Menu
So many tacos, so little time

So many tacos, so little time

If there's one cuisine we...

BLTs like you've never seen

BLTs like you've never seen

The problem with a BLT, m...

15 veggie stuffed peppers

15 veggie stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers–they're t...

Eating clean for energy

Eating clean for energy

As a busy entrepreneur, m...

Destroying dieting myths

Destroying dieting myths

According to personal tra...

Is NETFLIX killing the Food Network

Is NETFLIX killing the Food Network

Food Network Star, which ...

Regarding meat marinades

Regarding meat marinades

Some of the most common r...

Taste testers wanted

Taste testers wanted

Hello, and welcome to you...

Prev Next
Restaurant lunch highlights:

To get directions enter your address and right click on the desired marker.

Ale House moves to Celebration Pointe

August 1, 2018: Gainesville's Ale House has moved west on Archer Rd. to Celebration Point with a brend new restaurant design seating 241 guests inside and on the outdoor patio. "Gainesville is one of our original restaurants so it's only appropriate that we debut our new design to some of our most loyal guests," said Ray Holden, President and COO of Miller's Ale House. a quarter mile from the original resrtaurant the new lunch stop features two bars both inside or on the open-air patio, and 60+ TV screens.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

BOLAYsf

Sushi, Thai, Pizza, Bowl lunch stops open

July 22, 2018: MidiCi - THE NEAPOLITAN PIZZA COMPANY opened in Celebration Pointe, 4949 Celebration Pointe Blvd Ste T560, last weekend amid fanfare, rhythm & Blues, and crowds finding out what exactly is Neapolitan pizza. According to the MidiCi website:

MIDICIopenNeapolitan Pizza is the way Italians invented it 300 years ago. During her summer vacation in Naples with the King, Queen Margherita was presented a pizza by a local pizzaiolo with tomato, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and a touch of basil to represent the 3 colors of the new born Italian flag. She liked it so much that it was named in her honor. The classic Margherita was born. Over the centuries, Neapolitan Pizza has become an institution. Since 1998, its ingredients and method of preparation are protected by the Italian legislation.

The MididCi pizza crust has only four ingredients: Non-GMO Double zero Neapolitan flour, water, sea salt and yeast. The sauce contains only non-gmo crushed Italian peeled tomatoes. Serving 18 different pizzas on their light, thin, soft and chewy signature Neapolitan dough from vegetarian to the White Bianca and the classic Margherita & Prosciutto pizza.  Midici also serves six different salads and a full Appetizer menu.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

IgtItIsfood

III Thai/Sushi bar opens on S. Main St.

IFITIS is the new Thai and Sushi Bar downtown on NE 1st Ave, and Main St. Serving a variety of sushi and Thai dishes including fried rice and PadThai noodles. III makes it  Currie dishes fresh every day and features fish like like bluefin tuna shipped overnight from places Seattle, Washington, and Japan. Sushi is available from nigiri sushi to ikura(salmon roe) and mackerel, & braised eel. Opening at 11;00 III serves lunch every day.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

BOLAYsf

Bolay opens in Butler Plaza

'So Fresh an So Bold' is the Bolay focus at their new restaurant in Butler Plaza, 2905 SW 42nd St Suite 70. Serving lunch on their custom designed 'bowls' Bolay has broken lunch into a five step process including base ingredients, proteins, and veggies in what they call Add-Ons. The Bolay lunch line process results in a Small Bol Lunch, $ 7.99, or a Large Bol Lunch, $10.99. With a focus on healthy entrees like Miso glazed tofu, and Spicy Thai Shrimp, and forbidden black rice Boly brags on 100 per cent GLUTEN free. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a Gainesville Lunch Out Blog Bolay review.

 

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

GRUBsf600

grub Burger & Bar opens on Archer Rd.

June 22, 2018: grub Burger & Bar has opened for business in Archer Road's Butler Plaza in the redesigned Butler Town Center.  Offering a 13 different hamburgers including some with clever names and with unique toppings like macaroni and cheese, and its homemade Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. Burgers are served on made-from-scratch buns. The spacious restaurant with a full bar and patio seating also serves salads and bowls with a proteins like wild Alaskan salmon, chicken breast and pesto-seasoned turkey. Chicken is featured on the menu with chicken sandwiches and chicken Tenders. Grub Burger & Bar prides itself on hand spun milkshakes in six varieties, and 4 crafted milk shakes including the Worms & Dirt, and ET milk shakes.

