.

102113MJbuffetROSIEThe GLOB Historian, Jon Roosenraad, was my lunch partner on this trip and we decided he would order from the menu and I would experience the N. Florida Famous MJ lunch buffet since Rosey typically shows more restraint in his lunch time caloric intake than the GLOB Master.  Rosey didn't even LOOK at the MJ's Favorite Cowboy Burger! Instead he ordered the Sandy's Southern Sandwich, which was a piece of very nice looking fried chicken exploding out of all sides of the S S S Roll. The fried green tomato was equally beautiful, fried to a crispy brown delight, The professor liked his sandwich, even though it was just a little more Southern fried heaven than this Michigan born transplant normally consumes.

When our very friendly server brought our lunches to the table, I asked if they got a lot of orders for the MJ's Favorite Cowboy Burger.

"Not really," she said and added, "Most of the lunch crowd are serious, hard working folk, coming in for MJ's Lunch Buffet."

Boy was she correct. By noon, the tables were full of lunch outers waiting their turn at the chow line. I think of my ex-wife here because, if she had seen the six sheriff's office employees sitting across the aisle from Dr. Jon and me, she would have wanted to know why they were all bigger than me.

102113MJbuffetPLATESince I am an eating professional, I thought it was incumbent upon me to 'fit in' so I made me a good looking plate of meat loaf, green beans, corn bread stuffing, and coleslaw -- a plate that had me smiling like a lunch time Cheshire cat.

I swear all the eyes in the diner were on me to see if I was going to get the obligatory second plate of lunch.

"So I did.'

102113MJbuffetPLATE2To be honest, I felt bad about not giving Mike and Jana's fresh fried chicken and fried pork loin serious consideration. I know I heard the lima beans and Mac & Cheese , and a very fresh-looking and tasty chopped broccoli salad in a pleading voice say, "Eat me Mikee!"

The entire lunch was exactly what this Southern boy needed in the way of deep south culinary affirmation.

I chanced upon MJ's when I met the owners Mike and Jana one afternoon in Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille.  Much to my surpise I realized that Mike Sanford, me, and Jana Sanford-Heller, my daughter weren't the only Mike and Jana's in this part of the world.

MJ's Country Cafe and Buffet is southern food and attitude personified. Gosh, GLOBers, it says so on the MJ's Country Cafe & Buffet website: "MJ's is just an extension of our home. We want our guests to feel at home here. We want to know you, visit with you, and send you away with a full belly."

Read more...

Thinking weekend Brunch? French Toast

Fancy some French toast this holiday weekend?

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

The Gainesville food scene has plentiful breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots that provide unique dining experiences. Breakfast, also known as the most important meal of the day, is a vast food venture, from the typical eggs, bacon, and hash browns to pancake stacks and oatmeal mounds that stuff tummies. However, I feel the need to touch on what I feel is an overlooked, versatile breakfast item: French toast. There are so many variations of this bready wonder that it may be time to pin down who gets it right in Gainesville.

1. Peach Valley Café: What they have done for French toast is nothing short of mouth-watering. Simple, fluffy goodness is found with each sugar-sprinkled bite. The stuffed French toast is a bit heavy for me; peach and strawberry filling is a concoction worth trying, though. Topping the toast with a fruit — and I am thoroughly impressed that it doesn't seem to have been frozen — is a flavorful addition.

2. The Jones Eastside Eatery: While I feel I must preface this by saying it is not particularly close to campus, it is worth the visit. Everything is delicious, and there are numerous savory menu items teaming with fresh, locally-grown ingredients of sizeable proportions. The omelets are sensational, the sandwiches overflow with meats and veggies and ooze with cheeses, and the fresh-baked sweets melt-in-your-mouth. However, it was on tasting the thick slices of brioche French toast drizzled with blueberries or used in Jonesy Cristo sandwich and snuggling eggs and bacon in the middle that solidified my desire to not want the experience to end. The French toast is hands down the best bang for your buck (or, in this case, schlep over).

083013Toast3. Ivey's Grill: So this is a bit on the pricey side, but too many people have raved over the French toast, namely the banana nut, to not include it. A generous slab of banana-filled French toast provides a sweet, but not overbearing combination of flavors. It is also another way to support the local food scene.

4. The Flying Biscuit Café: OK, the French toast with a mound of raspberry sauce piled on top is good. Not great, but good. It is a solid addition to many of the breakfast choices, but the food is hit or miss.

5. IHOP: Hey, let's not disregard this cheap, late night hot spot. That means French toast, 24/7, with multiple types of toppings to adorn your breakfast food item. I don't exactly hate it.

6. 43rd St. Deli & Breakfast House: As soon as I saw challah bread French toast on the menu, I was sold. I had only heard amazing things of this sweet, fluffy bread's magical qualities for making the most eggy, scrumptious French toast. Instead, I received a few slices of pre-cut sandwich bread-size disappointment. This French toast is on this list because there is definitely room for improvement.

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Dolce Vita Bakery Cafe

July 30, 2013 – The Dolce Vita Bakery Café Head Baker Jennifer Mercado wants Gainesville to know their newly opened bakery on NW 34th St., in the NW adjacent to the Pizza Hut, plan is to provide Gainesville breakfast and lunchouters all the cronutsthey can eat.

"I made some today using croissants, Bavarian cream, and chocolate sauce, and they are really good," Jennifer said as she served the GLOB Master a plate of wonderful dessert pastries.

Dolce Vita has been in business over 4 years serving pastry, and sugary confections to the delight of the Union St. Downtown Farmers Market customers.

