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Restaurant lunch highlights:

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Valentine lunch suggestion

I have always found Valentine's Day to be a special time of sharing to most special ingredients in a relationship.  And the GLOB Master isn't talking about cheese, spicy red sauce, and a dessert to share.  As the GLOB Master likes to say, If my momma was in town my first thought about a special lunch would be downtown Gainesville's Paramount Grill lunch stop.   I was thinking about the Paramount Grill's Fried Egg, Avocado, White Cheddar Burger on a pretzel bun for this Valentine's Day mid0day meal. The idea of tasty slices of avocado layered underneath a perfectly fried egg combining in culinary harmony with the obligatory lettuce, tomato, mustard and catsup had me eatified. Wouldn't you know the last of the three specials mentioned for this Friday lunch was a panini meatloaf sandwich with bacon and fried green tomatoes? I'm talking a meatloaf sandwich on toasted panini bread -- that sounded like an oxymoron to me. Then I noticed that the current hamburger of my dreams along with an order of fries was selling for $12! I quickly remembered hearing a Krystal ad selling 12 burgers for $7.99. I'm not sure if it was the good hamburger angel or the bad hamburger angel convincing me to try the meatloaf sandwich for my birthday. But it was a good decision. The fried green tomato was a smart addition to the tried-and-true, very tasty, hearty, comforting chunky meatloaf 'sandwiched' between the tasty slices of panini bread. How good was my sandwich? Lucky for me Jane wanted just a little taste of my meatloaf wonder in exchange for a bite of her Roasted Free Range Chicken Salad Wrap with avocado, plum tomato and exotic greens. I never found out what made the Paramount greens exotic. I do know that if I am buying a $12 hamburger, I'd be sharing it with somebody. Now with the Krystal special, "everyone in your car can have two . . ."

A wonderful, 'old Gainesville' lunch experience

zzGLOBbullet Paramount Grill one of Gourmet magazine's best Valentine's Day dinners.

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Would it surprise you to learn that the fine dining establishment, the Paramount Grill (PG) in downtown Gainesville, is serving up a sandwich at lunch?  It's an incredibly tasty, pressed sandwich called "Grilled Chicken with Havarti, Bacon, Plum Tomato, Organic Greens and Avocado with Garlic Aioli."

PmountPICThat's quite an inventory of ingredients combined in this toasted, pressed-to-perfection, melted cheese flavor extravaganza.

When it's my turn to suggest a lunch out spot to friends I am happy to pick the Paramount Grill because I like to think of the PG as one of my special lunchtime discoveries.

The Paramount Grill is a great friendly lunch gathering spot for your biz meeting. The tables are spaced out evenly enough that you don't feel like you're invading the space of lunch outters at the next table.

There is no sense of being in a hurry at the Paramount Grill. Located on a side street just off of Main St, the PG has a large front window with a great view looking out on one of the oldest streets in Gainesville. Directly across the street is a beautiful, red-brick rustic building that once housed what may have been the first hardware store in Gainesville (Rice Hardware, now American Apparel -- which retained the original well-worn wooden floor).

paramountstoresfYou can imagine yourself in a Gainesville from another era as you sit amidst a gracious decor at a table traditionally laid out with a white table cloth and cloth napkins, and an attentive, quick-to-please wait staff eagerly anticipates your needs.

The Paramount Grill lunch menu is an interesting variation of their dinner menu and features salads, soups, and wraps.

They have also included a nice collection of burgers, some veggie items, and a very nice assortment of special lunch entrees like Almond Encrusted Crab Cakes, Salmon Saute' with Portabello Mushrooms, and Pesto Roasted Chicken Roulade.

From the perspective of this professional eater, if you are looking to impress, to close a big business deal, or just to stop, step back, and take a breath away from every day madness, the Paramount Grill might very well be your designated destination.

So fellow GLOBers, if you are out to impress where's your best lunch out spot?



Plans had been made for a Paramount Grill Sunday Brunch for quite a few weeks.The PG's menu of excellent choices made decision-making very hard but eventually entrees were chosen. Gold stars go to the Crab Cake Benedict with lots of crab, plumtomatoes, roasted garlic and basil hollandaise, and gooey poached egg yolks over all, despite the curiosity of crab cakes sitting atop a slice of sourdough bread. The Chicken salad crepes with brie were a close second with tasty chunks of chicken over baby spinach, asparagus, and plum tomato salad tossed with fig vinaigrette and finished with walnuts. The thick slice of Almond Crusted French Toast served with fresh blueberries, raspberry coulis and sour cream was very good. Two friends took advantage of the all-you-can-drink mimosas. How good was our Sunday brunch?  Our plates were cleaned spotless, we had enjoyable extended conversation, and I'm going back!

-- Mike Sanford, GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minusesof The Paramount Grill:

The Paramoung Grill + indicators :  A superior lunch experience in beautiful, old Gainesville.

The Paramount Grill - indicators : Lunch can quickly work up to the pricier side of a good lunch deal . . .

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


Francesca's Trattoria

Style, class, really good homemade sausage

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

FrancescasWINEglassIn the GLOB Master's opinion, Francesca's Trattoria, off of NW 43rd St., is one of the nicer lunch stops in the Urban GLOB. Five star style, attentive servers, fresh made and home style fabulously delicious Italian cuisine:

STYLE: As the doors open into Francesca's, you are swept into a world of white table cloths, cloth napkins, and water in glass stemware that has me thinking, "I'm not in Gainesville anymore."

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE/ATTENTION: The quick-to-attend-to-your-needs wait staff is always smiling, ready to make your lunch special.

JUST LIKE MOMMA'S: With homemade sauces, breads, and incredible sausage, the Francesca's kitchen staffers works make the lunch hour a piesano, Italian-style, homemade experience.

Do I sound excited about having lunch with good friend and SweetBerries Eatery and Frozen Custard co-owner, Jane Osmond, and GLOB Content Editor, Lynn Dirk?

I was excited even though I'm not the biggest fan of Italian cuisine. When the idea of pasta, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese comes up in relation to lunch, I always remind myself that there are a lot of Italian dishes that don't include pasta and tomato sauce.

The Francesca's lunch menu lists salads, paninis, pasta, and specialties. There is even a lunch Wine Special of a glass of Chardonnay, Cabernet or Chianti for $5. There is a note on the summer menu that you can get 15% off individual carryout orders, which expires 9-30-17. There is a lunch menu link at the bottom of this page.

Jane and Lynn were both considering sandwiches with Francesca's home baked bread that had me pining for the good ol' days of eating all the bread I wanted.:(  The Francesca's lunch paninis are served on artisan bread with a choice of Italian fries, homemade soup, or salad.



Jane quickly selected the Panini Caprese for her Italian mid-day meal. This veggie sandwich sounded exquisite being served toasted with melted buffalo mozzarella, local vine-ripened tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves ($10.25).



Captain Dirk went the route of the Francesca's Sausage Parmesan Panini with homemade sausage baked with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella ($10.50). I suggest you be sure to add grilled onions and peppers to your sub for $2 to make it special.

Francesca's homemade sausage is unique with a generous addition of fennel and when I got to taste some of Lynn's sandwich, it elicited memories of the last time I enjoyed this most excellent, glorious homemade bread submarine sandwich.



The Pesto Grilled Chicken was my red sauce- and pasta-less lunch. The chicken breast was tasty and special being grilled and treated with basil, pine nut, Parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil pesto. My lunch was served with a side of sautéed seasonal vegetables ($13,95).

The flavors of the chicken breast seasoning were bold and rich. I was pleased the chef had not gone the current route of bigger portions are better portions. My lunch portion was the perfect size for this used-to-be extra-large all-you- can eat diner.

Lynn enjoyed her sausage sub and side salad, which was a very generous portion. She was surprised that the sausage was very soft and it reminded her of meatloaf, which she loves.

"You have taken this new diabetes diet seriously haven't you," Jane said noticing the left over sausage sandwich bread on my plate.

"It's been 13 months since my diagnosis," I said thinking about the question.

"Any more, ignoring all the amazingly tasty carbohydrates every day is almost automatic. It is longingly painful at times and I do feel like a food martyr wondering if it's better to be the food hammer or the noodle nail."

The Pluses and Minuses of Francesca's Trattoria:

The Francesca's + Indicators: Very special lunch ambience, they serve brunch on weekends, authentic Italian cuisine.

The Francesca's - Indicators: A lbit pricey for an everyday lunch




Panini featured in fine dining lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

FrancescasI just had a Northern Italy home cooked lunch of a sausage, peppers and onion panini made with homemade ciabatta bread, homemade tomato sauce with tons of halved cherry tomatoes, and some of the best Italian sausage packed with spicy fennel seed I have ever eaten.

This five-star sandwich wasn't served to me on plastic plates or wrapped in paper with somefranchise logo stamped all over it.

I was enjoying my lunch time surprise at the fine dining restaurant Francesca's Trattoria off of NW 43rd St, behind the Zaxby's fried chicken shack.

Excuse me for sounding excited, but this lunch was unexpectedly remarkable.  Plus they have an unbelievable Sunday Brunch!



Walking into Francesca's from the noon day heat, I was pleased with the subdued setting that lay before me. The darker than normal lighting combined with rows of tastefully appointed tables ready for lunch time guests and with starched yellow tables cloths and burgundy napkins. The several rows of geometrically aligned dining tables in front of me gave the impression of lunch time elegance.

My friendly waiter expertly assisted me with my lunch time dilemma of whether I should have the lasagna or the sausage panini. A knowing glance from my server made it clear that the panini was the better choice. And was he ever correct.

The Francesca's Trattoria lunch special is a free salad included with any Panini sandwich choice. I chose the house salad of mixed greens lightly tossed with tomatoes, olives, red onions, and pepperoncini and a side of creamy Italian dressing. The salad delivered an excellent assortment of flavors and textures.



My panini was served in halves with tomato sauce, peppers, onions and sausage overflowing the sides of very softly toasted, freshly baked ciabatta. After picking up this juicy, fennel-laden sausage concoction, I realized that eating an open face approach was a better idea if I didn't want to wear tomato sauce the remainder of the day.

