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China House

 

The Pluses and Minuses of the China House

China House + indicators :

China House - indicators:

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

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China Bowl

CB's large portions lack authenticity, flavor

ChinaBowl

By Bubba Scott, GLOB Correspondent

On a recent trip to the residence of the GLOB Content Editor, Lynn Dirk, to look at a roof leak, I met up with Mike the GLOB Master at GLOB Central Offices to go over the farm report.

As usual, the subject of food came up. Mike suggested we do a 'lunch out' at the Asian restaurant on Millhopper Rd. called China Bowl.

I call it new because it said GRAND OPENING on the menu. Upon entering the Bowl, I noticed how clean the place was.

We went to the counter to place our order, and what was nice was the kitchen was open to full view.

You could see the large woks and the 'Wok Master' working the lunchtime meal. Lunch was in progress in this Asian Food On the Run location.

CBdiningWe looked over the menu, which was real pretty. The lunch specials had pictures and was easy to order from.

So we ordered our lunch.

I ordered the Shrimp Lo Mein -- I really love good Lo Mein. Mike ordered the China Bowl Daily Special of Bourbon Chicken, photo at top of this feature story.

The Bourbon Chicken was a lot of slices of white chicken breast flavored with a New Orleans bourbon sauce with vegetables served over a fluffy bed of white rice

Now it was on to our lunch table. Which was also very clean.

My first thought about China Bowl was, this must be an important carryout, Food On The Run kinda restaurant. Why you might ask. In the time we were in the Bowl, the front door was getting a good work out with walk in customers and carry out orders.

For the dining in customer, there was a little tray of sauces in little packs on all the tables. This would mean my fingers are going to get a workout opening these plastic containers. Personally I prefer bottled soy sauce over the individual packets when it comes to soy.

On to the food.

When our lunch arrived, it was in aluminum containers, not bowls.

My thought was, A bowl is a bowl. And an aluminum tin is for cooking turkeys in the oven.

CBlowmeinMy lunch looked just like the picture of Lo Mein on the menu. The three shrimp that were on top of the Lo Mein noodles were heaped on top of the yellow rice and looked very tasty.

Yellow rice! To my surprise there was more rice than noodles in my Lo Mein noodle entree.

The meal was good, however a little bland for me, and certainly not the kind of Lo Mein I'm used to.

My experience says Lo Mein noodles should have oyster sauce and sesame oil along with a little ginger and some hidden seasonings. I didn't taste these ingredients in my lunch entree.

This made me think that if people tried authentic Asian food, they wouldn't like this lunch too much.

The lunch was good, and my fingers had a great workout opening those little packets of soy sauce. I don't usually use soy on my food, but I did at China Bowl trying to add in some additional flavor.

While we were eating our lunch, the place came alive with customers coming in for take out orders.

That tells me something about the China Bowl food. A lot of people like this place. If food is bad, people don't come back for a second and third time to order more disappointing food.

The Pluses and Minuses of China Bowl:

China Bowl + indicators: Perfect Food On The Run location, large portions.

China Bowl - indicators:  CB lacks authenticty, flavors could be enhnaced.

Editors Note: Editors Note: Farmer Bubba Scott is a container vegetable farmer. To help support the farm, he is a P.H.D., Professional Home Developer, AKA The House Doctor.

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

 

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Sonic Drive-In, NW 39th. Ave.

Fast food heaven & roller-blade babes to boot!

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

There were a lot of happy GLOBers when the Sonic Drive-in reopened on NW 39th Ave.

SonicSFAfter an extended hiatus, America's drive-in restaurant reopened with a full line of burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, French fries, onion rings, and desserts.

In case you didn't already know, just like in the 'Happy Days' TV show, a server on roller skates happily delivers your lunch to your driver's side window with a giant smile at this nostalgic drive-in lunch stop.

You must admit seeing your lunch gliding down the sidewalk to your automobile is a very cool memorable experience.

 

SonicWrap1

I think I was parked in the wrong space because I saw my roller-bladed server come out of the front door of Sonic. Then the view the of the server, and my lunch, was blocked by the giant menu screen displays positioned in the corner of each parking spot.

Finally her roller blades came into view below the displays and I was able to watch the black, four wheel roller-blades advance as my Sonic Drive-in lunch time bliss was effortlessly transported down the concrete path.

If you are in a hurry for a quick lunch of burger or a hot dog with French fries or onion rings, this Food On the Run hot spot is the place for you.

In past visits to this 39th Avenue FOTR oasis, I have sampled breakfast wraps (excellent), hamburgers (good, 9 different kinds), hot dogs (excellent, 7 choices), and chicken sandwiches (tasty, again 7 choices), that all satisfied my lunch time requirements. That's a lot of food choices for one drive-in.

sonicHotDogThis trip I decided on the 'two Hot Dog Combo.' I selected a chili dog with onions and the New York dog topped with spicy brown mustard, grilled onions and sauerkraut as my two hot dogs. I added an order of onion rings to my combo . . . because I love onion rings.