DolceVitaJenniferMallory"Rose Mercado, my Mother and I, have teamed up to give this full time bakery idea a try," Jennifer said, left in photo with bakery front counter specialist Mallory Hinkley.

Open Monday though Sat., Dolce Vita also serves a complete Lunch menu including sandwiches, salads, soup bakery pastries and . . . cronuts.

The cronut is a creation of Dominique Ansel's Bakery in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood, as people jockey for a shot at buying cronuts, a croissant-doughnut hybrid that has seized the New York imagination like a must-see show.

 

The Pluses and Minuses of Dolce Vita Bakery Cafe:

Dolce Vita + indicators :

Dolce Vita - indicators:

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about XXXX.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

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David's Real Pit BBQ, NW 39th Ave.

David's cooking team's perfect entree

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

00davidsSTOREfrontI go out to lunch way more than any one foodie should have to. The question I hear most is from folks when we are talking food, lunch stops, cuisines: "So what is your favorite restaurant GLOB Master?"

I try to get around that question by turning it around and remarking: "I like to say if my mother was coming to town where would I take her for lunch."

Now I'm not singing, "I've been everywhere man," but I must admit I have been to whole lot of lunch stops.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PspqAIXtI3w

There are so many different cuisines in Gainesville I believe it is hard, and unfair comparing tacos to deep fried oysters. Tacos are now so popular I'm sure some lunch stops are out there selling fried oyster tacos as I write this review.

Let's make it official GLOBers. I am going on the record saying if I had to pick one entree for lunch it would have to the David's Real Pit BBQ Build Your Own Omelet with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and extra American cheese.

This is my Go-To breakfast these days. I realized I would have to get to David's before the 11:00 end of breakfast cooking shift rto make it a lunch item.

 

052819DavidsOmelete

The NW 30th Ave. David's Cooking Team of Justin Chesser, image right, and Jarret Webster have the finer points of cooking eggs and melting cheese down to a culinary work of art. I have never had a bad David's Omelet. Image at the top of this review.

The omelet's three eggs are cooked perfectly. I don't have to ask for my omelet to be cooked soft, or hard. The veggies are sautéed perfectly and Chef Jarret, image above left, loads my breakfast with a mountain of Mother Nature's low carbohydrate prizes. This omelet comes with two ingredients ($7.19). Additional ingredients are .50c each.

So let's talk cheese. I know American cheese is possibly the most unremarkable coagulated, compressed, and ripened curds of milk you will find at the designer cheese counter. I have tried many of upscale cheeses on my omelet GLOBers. For me none of them melt into the luscious, gooey-ness that surrounds literally everything in my Build-Your-Own Omelet.

Evey bite I take of my favorite meal includes a smidgen, glob, or mouthful of melted cheese wonderfulness.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOGaugKpzs

 

DAVIDSomeleteCUBES

If I have a good, low blood sugar reading I will treat myself to some fantastic Canyon Cube deep fried potatoes. Or perhaps a slice of rye toast instead of the potatoes. Occasionally I will add a protein of sausage, or bacon on the side.

All that said I would be perfectly happy with my favorite omelet for lunch with 'nuthin' on the side.' If the ingredients are available I bet the David's cooking team would make you a Build-Your-Own-Omelet for lunch. Or like the GLOB Master does make your lunch hour a little earlier in the day to give this entrée belly bomb serious consideration.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

053019DavidsSTAFF

Customer friendly staff makes lunch special

By Mike Sanford, GLOB EDITOR

You know how some lunch spots are just better than others GLOBers? The food is always excellent. The location is prefect for a tightly timed lunch schedule. The staff treats you like you are part of the family.

I don't want to say how long I have been a David's Real Pit BBQ fan. Let's just say it is way more than a couple of decades the GLOB Master cares to remember.

"What are you having for lunch today Mr. Mike," David's Staffer Hayley Wright asks in a friendly voice as I walk to the ordering counter.

"You tell me TWIN A,' I respond not really sure which of the David's Staffer twins I was talking too. I was thinking outside the regular lunch box assortment of BBQ sandwiches, salads, and Daily Specials.

"How about a turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sandwich on an English muffin," Pit Boss Chris Stein suggested from behind the kitchen counter. "You used to always eat English muffins," Chris continued.

It did sound like a very good lunchtime bite. Plus the English muffin idea reminded of my old Sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast days and toasted English muffin morning sandwiches of old times. YUM!

"The last time I tried your turkey it had too much salty, smoked flavor," I said thinking this turkey sandwich lunch was good idea.

"We can leave the smoked spices off of your turkey if you like Mr, Mike," Hayley, image right, said in a friendly, accommodating voice. BTW I have some sweet, sour, good news, bad news to report. Kayley, image left, in the above image has decided to take her work hours to the Oaks Mall and start working for BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse very soon. I told the twins I wanted pictures if any separation anxiety that occurs.

 

davidsMUFFINsaladFINAL

VOILA! A prize winning creative, custom lunch was created thanks to the always friendly David's Real Pit BBQ staff for this very happy customer. I added a garden salad to my lunch because Chris and the BBQ pit team have become creative and proficient as salad chefs. Tomatoes, onions, carrots, chopped eggs, bits of ham have never been assembled in a more imaginative side dish for the diabetes busting GLOB Master.

My customized sandwiched was very good. The turkey was moist with strong flavor. The lettuce, tomato, mayo and bacon created a delicious back drop of tastes, flavors and crunch. I smiled to myself dreaming of how many post Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches I have devoured in my lifetime.