The abundance of flavors heightened by perfect amounts of spices in my sausage sandwich made me eat slower than usual so I could enjoy this culinary experience to the max.

Francesca's Italian sausage is the best sausage I have eaten in quite some time.

There isn't a lot of heat in this protein. However, with the dominant presence of fennel seed, I wanted to eat more, and more, and more of this delightful other white meat.

Did I say this was an excellent lunch?

I'm going back to Francesca's Trattoria soon. I make an excellent lasagna that includes sausage and ground beef. I'm eager to try FT's lasagna and see how it compares with mine.

Francesca's also has a brick oven pizza that I plan to try.

So let's see. I invite two friends for lunch and I order the lasagna. I talk my two friends into ordering pizza and a Sausage sandwich. Then we can have a sharing party.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Paninis, pizzas, and lasagna for lunch. That sounds like an extended lunch hour that will be elegant and remarkable.

The Pluses and Minuses of Francesca's Trattoria:

The Francesca's + Indicators: Five star lunch with authentic homemade ingredients

The Francesca's - Indicators: A little pricier than some places, but worth every penny of your lunch money.

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



Lunch with these girls is always special

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

civilizationSignJust off North Main St. North of downtown there is a hidden lunch palace that everyone should have on there regular lunch list of places to eat.  It's not on the regular highway of frequently traveled lunch stops.  You have probably seen this location bea=caude you were going to eat there. It has been hidden away for the fegular lunch crown for may years.  The unique cuisine is special, the spaciuosness of the dining area is open air and friendly.  It is always busy but seldom frazzled.  It is owned by a coopeartive of the staffer that work ther.

Oh, the lunch and dinner menus are some of the more unique menus you will find in gainesville

I'm talking about the Civilization restuarant at $% St, just off of the corner of NW 16th, ave and the corner of $$th avenue.



Every meal I have had there has been a special treat.   Civilization - The GLOB Master usually goes there at once or twice a year with Lynn Dirk and Dr. Michelle Cardel. They have put this lunch spot at the top of there lunch list for good reason. The Civilization staff take great pride in what they do and they have come up with some very interesting menu items.




Lynn's: Felafel Burger  - A deep fried patty of ground chickpeas and spices served on an onion kaiser roll with a side of cucumber yogurt sauce and fried potatoes.   10.00   Add Feta cheese – 1.00.    Substitute a Civ salad for the potatoes for 2.00.  Lynn said it was a good lunch.



Michelle's Soup and Salad of a tasty cup of Tomato Basil Soup with Arcadian Salad.  "A nice change.  I especially loved that soup," Michelle Said.



And my Hungarian Grilled Cheese  - Made with our house-made Korozott – a blend of feta, gruyere & cream cheeses seasoned with paprika and mustard. On wheat with fresh spinach and roasted peppers. 10.25.  The Civilization cole was a perfect compliment to the gooeiness of the sandwich.

As usual we all shared our lunch with no problems I think my grilled cheese like no there grilled cheese was special with three unique kinds of cheese 'goo-ed' together.  My sandwich was a winner on flavor and the textures of the good cheeses.

The civilization lunch menu is an abbreviated listing of the evening menu with a focuc and salads and sandwiches and an abbreveated list of BURRITOS, TACOS, AND MORE that includes a HEBA bowl of Ethiopian red lentils cooked in spice infused oil, and collard greens sauteed with red peppers and tomatoes.  Topped with two poached eggs, goat cheese, yasa sauce & flatbread.  10.75.  and Fried Avocado Tacos served in flour tortillas with lime-habanero cole slaw and fresh tomatoes, and a side of our house-made salsa verde. 10.50.

This lunch stop has never disappointed add I have fond memories of the time we had eight pople at our table and we shared each other meal to a point of no one really knowing what they ordered.

The Pluses and Minuses of Civilization:

Civilization + indicators: Good food, great ambience, beautiful building, extraordinary company and plenty of parking.

Civilization. - indicators: Civilization is a cash only location, so be prepared.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Civilization.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THAN



CIVILIZATION: What LOCAL is all about

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

civilizationSignIn the GLOB Master's frequent food adventures when the Civilization restaurant downtown -- just West of North Main St. – is mentioned it always occurs to me this hidden-away-gem-of-lunch stop does an excellent job of proudly carrying the . . .


"We source as much of our produce as possible from local growers including:"

zzGLOBbullet Dogwood Lane Farms, The Family Garden Organic Farm and Possum Hollow Farm.

zzGLOBbullet Our organic croissants and baguettes come from Vine Bakery in Gainesville.

zzGLOBbullet Our organic grits and grains are purchased from Ward's Super Market on NW 23rd Avenue.

zzGLOBbullet Our organic spices and teas come from Frontier Natural Products Co-op.

zzGLOBbullet Our coffee is a special house blend made for us by Sweetwater Organic Roasters on South Main Street.

zzGLOBbullet Our Beelers bacon & Cochon sausage are all natural & from companies that use humane practices in raising animals.

zzGLOBbullet The chicken we use is vegetarian-fed, antibiotic & hormone-free & Humane Certified.

And that's just for starters GLOBers. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a lengthy list of local preferences that makes this restaurant a very special eatery in North. Florida.



it was time once again for a fun meet-up with long time UF Entomology and Nematology Pals Jane Medley, Kathy and Dave Milne.

With Brunch, Lunch, Vegan, and Dinner menus available selecting just the right entrée can be no easy task my food loving aficionado.

Starting with unique salads like the 'Yum Som O (Thai Pomelo Salad). Local pomelo, red bell peppers, roasted cashews, toasted coconut, fried shallots & fresh herbs atop mixed greens with a splash of tamari & lime basil dressing. (available during citrus season) $6.00 / S9.50.  The extraordinarily creative list of burritos, tacos, and wraps including the Fried Avocado Tacos served in flour tortillas with lime-habanero cole slaw and fresh tomatoes, and a side of our house-made salsa verde. $9.50.



The clever entree nameology works on me.

Don't get me started on the seven sandwich choices including a astounding sounding Hemingway Burger consisting of garlic green onions, India relish, lots of herbs & spices & a red wine marinade give this burger a deep complex flavor. Pan-seared medium- well for a crispy outside and juicy inside. Let us know if you'd like lettuce, tomatoes & pickles, $11.50 Add goat cheese, $1.50, white cheddar – $1.00. (I plan to give this burger a try on my next visit.)

Brunch is served in salads, small plates, and sides with a full array of egg and breakfast choices.

There is a complete Civilization menu at the restaurant link on the bottom of this page.



Kudos to Civilization for sporting one of the biggest, handiest, easiest to read menu boards in Gainesville situated in an extra large fashion in the center of the restaurant.

Talking about appealing, mouth watering choices here GLOBers. How good did they look you ask?



David and I chose the Pepperjack and Cheddar Grilled Cheese with, tomato, bacon, and carmelized onion, and a side. David selected the Stewed beets, and I chose the cole slaw at the suggestion of Ms. Medley.



Jane opted for the Moroccan Barbecue Sandwich of beef braised in Moroccan spices and served on a kaiser roll with tomato and onion relish and goat cheese.. Jane's side was a bowl of black beans and rice, $10.00.



Kathy M. went for a sandwich she had selected in the past with Terranova Farmers Market Sandwich consisting of pepper Jack cheese, avocados, tomatoes, sprouts & red onions on wheat with red pepper mayo. $9.00.  For GLOB newbies the Terranova catering company was the early start for many of the Civilization staffer in the employee owned foodie adventure.



Our Pepperjack & Cheddar grilled cheese much to our delight was presented on giant slices of perfectly grilled Vine Bakery bread. The flavors of the melted, gooey cheese was a wonderful backdrop for the piquant flavor of the tomatoes and perfectly grilled onions.

The tangy lime-habanero cole slaw, with very little dressing, was a perfect tart flavor, not a lot of heat, to complement the gooey, heavy bites of the sandwich.

This was a very big lunchtime sandwich. After eating the first half I liked the idea of dissing the carbohydrate gods by only eating one slice of the wonderful breed and offering the other half of my lunch to Jane M. for a snack later in the day.

The Pluses and Minuses of Civilization:

Civilization + indicators: Employee owned restaurant only accepts cash.

Civilization. - indicators: Ran out of one of the entrees.

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





'Hidden' bistro perfect for catching up, lunch  

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

civilizationSignThe GLOB Master got a big smile on his face when GLOB EATING HEALTHY columnist Michelle Cardelle suggested lunch with Lynn Dirk and I. The Special lunch guest was three month old Javier who was the hit of the noon-day Civilization lunch crowd. Michelle broke the news that she is ready to return to work at the University of Florida and looks forward to offering up new healthy eating ideas to the GLOB world next year.



I'm not sure why Civilization and their unique lunch time menu sits just of the GLOB radar screen because I have never had anything but delicious, spectacular meals here hidden back behind the Publix on Main St.

The last time I was here a lunch guest ordered the Shrimp and Grits and it really looked good. I remember the entrée being on the large side of the lunch plate so I thought the price reasonable since two lunch outers could share this entrée. Described as blackened wild caught shrimp over organic yellow corn grits baked with sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, and andouille sausage. Served with collard greens ($15.50). The description had my palate thinking, almost singing., blackened, sausage, shrimp oh my.



Wow GLOBers, the spicy shrimp, sausage, and bacon were powerful flavors combined with the mild corn grits and cheddar cheese. Cheese grits could be one of those entrees I need to give more consideration. But they would have to be included with tasty corn meal grits, not the processed white grits. Remember, no white things for this diabetic.

It was a lot of food and part of the fun eating with these two foodies nothing goes to waste I was thinking as I moved my plate to the center of the table.

"Can I have that," Michelle asked stabbing my plate with her fork as she was eating for her and Javier.



Michelle took advantage of the SOUP & CIV SALAD special and for an additional dollar substituted the Utopian Salad with sweet potatoes, candied pecans, red onions, granny smith apples and stilton cheese over mixed greens with maple balsamic vinaigrette, and a cup of the Soup of the day ($8.50). Michelle enjoyed the salad especially the Kalamata olives, and stilton cheese.