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

AbuelasSF

New Cuban cafe on NW 23rd Ave.

June 15, 2018: Sneaking in from around the corner La Cocina De Abuela has been open at 125 NW 23rd Avenue for 3 months. Returning the building to a Cuban buffet will bring back memories from years ago when two Latin American restaurants back-ti-back were open this location. Abuela's offers a complete buffet line of latin Amerian delicacies including rice, black beans, plantains, chicken Fricasse,lentils beans, pot roast,Yucca Fries with garlic sauce and many more lunch time entrees plus a daily lunch special. This Cuban restaurant opens daily at 11:00 - 7:30 pm.

AbuelasMENUBPARD

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

MIAMIgrillSF

June 8, 2018: According to the website everything goes at the Miami Grill that just opened in The Standard on the corner of University Avenue and 13th St. The website also says "Miami Subs is now Miami Grill. From salads and wings, to cheese steaks and grilled mahi mahi, if it's on your mind it's on our menu." A quick look at the menu tells you they are not kidding with a menu that starts with Limited Time Only Specials, Cheese Steaks, Greek Gyros, Burgers, Wings, Subs, chicken, salads, seafood, Hot Dogs, and kids meals.  Thpse are just the sub titles with at least six or seven entrees for each sub title.  The Miami Grill delivers, and is open everyday from 10:00 - 10:00.

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

1000DegreesSF

 

1,000 Degrees Pizza opens in Butler Plaza

May 14, 2018: 1000 Degrees Pizza, Salad, & Wings has opened in Butler Plaza at 4062 Plaza Blvd suite 20. Open seven days a week, The fast fired lunch line pizza option touts 12 classic pizzas you may customize your lunch time pizzas to your own satisfaction. You may also create you own pizza as you travel their fast causal lunch line of pizza choices including eight kinds of sauces, seven varieties of cheese, and seven meat and 18 veggie toppings. After you have created your pizza it is fast fired and ready to eat in just about 2 minutes.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

CaribbeanSpiceSF2018

Caribbean Spice re-opens on NW 23rd Ave.

May 14, 2018:  The Caribbean Spice cafe has opened next to Hungry Howies just off of NW 13th St. Jamaican cuisine cuisine lovers are happy to know the CS still serves lunch with positive vibes. Closed only a few months after being dislocated from their old, familiar, W. University Ave. location Caribbesn Spica is back in business with their menu that includes Daily Specials of jerk Chicken, Ox Tails, and curried chicken and goat and many more Island delicacies. The CS is open Mon- Sat. from 11-7:00 pm. FOLLOW THIS LINK for menu, more information.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

CopperMonkeySF

Copper Monkey re-opens in Creekside Mall

May 1, 2018: An old familiar lunch stop has reared its popular head in the Creekside Mall with the Copper Monkey Sports Bar & Restaurant opening in the former Mancini Italian restaurant Location. After 37 years in Midtown CM owners Rob and Ashlee Zeller closed the Midtown location citing the constant, ongoing construction around NW 17th Ave. Calling the SW 2nd location a sports bar, and American restaurant you will find a lot of the Cooper Monkey favorites including the world famous Copper Monkey Wings, chicken sandwiches, and one of the best hamburgers on Gainesville.

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

GrandcafeSF

The Grand Cafe opens Downtown

May 1, 2018: The Grand Café has opened downtown just off the corner of University Avenue, and Main St. next to the  Dowtown Barber Shop.  Rr-elocating from New York the father and son Fiorillo team has created a New York style lunch stop that starts the day with 5:00 am breakfast specials including sandwiches, wraps, pancakes, waffles, and breakfast platters. The lunch menu includes burgers, salads, and wraps and five specialty burgers including the Rodeo Burger with bacon, onion rings, and BBQ sauce. The Grand Café has Senior Citizen Discounts, free WIFI and fresh brewed coffee.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

