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Restaurant lunch highlights:

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McAlisters Deli, Archer Rd.

A comfortable big box deli franchise 

 By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

McAlistersSFThere is something about McAlister's Deli in Butler Plaza that makes this sandwich deli that softens my usual disdain for franchise-land, big box lunch stops. Like most Archer Rd. franchises, McAlister's Deli tries very hard to serve you a menu of all possible lunch items you could ever want, including baked potatoes with a lot of toppings, but the staples are sandwiches. salads, soups, and desserts, and the quality of the food is acceptable for a quick typical lunch fare.

My daughter, Jana, and my grandaughter, Penelope, were in town and joined me and the GLOB Content Editor, Lynn Dirk, for lunch. Jana ordered the Cobb Club Sandwich.  Jana said the sandwich was tasty, and there was enought for her to share bits of Butterball™ smoked turkey, applewood smoked bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes, with Penelope.

I must admit the menu of McAlister's "Spuds" (baked potatoes),  is eye catching (image at top). They have come up with some interesting toppings for your backed potato lunch palette such as pot roast and gravy with carrots  and "Spud Ole' (chili with or without meat) as well as typical toppings such as lots of bacon and cheese together or separately.

Being deep in the middle of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, Lynn was hoping for a good Meatless Monday option too, but she said the veggie options were pitiful.  For example, the "Garden Salad" was the only salad without meat added and it also had cheese.  The remaining ingredients were:  greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and croutons. She was so discouraged she just ordered a turkey sandwich.  I know.  That doesn't make sense to me either.  To misquote dead rocker Jim Morrison, "People are stranger when you're not strange."

This deli, however, made me feel comfortable, and I think one of the reasons was that it seemed smaller than most big-box delis and also it was not so noisy - maybe because we were seated in a cozy corner both way in the back. Also, the service at this McAlister's was very friendly and customer pleasing - a staff person came to check on us regularly to see if we were happy, and she was happy to retrieve addition condiments and a takeout box for us.  The one part of the deli that was just like all the others was the McAlister lunch line process.  It was fast and efficient but there was no escaping the approximately 125 plus choices on the wall in front of me. Waiting in the lunch line and trying to decide what I am going to eat before it is my turn to order creates true lunch time angst.

If I were in a hurry and there was a McAlister's close by, I could stop there for a quick satisfying lunch again.  The sandwiches are good.  The salads looked appetizing and also way too big for one person.  I'm not understanding this foodie trend to put more food on the s plate than makes sense.  Keep in mind GLOBers this is coming from a guy who grew up with his momma reminding him at every meal to "Clean your plate son, there's a lot of hungry children out there who would love to eat your dinner."

 

BakedPotato

This was my first trip to McAlister's since they relocated to Butler Plaza's from their old Butler Plaza corner spot which is just a few doors south of this Meatless Monday Lunch Stop. Trying to think outside the sliced, toasted, open-face sandwich box, I ordered my first loaded baked potato for lunch. Sounding like an old lawyer friend, let me say this, "First of all, I am looking at the biggest darn baked potato I have ever seen.  Secondly I wear a size 11 shoe which I consider to be on the large side of footwear. This BP was a size 12 potato. This spud must've weighed two pounds. Three lunch outers could have enjoyed this tuber extravaganza with some leftovers remaining. Most importantly my McAlister's Veggie Spud was hearty, filing, and packed with flavors, textures, and yummi-ness on a king size bed of starchy, white, perfectly cooked potato. This lunch potato has it all -- red onions, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, black olives, and cheddar-jack cheese. I enjoyed my lunch. They could have left the potato in the microwave a little longer because I would have liked my BP a little warmer and gooier from the melted cheese.  This big box deli has several veggie/meatless lunch items for the no meat for lunch crowd.

Do you eat the skin of a baked potato GLOBers? I do. And this spud skin had an interesting 'chew' to it. It wasn't like chewing on my tennis shoe, but I did notice serious masticating taking place on my second and third molars.

- GLOB Master

 

McAliSandwich

McAliCHILIOur weather has turned distinctively hotter in Hogtown, and being out in the Butler Plaza area, I was thinking I needed a bowl of chili. I knew from the Urban GLOB Map there are more restaurant choices in the SW Archer Rd-34th St area than you can shake a soup spoon at, but it took me awhile to come up with a potential chili source -- McAlister's Deli in Butler Plaza. Come on fellow GLOBers. They have bowls and bowls of soup, plates and plates of sandwiches, 5-lb baked potatoes (see below), plus too many other lunch choices to remember them all. When I got there, there was a small lunch line -- possibly a cold weather effect.  At the counter, I pleaded, "Please tell me you have a chili!"