Lynn is working seriously on a meatless diet and selected the Fried Avocado Tacos served in flour tortillas with lime-habanero cole slaw and fresh tomatoes and a side of house-made salsa verde ($9.50). Lynn said the flavors were excellent, including the fried avocado, which had a light coating of fine breadcrumbs. The only disappointment was that the tortilla was flour. According to her, flour tortillas are not really tortillas. It has to be corn! But she ate the tacos anyway. The tangy habanero cole slaw helped take the bite out of the disappointment.

GLOB staff lunches, holiday lunches, dinners, Civilization is a special location, employee owned, enjoying the fact they are just a little bit different.

There is a Civilization restaurant menu link at the bottom of this page.




'Tucked Away' cafe offers atypical lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

civilizationSignIf you had to describe Civilization restaurant – off of NW 16th Ave near Main St. – The GLOB Master would use the word unique. This lunch stop offers an eclectic menu of lunch time delights including a plethora of Meatless Monday opportunities from fried avocado tacos to chickpea fritters with onions & fresh spinach



Owned by the Terranova Catering company this wholly employee owned restaurant has the feel of independence from the adventurous menu to a staffer attitude of, 'I'll get to it when I can."

Maybe that ownership charm is what makes this nooner-lunch stop special. That and the GLOB Master enjoys perusing the menu discovering entrees you would never think of.  Lunching with good friend and Ayurvedic, massage instructor and Chaya-Sharon Heller I was excited about what our entrees would be presented to us for our eatification.


Veggiewrap480Chaya a serious eater in regard to health and wellness and I enjoy watching her study menus, seeking out just the right entrée to fulfill her bodies needs. Her questions about lunch emphasis her eastern approach to food and health, Today her lunch choice was the spinach and sweet potato burrito($8.50  with white cheddar, rice, avocado and fresh cilantro. The burrito is served with a side of salsa verde. Add black beans $1.50.) Chaya liked the flavors of the beans, and the idea of adding sweet potato was special, unique, to Chaya, See GLOBers there's that unique idea I'm talking about.

ChickpeasThe Civilization Spinach Pakora($6.50) with chickpea fritters, onions, fresh spinach, and cilantro chutney was my choice for lunch. I love garbanzo beans/chickpeas and I find it fascinating how they show up in so many different cuisines. I was delighted to see a fabulous looking plate of what appeared to be three impressive, toasted looking potato pancakes on my lunch plate. The crunch of the fritters immediately generated a GLOB Master smile. T he Garbanzo Bean flavor combined with the fresh spinach was quite remarkable. That said I think the lunch time winning component is the cilantro tomato chutney which was screaming out. "MIX ME INTO THOSE PANCAKES PLEASE!"

There is a complete Civilization menu at the bottom of this page.



According to the website: More importantly beans are high in fiber and antioxidants. Beans aren't just good for the waistline, they may aid in disease prevention, too. More than just a meat substitute, beans are so nutritious that the latest dietary guidelines recommend we triple our current intake from 1 to 3 cups per week

Extraordinary company, fantastic original lunch entrees in one of Gainesville's more UNIQUE lunch setting demonstrated to me once again that I truly love my job in the first place, with garbanzo beans a very strong second place.

The Pluses and Minuses of Civilization:

Civilization + indicators: One of the more unique menus meatless or otherwise. Extraordinary flavors, unique flavor profiles..

Civilization. - indicators: Service can be tepid. Not a lunchstop or the hurried lunch outer.

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







Feeling civilized at GLOB work brunch

By: GLOB Staffers

civilizationSignMelissa Kahan:
It didn't take much convincing for some of the members of the GLOB team to have a meeting of constructive shop talk and brunch time fare over at Civilization. Kim Harris and I were the only ones who hadn't been to this local co-op, and the unique breakfast and lunch options piqued my interest, including plenty of vegetarian options that sounded like they would not be sacrificing taste.

CIVILmimosa2After splitting a carafe of slightly tart yet refreshing hibiscus ginger mimosas and lemon ricotta beignets with a scrape-the-plate-clean raspberry sauce (literally in Lynn's case), $20 total, we decided to share four entrees to get the full "civilized" feast experience. My contribution was the Pipperada Frittata, $9.50, image below. I hesitated to order this at first due to many past lackluster frittata experiences, but the method of baking this rendition seemed like it would make the difference. I was pleasantly surprised: A medley of veggies, including onions, green olives, bell peppers and tomatoes, were baked in eggs and cream in a deeper, round dish. This far surpassed the usual flat frittata that I've had, and I loved how confining the ingredients in that deeper dish kept the insides piping hot even after splitting it in fourths for sharing. Also, the top of the egg creation was coated with a creamy layer of manchego cheese and accompanied by three toasted baguette slices. After seeing Lynn and Kim pick at the remains of the dish, I think it's safe to say that the consensus was this selection was a winner.



Lynn Dirk:
CIVILBeignetsMimosI'm not sure why, but it has been awhile since I'd been to Civilization, and I forgot how everything on the menu looks so good and how hard it is to decide what to get, but my contribution to the GLOB feast would be the Florida Cakes, $9.50: pancakes made with shredded zucchini, orange zest and candied pecans that were served with hot blueberry compote. They were even better than they sounded. They were nicely browned all over with crispy edges. The candied pecans were occasional nuggets providing a delightful contrast to the typical pancake texture. The cakes were not too thick and not too thin, but just what the middle bear ordered. The compote provided some tartness, but I was so glad that I had also salvaged some organic raspberry puree left over from the beignets, and that puree was the icing on the pancakes! Also, those beignets (Thank you Melissa for noticing "The Civilized Way to Start the Day" at the bottom of the menu!) were not like the ones at the Café du Monde in New Orleans, but if there were ever a beignet competition, I'd bet on Civilization's over Café du Monde's. Also, with all our sharing and requests for extra plates, our server did a great job with a friendly smile the whole time. Since we all shared our dishes, I will add that I thought the other dishes were equally good. Not only that, the best part of the feast was the sharing because I LOVE variety! One of the things that bothers me most about restaurants is the overabundance of main entrées. Maybe this means I am a buffet girl at heart, but the other remedy is sharing family style. Great food, great company, and excellent spirits put me in Hogtown heaven!



Kim Harris
I brilliantly ordered (or perhaps was told to order; either way, it was brilliant) the Grits Florentine, $9.50, which is a dish of organic, yellow grits with fresh spinach and two poached eggs. The eggs were cooked a little too hard to be called "poached", but they still blended well with the grits, which were creamy perfection. The dish also included large green olives, which provided a natural salty flavor, and was topped with local, heirloom cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion. The veggies were all fresh and I appreciate the organic and local ingredients that Civilization uses whenever possible. This was perhaps my favorite of all four, wonderful entrees.



As for the other dishes, I am not always a fan of ricotta cheese, but the lemony ricotta filling in the beignets blended beautifully with the raspberry sauce, made with real raspberries. Mike's grilled cheese was unique and a little messy and, while I loved it, I could probably not eat a whole one, as it was pretty rich.

CIVILplate300ACivilization is a bit notorious for not providing the best service; in fact, when I told a local foodie friend that I'd been there, her first remark was, "Did you ever get drinks refilled?" Part of a lovely weekend brunch is good company and conversation, so, I didn't feel that we waited an especially long time to receive our meal, and our waitress did a fine job, although, yes, I could have done with one more refill of water and maybe some ice because it was SO HOT in the restaurant. Beautiful as the building is, I'm sure it is difficult to cool, but we were visibly sweating throughout the meal. Being too hot took away from the overall experience for me.

Mike Sanford:
The Hungarian Grilled Cheese, $9.50, is made with a Civilization version of Korozott, a blend of feta, gruyere, and cream cheeses, which tasted surprisingly like a melted, tart pleasing pimento cheese spread. The Hungarian paprika and mustard, roasted peppers, and fresh spinach combined for very flavorful and surprisingly eye-opening flavorful bites. The Civilization home fries were some of the best I have had in quite some time with a nice crunchy crust enveloping some very tatst potato.


This was a really good grilled cheese, however the fun of sharing our briunhc entrees with friends, and staffers created an award winning brunch plate of fabulous mid-day entrees, image at top of this story.

Melissa again:
Also, as usual I have to agree with Lynn on many points: the Florida cakes did have just the right thickness and texture; Civilization's lemon ricotta beignets could outshine Cafe Du Monde's any day, in my opinion; and I too resent those big entrees crowding many menus because I would way rather try a little of everything. I also agree with Mike about how the Hungarian Grilled Cheese was very rich and creamy, almost like pimento cheese, and I really liked the toasted grainy bread. Even the Grits Florentine, a seemingly simple-sounding meal of two poached eggs, cheddar, tomatoes, and onions over organic yellow grits and spinach, was absolutely delicious, despite the eggs being overcooked. I try grits just about any breakfast place I venture to, and these were cooked to perfection with just the right amount of creaminess. Even the bill was extremely reasonable. I will certainly return for brunch or lunch.



In summary, four thumbs up for Civilization!  There is a Civilization menu link at the bottom of the page.



I was celebrating a birthday lunch with my UF Entomology/Nematology pals, Jane Medley and Kathy Milne, when Kathy suggested Civilization for our next lunch. Much has been written about this unique lunch retreat, and I was excited to see what they had to offer in the way of meatless lunch opportunities. Being the first to arrive, I was happy I had a moment to look over the Civilization menu. The menu proudly announces, "We source as much of our produce as possible from local growers including: Possum Hollow Farm, Siembra Organic Farm, The Family Garden Organic Farm, Graham Farms, and Dogwood Lane Farms." In addition, Civilization has five meatless sandwich choices, five meatless lunch entrees, and a veritable host of meat-free salad selections. As GLOBers who know me might suspect, my eyes, scanning the menu, stopped in their tracks when I saw the Civilization Hungarian Grilled Cheese (below is a link to the Civilization website). Our server said the cheese is made in the Civilization kitchen by combining cream cheese, goat cheese, and gruyere cheese with a generous splash of paprika and mustard to create a creamy palette for the roasted peppers and fresh spinach in this grilled cheese adventure. The creamy cheeses surprised my taste buds with a delightful savory, blend that made me sit back and consider what I had just put in my mouth. The crunch of the spinach and peppers made this noon day grilled cheese surprise something that any member of the Mongolian hordes would be proud of.