 

davidsMUFFINhayley480

"How was your sandwich Mr. Mike," Hayley asked. "I think I'm going to have to try one of those for lunch today," she added.

"It was very good Hayley, I'm coming back," I said fist bumping Hayley. "You guys once again have made me a very happy customer," I said smiling, rising from lunch perch.

 

Staffer two-fer doubles lunch happiness

By Mike Sanford, GLOB EDITOR

00davidsSTOREfrontMaybe it's the BBQ. BBQ is a straight forward dish of delight you roast for an extended period of time, chop into pieces, and plate it up with a Bar-B-Que pit side item.

It could be all about Southern food GLOBers. Typically there is nothing fancy about a heaping plate of comfort food goodness looking back at you square in the eye, piping hot, carbohydrate loaded with gravy, potatoes, macaroni and cheese.

That sounds like two excellent reasons why the David's Real Pit BBQ Pit Crew climb out of the everyday meat protein lunch plate world and pump up the volume when the customer asks for garden salad as a side item.

Think of it, Look at the creativity involved. We're not talking about a wedge of iceberg lettuce, a few tomatoes, and some chopped onions. No siree GLOBer. The BBQ pit crew at the David's on NW 39th ave. have taken on the pizza shop paradigm about green salads, and that is Anything goes. The more mixed veggies the better. The more visual appeal to the customer is a major objective.

"I have actually run to the grocery store before lunch to make sure we have all the necessary ingredients to make our salads special GLOB Master,' Said Pit Crew member Chris Shindle. "Jim Bruce, Shane Tense and I take pride in what we do in this BBQ kitchen," the 'Que Master said.

That kind of attention to details works on me. Nothing is more pleasing than to see a giant plate of salad greens, arugula, romaine, spinach, watercress surrounded by green peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes served attractively. Literally a smorgasbord of green, leafy, and low carbohydrate veggies gems with a mission satisfy the inner lunch eating constraints of this diabetes driven lunch outer.

 

DAVIDsMEATLESburger

Add a black bean veggie burger to your lunch with a second helping of toppings, mustard, catsup and you have yourself a fantastic meatless lunch of the first order.

I've said it before if you add enough toppings on your v. burger, eat it open face, there is a good possibility you will forget you have discounted meat this one day a week.

The vest part for me is sitting at my lunch enjoying a lunch time irony with a smug look thinking the only person that knows I am going meatless in me, and Arthur Brown behind the David's lunch counter.

BTW it has only been a year for me to discover David's server Kayla Wright doesn't work double shifts at David's on NW 39th Ave. I was thinking, man, every time I go into David's Kayla is working.

The work ethic was resolved recently when Kayla's twin sister Haley was working alongside each other at the cash register. The two Buchholz High School Seniors have the front of David's covered with Kayla in the last months of high school. Haley is already taking classes in Santa Fe College's early entry program so it isn't like the twins are spending 24-7 together.

012218DavidsTWINS

I think that is Kayla on the right in the image below. They both do an excellent job keeping this customer happy with salient questions like, "Garden Salads are $2 today, I know you want one GLOB Master!'

 

MKsDINNER

Tale of two sammies: Other white meat wins

00davidsSTOREfront

zzGLOBbullet There is more David's BBQ feature information on the David's BBQ NE 23rd Blog page.

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

I have been wanting to try David's Real Pit BBQ on 39th Ave. for quite some time. The location always deterred me from, as it seems to be a trek from whichever direction you are coming from in Gainesville. I figured, though, if there was any night to try it out, Tuesday nights were the best to do so: From offering $2 pork sandwiches to a student Buy One Get One sandwich discount, I was beyond sold. Plus, who needs an excuse for some down-home BBQ goodness?

I wanted to take advantage of this special with my boyfriend, Thomas, by ordering the BOGO student option: a chopped pork sandwich for me and the (free) chopped sweet tea-infused brisket sandwich for my brisket-loving dining companion. My pulled pork, other-white-meat sandwich quest is akin to his search for the best brisket in town.

On requesting the BOGO special from the cashier, I was misled.  The cashier said in order to do so, both orders needed to be rung up to get the details of both sandwiches on the ticket. When I asked if I was able to get the BOGO deal for two different sandwiches, I was led to believe this was possible, but then he charged me for two separate BOGO deal options: one for two chopped pork sammies and the other for the two brisket ones. I was not looking to order four sandwiches for two people! In addition to being very unclear, when I inquired further to better understand if I could do my intended option, the cashier was extremely patronizing. Not a great start to my first David's BBQ experience.

With somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth already from the miscommunication, I sat staring at our four BBQ sandwich creations with an uneasy feeling. However, our appetites took over, and we proceeded to split our orders, each of us having one of each sandwich option, and we devoured our meals.

MKsROLLI was extremely pleased that I made a quick and uncommonly decisive choice to substitute the usual bun on the chopped pork sandwich for garlic toast for an additional cost. It made all the difference, especially when compared with the brisket sandwich with the original bun.

The brisket sandwich (right), was very disappointing. The thick chopped brisket chunks were pretty fatty and not particularly tender as slow-cooked brisket is when it is done right. The typical, cheap burger bun bread and slice of what tasted like the pre-sliced cheap cheese made the entire sandwich taste artificial. There was also horseradish sauce that was so mild it did not add anything to the sandwich either. Displeased as ever, I ended up removing the bun and eating solely the brisket chunks, which I smothered in David's original BBQ sauce, with a fork, I hoped that my dining companion was not as unsatisfied with the brisket sandwich as I was.