The respone?  "We serve chili every day. And in fact we have a Choose Two Special, with a cup of soup and half portion of any starter, salad, spud or sandwich," the friendly attendant said pointing above her to a sign that said exactly that. It was as if the lunch gods knew exactly what I was looking for, because the picture in the sign featured a Four Cheese Griller they called a "grown-up grilled cheese" that includes provolone, Swiss, American, and parmesan cheese with fresh tomato slices on a ciabatta roll. I added onion to my sandwich, selected a brownie for dessert, and headed to my table with my extra large customer indentifying number in my hand.

These places never make you wait too long, and my lunch was delivered promptly with a friendly smile. The chili was chunky with bits of ground beef floating in a pool of chili flavored red tomato gravy. The McAlister's chili gets a good grade. It was almost thick enough. The chili is spicy enough to please the average chili lover. My mistake was not asking for toppings of cheese, and chopped onions for the bowl of red . . . I will remember McAlister's as an any-day, any-time-you-want good bowl of red place.

The Four Cheese Griller was disappointing. The bread was barely warm and if the ciabatta roll was grilled, it must've been toasted the day before. Plus the inside of the bread was chewy and had a stale texture. The cheeses were flavorful. I love a good grilled cheese.

Leaving McAlister's, I looked one more time at all the pictures of all the sandwiches on the wall-to-wall menu boards and wondered how in the world I selected a D-Minus sandwich in a field of so many choices . . .

- GLOB Master

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

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43rd St. Deli

Deli opens for breakfast & lunch

43rddeliIt was great seeing the Deli opening for business this past weekend.  I have to admit that I called them first just to make sure they were accepting customer to eat inside like the old days.  So it was nice walking inside the restaurant and sitting at a table amidst other customers doing the same thing.

With a focus on breakfast and lunch this has always been a good place to stop for lunch.  They have always had a voluminous menu of favorite items.  More importantly for me is the 1 page of daily specials always appeared to be made made for me.

Summer Slam Tacos,  Betty's Bangin' Bagel, and the Banana & Walnut Vegan Pancakes highlighted the sheet of weekend specials then I saw the Smoked Shrimp Seashore at the bottom of the page that sounded very special. 

 

052043rdDELIHOTsauce

Three scrambled eggs, mixed with smoked Gouda cheese, roasted red peppers, portabella mushrooms, fresh spinach, topped with a homemade shrimp cake and a scoop of avocado. Oh my! $12.95.

It seemed like a lot of food and if I had a partner with me we could have easily shared this meal.  With an order of fruit and home fries this was a big plate of food.  I easily ate every bit of it.

 

052043rdDELIhalf

I'm pretty sure I tasted all the flavors mentioned above individual bites with the flavors of the Shrimp Cake, Spinach, and Gouda Cheese stood out for me.  There were several; Diabetic no-nos her so I trid to n=make it some what better by adding a bowl of fruit instead of the grits.  Plus I only ate one slice of the Rye bread.

My Smoked Shrimp Seashore was masterfully crafted with all the elements of the entree strategically stacked high on my plate.  In fact it was a good chocie because this was a nice way to start this coming out of the  Corina-virus darkness.  That said there were other items on that menu that were certainly worth another visit.

43rdstdeliDINERS

 

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43DELIcatsep

Brunch, Film Fest news, highlights brunch/lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

43DELItrish180I was smiling because Cinema Verde International Environmental Film Festival Director, and long time friend Trish Riley suggested a 43rd. St. Deli lunch/brunch across the street from Thornebrook Village. Amidst eggs, cheese, and sauces we could catch up on old news and share some excitement about the upcoming 10th year vweaion of the acclaimed CV film fest. "I am reviewing the last of the over 100 films submitted for our Feb 14 festival, and I can feel the excitement building for what I think will be the best festival yet," Said Gainesville's environmental film maven.

"We're going to party, celebrate this year like there is no tomorrow," Trish added with twinkle in her eye. You can FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Cinema Verde International Environmental Film Festival information.

CinemaVerdeLOGO

The GLOB Master liked the idea of a brunch/lunch idea. I am finding breakfast is a close tie to lunch as my favorite meal for several reasons.