- GLOB Master


Unique elements create cultured brunch experience

By Lynn Dirk, Content Editor

civilizationSignOne of the neatest things about Civilization, located just of NW 16th Ave. next to the railroad tracks, is the building it occupies. It was built in 1929, and in 2005-2006, a sophisticated renovation resulted in a vintage brick exterior with a beautifully modernized interior. Indeed, a City of Gainesville Beautification Award plaque is proudly displayed at the restaurant entrance. This gives Civilization a special kind of ambience – you could call it "ambidextrience" – old and new elements that represent civilization at its best: respecting tradition but evolving.

CIVILdiningROOMIt's fitting that such a building would be home to a restaurant unique in other ways: It has an unusual business model – it is a worker-owner co-op; it has indoor seating with style as well as a beautiful outdoor seating area with lots of greenery and good scenery; and it serves interesting, well done food. What's not to like? Civilization menus can be found at the restaurant web link below this feature.

Saturday was a perfect day for brunch at Civilization. When the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog Editor and I got there about 12:30, the restaurant was busy with what seemed to be mostly "pink walkers" from the breast cancer walkathon. There was one table left outside, so we took it. Service was pretty slow – perhaps due to the packed house, but it was a beautiful day and it turned out we had some interesting "neighbors" – Wes from North Carolina and Amanda from Wisconsin, both Landscape Architecture students (Ed note:  This text has been  corrected per Wes's comment below).

CIVILLunchAWes and the GLOB Master had both wanted a sausage brunch entree that was no longer available, and conversation commenced upon commiseration. We discussed barbecue and the politics of urban development. Great conversation, which was followed by great food.

We ordered two different poached egg dishes – one with black beans, rice, and avocado (above) and the other, known as Swamp Eggs, with sauteed red potatoes, greens, and a wonderful red pepper sauce (below). We also shared a bowl of Andouille and Corn Soup. It was all very good with the following highlights:

zzGLOBbullet EGGS - The poached eggs on both dishes didn't look like the usual poached eggs with the smooth curved top. I actually thought they were sour cream, but a swipe down with a fork revealed a perfectly round inner cave of liquid yolk, which was dark yellow and rich.

CIVILLunchBzzGLOBbullet  POTATOES AND GREENS - The potatoes were cooked perfectly – soft with nice browning and excellent roasted flavor. I think potatoes and greens are one of the best combinations ever. YUM.

zzGLOBbullet FLAVOR - The black beans and rice seemed a little bland but otherwise good, whereas the red pepper sauce on the other dish had a distinctive satisfying flavor, although pretty salty when tasted by itself.

zzGLOBbullet SOUP - Hearty. Not quite as spicy as I would have liked but great "body." Although bisque and other pureed soups can have great flavor, I love soup that has texture. What the Andouille and Corn lacked in spiciness, it made up in texture.

zzGLOBbullet BREAD - The Swamp Eggs had no bread, but the black bean eggs had wonderful toasted flour tortillas that had possibly been very quickly deep fried, which gave them a nice, very light coating of some excellent tasting oil and a wonderful crispiness. With the soup, there were herbed and buttered sliced croutons that were also very crispy. YUM again.

zzGLOBbullet AVOCADO - This shows up in a good number of Civilization dishes. It was an excellent accent for the beans and rice.

zzGLOBbullet BEVERAGE - Civilization has what they call "Table Beers" for sharing, which would have been perfect for a Saturday lunch, but they also have a fresh ginger hibiscus tea and mint lemonade. I had the mint lemonade before and it's really good. This time, I couldn't pass up the ginger tea, and it was very refreshing.

zzGLOBbullet SERVICE - Slow, but that was not a problem on this particular visit with beautiful weather and interesting "neighbors."

I like Civilization very much. I have been there many times, and, as the GLOB Master says, "I'm going back."


The Pluses and Minuses of Civilization:

Civilization + indicators: Good food, great ambience, beautiful building, and plenty of parking.

Civilization. - indicators: Ran out of one of the entrees.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Civilization.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THA


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!


Bonefish Grill, Sat. 11:00 lunch, Sun. 10:00 Brunch




The Pluses and Minuses of the Bonefish grill

 Bonefish grill + indicators :

Bonefish grill - indicators:

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Mission Epicurious: German Brunch

Yes Claus, there is a German restaurant here

By Lynn Dirk, Content Editor, GLOB Correspondent

stubs-steinsA month ago, I went with Trish Riley, eco-film earth mother and green neighbor, on the Tour of Kitchens*. Unfortunately, we got a late start and the food was missing from 2 of the 3 houses we visited. The house that did still have food, however, featured sausages – and beer! – from Stubbies and Steins, located just West of the Main St. and University Ave. intersection. They were cooking sausages on a charcoal grill. I want to be a vegetarian but the one thing that keeps getting in the way is pork – especially sausages! The samples I had were fantastic. When I got home, I looked up the S&S website and found a regular restaurant menu of primarily German food. How come I didn't believe there was German food in Gainesville?

In addition to a variety of sausages like bratwurst and knackwurst, the menu listed foods that I love like potato pancakes, Hungarian Goulash soup, schnitzels, salads like Gurkensalat (cucumber salad) and Kartoffelsalat (warm potato salad), and homemade apple strudel. ALSO, there ARE vegetarian dishes, including "NOTwurst" (soy-based) and Portabello Schnitzel.  The one thing missing that I LOVED and remember from when I lived there is oxtail soup.  Like a dark gravy with small chunks of meat, it is heavenly soup.

For the next few weeks, I was craving a meal at S&S. Sadly, I saw they don't serve lunch, but Stubbies does have a Sunday brunch, and finally I had an appointed time.

StubbiesSIGNThe day before I went, I was discussing S&S with the GLOB Master and his friend Andy Caldwell before they went off to the O&B game. I was telling them that there was a full restaurant menu, and they were insisting it was mainly a bar. Since the argument came down to whether there was a separate seating area with tables, my evidence petered out because I did have the impression they were very small considering where how they are wedged in on University Avenue and probably had few if any actual dining tables. Little did we know.

The big day came. The GLOB Master and I headed over right at opening time – noon. It turns out there are 2 doors at S&S. We went into the east door and came into the bar and then noticed a door to the right. We go through that door and lo and behold are numerous tables, including a long table with benches like they have at German beer houses. The German décor is quite elaborate and well done, including a cobble stone floor.

stubs-entreesIronically, I discovered that the food during Brunch was a limited menu, which did not include goulash soup or the purple cabbage or any of the salads. I was very disappointed, but the brunch menu does include two types of sausage and potato pancakes, so I would still get some of the German food I was craving.

stubs-table-ceilingThe GLOB Master and I decided to order 2 different dishes and share: I ordered the vegetarian Roasted Potato, Onion and Dill Crepes and he ordered the German Breakfast, which consisted of two organic free range eggs (!!!), choice of 2 sausages or bacon – he chose neurnberger, small breakfast-type sausages, and potato pancakes or roasted potatoes.

While waiting for the food, we had a Mimosa, which comes with the Brunch and was excellent!   The food came and it was very good. The sausages were great! The eggs were great! The actual crepes were well done. I don't know much about crepes, but the potatoes and onion were on top instead of inside. Is that usual?

I was a stubs-mustardslittle disappointed in both potato dishes: I didn't read the menu closely – it said FRIED potato pancakes, so they seemed a little like a hash brown cake to me, but I still enjoyed them very much with applesauce, the traditional accompaniment. The potatoes – and onion – on the crepe were supposed to be roasted but they seemed almost steamed and there could have been more onions. Still, with the hollandaise sauce, the dish was enjoyable. There was a nice variety of mustards to go with the sausages.

The owner or manager came by our table and when I asked how long they had been serving food, he said since 2008, 3 plus years! How come I didn't know? They have been relying on word of mouth. I have always said I have a big mouth, so S&S lucked out that I showed up! By the way, I think this is the only German restaurant in Gainesville. Is that right, GLOBers? 

Guess what? I'm going back. For dinner.

*The Tour of Kitchens is the Junior League of Gainesville largest fund raising event to support local programs for women and children.

Editor's Note: Lynn Dirk, an editorial and communications assistant at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, is a devout enthusiast of all food things healthy.


The Queen's Arms

Finding new brunch appeal in Haile Village

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

HaileBistroSFEver since the closing of my beloved Sisters restaurant in Haile Plantation, its big-as-my-plate omelets, perfectly poached eggs, and savory baked breakfast goods luring in all who dine, I have been skeptical but hopeful as to whether another establishment could take its place. I was more than satisfied with the Jones Eastside brunch, but of course it has also closed, leaving an even bigger whole in my heart for a consistently tasty, locally-owned brunch joint for my treasured weekends off of work. Some chains are certainly up for the task: Peach Valley Café regularly leaves me yearning for their hot and fresh apple fritters and extremely tasty Picker's Skillet with the best breakfast potatoes I have ever consumed. However, I have been checking out local joints one by one for one that could fit the brunch bill.

A friend suggested brunch on Saturday, and anyone who has read my other reviews knows I can never say no to a brunch outing. I was intrigued when Erin mentioned Haile Village Bistro tucked away in Haile Plantation on the same street as the late Sisters. I could not shake the hope that this small bistro and brunch spot could possibly be the new Haile go-to.