MKsTOASTBack to my main attraction and my reason for venturing deep into Gainesville BBQ territory: the pulled pork sandwich. I feel that I made all the right choices when ordering: pork chopped, not pulled; coleslaw on top; garlic toast. It all came down to the quality and flavor of the meat itself. After coating the meat in a thin layer of the aforementioned BBQ sauce, which was very tasty and preferrable to the other sauces offered, my taste buds were revived. Although not as tender as I would have hoped, the pork was much better than the brisket and the pieces not as thick. I was skeptical about putting coleslaw on pork, but it provided a balanced sweet aspect with a hint of crunchy texture to the sandwich, giving it another dimension. It was mostly the garlic toast, though, that made a world of difference. I cannot stress that enough.

MKcornOKRASides are some of my favorite aspects of going to BBQ establishments. On this occasion, I opted for collard greens and the large serving of fried okra for Thomas and I to split. The small collard green side was almost as big as the side of fried okra, which was supposedly a large order.

Thomas and I will fight to the last piece of fried okra if necessary, hence the large order, but what was offered was a barely adequate amount. However, it was pretty tasty all things considered, as were the collard greens. I also feel the need to mention that they ran out of sweet tea, which is another BBQ staple for this Food Adventurer.

Next time, I will know what the rules are for BOGO Tuesdays as to avoid the aggravation. I will also make sure that the fried okra is indeed a large order. Sweet potato fries are my typical go-to side if offered, so those are on the checklist as well. Was it a good sandwich? Yes. Was the entire experience anything special? Not at all, but I'm hoping it was a bad day for them. Will I give David's another shot (especially considering how much the GLOB Master, Mike Sanford, raves about it)? You bet.

The Pluses and Minuses of David's BBQ:

David's BBQ (+) Indicators : 'Doctored up' sandwiches were tasty, good Daily Specials

David's BBQ (-) Indicators: Far distance, from Midtown, poor customer service, seemingly lower quality ingredients on various items, ran out of tea.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about David's Real Pit BBQ.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

 

Smokehouse serving X-large BBQ bliss

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

There is more David's BBQ feature information on the David's BBQ NE 23rd Blog page.

I've been a Davids BBQ fan for a real long time. My relationship goes back to 1998 when the restaurant was located on NW 23rd Ave. across from what is now Ward's Grocery. I'm guessing you've heard their snappy music on television and radio ads. Their web site proudly states David's BBQ was voted 'Best BBQ and ribs in Gainesville', and 'Best Food' at the Greater Gainesville Beer Festival.

BBQ ribs and beer. I wish I could describe the wonderful images floating around in head right now thinking about ribs and beer. I have no idea who the challengers were at that beer festival, but I can tell you with one of David's extra large, incredibly fleshy ribs in one hand, and a glass of the ice cold golden nectar of the gods in the other, second place really is unimportant.

DavidsRIBSDavid's ribs are so large I recently ordered the large pork plate special with two sides and could only eat two of the ribs. I shared the order with my friend Lynn and she ate two of the ribs. It was my sons Bob's birthday so I gave him the fifth rib to take home for later.

OK, Lynn didn't do a very good job of cleaning all the meat off her rib bones. So I made sure she didn't throw any of those juicy, tender morsels of meat away . . .

I'm a big guy. I wear extra large clothes and could easily weigh 300 pounds as opposed to 200 pounds. Folks like me will appreciate this next statement. THERE IS NO PORTION CONTROL AT DAVID'S BBQ.

The pork plate special mentioned above is a lot of food. Picture a nine inch black plate of five giant ribs and a major portion of fries on top of the ribs, only to have a very large order of perhaps the best onion rings in town stacked on top of the fries sitting in front of you. Literally a triple-decker order of heart stopping heaven. Now think about it being your mission to clean your plate.

That's what momma always told me.

The flavors are extraordinary. The meat is perfectly cooked. The side orders are cooked to perfection. Their Texas toast chopped pork sandwich -- in which I measure BBQ success -- I M O is one of the best sandwiches in town.

For the GLOBers interested in a good Food On The Run spot David's has a quick drive-thru that moves you through the order window, pick up window process in a timely manner.

OnionRINGSBTW the home cut french fries are really good. Their lightly battered french fried onion rings most likely are the best in town. If these O R's aren't the best you need to tell me where to find better onion rings. Go ahead add your comment below, send me to David's competition.

Since the large rib special is big enough to share, my suggestion is to order both the fries and the onions rings as your two side orders.

My ex-wife summarized the David's BBQ experience perfectly, "How come the people eating in here are all shaped like you and not like me?"

OINK!

2DOLLARporkSANDWICH

$2.00 PORK SANDWICHES! $2.00 PORK SANDWICHES!  Oops, sorry, I got caught up in that TV ad where the guy jumps out the window, and back in the front door yelling about a super cheap special.  A $2.00 sandwich lunch special is something to get excited about.  What make the David's BBQ pork sandwich special on Tuesday's is that this is really good BBQ.  David's does a nice job cooking the other white meat to smoked 'que perfection.  The chopped pork, or the sliced variety is very tasty, and is complimented by a spicy on-the-hotter-side of mild BBQ sauce on the GLOB Master's lunch time belly bomb.  Sometimes I add the David's coleslaw to the sandwich for a tart, crunchy flavor addition.  I like my BBQ sammie on the crunchy Texas Toast.  You have to admit that is a darn good looking sandwich above.  David's only disclaimer is you can buy just 5 sandwiches at one time.  In other words you can't stop the school bus and buy everybody on the giant Orange school wagon a $2.00 sandwich. Gosh Pee Wee, a TWO dollar sandwich and TWO sides is just a little over SIX bucks.  I'm going back to David's BBQ for lunch today.