The two 43rd St. Delis have become iconic for breakfast/lunch outers with delicious traditional breakfast menu served all day. The voluminous menu has an array of choice that includes chicken-apple sausage, Cajun Andouille sausage, grilled pork chops, and a serious cut of 8 oz. steak.

The Deli has two identified veggie entrees in a tofu or tempeh stir fry consisting of Tofu or tempeh, broccoli, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes sautéed with soy sauce and served with a biscuit or toast, ($9.50).

The second veggie entrée is an interesting sounding Black Bean Cake breakfast of two grilled black bean cakes topped with ranchero sauce, cheddar cheese, scallions, and diced tomato. The bean cakes are served with two eggs any style, grits, home fries, or hash browns, a biscuit or toast, and a side of sour cream, ($9.99)

43DELI2platesOf course this is a 'have it your way' deli and the 43rd St. cooking team will be more than happy to accommodate your brunch/lunch ideas with additions, deletions, and modification to satisfy your meatless objectives.

Be sure to check the restaurant link at the bottom of the page for a complete 43rd. St. Deli menu with a full breakfast menu with French Toast, 'Belly Busters,' breakfast wraps and sandwiches.

What I like about breakfast is Diabetically(?) speaking I can enjoy a lot of proteins with struggling over the good, and bad angels of all the wonderful potato, biscuits, and bread white carbs running loose in the Deli kitchen.

I find quiet time of breakfast, the newspaper, perhaps working on a writing assignment, is a special way to start the day.

I had two good ideas for lunch. Deli meatloaf was sounding like a really good Idea. However the Deli Denver Omelet with ham, bell pepper, onion, tomato, and cheddar cheese, (8.99) has become a GM favorite of mine. Speaking of substituting I omit the ham from my omelet feeling rather smart about adhering to meatless principles.

 

43DELIdenver2

I love the Denver Omelet. Plus requesting a side of crispy, crunchy, spicy red salsa for my omelet to pump up the volume of the veggies in this protein only entrée makes the omelet quite tasty. The ingredients combine to create a savory four-part harmony of deliciousness. To reward me for avoiding all the carbohydrate angels I get myself a rye toast treat just because I can.

 

43DELIketchuo

My lunch partner decided on the 43rd. St. Deli Popeye Eggs Benedict consisting of two poached eggs, sliced tomato, and sautéed spinach on a grilled English muffin topped with hollandaise ($9.50). Ms. Riley included a side of enticing Hash Browns as her side item. Looking at the just browned, crispy, creamy spuds I felt the 'card angles' sticking, and poking me in my ribs. Trish opted to change the English muffin to a sliced croissant for a $1 up charge and a spectacular looking brunch plate making me some what envious of her mid-day choices..

"What a yummy brunch," Trish said. " I could eat these eggs for my first meal every day." The deli Benedicts are served with served with your choice of grits, home fries, hash browns, or brown rice.

My Gosh GLOBers. What a great time. An excellent meal, great conversation, exciting Cinema Verde news and this Brunch/Lunch was a ten minute walk from my house.

I'm going back to the 43rd St. Deli.  Next time I will be in search of that 43rd,, St. Deli Meat Loaf Special.

43rdstdeliSFThe Pluses and Minuses of the 43rd St. Deli:

The 43rd St. Deli + indicators : Extensive menu of great lunch ideas. Speedy, attentive service.

The 43rd St. Deli -  indicators: Can get busy at the rush hour so plan accordingly

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the 43rd St. Deli. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

 

 

43RDbrekfastLUNCH

'If it ain't something . . .'

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

43rdstdeliSFIt was a crappy Friday from the get go, even though I love Fridays. I was thinking that at 5:30 in the morning. I had too much fun the night before, and I overslept an hour. My computer was fighting me with all appearances it was going to win. I completed a great looking Weekend Events file loaded with images ready to import into the Daily GLOB template thinking I was close to finishing up early, getting the morning miseries behind me. Not so fast GLOB Master.. .

I used every work around I knew trying to get this digital file accepted by an uncooperative template. I spent at least 30 minutes and failed to get the file to import correctly. Nope. No success. It was apparent I was going to miss my deadline -- if I could even get the file to work. I threw my hands in the air.

 

052317Roseann

I was sitting there spinning my wheels for nothing. I was 20 minutes from deadline and not even close to finishing. Roseanna Dana is correct, if it ain't somethin', it's somethin' else.

THAT'S IT. I SURRENDER. NO DAILY GLOB TODAY.