On arrival at about 10:45 on a Saturday morning, I was expecting a long wait as Haile Farmers Market patrons were bustling along the street parallel to the bistro. Instead, I was greeted with available indoor and outdoor patio seating, plus, outside the front doors, there was a live band entertaining diners and market-goers.  Although the daunting grey skies did not scream "nice day," I am an advocate for outdoor seating and live music when possible, so I took to a small patio table in earshot of the band. By the time Erin joined me, it started sprinkling, and we quickly huddled indoors to find the quaintest little dining room area attached to the Queens Arm Pub where many a FIFA game has been watched.

haileFRIENDI wanted a warm beverage, so I ordered one of the drink specials: Godiva white chocolate, coffee, and some Baileys for good measure. I wish the drink had been a little hotter when I got it, but the almost 10-minute wait time for it and my friend's Cuban coffee indicated that the drinks had probably been sitting for a while before making their way to us.

We scanned the menu, brunch fare ranging from the typical pancakes or waffles (combo) and breakfast sandwiches to less ordinary items like the Irish Benedict with corned beef hash. To my delight, each week a brunch special menu provides unique, one-time-only options. I was beyond delighted to see two of the items in particular: Red Velvet Pancakes (!) and the Winter Omelet Soufflé. Being the ideal dining companion, Erin agreed to split the two limited-edition dishes with me.

haileOmelet I could not have been happier to see the food. The omelet was everything I want in a unique omelet. The sausage provided a hearty contrast to the crisp, very distinguishable texture and taste of kale. I wished there had been more cheddar and Gouda cheeses--I like to see cheese oozing or stretching across my plate after removing each bite. While I am not usually a fan of onion reels (thin spirals of onion), they proved a flavorful, sporadic addition to the omelet, while the scalloped potatoes that lined the bottom melded perfectly with the kale and cheeses. The side order of hash browns was pretty good, not too mushy and with an outer crisp, but nothing to write home about.

haileREDdessertOn to the pancakes: While I do not ordinarily opt for a predominantly sweet meal, aside from dessert, a half order proved the perfect amount of sweetness alongside my omelet half. I think the thought of something being red velvet makes it seem more exotic, but its red color is merely from a dye. Honestly, without the sinfully sweet cream cheese frosting nestled between each of the three layers of pancake, it wouldn't have tasted remarkably different then a slightly chocolate flavor pancake. However, the frosting was absolutely delicious, and I could have put that on any breakfast baked good and called it a day.

While the service was pretty slow and the water refills were sparse, it was a charming dining area with a very decent brunch menu. The ingredients tasted fresh, and it did remind me a tad of Sisters, but that could have been due to the scenery shared by both Haile Bistro and Sisters. I will certainly be back to try more of these brunch items, specials specifically, as well as the English Afternoon Tea the restaurant hosts on the first Saturday afternoon of each month. Any takers?

The Pluses and Minuses of Haile Village Bistro:

Haile Village Bistro + indicators: Standard prices, sizeable portions, good food and fresh ingredients, cute indoor atmosphere, nice outdoor entertainment/scenery, unique specials, does typical breakfast items and specialty ones well.

Haile Village Bistro - indicators: limited parking during busy times, Haile is a tad out of the way, slower service.

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

English bistro lunch was 'a bit of alright'

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

The Village Shopping Plaza in the Haile Plantation subdivision is not in my usual navigation circle. So I was excited about meeting my UF Entomology & Nematology friends Jane Medley and Kathy Milne at the Haile Village Bistro for lunch late last week,

HAILEwindowThis neighborhod shopping plaza is the perfectly planned village center of narrow streets, side walks, and store fronts depicting an era that time has swept away.

The Haile Vilage Bistro fits this neighborhood style to a tee. The HVB creates an old English pub experience complete with fish and chips, steak and kidney pie, and an assortment of European beers.

This bistro/pub is divided into two areas with a friendly, bright dining area replete with large windows suitable for viewing what is happening in the village. The pub part of the HVB is a cozy bar suitable for conversation over your favorite dark beer, stout, or ale that any pub-meister would appreciate. Did I just say pub-meister? Maybe I should have said bistro-meister.

The HVB dining room is nicely appointed with ample available light from the large windows around the perimeter of the room. We picked a table near a window that lured us into ideas of being a part of what was happening in the village outside, as we were lunching inside.

Caught up in the sense of dining on another continent, the English-themed lunch entrees caught our attention. Salad Olivieh, the aforementioned Fish and Chips and Steak & Kidney Pie tantalized our sense of being natives of that village we imagined we were part of.

Timeout: I was just checking the online HVB menu to verify some lunchtime information, when I noticed the online menu does not mention any of the English entrees. Well, the GLOB Master is mentioning them for your future eating out consideration.

BistroJANcruditiesWe started our lunch adventure with an order of hummus that was served with pita bread, carrots, celery, and black olives. The black olives were the 'most valuable player' in this appetizer. The tart, spicy flavor of the olives added tremendous flavor to the hummus.

HAILElunchI ended up picking the more American Steak and Cheese Sub for lunch, The sandwich consisted of ample portions of flavorful steak, onions and melted cheese that had great texture and flavor: It was a good sandwich. photo at top of this feature.

Kathy's quiche looked very appetizing, Jane's Fish and Chips was large enough that all three of us could have lunched on her entree.

HaileFISHJane's fish was fried to perfection. Ms. Medley smartly included a healthy dash of malt vinegar to the fish to pump up the flavor level and bring the white fish filet to life.

With 3 very satisfying meals testifying to consistent quality, if I lived in Haile, I could see me visiting this bistro/pub regularly.

BistroJANesfA a trip back to the HVB with an English pal of mine to get his take on the authenticity of the HVB is on my bucket list. Of course, that perspective would be taken with the accompaniment of a good number of English stout, porter and/or ale.

The Pluses and Minuses of Haile Village Bistro:

Haile Village Bistro + indicators: Ambience, setting and friendly environment.

Haile Village Bistro - indicators: This neighborhood bistro/pub is convenient for the Haile residents. Living outside of Haile makes this trip less practical.

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


Northwest Grille

It was a Friday night date night with an excited table of foodies talking about their first visit to the Santa Fe College Kika Sylva Pla Planetarium for the Music 360 - Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon light show. Naturally, Friday night happened to be a very busy time for the NorthWest Grille, so we experienced about a 20 minute wait for a table. That was OK because that meant even more time to discuss the variety of ocean specialties served by this NW 39th Ave. restaurant. It wasn't Christmas but I had visions of fried oysters and shrimp dancing in my head. No these prawns and bi-valves weren't anything like what I was about to see floating on the domed planetarium ceiling later that evening. However my brain was working overtime getting my palette ready for a seafood extravaganza. Imagine the GLOB Master's glee when our server placed a beautiful tray of fried seafood before me accented with vibrant green broccoli and some very yummy deep fried, crispy potato medallions. The deep fried goodness on my plate was so popular, my dinner mates eagerly accepted samples. The oysters were excellent -- just the right bite size-- and sported a light, golden brown crust. They were also my plate-winning ingredient. I grew up in Brevard County, and I am particular about what I would call "the perfect fried shrimp." The Grille prawns were very tasty and well cooked. My daddy raised me on fried seafood that was coated in water and egg, then dredged with cracker meal for a quintessential , thin, crispy, seafood crust. The Northwest Grill batter was a little thick for my liking. To me the breading created a slight conflict of flavors between the plump, juicy prawns and their cake like encasement. Nevertheless, this is a popular lunch stop for a reason GLOBers. The staff is friendly and quick to make you a happy customer, and the menu is very diverse, including non-seafood options as well. There is a link to the Northwest Grille below.

- Mike Sanford



Grouper sandwich is worth talking about

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Do you have one of those lunch spots hidden away in the back of your mind, off the regular lunch route, that surprises you in a "Wow, good idea" moment as soon as someone says the restaurant's name?

The other day someone in west Gainesville said, "Can you meet me at the Northwest Grille?"

My response was, "Why didn't I think of that?"

NWgrilleNorthwest Grille is that kind of place for me. Located out NW 39th Ave next door to David's BBQ, I will need a special reason to be navigating that GLOB territory--reasons like grouper, grilled tuna and seafood platters. The Northwest Grille handles their fish entrees in a very special, tasty way.

Have you been to a seafood restaurant and heard the person at the next table say, "I come here to get the grouper"? This is one of those places.

The NG is a complete seafood restaurant. Fried, grilled, blackened, or broiled salt water delicacies can be found here plus many entrees created to spark images of the Atlantic ocean being just outside the door. Well, OK, actually a couple of hours east of the Northwest Grille door. Sorry, I got carried away.

Me personally, I enjoy a good fish filet. Grouper for example. A large piece of white meat cooked just right with just enough fish flavor to be accentuated by some fresh herbs, dill-flavored tartar sauce and a little lemon juice makes me a happy boy.

(Have you heard the Beat Farmers sing "I'm a Happy Boy"? That's a whole 'nother topic of conversation on what can create a happy feelling.)

Northwest Grille is a longtime, neighborhood kind of restaurant with a legion of faithful patrons. My suggestion is, if you are in a hurry, you might make plans to be there either at the beginning or at the end of the lunch hour. If you are not in a rush, this is a great establishment to kick back and carry on a good conversation with your lunch mates. Even though there are a lot of tables, I have never felt crowded or like I was invading someone else's space.

So, if the Northwest Grille is off your radar screen, my suggestion is to zero in on it for lunch plans the next time you are out on NW 39th Ave.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Northwest Grille:

Northwest Grille (+) indicators: Blackened grouper sandwich.

Northwest Grille (-) indicators: No minuses here.

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



Flying Biscuit Cafe

You say potato, I say Hollandaise goodness

By Mike Sanford, GLOB EDITOR

FBstoreFrontThe GLOB Master has found his new favorite mealtime entrée.

Enter the Flying Biscuit breakfast all day Florentine Benedict.

Sure it is a breakfast entrée, but why not lunch?

I hate to use the Seinfeld comedy show argument here but, "Is a hot dog a sandwich?"

Then again you say 'puh-TAT-toe', and I say 'puh-RAH-toe' which I also a good defense for breakfast twice in one day.

FBmenuBRDI got lucky babe. The FB Florentine Benedict has been on the menu board for several days and I have already had it for lunch, and breakfast.