I have a friend that several years ago informed me that a trip to Sonic was not complete without onion rings. She is still correct. The onion rings are very good. Fried to a crispy crust and the thick onion slices complement the crunchy outside in a very special way.

 

sonicOnionRings

There are a lot of good lunch time menu choices at the Sonic. My suggestion is to go to the GLOB Sonic blog page and click on the Sonic website menu link so you can immerse yourself in fast food nirvana. Then come back to the GLOB's News Lunch Box (bottom of home page) for excellent reading material to feed your brain at the same time.

A special feature that puts Sonic over the top for some lunch outers is a desert menu that lists 37 different frozen desserts. This incredible list of sugary delights includes the Sonic Blast, real ice cream milk shakes, floats, and a banana split.

Sonic is a busy place for a bunch of reasons. The food is good, service is fast and friendly, and the roller-blade babes, er, uh, customer-friendly servers add up to an overall excellent lunch experience.

sonicDessertLet's see, 37 different frozen desserts. There's 31 days in July. I will need to eat a dessert every day, and two desserts on six days to eat all the desserts by the end of the month.

The Pluses and Minuses of Sonic Drive-thru:

THE SONIC DRIVE THRU PLUS (+) indicators: Good quick, tasty fast food. There is a frozen dessert selection for every customer.

THE SONIC DRIVE THRU MINUS (-) indicators: Speak slowly into the microphone to be sure your order is understood.

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

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BlueBird Wings

 

 

The Pluses and Minuses of the BlueBird Wings:

BlueBird Wings + indicators:

BlueBird Wings - indicators:

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

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Gator Dogs

No shoes, no service, here it's come as you are

By Bubba Scott

Editors Note: Farmer Bubba Scott is a container vegetable farmer. To help support the farm, he is a P.H.D., Professional Home Developer, AKA The House Doctor.

Talking about a great walk up lunch spot, Food On The Run spot, there's a hot dog, burger stand outside Home Depot called Gator Dogs on NW 53rd and US 441 that is the one place in town where you can shop till you drop and have a meal ready for you when you leave.

This place is the Gainesville work force's every day diner.

gatordogs

The food doesn't sit under grow lights like at a fast food palace, it's made when you place your order. You Just walk up, order, go in, and get what you need inside Home Depot and your meal is ready when you're ready to go back to the job site.

There's no need in changing your clothes on a hot day just to go to lunch. Instead of, no shoes, no shirt, not service, it's come as you are.

You may have just dropped out of an attic repair job, crawled out from under a house or been in the hot sun all morning. At the Gator Dog lunch stop, it doesn't matter to Matt and Stacy what you look like, or where you've been, what matters is that you get fed, and fed good.

Gator Dogs has daily specials and it changes from day to day. The philly cheese steak is Matt the owner's favorite. He's been using the same meat, bought from the same company, since he's beenthere. I guess that's why it tastes as good as it did 3 years ago when he opened this lunch stop

My favorite order is the jumbo dog and fries. Nothing like it. Especially when it's made fresh.

After I eat I want to feel full when I leave. Good food does that. And it's not just about the food, it's the people you're eating with that makes you feel at home.

To me, Gator Dog caters to to the idea 'when you're hungry, you eat'. Noon might be a good time for some to eat, but there's a whole bunch of us workers out there, who don't punch a time clock. We work for you. For us, noon could be at 10:30 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon. It's not the time of day when you can eat that matters. It's that you know a place that will feed you at that time of day.

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

gatordogs

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Chan's Chinese Take Out

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

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Mac's Drive Thru

Double cheeseburger timed, noted, devoured

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

zzGLOBbullet Wednesday,  Lunchtime

MacsDriveThru1:00 p.m. - I am on the Northeast side of town and I need to make a pit stop for a quick lunch I can take back to the office.

1:02 p.m. - I spy Mac's Drive Thru to my SW while driving down Main St. and realize Mac's tasty burger can satisfy all the requisites to my current FOTR mission.

1:04 p.m.- I'm feeling very smart about my Food On The Run objective when I pull into line and quickly see there is only three cars in front of me and my lunch.

 

MACScars

1:05 p.m. - I am now third in line when I see Mac's menu wall out my left window and suddenly my routine choice of doublr cheeseburger, fries and large diet soda becomes problematic.  I didn't know Mac's sold roast beef sandwiches, and ham & cheese sandwiches, I have to make a lunch decision!

1:06 p.m. - It's time to give the voice in the microphone my order, "Let me have a double cheeseburger, large fries, and a large diet soda please." I say thinking about a piled high roast beef sandwich.

"Double cheese, fries and a large drink? That will be $6.93, please pull forward."