With that declaration, I put my shoes on and headed out to meet my pal, Jon Roosenraad, for our one hour Friday morning walk. I felt better after the exercise and decided I was going to stop at the Bagel Bakery for a late morning – late for me that is -- breakfast sandwich. But alas GLOBers. there was no BB breakfast.

BTUNCHrhpI have a rule – If there are five customers in line, I refuse to be number six. Quickly heading across the street to 43rd St. Deli, I was thinking the Denver Omelette would good, with no carbohydrates. Maybe that will right the Professional Eater's Foodie Starship I think to myself. Being immediately seated, I noticed the Deli's list of specials, including a two egg, chorizo sausage, bacon, home fries, onions, peppers, cheese platter with toast or biscuits.

Man, did that ever sound delicious. 'Diabetes be damned,' I thought to myself. I deserve this big-enough-for-two belly bomb.

The potatoes and gooey cheese were delightful. The texture of the spuds, with their hearty, chunky bites, stopped me in my tracks. I savored the potatoes slowly enjoying an almost forgotten taste sensation. I had not eaten any potatoes in over a year. The chorizo was spicy, the bacon smoky and they created a savory base on this perfect plate of brunch heaven.

This was when I decided there will be no checking my blood sugar this Friday.

 

43rdstdeliGRAVY2

Lunch stop's tout's variety, few surprises

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

43rdstdeliSFI know I sound like a broken record, but if anyone has read my other restaurant write-ups it is evident I am head-over-heels for brunch. I love breakfast food, but a late morning/early afternoon brunch provides a more relaxed take on it. On the weekends, I love to take my lazy Sundays with a side of biscuits. For such a pleasurable dining experience, I have a few go-to spots in Hogtown, but I am always looking for new ones.

I have dined at the 43rd St. Deli off of Williston Rd. previously, and let's just say I was very dissatisfied by the experience. I had ordered standard breakfast fare, Challah bread French toast, and my dining companion got a cheeseburger and fries. The bread was not tasty, nor was it sliced thick like this dish is typically served. Also, it was clear that the blueberries had been frozen: They looked and tasted old. The burger was also very bland.

43rdstdeliDINERSI didn't want to write off the local breakfast/lunch spot without a second chance. I knew their second location at Millhopper provided a somewhat different atmosphere and food specials, so I used a precious Sunday brunch slot to see if the "deli" could redeem itself. First off, I say "deli" because it is certainly more of a diner, from the lengthy breakfast/lunch menu with large-portioned, greasy-spoon meals to the neon sign in the window and the large number of booths. The lunch menu does have some deli meat sandwiches, but 'm sticking with diner.

43rdstdeliGRAVY2

My friend visiting for the weekend, Sara, and I had our minds set on splitting a hearty breakfast to round out a rainy, yet busy weekend. Other brunch articles of mine have claimed the spuds or skillet dish to be my comfort breakfast food go-to, so I thought I would stick with that. This typically consists of breakfast potatoes beneath a layer of sautéed veggies and breakfast meats with cheese and eggs on top to round it out. At 43rd St. Deli, this is known as an "Extreme Buster." It wasn't too hard to land on the Country Buster, $8.99, complete with all of the good, stick-to-your-ribs ingredients I could find: peppers, bacon, sausage and a heaping mound of sausage gravy. Sara was drawn to the Escalante Pancake Special, $2.50. There is a complete menu at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

43rdstdeliTHREEderWhen I say the food came out three minutes after ordering, I am not exaggerating in the slightest. I have no idea how they produced both menu items cooked to completion and delivered to the table so quickly, but I am hoping it was just due to efficiency and not pre-made dishes. Regardless, the creamy sausage gravy was spread generously over the scrambled eggs and cheese, a heaping mound of chopped bacon, sausage, and green peppers resting atop a bed of hash browns (tried something different from the standard home fries) rounding out the very rich, savory dish. I'm not sure if it was the creaminess of the gravy or the large amount of breakfast meats mixed in, but it was hard to even finish half. The plate-sized pancake had just the right consistency and fluffiness, more frozen blueberries, and some crunchy granola tucked in here and there. It was pretty tasty as the sweet addition to the meal. As per usual, I inhaled the side biscuit.

After having dined at both locations, I feel secure, however, in my decision not to return. Perhaps it is because I am extremely partial to Peach Valley Café's Picker's Skillet and its sausage gravy or to Ivey's Spuds a la Grande, but I actually felt a little nauseous from the 43rd St. rendition. There is nothing wrong with offering many dining options, and I especially appreciate that they serve breakfast all day (we dined around 1:30 p.m.), but I don't have any desire to dine there again when I know there are better prepared menu items elsewhere for the same price.