The Pluses and Minuses of David's BBQ:

David's BBQ (+) Indicators : Truly serving up plates of bar-b-ques bliss!

David's BBQ (-) Indicators: David's presents a counter of interesting hot sauces they have titled the wall of fire. All of those hot sauces and we can't sample any of them.

 

OCTcheeseburger

In the search for truth, justice, a good lunch sometimes you have to dive in and eat the combo meal before sound reasoning makes a mess of your lunch. Walking to David's Real Pit Bar-B-Que for lunch the other day I decided that when I got there, and my blood sugar was under 120 points, I was going to eat the David's cheeseburger with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard, ketchup on Texas toast, $4.99. I didn't have the fortitude to order the delicious giant planks of French fried potatoes. However I did order some Fried Onion rings, $2.99. Taking my blood sugar after the serious walk to lunch I posted a human like reading of 83. 83 GLOBers! I sat at my table trying really hard not to do a Snoopy happy dance over my good fortune. The cheeseburger was fabulous. The slices of thick, toasted, pieces of Texas toast were delightful amidst the goo of melted cheese, mustard, ketchup accenting the flavors of the dill pickle, tomatoes and the crunch of a giant slice of onion. I looked at the clock and considered how long I could sit there enjoying this myriad of marvelous flavors. I would have been happy taking all afternoon to eat that protein belly bomb. WARNING! IF YOU ARE DIABETIC DON'T TRY THIS LUNCH AT HOME. David's onion rings in the GLOB Master's opinion are some of the best on town. Fried to a crisp, crusty, flaky, golden brown perfect for dredging through ketchup. YUM what delicious, juicy onion flavor. After lunch I checked my blood sugar to see my lunchtime damage. My blood sugar spiked to 266 points. I looked at the 183 sugar spike, thought about it for a minute. Then I headed out shrugging my shoulders with a smug smile on my face, for another hour walk before dinner . . .

- GLOB Master

 

 

Omelette380

Meatless Monday in the 'Que Pit

 By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

2017LOGOaCome on GLOBers, everyone enjoys a tasty plate of breakfast for lunch now and then. Long time GLOBer Allan Morrow has a comment somewhere on the GLOB website extolling the virtues of potatoes, eggs, and his favorite breakfast protein for the noon day meal. I agree -- I could eat eggs with (other!) proteins three times a day and be a very happy, satisfied GLOBer.

 Since I moved across town last summer, I have been happily accepted into the fold of the David's Real Pit BBQ clan on NW 39th Ave. There are a lot of long-time, really good folks working David's BBQ lunch stops.

 

2017DAVIDSstaff

 It's the old "Everybody knows you name" feeling at David's and, from left, Naleta R., Casey D., Chris S., and Arthur B. seem to know what I want and how I like it and serve it to me in a timely, professional manner.

 Have you ever considered a David's three-egg omelette for lunch? The Build-Your-Own Omelet, ($7.19). Includes two ingredients, additional ingredients $.25 ea.: Bacon, ham, sausage patty, sausage link, onion, peppers, mushroom, tomato & cheese

 Omelettes are served until 11:30 in the morning, and the DRPBBQ breakfast sandwiches are served all day. There is a complete daivid's BBQ menu at thre restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

 After a deep discussion with Casey D. about exactly what I should put on my Meatless Monday omelette, she suggested I include mushrooms in my egg, onion, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese lunch prize for texture and taste as a faux meat replacement.

 "You see veggie mushroom burgers all the time, why not add them to your omelette?" Casey asked matter-of-factly.

 So I did.

 Why is it, GLOBers, that every food entrée I see these days looks big enough for two? My mother in heaven would slap me across my forehead if she saw me throwing uneaten food in the garbage.

 

Omelette380

 Back to MM omelette: The cheese melting in and around all the ingredients made my omelette fabulous and added a goo-touch to counter the texture of sautéed peppers, onions, tomatoes, AND the meatiness of the mushrooms. The David's Real Pit BBQ omelette never disappoints, I thought while I ate and smiled to myself.

 Between bites I thought back about how my heart must have had a sad face when Casey D. asked the routine question, "Would you like grits, home fries, hash browns, or canyon cubes with your omelette, GLOB Master?"

 And I quickly replied, "None of those for me thank you."

 Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about David's Real Pit BBQ.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS

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Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins

Milk shake results in rule breaking lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Every time I pass by the Dunkin' Donut/Baskin Robbins on NW 13th St. across from the Kentucky Fried Chicken I think to myself, "The Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge Milk Shake is the best milk shake in the universe."

It might be BR's Jamoca ice cream with the pronounced coffee flavor. Maybe it's the chocolate syrup swirled ribbon like from the top of the milk shake cup, to the bottom. It could be the wonderfully crunchy surprise of the big pieces of almonds bouncing around in your mouth seeking your attention.  What ever combination of those intriguing descriptions above work for you, they forced the GLOB Master to break one of the two Gainesville Lunch Out Blog rules.

 

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GLOB rule number one is we will not speak about any restaurants with three or more locations in the GLOB. Dunkin' Donut has four donut shops open in Gainesville. The caveat in this circumstance is only one of those stores has a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop.

Walking into Dunkin' Donut/Baskin Robbins it was no surprise that this bifurcated donut shop ice cream stand, breakfast lunch stop, sweet savory café was counting on the customer having a serious sweet tooth.