That was easy I'm thinking to myself, not a lot questions here.

1:07 p.m. - "Double cheese, fries,& large drink, that'll be $6.93," the counter guys says waiting for me with my lunch in hand as I drive up to his window.

"Great, thanks man. Look I'm the GLOB Editor of this lunch time blog," I say handing him a Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog business card. "I'm going to write about this lunch, and it will be online tomorrow, you should check it out."

"OK, cool, I will," the counter guy says not getting too many biz cards shoved in his face that way.

1:14 p.m. - I'm in my office unwrapping my cheeseburger and pouring my french fries onto the burger wrapper.   I bite into my burger thinking how unremarkable the little burger appeared in my large hands.

1:14. 30 secs. p.m. - The soft bun, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayonnaise, and two meat patties ignite a flavor explosion in my mouth forcing me to think out loud,

"THAT IS A GOOD HAMBURGER!"

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

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Sushi-2-Go

When I was out to lunch last week with Farmer Bubba and we visited the Sushi-2-Go lunch Stop in Midtown on University Ave. Bubba was thinking raw fish, while I was thinking, 'this would be a perfect Meatless Monday lunch stop. There's no red meat in this Food On The Run Asian raw a bar. I was OK with choosing the Sushi-2-Go Master Veggie Roll for lunch. I've said it before the is nothing more stylish than an Asian lunch. The colors, symmetry, style of my lunch was enough to make me smile. Beside the food always looks tasty, and inviting. I was imagining the sushi chef rolling the Avocado, cucumber, asparagus, carrots, scallions, shitake mushrooms and sweet potato inside the white rice and seaweed presenting the GLOB Master with eight bites of very interestingly matched veggie crunch and flavors. I applaud Japan's first Sushi Master that created a plate of spectacular looking rolls for the Japanese Emperor.  When he took his first bite taste test bite he must have immediately declared, in Japanese of course, "Go get the wasabi, we need to punch the flavor index of these rolls up a notch for the Emperor-San."

Asian lunch falls short in taste, authenticity

By Bubba Scott, GLOB Correspondent

Editors Note: Farmer Bubba Scott is a container vegetable farmer, and the GLOB's Gardening expert. To help support the farm, he is a P.H.D., Professional Home Developer, AKA The House Doctor.

SushsigoSFThis week GLOB Master Mike and I decided it was time for a GLOB lunch outing, sushi style. My kind of lunch spot.

I was spoiled living in Hawaii eating fresh sushi and sashimi.

We didn't pick a new Japanaese establishment, but one that has been around for eleven years. SUSHI-2-GO in Midtown on University Ave, which moved from University Ave. next to the Taco Bell a couple years ago.

This place is a made-for-students Food On The Run lunch stop.

 

SushigoDining

When we walked inside SUSHI-2-GO, my first thought was, Wow, this place is very cool. They spent a lot of money on the decor. I mean, the inside really stands out. It's painted red, stylish, and real curvy. A few shiny red tables were available for eating inside. Napkins and soy sauce were available at each table. I find that to be a nice authentic toucn in an Asian restaurant.

What did make me a little nervous was the one of the walls of SUSHI-2-GO was all glass mirrors. It made the dining area seem larger but I was wondering if there were people behind the mirrors watching us eat our lunch.

After the GLOB Master introduced himself to the SUSHI-2-GO staff and let them know we were on a GLOB mission, it was time to check out the menu. Not a large menu I might add, and that's a good thing.

Remember, this is a FOTR eatery. You order your lunch, pick it up at the counter, and off you go. It might have been an off day, but the S2G service was a bit slow.

 

SushigoMASTERsushi

I ordered the Sushi Master Roll, a Bowl of Sushi Rice and Spicy Dipping Sauce, photo right. Mike ordered the Ultimate Veggie Roll. I almost fell over when he did that. Mike likes his fish cooked. There is a complete SUSHI-2-GO menu at the restaurant link below this feature.

Now about my lunch. Its was pretty on my plate.

After tasting the dipping sauce, I told Mike that I was surprised that it tasted like Thousand Island dressing.

Mike replied, "Well Bubba, there are a lot of islands in the Orient." I'll go with that, but this dipping sauce was disappointing.

The SUSHI-2-GO rice, I believe, was just the white rice you use for sushi. I had figured it might be something special even though it was called Sushi Rice, but it semed blander than rice can usually be and needed some help to kick up the flavor.

 

SushigoSERVER

The sushi rolls were also a little bland and none of the ingredients really stood out in the taste category.  My rolls were filled with tuna, imitation crab (krab), avocado, shitake mushroom and spicy sauce. Now you would think one of those items in that combination would jump on the taste buds and wake'm up.