The Pluses and Minuses of the 43rd St. Deli:

The 43rd St. Deli + indicators :  Extensive menu, breakfast all day, two locations, quick food-to-table time, friendly service

The 43rd St. Deli -  indicators:  Very standard food, did not settle well, seems to be partial to using a lot of frozen ingredients

43drDELImeatless

I was near Thornebrook Village when I remembered I wanted to give the grilled cheese sandwich at 43rd St. Deli a try for a Meatless Monday lunch. And I'm glad I did, this is a very tasty GCS. This sliced toasted bread, harvarti cheese, tomato, and avocado wonder is a delicious buttery, crunchy, gooey lunch time delight. It's not on the lunch menu because it depends on the availability of the creamy avocado. Since it wasn't on the menu, I didn't realize the sandwich also included some very crisp and yummy bacon. Darn! So much for my Meatless Monday lunch. I'm sure you can order the sandwich without a meat protein.   My lunch order included a choice of a soup or salad. I was delighted with the many different veggies in my salad, but the parmesan cheese dressing made my salad special with an abundance of cheese flavor from the many tiny pieces of parmesan cheese. A quick check of the Deli's restaurant menu link below will tell you they have an extensive list of veggie and meatless lunch choices from tofu and tempeh sandwiches to a veggie quesadilla.

- Mike Sanford. GLOB Editor

Deli offers comfort food heaven on 43rd St.

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

I’m thinking comfort food as I head across town for lunch.

It must be my body seeking out  a baseline of normalcy. You know, my inner self is searching for those food staples where I don’t have to think about what kind of special sauce to include with an entree, or, if I’m eating flat bread, what would be the best 3 to 6 toppings. What exactly is Mongolian cuisine?

I am ready for a deli-belly burner.  A giant glob ( ! ? ) of mash potatoes, some serious southern-style greens, and a serious hunk of protein.

43rddeliLike magic my car was directing me toward the 43rd St Deli out on NW 43rd St. 

Having lived in Gainesville for a very long time, I have been a frequent visitor of this deli many times for both breakfast and lunch.  My son Bob went to school with 43rd. St. Deli owner Paul Cakmis’s son.  Long time pal, Gary Miller, owned a print shop a few doors down from the 43rd St. Deli. in the 90s.  

This place has extended a lot of roots into the Urban GLOB.

I’ve been to the 43rd St Deli enough times that I was already imagining a plate of mashed potatoes, a thick center cut pork chop and mixed greens being presented to me for lunch.

Walking into the brightly lit deli’s spacious dining area consisting of tables and booths, with busy servers scurrying about, brought a reassuring sense of comfort that I was where I needed to be.

This lunch visit was just what the eating professional ordered.  Taking the second bite of my mashed potatoes and creamy brown gravy my body released a giant sigh of contentment.  I’m not sure but I think I felt my blood pressure drop significantly.

43rsSTdeliDININGThe 43rd St. Deli on NW 43rd St., down from Tupelo's BBQ, is celebrating more than 26 years of serving breakfast and lunch to Gainesville. There won’t be a test today, however I’m betting you can find Deli fans in all four corners of the urban GLOB. Over the years there have been other 43rd St. Deli restaurants locations around Gainesville).

This lunch spot is an honest-to-goodness deli with a varied menu to prove its lineage.  Sure they have the burgers, sandwiches and salads found in every quick lunch stop, but with home style specials on  the daily menu board like pot roast, meat loaf, and pork chops you quickly recognize this is comfort food heaven.

The Deli draws a good breakfast crowd so it stays busy throughout the day.  The staff and crew of the 43 rd. St. Deli understand their mission of making customers happy.

I was right about this place being the answer to my lunch time angst.

When I am in the Millhopper area  at lunch time, the 43rd St. Deli is on my list of frequent stops. I’m just not sure how many deli belly burner lunches I can take in a week.  