As a responsible eating professional I had the Florentine Benedict a third time without the Canadian bacon.

What an amazing amalgamation of ingredients collected for a perfect meatless, low carb lunch GLOBer:


- Canadian bacon A+

- Sauteed spinach A+

- Sundried tomatoes A+

- Hollandaise sauce A+


All served on a carb Friendly English muffin along with FB Dreamy Grits and a biscuit for a scant $10.

The friendly FB staffers are fine with substitutions so I omitted the Dreamy Grits a serving of Oven Roasted Moon Dusted potatoes. I take my potatoes plain and these spuds were crisp, crunchy on the outside, with a wonderful creamy texture inside.



Thank you Diabetes Gods for not punishing me for breaking my 'No White Foods Rule'. I understand nothing says Blood Sugar Spikes like carb loading a serving of tasty potatoes. Come On GLOBers. It's not like I eat potatoes every day. Maybe that's why these spuds were REALLY, perfectly, wonderfully delicious.



My Benedict was a Chef's masterpiece with an incredible goo-factor of Hollandaise running down all side of my breakfast/lunch entrée and onto my plate.  The spinach and tomatoes beautifully adorned my lunch with the appearance of the two veggies trying to escape their ultimate end one savory GLOB Master bite at a time.

I'm not sure if it is a fact but I have become an English Muffin fan of late trying to allay my guilt from sneaking white bread into my diet with the smaller sized, holier than most breads.

What a delightful lunch. The sharp flavor of the Hollandaise complimented nicely the textures and flavors of the spinach and tomatoes.



Did you know sun-dried tomatoes themselves are a product of the Mediterranean region, mainly southern Italy. So that the tomatoes could be used throughout the year, people would dry them out on a rooftop and then preserve them in olive oil. The drying process, they discovered, brought out an intense, sweet and tart flavor in the tomatoes, so sun drying became a widespread technique.



The extremely stacked entrée cut into individual bites of hollandaise, tomato, spinach onion, and muffin was a gastronomical smorgasbord of many different tastes and flavors.

I asked what happens when the Florentine Benedict is no longer on the Menu Board. Have no fear GLOBers. The Flying Biscuit Chef team will be happy to crate this meal time prize if all the ingredients are available.

The Pluses and Minuses of Flying Biscuit Cafe:

Flying Biscuit Cafe (+) Indicators: Breakfast all day, customer frendly staff, lunvh counter is special.

Flying Biscuit Cafe (-) Indicators: Busy, busy, always busy. A corproate feel to the restaurant is evident.




'Slammed cafes' result in lunch opportunity

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

FBstoreFrontIt's been right under my nose. Off of my lunchtime radar screen because the crowds of lunch outers filling up outside tables, standing, waiting in line for lunch.

That's not the GLOB Master's idea of a good start to an excellent meal. I got off to a late start this weekend morning and I knew my usual lunch stops were going to be slammed.

I opened the door to my favorite bagel shop and immediately saw the seven backs of customers waiting in line to make their meal choice. Scanning the restaurant tables most were filled with happy, conversational customer sipping coffee, reading papers, enjoying a good lunch.

FB0518VERTI turned exiting thinking I would cross the street to my favorite Deli lunch Stop. Cutting through the parking lot I realized I would be walking back for a Publix grocery visit.

This wasn't making sense this morning. I could walk directly across NW 16th Blvd. and have a Flying Biscuit lunch and drop into the Fresh Market to pick up a few things before walking home. Not real excited about the throngs of Flying Biscuit fans in line, already ahead of me I turned North to the Flying Biscuit café.

That was when I enjoyed a remarkable, AH-HA moment GLOBers. Walking in FB's front door I spied a eight-seat lunch counter I had no idea existed.

Hurrah! What Joy! An opportunity for an extraordinary noon-day meal, and breakfast find in the same visit. Plus I could add café my restaurant rotation.

Grabbing a seat at the counter it felt good to be in the lunch time driver's seat over seeing the Flying Biscuit ministrations, serving up breakfast/lunch to the hungry masses. Come on GLOBers. Did you know they the Flying Biscuit is open at 7:00 a.m. with an amazing selection of brunch entrees including a plethora of breakfast meatless entrées served all day. Of course that is over and above the usual breakfast meat protein selections.

This popular breakfast and lunch spot has a complete FB lunch menu as well a list of salads, sandwiches and the Featured Favorites list of seven interesting sounding, hearty entrees including the Coca-Cola BBQ Glazed Salmon. This entrée is pan-sautéed salmon lightly glazed and cooked to medium, served with mashed potatoes and green beans. There is a complete Flying Biscuit menu link at the bottom of this page.



Nicole Gomez the lone Flying Biscuit Server behind the counter appeared to have it all together managing the counter full of customers.

"I get it Mike," She said presenting my drink to me. "This counter service makes sense if you are in a hurry to be served," she added.

Nicole was digging her new gig having worked at the Flying Biscuit since last September. "It's fun, this is my first venture into the food service industry," Nicole said. "It's fast paced, and I have met some very interesting customers."



Since I was thinking meatless I quickly saw the Egg-Ceptional Eggs entrée in the menu that included two over medium eggs on black bean cakes, topped with oven-roasted tomatillo salsa, feta cheese, and sour cream, served with creamy dreamy grits. ($12.99).

"You can substitute a fried green tomato for the black bean cake if you," Nicole suggest. "And you have your choice of potatoes and a biscuit or toast GLOB Master/"

That sounds great," I say thinking of my plate covered with hash round potatoes a biscuit. "Deal with it Sanford," I think, no one is interested in my worn out diabetes stories.



Service was quick and Ms. Gomez served a delicious looking plate of tomatillo salsa, feta cheese delight to this ex cited customer.

I lived dangerously and chose a black bean cake, and a slice of fried tomatoes as a base for an impressive looking meal.

The tomatillo salsa was like a Christmas gift to my lunch. I made a point of including a small glob of the salsa in almost very bite. The Sour Cream topping was a good idea to make my lunch time mixture special.

The oven baked fried tomato was flavorful. The Black Bean cake, albeit slightly on the mushy side, made its flavor palette known. It was fun choosing which bite; A taste of tomato, or a taste of black bean to accompany all of the magnificent flavors of this breakfast/lunch.



Finishing the last bite of my Egg-Ceptional Eggs I noticed my plate was till half full with the potatoes and biscuit.

"My momma would slap me across the head if she saw me leave my plate half-full with such yummy looking potatoes," I said out loud to myself.

"Be a man Mike it's up to you," Nicole said. "You got to do, what you got to do."

"That was great Nicole, I'm coming back, see you soon," I said feeling quite smug about my restaurant rotation addition. What a fabulous restaurant find hiding away a nine minute walk from my front door.

The Pluses and Minuses of Flying Biscuit Cafe:

Flying Biscuit Cafe (+) Indicators: Serves Breakfast all day, multiple meatless choice, seven hearty FEATURED FAVORITE hot meal plates.

Flying Biscuit Cafe (-) Indicators: Way crowded all the time. Be prepared for a long lunch, unless you sit at the counter with customer friendly Nicole Gomez.




FB experience falls flat on busy brunch day

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

FBstoreFrontThere have been a few disappointments that have unraveled this past year in Gatorland, specifically on the food front. Yes, the Gator football team has left much to be desired, but I digress. The true reason behind my woes involves perfectly good — great, in fact — brunch dining establishments closing their doors. I found a cozy, scenically-located brunch stop that never failed in Sisters, which even satisfied my breakfast-fare-picky friend, but alas it has closed once more (perhaps indicating it might reopen one day...). The Jones Eastside was another go-to brunch stop when any relative, friend, or Eastside newbie was hungry for some delicious, local eats, but this favored stop has closed to combine with its less-attractive, disappointing counterpart, Jones B-Side.

The closing of these two favorite local joints for the best meal of the day indicates all good things must come to an end — at least I'll keep reminding myself that this must be the reason. In any event, I have been on the hunt for a worthy counterpart to fill my brunch-time void. Leonardo's 706 Sunday brunch is absolutely fantastic, but a tad pricier then a casual Sunday may allow. I've heard endless chatter about Flying Biscuit located on 43rd and 16th in the Fresh Market plaza, and I finally had to give it a try. To many of your disbelief, it has taken four years in Gainesville for me to try this highly recommended all-day breakfast spot.



I think my first mistake was choosing to dine at the café on a, as of late, absolutely beautiful October Saturday. The café is located in a pretty bustling weekend spot as it was, but the wait to get a seat stayed consistent. Whether an early bird diner or a snooze-button, late brunch goer, at no time between 7 am and 4 pm was FB immune to a line of hungry patrons waiting before you. At 2 pm, we were looking at a 30-minute wait, and I have heard plenty of friends complain about long waits at a myriad of times. Is this place truly worth the hype?



I feel the need to preface my experience with the fact that I was ravenous by the time we were finally seated, not having had a morsel of food prior to arrival. By the time we were seated, I was practically ready to eat the menu. However, I was adamant to not let this cloud my healthier eating judgment, and I opted for the omelet side of the extremely extensive menu. There did seem to be something for everyone I have to admit, with more omelet choices than my impatient stomach could handle. Alas, I settled on the southern omelet option (at top) with shrimp, crab, cheese, collard greens, onion, and I opted for no red/green peppers (note: this item is not on the online menu for some reason). I had to make sure it came with a biscuit, as that is probably one of my favorite parts of a southern-style meal, in addition to bacon and the "creamy dreamy" grits I've heard so much about. Thomas, my omelet-loving friend, selected the Piedmont Omelet with chicken sausage, turkey bacon, onions, cheese, and he added in red/green peppers, in addition to a side of "moon dusted" potatoes.

I was a little displeased to see the omelet a tad on the over-cooked side, but it was huge and I could not abstain from diving in. The best part was the gooey cheese oozing over the hearty helping of collards and large chunks of shrimp folded in. I opted out of the red/green peppers that typically come with the omelet, and I'm glad I did, as I feel they give a more southwestern feel as opposed to the down-home, southern approach I was searching for. The crab was not as present as the shrimp, but all of the flavors, including the onions, which happily only made a subtle appearance, satiated my hungry belly.