By adding a mixture of soy sauce and spicy sauce, I did find a new taste without drowning out the combination flavor of my lunch. I'm guessing there was just something about those Thousand Islands in the orient the GLOB Master mentioned that created a unique SUSHI-2-GO flavor.

 

SushigoMASTERveggie600a

The GLOB Master is not a big fan of sushi, however he did enjoy his Sushu-2-Go Master Veggie Roll.  Photo at top of this feature.  He remarked how the crispness of the veggies were complimented by the complete opposite pastey texture of the white rice.  Mike did say his rolls cried out for additional soy sauce and a good smack of wasabe (that is an additional charge.) Of course he always makes the same comment about having his Japanese lunch wrapped in marinated electrical tape . . .

I think this sushi shop is truly a place for the students in a hurry, lunching out on the run. I am a big sushi fan and SUSHI-2-GO fell short. It has to be tough for a sushi stand on University Ave. with so many other Asian restaurants close by.

The Pluses and Minuses of Susi 2 Go:

Susi 2 Go (+) indicators: Stylish, smart idea for a quick sushi lunch.

Susi 2 Go (-) Indicator's: Unremarkable sushi rolls.

Offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Sushi-2-Go.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS! 

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Caribbean Queen

Valerie is Queen of Jamaican cooking

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CQueenSFThe Caribbean Queen home cooking style lunch stop on NW 5th Ave. has been on my radar screen as a good place for lunch for a long time.

I was excited when SweetBerries Eatery & Frozen Custard owner Joan and Janice Osmond invited the GLOB Master, and GLOB Content Editor Lynn Dirk, to lunch at this Jamaican lunch stop.

Trust me when I say you will not find any more home cooked food in the GLOB than what Caribbean Queen Owner and Chef Valerie Phillips is cooking up daily in the CQ kitchen.

Valerie was born in Jamaica and graduated from culinary school in New York, and grows many of her spices in front of the café. The important Jamaican spices her cuisine requires she orders directly from her homeland.

Did I say this was home cooking personified? Where else would you see a menu listing oxtails, goat, brown stew fish, pigeon peas & rice, red beans & rice and the list goes on. A Caribbean Queen menu link is available at the bottom of this feature.

My Caribbean Queen lunch asked the question was this going to be home style adventure of stick-to-your-ribs favorite mid-day meal, or will the GLOB Master push the envelope with a plate of Curry Goat?

 

CQoxtails

Kudos to the Osmond sisters. They were ready for some home cooking and selected the oxtails, image right, and curried goat, Phtot at top of this feature, entrees for their lunch. (I already asked, Joan and Janice are not related to the famous singing Osmond family.)

 

CQjerkChicken

Lynn and I opted for the Caribbean Queen Jamaican Jerk Chicken, middle image right. I gave the curried goat serious consideration, but the GLOB Master is not much of a curry fan. The term Jamaican jerk sauce refers to a spice rub that includes cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt. The word jerk refers to both the spice rub and to the particular cooking technique.

Since I am passing out Kudos today here is a very big GLOB High Five to Valerie for cooking away in her tiny, very hot, non air-conditioned kitchen. Phew it was hot in the Caribbean Queen!

CQbeverlyIf you are planning to have lunch at the Caribbean Queen there were two small tables out side the CQ and it was a good thing we were just inside the CQ where it was amazingly hot. That way the warm lunchtime sun didn't feel quite so bad. I think in the future the Caribbean Queen will be a good Food On the Run spot with easy stop, and go, pick up right off of NW Sixth St.

Valerie, image right, served us our lunch in a very timely manner and was able to share some excellent conversation with us at our table.

My jerk chicken was excellently cooked and was falling off the bone in big jerk flavored chunks. I M O the jerk sauce could have been a little spicier, however I have found out I seem to enjoy my lunch spicier than others GLOBers.

My chicken sat on a nice bed of seasoned white rice speckled with spices and herbs. The rice was a nice compliment to the jerk sauce on the chicken and the two ingredients, 'had me smiling Mon!' The CQ fried plaintains were excellent with a lot of sweet plaintain/banana like flavors.

Janice was liking her meaty oxtails while thinking she had ordered a good plate pot roast rather than the boney ox tails.

Joan was surprised with her large order of curry goat. The goat entrée must have worked because Joan quickly started talking about our next lunch adventure, half way around the GLOB, at the Indian Cuisine restaurant on SW 34th St.

This was an especially fun lunch visit with the SweetBerries lunch stop owners. The Caribbean Queen oxtails looked very good. I'm not sure about curried goat. The jerk chicken was very good and worth a second trip to the Caribbean Queen.

 The Pluses and Minuses of Caribbean Queen:

Caribbean Queen (+) indicators: Good home cooked Island food. Valerie is a friendly restaurant owner and excellent chef.

Caribbean Queen (-) indicators: Yummy Food On The Run spot, too hot in the Summer time for dining in.

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

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