43rsSTdeliPOTROAST

There I sat looking at a spectacular plate of home cooked, comfort food, like my momma use to make. I spied the Open Face Pot Roast Daily Special on the door as I walked into the 43rd St. Deli behind the Zaxbys Fried Chicken on NW 43rd St. Pot roast is in a neck-and-neck tie with meat loaf as the GLOB Master's all time favorite red meat protein. Momma would have been proud to serve her son this plate of heart warming goodness. There were eight side choices available with the pot roast and potatoes on the Deli's menu, but I never got past the mustard greens on the list. The potatoes were excellently mashed. I go for the way the food industry makes a little scoop like indention in the spuds to contain the brown gravy. The pot roast was cooked perfectly, juicy, fork tender, screaming with home cooked flavors and nicely drenched with brown gravy. The Texas toast was a nice touch and collected much gravy and pieces of pot roast. The mustard greens were very good, sharp in flavor, cooked nicely but not over cooked.  The greens added remarkable, spicy flavor and complemented the gravy covered entrees. I wasn't brave enough to ask if I could get a scoop of ice cream with a brown gravy topping . . .

- Mike Sanford

 

OmeletTOPPER

 

I was prepared. I knew my early morning trek to breakfast was going to be one of the first cold early morning walks of many. I had checked the weather website, and it was 49 degrees outside my front door. Out came my blue jeans, long sleeve polo, plus a very warm and comfortable jacket. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT GLOBERS? I was experiencing a morning sustenance paradigm shift, I thought to myself. But I was dressed appropriately for my short walk to the NW 43rd St. Deli for a veggie omelet. I had had it several days ago also, but today I was planning to have the full plate breakfast my way. The 43rd St. Deli three-egg omelet is delicious, and according to Crystal, my very attentive server, the deli serves breakfast every day until 3:00 pm. A full menu of meatless opportunities, DIY all-veggie entrees, is available and would enable me to ignore my 'white carb blues,' that is, avoidance of potatoes, rice, flour, pasta, and sugar any way, any how because of diabetes. But that's Ok, it's all right GLOBers, Instead of a white carb side, I had salsa and sliced tomatoes with my omelette of fire-roasted red bell pepper, fresh spinach, and crumbled feta cheese. It was a delightfully tasty meal although the Deli chef makes his omelets a little on the dry side for my taste. My perfect omelet drips, melts, and 'glops'(?) nicely off my fork, so the salsa and Crystal's tomatoes helped the GLOB Master achieve a perfect three-egg harmony at 7 in the morning. FYI regarding the tune link above, Big Head Todd and the Monsters is one my five all time favorite rock & roll band names.

- GLOB Master

 

The Pluses and Minuses of the 43rd St. Deli:

The 43rd St. Deli + indicators :  Homestyle entrees served in an efficient friendly manner.

The 43rd St. Deli -  indicators:  The 43rd St. Deli has a new menu, confusing this old customer,  but has retained many of their standard dishes.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the 43rd St. Deli. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

Read more...

Bakery Mill & Deli

Detour creates new lunch plans

MillSFThe GLOB Master and Jon Roosenraad, GLOB Historian, headed out to Archer for a lunch visit to the Rail House Grill, only to discover Don, the owner of the RHG, having a smoke before going in to prepare food for . . . the evening's customers. Seems like the Rail House doesn't serve lunch any more. Much to my dismay, we headed back to Gainesville in deep discussion about why there aren't any good, old-fashioned, authentic delicatessens in Gainesville any more. That's when I told Rosey we should head to the Bakery Mill & Deli a few doors down from TJ MaX near I-75. I went to great lengths telling Dr. Jon that the Bakery Mill & Deli serves up what might be the best grilled cheese sandwich in Gainesville. "I don't care Mike," Roosenraad said. "When I go to a deli, I go for one reason, and that's to get myself a pastrami on rye stacked high with excellent pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, and a good spicy mustard." Image above.

GLONbmdAs we sat down in this cozy deli with a full house of customers, I told Dan our server that this was a tough decision because I knew the BMD makes an awesome grilled cheese. "I remember you," Dan said. "You're the GLOB guy and you want the Deluxe Grilled Cheese with ham, jalapenos, tomato, American, provolone and Swiss cheese, just like last time." He added, "Did you see we posted the GLOB's feature about us on the wall by the cash register, GLOB Master?"

By the time our orders arrived, I had regained some composure and returned to the table from admiring how good the GLOB story looked on the wall. By the end of lunch, Rosey declared that his pastrami on marbled rye bread was excellent and all the fine points he had discussed on the way back into Gainesville had been addressed. Rosey was also amazed at the sight of my grilled cheese. It was the best grilled cheese I've had since the last time I was at the Bakery Mill & Deli. Thanks, Don, for making the GLOB Master's day!

Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

 

BM&D Deluxe Grilled Cheese is the best ever?

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

MillSFBack in 2006, I lived in northwest Gainesville for awhile and part of my walking regimen was a good walk to the Bakery Mill & Deli for a bagel, cool refreshments, and the morning newspaper.

That memorable experience had me feeling like I was visiting an old friend when I returned to this breakfast and lunch spot hidden behind the Walgreen's on the corner of Tower Rd. and Newberry Rd., a few doors north of the TJ Max department store.

The Bakery Mill & Deli started out as a popular restaurant positioned on the corner of the Oaks Mall Plaza shopping center.

bakery-mill-counter-ldFolks in NW G'ville want to keep this very handy, friendly deli all to themselves. The BM&D stays busy throughout the day. I arrived a little earlier than usual for lunch and I was lucky to find an empty table.

This bustling deli makes is a good meeting spot for a quick lunch, or breakfast. Better yet, the desserts and bakery items are wonderful conversation starters. The BM&D is a Starbucks kind of place minus all the franchise glitz and trappings.

More importantly, the food at this hide-away lunch spot is extraordinarily excellent.

It wouldn't be fair to say the Bakery Mill & Deli has the usual menu of salads, soups, and sandwiches. Check out the photo of my Deluxe Grilled Cheese below and tell me how ordinary that sandwich looks.

The web address below this story is a link to the complete Bakery Mill & Deli menu.

The sandwich assortment on the menu describes a host of very tasty sounding lunch entrees. That said the Deluxe Grilled Cheese caught my attention and never let go. The menu described heart-stopping lunch time heaven: "3 cheeses--American, provolone, and Swiss, onion, and tomato on whole wheat bread. Add jalapeno for a little kick."

My concern was the Deluxe Grilled Cheese didn't have any protein included like the Grilled Three Cheese Baked Ham also listed on the menu. Don my server said that was no problem they could add ham to the sandwich for an additional charge. Don then asked me if I was sure about adding the jalapeno peppers to my grill cheese adventure. I thought the peppers would add a nice kick to my grill cheese, a kick I have never experienced.

bakery-mill-cheese-sand-ldThe Deluxe Grilled Cheese was masterfully prepared.

I'm sorry for repeating myself but the combination of the American, provolone and Swiss cheeses, tomato, onion and jalapeno pepper created a juicy, melted, yummy six-pack of flavors I will never forget. The sandwich's exclamation point was the jalapeno peppers. Wow what an addition to the mild tasting cheese and tomato. I may never eat another grill cheese unless it has jalapeno peppers on it.

The hot peppers moved this very good sandwich into blue ribbon, prize-winning territory. The BM&D could charge $15 for this sandwich and sell more sandwiches than they could make for lunch.

My sandwich came out with one side item of creamy cole slaw. The slaw was refreshing and palette cleansing with maybe a little too much dressing, but it was good and I could have eaten a second bowl of this one side item. Would that have been "Side Item 2", or "Side Item 1A"?

While I was gorging on my sandwich, several customers came into the bakery/deli to check out what was in the bakery, dessert cases.

I skipped dessert after my giant sandwich. I didn't want any sweet flavors intruding on the sensual smorgasbord taking place in my mouth after enjoying one of the better sandwiches I have ever eaten.

BTW, I make a Peasant Rosemary Bread Grill Cheese sandwich and from this point forward my GC will ALWAYS contain a nice, hot & spicy pepper.

 

052918

 

New job, new lunch stop, cherry bomb muffins!

By: Melissa Kahan

MillSFEDITOR's NOTE: This review was written in the Spring of 2016 and it is still one of the GLOB Master's favoritie lunch spots..

When you are passionate about what you do and you have a team around you that is just as passionate and appreciative, "work" takes on new meaning.

Having just started a new position doing marketing and community event planning in Gainesville, I have observed love for this profession and the drive to succeed firsthand. This may be a new and exciting venture, but being a member of the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog has also been rewarding from day one, over two and a half years ago. Although we know how to get down to business, eating food is always priority.

GLOB Publisher, Mike Sanford, decided a nice way to welcome me back to working in Hogtown would be meeting me at a lunch spot he was quite fond of – Bakery Mill and Deli off of Newberry Road and 76th Street, which also happens to be less than 5 minutes from my new job.

Walking into the small lunch spot, about a dozen tables are lined up along the right wall across from pastry cases and a checkout counter to the left. Mike quickly mentioned that the space had been recently remodeled..