On to the sides: The bacon was cooked just to my liking, the right balance of crispy and chewy. The biscuit, while I can never turn one down, was not quite what I had hoped. I had to scrape off all of the sugar from the top of it, as I prefer a more savory over sweet approach although I'm sure it was placed as a backdrop for their apple butter. I felt the butter was a tad too sweet. Thomas' potatoes were certainly tasty, but I attribute that fully to the rosemary generously speckled across them, without which it would have been a very standard breakfast potato helping. In terms of the grits, Thomas and I agreed they were a little too creamy, creating a bowl of mush rather than the fluffier, yet still creamy grits I prefer. I have tried grits at over 10 establishments in Gainesville, and these were still in the top five at least for flavor. Also, I opted for an iced soy chai, which was quite delicious although I don't want to know how much sugar it took to create the rounded flavor.

Overall, this was a pretty standard brunch experience. I know I only had an omelet, and perhaps I should have chosen an eggs benedict dish that might have demonstrated an FB-unique flavor, so to speak. I was not displeased with my experience, but nothing stood out in my head to make me think this is the new "it" spot. The service was good, and the number of tables was many and they were crammed in to make as much room as possible, but Thomas and I agreed this was just another brunch on a beautiful day. I'm sure the lines will still be long, so my advice is to call ahead if you want to check it out!

The Pluses and Minuses of Flying Biscuit Cafe:

Flying Biscuit Cafe (+) Indicators: Something for everyone, breakfast all day, lunch options also, open 7 days a week, central location, standard prices

Flying Biscuit Cafe (-) Indicators: Not local, very run-of-the-mill, long waits.

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


Ordering hint: The F B is a breakfast house

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

A friend of mine once said buying lunch at a breakfast house was like drinking beer at a winery.

So I was torn with the lunch decision facing me at the Flying Biscuit Cafe on NW 16th Blvd, but I've eaten breakfast many times at lunch. Fried eggs, omelets, quiche can make for a different kind of lunch adventure.

flyingbiscuitmenuboardThere has been a lot of buzz about this new breakfast house the last few months. It could be the real estate adage of location, location, location, since the Flying Biscuit is conveniently nestled in a sea of NW neighborhoods. maybe it's the popularity of breakfast places, it works for I-HOP. Shoot, it could the Flying Biscuit Cafe is serving up some delicious food.

Long-time friend Jane Medley and I made it to the Flying Biscuit just before noon. Fortunately for us a table opened up as we walked into the cafe. The breakfast cafe was filled inside and outside with hungry customers. I'm glad we didn't have to sit at one of the many outside tables because it was getting kinda warm for lunch on their sidewalk patio.

Once inside with menu in hand it appeared that the Flying Biscuit franchise, which started in Atlanta, Georgia, had done a nice job of imparting southern charm into the decor and the menu.

I was set for some of the Biscuit's dreamy grits and a giant egg scramble when I noticed the: Fried Green Tomato BLT, with crisp turkey bacon, fried green tomatoes, lettuce, cashew-jalapeno relish, and goat cheese served on a whole wheat bun.

Fbiscuit600I opted for the FB special BLT. Bacon is a breakfast item, correct?

Jane disregarded my breakfast-at-lunch angst and ordered the: Black Bean Quesadilla with refried black beans and white cheddar cheese folded in a flour tortilla, topped with sour cream, and chipotle sauce. Jane added some salsa to round out her Mexican lunch.

The Flying Biscuit has done a good job of creating a southern style list of side items, including southern roasted moon dusted potatoes and a mac & cheese side dish they call Grilled Mac & Cheese. Other sides are collard greens, green beans, and pudge. Pudge is an old, southern family recipe for garlic and basil mashed potatoes.

I am a mac 'n cheese guy. I could eat this concoction every day. ( I cook up a mean dish of a special recipe called Upscale Mac 'n Cheese that makes me the star chef every time I cook it for friends. It's so good I can't help sharing it: .)

Meanwhile, Jane wanted to try the roasted potatoes, so we decided to share our lunches with each other -- small bites mind you -- to find out what all the Flying Biscuit buzz was all about.

I have heard that service can be sub-par during busy times at the FB. We must have caught them just right, because the staff was attentive to our needs and very helpful to our making up our lunch time minds.

When our lunch arrived, the server presented us with a lot of calories.

Jane was taking photos of our lunch as I sized up the noon time meal that filled the top our small cafe size table.

Fbiscuit1With a flair only a talented graphic designer could conjure up, Jane decided her quesadilla looked naked and painted the tortilla wedges with strips of sour cream, salsa, and chipotle goodness (photo right).

A point goes to Jane's plate for presentation.

Especially relative to my order. The BLT looked unremarkable on my plate, with a flattened mac 'n cheese concoction that appeared to have been sliced off a giant slab of mac 'n cheese.

I had high expectations about my BLT. Unfortunately my expectations were not met in that the fried green tomatoes were not freshly cooked, the bacon was not crispy, and the whole wheat bun that enveloped my sandwich was dense, not toasted and uninspiring.  The feta cheese did add a nice sharp flavor to my sandwich.

flyingbiscuitJane and I traded some of our lunches, and I got to try her black bean quesadilla. The sauces Jane added were a nice addition. Jane created a flavor bonanza with spicy black beans mixed with white, red and green sauces.

Another point to Jane for the taste of her entree.

The side items of roasted, dusted potatoes and grilled mac 'n cheese, we felt, were similar in unique presentations, but both had a flavor problems: My slice of mac 'n cheese didn't work for me. The seeming absence of any noticeable pasta in this overcooked dish was disappointing. The supposedly multiple flavors contained in Jane's roasted potatoes were not apparent.

I made a bad choice with the BLT for a lunch entree, but there were some other lunch entrees that certainly looked deserving of serious attention on a future visit.

Then again, this is a breakfast house, and I think ordering breakfast is what this place is all about.


Even on a thoroughly unremarkable Thursday, the Flying Biscuit Café is busy with many of the tables full both inside and outside on the patio. Waiting on a friend while I was perusing the menu, I noticed the Biscuit had a good number of meatless entrees on their lunch menu. The one that caught my eye was the FB Devil Burger. According to the menu, The Devil Burger is:  "Spicy and hot! Veggie and grain patty topped with feta cheese, red onions, smoky jalapeno sauce, lettuce, and tomato." My thought was that any meatless veggie patty with ingredients that add some spice is worth my attention. The sandwich was good. The same old issue I have with the meatless world is how to give veggie patties a little more personality. After a good first bite of The Devil, I liked the flavors of the feta cheese and peppers combined with the crunchy of the lettuce, combined with the cool taste of the tomato. The veggie and grain patty offered very little to this tasty sandwich other than a mushy back drop for the other ingredients. I added some hot sauce from the table and--Voila!--I discovered The Devil that was mentioned on the menu. I don't know who invented the first bottle of hot-pepper-sauce-that-goes-on-everything but this meatless Monday I was praising its culinary magic.

- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of Flying Biscuit Cafe:

Flying Biscuit Cafe (+) Indicators: Breakfast all day. the black bean quesadilla is worth your consideration.

Flying Biscuit Cafe (-) Indicators: The pre-prepared food items were disappointing.

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


East End Eatery

A tale of lunch-time diet comparisons

By Mike Sanford, GLOB EDITOR

EasrtEndSTOREFRONTI was looking forward to lunch with SweetBerries Eatery and Frozen Custard co-owner Jane Osmond and I became more than a little excited when she selected the East End Eatery on NE Eighth Ave. as our lunch stop.

This was going to be an educable lunch for me since Jane has been a serious Ketogenic Diet participant for over two years and I was eager to hear some first-hand observations about this popular dietary approach to eating healthy.



With a focus on homemade, fresh and healthy plus a spectacular Daily Special Menu Board EEE owner Sandra Carlisi's approach to lunch is in my opinion what a diner/deli lunch stop is all about.

With standard assortment of paninis, wraps, sandwiches, salads and soups, the East End Eatery cooking team prides themselves with creating unique, "Today Only" lunch specials fresh from the kitchen for this particular lunch hour.

"Today we have a delicious pasta primavera customers are eating up," Said Sandra. "And a homemade vegetable soup you need to try GLOB Master," she added.



It wasn't necessarily a competition of diets between Jane and I , but I couldn't help thinking about Jane perusing the menu for an entree that will satisfy her Keto discipline.

I marveled at the yummy diner sandwiches including a Turkey & Brie pressed on whole wheat bread with EEE Roasted red pepper aioli, $9.50. Then I saw the wild caught Blackened Flounder Wrap. The two-eyes-on-the-top filet is wrapped in a flour tortilla with pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese, $9.00.

What is becoming more noticeable to Diabetes friendly lunch outer the majority of lunch stops in town pay serious consideration to the non-meat eating lunch outer with a multitude of meatless lunch opportunities from a yummy sounding Buffalo Tempeh $9.50, to Caprese Salads $9.00, and a Tabouleh platter $4.00.



Common sense, better sense, and my very large ego prevailed when I opted for the soup and salad Daily Special of homemade vegetable soup, and a house salad with baby greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons and the EEE house balsamic vinaigrette $9.00.

Ms. Osmond was demonstrating much more discipline and chose the Egg Salad BLT Salad comprised of a generous portion of homemade egg salad over a bed of baby greens, bacon, tomatoes, croutons and a side off balsamic vinaigrette, $9.50.

There is a complete East End Eatery menu at the restaurant link on the bottom of this page.



"I really liked my salad and the generous portion of egg salad on top of a beautiful lunch time salad presentation," Jane said.

I'm not sure if it is because of diet constraints, or the fact that I just don't eat as much as I use GLOBers but flavors, tastes seem to be more pronounced than for the old Mike Sanford. My vegetable soup had a glorious garden fresh taste including a powerful onion soup broth flavor that made a unique – for me – flavor treat of onion, celery chunks, carrots. My salad was fresh, crunchy with a strong garden fresh presentation.