 

BRsigns

Donuts to the West, ice cream cakes to the South, and looking North a wall full of milk shakes, sundaes, and ice cream cones screaming out for your attention. On the wall behind the donut counter posters describe an assortment of breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Awash in building anticipation of the perfect sugar high, and at the suggestion of DDBR server Chelsea I quickly selected a breakfast sandwich titled 'The Big & Toasty,' - photo at the top of this feature.  The B&T was a good sandwich with a good amount of eggs, bacon, cheese, and Texas toast.

 

BRchelsea

Thanks to Chelsea, image above, I would order the Big & Toasty again. But I have to be honest here. I was at the DDBR for the manly sized, GLOB Master favorite, Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge Milk Shake.

When I came to Gainesville a zillion years ago one of my first UF experiences was crossing University Ave. to wait in line at the Baskin Robbins for this exact milk shake. When that Baskin Robbins closed several years ago I sunk in to a deep state of mourning thinking I had lost a very special, sweet, and sugary friend.

I experienced a religious like awakening when GLOB Content Editor Lynn Dirk recently mentioned, "a donut shop was also serving Baskin Robbins ice cream!"

 

BRcandies

Trying to stay contemporary the ice cream counter had apothecary jars of jelly beans, m&ms, nuts, candy corn and all the other confectionary tid-bits to spice up your frozen dessert.

"But my milkshake don't need no stinkin' jelly beans, or peanuts to make it better."

Did I tell you how the chocolate syrup sits in my mouth, enveloping the coffee flavored ice cream, producing an ice cream sundae like taste surprise . . .

The Pluses and Minuses of Dunkin' Donut/Baskin Robbins

 + Dunkin' Donut/Baskin Robbins indicators : Best milk shake this side of the planet Jupiter.

 - Dunkin' Donut/Baskin Robbins indicators: An unremarkable lunch stop, but extraordinary ice cream stand!

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Dunkin' Donut/Baskin Robbins.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

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Top Restaurant

Great expectations lead to brunch let-down

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

I don't think there is any meal that makes me as giddy as Sunday brunch. I love a good lunch outing, and I look forward to intimate dinners and making food for a good friend or my boyfriend, but brunch on Sunday makes the dining out experience truly enjoyable. In all my expectation and desire for a perfect brunch outing, I may have set the bar too high at my latest brunch, however, I think it may have been more than too-high expectations in regards to a recent Sunday brunch at The Top restaurant downtown that left me very dissatisfied.

062614TopSFI have seen people wait in a line out the door to dine at The Top, and I have heard great things about the food. A friend's invite to accompany her and another friend to this bustling downtown hotspot provided a double dose of excitement: trying a new place for the first time and trying it for brunch on a Sunday.

I was leary of the possibility of a long wait due to having seen those lines of hungry patrons at The Top door, but we were seated immediately and the wait staff was pretty attentive throughout. 

This downtown restaurant has something for everyone. They have expanded the bar and create some delicious drinks. There is all kinds of fun kitch and memorabilia in the dining room and in the bathrooms. Where else can you see an old fashioned oil lamp, self help books from the 50s, and baseball trading cards all used as decor? Plus, check out the amazing collection of lamps.

Per my usual indecisive dilemma at restaurants, I wanted to try too many things to narrow down the options to just one thing. Luckily, one of my dining companions, Ariel, shared my struggle over the desire for a sweet and salty element to each meal and offered to order the Crabby Benedict, the top choice on my Benedict list, if I ordered the Crème Brulee French Toast so we could split both meals in half.

062714Topbrunch2While Barbara happily munched away on a bigger-than-her-face breakfast burrito, complete with a slathering of green guacamole atop the creation, Ariel and I were ready to dive into our half-portions of each dish. Unlike Barbara, I was not as enthused about what was presented. I wish I had positive things to say of the meal.

The three, moderately-sized slices of Crème Brulee French Toast were extremely sweet, which I'm sure was the point. The main disappointment, however, was that the inch-thick bread came already drenched in syrup. If there is one thing I cannot stand with my breakfast pastries, it is not being able to control the rate at which they are dunked in syrup. I felt like I had to eat the French Toast at record speed to avoid a soggy dish.  No number of berries — which were very scarce on the plate as well — could salvage it.

06271Topbrunch3It could be the sheer number of varied brunch spots that has turned my taste buds into finally-tuned machines or perhaps it is the number of eggs Benedict dishes I have consumed, but the Crabby Benedict was very underwhelming. The idea of crab resting over a biscuit-type bed and generously blanketed with artichoke, tomato, and spinach underneath a poached egg just ready to pop seemed like a taste explosion! Not to mention I am a sucker for a good hollandaise sauce. However, after just one bite I could tell the aforementioned ingredients were bland and subpar. Not even my go-to spice, pepper, could revive this dish. The egg wasn't even runny, which would have given the dish a nice coat of flavor, especially considering the sparse hollandaise.

I am surprised at the long lines and crowded tables at the Top on Sundays, their Sunday brunch being the only non-dinner meal served there. That could also contribute to my less-than-stellar brunch experience since it is not their focus, but I imagine it is their popularity that draws people to try the brunch as well.

I have to report that despite the unusually timely service for The Top, I walked away from this brunch extremely dissatisfied. I hope the other Sunday brunch dishes have more effort put into them then mine.