"Those are some inviting gray walls," he said, a tad sarcastically but in good jest.

A couple of reviews and some high praise from Mike of a certain Deluxe Grilled Cheese Sandwich was what enticed me first to try the Deli. Upon perusing the rest of the lunch and breakfast menu, which is served all day, the choices seemed endless.

MILLsandwich480

True to GLOB lunching out form, Mike and I decided we would split our lunchtime fare to maximize the experience. Mike was determined to stick to the Meatless Monday theme, so instead of his usual Deluxe Grilled Cheese, the order I could tell he was so close to repeating, he decided that the Veggie Melt would be the appropriate choice. It also seemed like a veggie-lovers version of a "deluxe" grilled cheese sandwich, so I was optimistic. I shifted to the salad portion of the menu to compliment the sandwich, and the server claimed the Southwest Chicken Salad was the way to go.

MILLseverything

The choice to opt for toasted marble rye bread instead of the French bread to keep in all the ingredients of the Veggie Melt seemed like the right option, especially since we were going for the grilled cheese effect. However this was not your mom's special grilled cheese oozing with melted cheese and coated in a layer of butter.This three-cheese melt has a much thicker, less gooey consistency, with a myriad of vegetables in between, including zucchini and yellow squash spears, broccoli and lettuce. All things considered, it was executed well, but if I get another pressed cheese sandwich, I'm going to stick with the original. Mike and I commented that growing up, there's no way we would have stuck a tomato, or any vegetable for that matter, on a good old grilled cheese sammie. I did enjoy the side of coleslaw, which, to my delight, was not too soggy or covered over in the mayo concoction that some restaurants abuse.

MILLsalad

The salad was the winner, in my book. The chunks of strongly-seasoned chicken played very nicely into the southwest theme, in addition to crunchy cucumbers, lettuce, and spicy jalapenos with softer black olives and tomatoes. Of course I can't forget about the thick layer of cheese coating the lettuce. I will never complain about too much cheese. The edible bowl was a crispy tortilla shell, but I didn't find that it lent much to the dish. There was also a side of salsa that was meant to top the salad, but I didn't even bother. To my dismay, the server mentioned the restaurant was out of the guacamole ranch dressing that sounded like the perfect accompaniment to a southwest-inspired plate. However, the vinaigrette that Mike opted for was the winner, chunks of feta cheese contrasted with the lighter consistency of the tangy vinaigrette. The salad was certainly enough for sharing, just logistically more challenging since the edible bowl didn't allow the salad to be split in half as easily.

Being fond of Bakery Mill and Deli, Mike claims the mornings he snagged a bagful of pastries or breakfast goodies for his work compadres he was a big hit. I love the proximity to my new job, and it seems like a pretty standard little deli. I am curious about this all-day breakfast menu, which seemed just as varied as the lunch one. I can already tell those pastries will taunt me at every visit, begging me to take one (or five) of them home. Can you say cherry bomb muffins?

The Pluses and Minuses of the Bakery Mill & Deli.

Bakery Mill & Deli + Indicators: Nice location in plaza by the interstate, decent price for quantity, tasty and fresh ingredients, friendly service, breakfast all day, standard wait times.

Bakery Mill & Deli - Indicators: Can get a little crowded at peak lunch time, run-of-the-mill

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

 BM&Dtopper

When the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog publishes a Meatless Monday Special I immediately think of the Bakery Mill & Deli Deluxe Grilled Cheese. WOW! What an extraordinary lunch sandwich. This gooey, chewey, spicy sandwich bliss don't need no stinking meat! The MB&D bakes their whole wheat bread fresh every day. The bread is sliced perfectly into a manly portion of toasted freshness that complements the three cheeses – American, provolone & swiss. Chopped pieces of tasty onion are strategically placed against the tomato so the tomato goo can envelope the onion crunxh to create a surprisingly flavorful sweet and sharp mini opera in your mouth. Then you're smacked in your jowls with the bite sized punch of jalapeno pepper. Oh man. I challenge all GLOBers to give the MB&D Deliuxe Grilled Cheese a try and then tell your fellow GLOBers that it was an unremarkable Meatless Monday.  That ain't gonna happen!

- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of the Bakery Mill & Deli.

Bakery Mill & Deli + Indicators: Friendly, comfortable lunch spot with extraordinary lunch fare.

Bakery Mill & Deli - Indicators: The BM&D is popular, my suggestion id to arrive early, or plan a late Bakery Mill & Deli lunch.

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

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