Jane was open and frank about her Keto diet approach to life:  "Ha ha! I've been eating keto for about 2 years. The hardest thing is understanding where my carbs are coming from. I miss fruit the most although I do eat some berries. Passing on the popcorn was really hard at the movies yesterday! I've lost about 10 pounds. Still shooting for 5 more. I don't see myself ever not eating keto again, but I do plan in some cheat days like birthdays and Christmas."







Working lunch, long time friends, yummy Treubin!

EasrtEndSTOREFRONTBy Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

It was a special working lunch for the three of us meeting at the East End Eatery in the Northeast located at 1202 NE 8th Ave. Special for the GLOB Master because he was lunching out with two very good, longtime friends.



zzGLOBbullet Alachua County Library District Marketing & Public Relations Professional Nickie Kortus. Nicki and I spent years together working at the Gainesville Sun in what we old-time Sun Employees fondly call the Sun's golden years.

zzGLOBbullet Long time friend and retired IFAS Economics Professor PJ van Blokland is now volunteering with the Friends of the Library as their current President of that enterprising group individuals.

It was cause for celebration as EEE Owner Sondra Carlis was excited to announce the East End Eatery was celebrating their 10th anniversary on NE 8th Avenue this week.

There was much to talk about, and catch up with, as the mission of our lunch was to find new ways for the Library and the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog to partner allowing GLOB readers more regular access to all the various events happening in the 13 branch locations of the Alachua County Library. Now that is exciting news so stay tuned GLOBers for some exciting upcoming news.

102418EEEmenubrdA cool thing about lunch at the East End Eatery the menu board is one of the more informative menu boards in Hoggetowne. Updated every morning there are so many interesting lunch opportunities the EEE menu is almost unnecessary.

And that was certainly the modus operandi for our lunch table:

- Nickie Kortus choosing the Taco Tuesday Special of two flour tortillas one with Jerk Chicken, and the orther with ground chicken pieces. Both taco included lettuce, home made pico de gallo, guacamole, black beans and rice. ($9.25)  "Being a home-grown, longtime Gainesville resident visiting East End Eatery for the first time. The Tuesday Tacos, served with black beans and rice, were tasty with just the right amount of jerk seasoning and satisfying. My companions and their stories completed the authentic Gainesville vibe that will add this restaurant to my list of local favorites," Nickie said.

- PJ van Bokland gave up his obligatory EEE Panini and chose the Huevos Rancheros consisting of 2 eggs over medium, topped with cheddar cheese and our house made salsa atop a crispy corn tortilla, black beans and roasted breakfast potatoes. Can be vegan with our "Tofu Eggs"and vegan cheese. ($10.25)

- I couldn't resist the TREUBEN. This glorious, pressed, Rye bread sandwich included turkey pastrami, swiss cheese, 1000 island sauce, and sauer kraut. ($9.25)  There is a complete East End Eatery menu at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

Conversation did slow down considerably as we devoured our lunches. PJ did comment that his lunch looked somewhat over whelming too big for him. My suggestion was we share our lunch with me giving PJ half of my sandwich.

"Thank you Mikey but I have no desire to share my lunch with you," PJ said somewhat surprised at the idea.



My Treuben was very good with many pronounced flavors including a tasty pork pastrami, pickles, and a strong flavor of 1,000 island dressing. The sauer kraut was a sharp divine old flavor I haven't experienced in a while. (BTW I'm glad PJ didn't take me up on my idea of sharing our lunches.)



PJ enjoyed his lunch of perfectly cooked ranch eggs with generous scoops of cheese and salsa and a plateful of red skin potatoes. "The eggs were very good Mikey," PJ said. "But I will return to my Pork Panini when I return," he added



102418EEEfakebirdNickie was pleased with her 'dos tacos' and was feeling good about foregoing red meat at lunches. "It is something I have been trying to do with a modicum of success," Nicki said. "After watching an industrial farming show slaughtering animals I decided I can't eat meat any more."

The EEE lunch was a success with a host of reason for the GLOB Master. The Lunch was delicious. We came to several initial agreements about giving Alachua County Library news more GLOB emphasis.

Most importantly for the GLOB Master was I could have set there all afternoon with such interesting long time friends sharing many special, captivating stories and information with these two excellent GLOBers..





Perfect salads, cold soup make ideal lunch

 EVCmugb250By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

The GLOB Master had the pleasure watching Gainesville Lunch Out Blog Image Editor Erica Corbett in Action recently explaining the useful functionality of a smart FaceBook page to a small business owner. The woman knows her stuff GLOBers. We are very lucky to have her assistance on the GLOB Team of professional staffers.

After the meeting we adjourned to NE Gainesville and the East End Eatery for a celebratory lunch to discuss our meeting.


Remember Kramer on Jerry Seinfeld talking about coffee table books? I think if I ever had the idea of retiring I would like to create a coffee table book of restaurant menu boards. The good menu boards are cleverly done, offer boat loads of yummy information and the best ones have the restaurant's personality all over them.

After much consideration of the yummy MB lunch selections both Erica and the GLOB Master went the Salad route with Erica choosing the Egg Salad BLT Salad with "Simply perfect egg salad," organic greens bacon, tomatoes, croutons and a side of our Dijon vinaigrette. ($8.50)

"That BLT egg salad is the best egg salad I have ever tasted, image at top of this review," Erica said. "Especially since it didn't look like much on my plate," Erica added.



Erica was excited about there being a Gazpacho on the menu. "The cold soup with a hint of spice was perfect for an unseasonably warm Florida February day," Ms. Corbett said eagerly finishing off her cold soup.

I struggled with not selecting the Meat Loaf Special. However I did just make my own meat loaf last week and it was fabulous, I was thinking out loud, for a greener, healthier lunch decision.



So trying very hard to forego bad carbs I chose the EEE Blue and Green Salad with grilled chicken, organic baby greens with green apples, bleu cheese, walnuts, croutons and a side of our raspberry vinaigrette.

I must admit I still feel somewhat smug about my eating habits. ME, the Eating Professional, involuntarily choosing so many salads as part of my diet is a foodie paradigm shift I will never take for granted.

This salad worked tremendously on my hunger with the crunch of the walnut, and apples. The greens were a delicious palate for the flavorful roasted chicken strips and tart crumbles of Bleu Cheese. The portion was just the right size for this X-Large individual in that I had no hunger pangs when done with lunch. Smart maybe, happy yes, very satisfied, but certainly not hungry.




I met long time pal and UF Professor Emeritus, Wayne Smith, for lunch at the East End Eatery, and I wasn't really thinking about a meatless lunch, but when I checked out the most excellent menu board, the EEE Frittata really sounded good: Oven dried tomato, spinach, potato, egg, and five delicious cheeses served on a bed of baby organic greens with toasted croutons and a roasted garlic vinaigrette. I caught the server by surprise when I asked her if she could name the five cheeses in the Frittata. "No, but I'm going to find out now," she said scurrying to the kitchen. The answer to the East End Eatery lunch time special question was Mozzarella, Swiss, Provolone, Gouda, and American -- all loaded into a very tasty egg pie. With a nice brown crust, this excellent frittata featured all the ingredients' flavors individually along with a very nice crunch of baby spinach leaves. The roasted garlic vinaigrette was delicious. With all those ingredients, the Frittata was a tasty cornucopia taste of crunch and creamy texture of the cheeses. The EEE posts their lunch specials on the East End Eatery FaceBook page every day. That's handy for the lunch time planners out in the Urban GLOB. I'm going back for another EEE Frittata lunch, and I don't care what day it is.




Good meatloaf, that's what I'm talking about

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

East End Eatery. is nestled on the corner of NE 8th Ave and NE 12th St.  Back in my twenty-something days, I lived in a couple of places close by this corner.

Those were the good-ol-newspaper days, and we had many fine card games in that same neighborhood.

This older-than-most, charmingly-decorated little building also has a lot of memories, just like me, including a brief stint as Rex's Bakery (I liked Rex's motto, "Try the rest, then buy the best"), when it moved from its downtown location.

Thus, happy memories had me smiling as I walked into East End Eatery, but on top of that, I was also very happy that I learned that EEE had a Monday Meatloaf Special.

On a recent Monday, my mission was to take the advice of former East End Eatery server, Lorent, and give this meatloaf a try.

Thank you, Lorent, for this exceptional information. I consider it a very lucky coincidence that we happened to bump into each other on the bus and you mentioned Monday is EEE meatloaf day.


East ENDplate

Sandra Carlisi, the EEE owner, like many other catering business owners, is enhancing her catering income by utilizing her kitchen to feed unique and interesting lunch specials to folks on the Northeast side of town.

When someone mentions meatloaf, especially when they start bragging about how good it is, I want to taste what they're talking about. To see how it measures up on the MLB (that's the Meatloaf Barometer).

Alright, I heard you wonder, "Unique, interesting special meatloaf?"

Yes. This trip to the EEE was about the meatloaf. I told you that already. They have some very interesting other specials as well. My lunch partner opted for the Mango Jerk Wrap with Chicken, and she liked it a lot. However after taking a bite out of my meatloaf, she agreed it was very tasty too.



I'm telling you, when my plate arrived with a heaping mountain of mashed potatoes around and on top of a delectable portion of heavenly protein, only to be 'dressed' with a savory brown gravy, my first thought was, "This is what it's all about." The veggie side was a terrific fresh broccoli and carrots saute, see photo above.

I've had breakfast several times at the EEE, but this was my first lunch experience. To repeat myself, the menu offers some delectable lunch entrees. But from now own it will be hard for me to go the East End Eatery for lunch on any day other than Monday for the meatloaf. What's up with that, Doctor? Why do I limit my culinary adventure by choosing the same entree every time . . .?

The Pluses and Minuses of East End Eatery:

EAST END (+) indicators: Casual, friendly, interesting menu with many lunch options. Oh yes, the meatloaf is excellent.

EAST END (-) indicators: For a manly lunch protein option, the meatloaf entree could have been a little bigger . . .

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

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