The Pluses and Minuses of the The Top Restaurant

The Top Restaurant + indicators : Downtown-located, fun nighttime bar, decent service this brunch (despite more negative reviews of this)

The Top Restaurant - indicators: Subpar brunch food, almost too dim of lighting, previous reviews left expectations too high

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about The Top Restaurant.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

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David's Real Pit BBQ

DAVIDSbbqNEI'm a workin' guy. I am up every morning Mon.-Fri. between 4:30 and 6:00 getting the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog's Daily GLOB ready to publish by 8:15 am. So when I walked into the David's Real Pit BBQ on NE 23rd Ave. and saw they had a Working Person's Special of a BBQ sandwich, your choice of side item and a 16 oz. refillable drink for $6.00, that was one of the easier no-brainer decisions I have made in quite some time. This is David's BBQ. The pork sandwich is juicy, flavorful pulled and chopped pork stacked mountain high on some very tasty, perfectly toasted, thick-sliced Texas toast. I couldn't resist trying the fried okra. GLOBers . The okra wasn't the best fried okra ever made and then I proceeded to eat every bit of this southern taste treat. "You know, I prefer my okra just boiled and served slimy or it is sublime with tomatoes over rice,' I said to no one special reaching for the last nugget of okra goodness. David's dining room filled up for lunch, and the David's staffers demonstrated that this wasn't their first BBQ rodeo and kept the trays of smoke protein specialties moving out to waiting customers in a very fine fashion. I'm going back to David's Real Pit BBQ! Well, maybe not today, but certainly the next time I'm looking for BBQ pork goodness . . .

- GLOB Master

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A Gainesville Lunch out Blog feature story about David's BBQ can be found on the NW 39th Ave David's ReaL Pit BBQ page.

 

DAVIDsMEATLESSmonday

Veggie burger works 'Cue stand

Jim Bruce works David's Real Pit BBQ, and he has a story to share with you. David has been cooking up, serving, and presenting happy customers some of Gaineville's best BBQ for over nine years. Jim has also been a vegetarian for over 12 years. Talk about being a'stranger in a strange land.' I was thinking of Leon Russell and the Mad Dogs and Englishmen as Jim explained to me how it wasn't that bad being a vegetarian in a kitchen full of fat, gristle, and meat.

"I'm used to it. It really doesn't bother me that much any more," Jim said.  "I have become the great explainer as to why we need to keep buying meatless patties for customers. It's a good sandwich." I am here to testify that David's is a good place for professional eaters. No need to say, "Upsize that would ya?" The fried potatoes could be the best in town. Big, fat, home style cut potato planks that let you know right away that you're eating potato. The David's veggie burger is cut from the same checkerboard BBQ table cloth. A giant wedge of tomato, half inch slices of albino white onions that dramatically contrast with the greenest designer lettuce you can find, and the biggest dill pickle slices this side of the Claussen pickle farm. Add a little mayonnaise and ketchup on top of a crispy crunchy, spicy veggie burger that includes some spicy red pepper flakes in it, and you have yourself a taste explosion of BIG flavors happening in your mouth.

- GLOB Master

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about David's Real Pit BBQ.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

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Adam's Rib Co., SW 13th St.

ARhotsauceThe GLOB Master has been hearing stories about how the SW 13th St. Adams Rib (AR) Co. has been wall-to-wall with lunchouters every day. I am here to tell you the stories are true. I went, I saw, I concur--my entire lunch hour customers flowed in the AR front door, while Sarah, the customer friendly server, manned the cash register ARswTOPPERsmoothly enough that everyone seemed happy about having a BBQed lunch. It could be the Adam's Rib 2-rib lunch special has a lot do with customer happiness. Two of Adam Brewer's GIANT, tasty, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs will soothe the most savage carnivores. These ribs are so good it seems unfair to the juicy pork flavor to use one of Adam's multiple BBQ sauces choices. But choose I did and I opted for hot and spicy--Heater BBQ Sauce.  The swamp sauce had some heat but was a little on the sweet side for my palate. My only disappointment was I knew the image of the 'cue sauce bottles would have been a better image with Sarah's photogenic face beaming from behind the the bottles of sauces. Unfortunately for you, Sarah was way too busy to play with the GLOB Master. Maybe next time I can get that photo shot and add onion rings to the rib special.

Editor's Note: A Gainesville Lunch Out Blog feature of Adam's Rib Co. can be viewed on the Adam's Rib Co. NW 13th location. GLOB page.

The Pluses and Minuses of Adams Rib Company:

Adam's Rib Co. + indicators: Arguably the meatiest, best BBQ ribs in town.

Adam's Rib Co. - indicators:  This is a popular lunch stop so plan your time accordingly

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Adam's Rib. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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Adam's Rib Co.

ARC continues to be a great lunch stop with two smart meat eating lunch specials. The bright, way larger, and very friendly 'gator' environ males for an enthusiastic, hungry appetite. This is one of those lunch stops where you are making a mistake not checking their lunch Daily Special board. The Daily special was two burger sliders and a side for $5.99. Now that's a smart idea GLOBers. The GLOB Master doesn't have a problem shoving food in his mouth, so I appreciate lunch stops, service, entrees that are smaller portioned by design so I can feel good about cleaning my plate. It might be psychological at times but sitting at the ARC lunch counter I was feeling very good about enjoying TWO hamburgers perfectly cooked and appointed with ketchup, crispy lettuce and tomato. The toasted bun added yet another pleasing taste contribution to a very good lunch. It's hard for me not to automatically choose French fries with my hamburger, however the Adams Rib sides of green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, BBQ baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, collard greens, Seasoned French fries, black eyed peas are all delicious. I'm going back to Adam's Rib Co. soon just to see what the Daily Special might be.

- Mike Sanford

Dining2

 

BBQ + great location = great lunch spot!

zzGLOBbullet FOLLOW THIS LINK an Adam's Rib feature on the AR's SW 13th St. location

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Bar-B-Que, BBQ, pork, ribs brisket, chopped, chicken, burnt ends, Memphis, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Korean, mustard base, smoked . . .

Did I missed a category?

AR13thstSF2016Adam's Rib Company on NW 13th St. has become one of Gainesville's lunch time favorite 'Que joints for folks serious about a healthy serving of their protein cooked over open flame red meat protein.

And I can't blame them.

The Rib Company serves up a different lunch special every day that would make any judicious lover of red meat slathered in one of their many sauces to stand up and take notice.

 

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There are some serious eating food lovers in this small lunch stop. However the customers seem to move in and out of this diner atmosphere on a relatively speedy basis. You can thank the wait staff for that efficiency.

There are no frills at Adam's Rib Company. Excellent BBQed lunch fare is served to you with customer friendly attitude from people that understand you're on a lunch break and you don't have any time to dilly-dally.

So, BTW, have you ever dilly-dallied over lunch . . . ? !

I don't know who invented the chopped pork BBQ sandwich on texas toast so I am publicly thanking them here for what I call pure sandwich nirvana. Crispy toasted bread, tangy sauce with a little heat smothering a man size serving of deliciously smoked, chopped, tasty morsels of 'the other white meat'.

I've asked the friendly staffers behind the Adams Rib Company Counter to give me a call the next time the pork,Texas toast sandwich makes the ARC today's special board.

I'm guessing they have been busy doing other things . . . I haven't received the first phone call.

The GLOB counts fourteen restaurants in our Urban Glob making BBQ their speciality. Write the GLOB a comment and let us know what makes your favorite BBQ lunch spot special?

Adams2ribspecial

A.R.'s two-rib special w/fries and greens: PERFECT!

Just like that -- it was a little cooler at lunch time. The warm sun shining on my back as I crossed 13th St. in front of Adam's Rib made me think of those kitties you see curled up in windows absorbing vitamin D. I was in an absorption mode, but I was thinking of a stick-to-your-ribs lunch special from this 13th St. BBQ joint. Have you tried the 2-rib, 1-side-order $5.99 Adam's Rib Lunch Special? OK, I admit I ordered a second side of what could be the best collard greens in Hogtown. I'm a big guy, and that is a lot of food I absorbed. Speaking of absorbing, the Texas toast is perfect for absorbing pot liquor leftovers in the bottom of the greens container.  BTW, I just read that pot liquor is a heart healthy brew, and that makes this old Southern, green nectar of the gods a win/win lunch addition. Now THAT'S good news I can use.

- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of Adams Rib Company:

Adam's Rib Co. + indicators: Close to the corner of NW 13th and NW 23rd ave. Adams Rib Company rules the BBQ world in all directions for several miles.

Adam's Rib Co. - indicators:  With a small lunch counter, a few tables and many regulars, the FOTR approach to this lunch visit can some times be a good idea in this busy little diner.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Adam's Rib. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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Clock Restaurant

Liver, onions big feature at this lunch stop

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CLOCKsf I am here to inform you that The Clock also satisfies any lunch cravings you might have for Homestyle Favorites (as it's called on their menu), including Hearty Homemade Meatloaf, Liver & Onions with Bacon(!), Grilled Pork Chops, and Spaghetti & Meatballs.

Liver and onions! I was sure that the only place I could find L&Os in GLOBland was the Picadilly Cafeteria on NW 13th St.

I had to have it. Like all the Clock's Home Style Favorites, my liver and onions was accompanied by a choice of soup or salad; potato, onion rings or rice pilaf; vegetable of the day; and a buttermilk biscuit or dinner roll. These menu items can also be found under Senior Specials at reduced prices and without the carb.

Swimming in memories of liver and onion dinners of the past while I was enjoying this nice lunch, I am sure my eyes glazed over and anyone who had noticed might have thought I was deep in thought rather than lost in nostalgia.

The Clock is a special place if you are into memories, times gone by such as the experience of how lunch used to served. Nothing fancy here. You will find friendly servers who I found were calling many of their customers by their first name.

This old fashioned lunch stop has it all. This could be why they call this place Clock Family Restaurants – something for anyone at anytime. That means breakfast all day, including Belgian waffles or steak and eggs because sometimes you just gotta have breakfast for lunch.

I don't think the Clock is trying to be a five star restaurant. I do know this long-time, established restaurant has a lot of faithful followers for a number of reasons -- like a complete separate section of senior specials for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; basic meals like chopped sirloin steak, meatloaf, seafood, country fried steak and "Classic Steaks"; and, more to the point here, a substantial list of various burgers, salads, regular sandwiches, open faced sandwiches, melts, and soup. Plus, might I suggest you give the liver and onions a try?  This old fashioned restaurant deserved a try if home sttye cooking is on your lunch agenda.

As my cardiologist would tell me, "Mike, all of these dishes are loaded with cholesterol," or as I like to call it, heart stopping good.

The Pluses and Minuses of The Clock Restaurant:

The Clock's (+) indicators: A nice trip into a time forgotten for a unique, tasty homestyle lunch. After four or five visits I bet they know your name.

The Clock's (-) indicators: Nothing fancy here if you are into ambience, designer food, or notoriety this might not be the place for you.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Clock restaurant. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

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