BTWsf600Hurricane BTW opens in Burrito Bros location

February 19, 2018 – The name of the new lunch stop in the old Burrito Brothers location pretty says it all GLOBers  S. Florida's Hurricane Burgers Tacos Wings opened last week amid a flurry of curious, hungry customers wanting to know more about the Guacamole Burger, Korean BBQ Beef tacos, and Coco Chicken Wings. "BTW is big in Palm Beach," said BTW owner Jack Gandolfo. "My wife and I just bought property outside of Ocala and this is our new home," He added. With 10 chicken wing sauces, and seven taco choices you might think hamburgers take a back seat until you talk to Jack G. "I know there are a lot of good burgers in Gainesville," Gandolfo said. "I want to hear what you think of our premium double cheese burger with bacon, and Guacamole," the Hurricane BTW owner said with a knowing look.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

FBUTCHERsf

Fehrenbacher's Artisan Sausages open downtown

January 30, 2018: Gainesville now has a new sausage maker and lunch stop downtown. Adam, and Tatania Fehrenbacher have opened Fehrenbacher's Artisan Sausages at 411 SW 4th Ave. Adam has over 20 years cooking experience with a bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University. His wife, Tatania, is a UF graduate with 10 plus years of Hospitality Management with the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Islamorada Fish Company and Bass Pro Shops.

"We are excited about serving lunch here at the Butcher shop," Adam said. "With several stools at our indoor counter, and tables out back on our new patio we look forward to bringing special, homemade style, artisan sausages to our Gainesville Customers," the butcher added. Open Monday-Friday 10-6:00, and Saturday's 3-10:00. Customers can check out the latest menu on the sausage shop's FaceBook page, Instagram page. "We post our menu every morning on the socila media regarding what the shop is featuring for lunch,' Adam said,

 

NOLAcajunART

Golf course cafe serving New Orleans seafood

January 30, 2018:  The lunch stop at NW Gainesville's Meadowbrook Golf Course has opened the Nola Cajun Po'Boys & Seafood at Meadowbrook Located at 3200 NW 98th St. NOLA hours are Monday - Saturday 11am - 8pm and Sunday Brunch will be available 11am - 5pm. New Orleans style seafood has been added to a menu featuring hamburgers and chicken wings. NOLA Happy Hour Specials are daily from 4 to 7pm with a wide selections of quality beers from our full service bar.

 

MANCINICsf

Mancini's now open for lunch

Mancini's Tuscan Grille, January 30, 2018: located in the Creekside Mall according to the website, " The MTG is classic steakhouse with Italian flair open every day for lunch. The lunch menu includes appetizers, salads, soups and sandwiches including the Meatball Pomodoro of house-made lean beef and veal meatball simmered in our house-made marinara sauce and served in a bowl of spaghetti. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Mancini's Tuscan Grille menu.

 

 TazikiSFa

Mediterrean cafe opens in Butler Plaza

Taziki's Mediterranean Café, January 30, 2018: has opened in Butler Plaza at 2905 SW 42nd St. Taziki's embraces the "Mediterranean Lifestyle" which emphasizes: Eating primarily plant-based. Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oi. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods. Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week, Taziki's boasts being a fresh concept restaurant with. "NO Freezers, NO Fryers, and NO Microwaves!" FOLLOW THIS LINK for ore information.

 

GovindaSF

Kabab House relocates to NW 13th St.

January 30, 2018:, The Kabob House has moved around the corner to 604 NW 13th St. Serving Biryani, Tandoor, Kababs, wraps, and curries this long time Gainesville lunch stop used to be located across from the bank on University Avenue. The Kabob Hopuse menu include chicken, goat, ham, and veggie entrees. The KH owners proudly proclaim, "Our Naan is handmade fresh daily and cooked in our tandoor clay oven, while serving Halal حلالا). meat."

 OGGI Italiana opens for Sunday lunch

January 30, 2018: OGGI Italian on 3117 SW 34th St. Opens for lunch on Saturday and Sunday this Tampa based restaurant takes a sustainable approach to their complete Italian menu. According to OGGI website: "All of OGGI roasted chickens are free range, naturally raised without antibiotics or hormones. OGGIs chickens are marinated fresh daily for the freshest and best flavors. OGGI mozzarella is made daily, in house, free of preservatives, without GMOs, by our dedicated staff. OGGI prides itself on supporting local farmers, buying only the highest quality of ingredients for our guest

Related Links:

Louis' Lunch at Southeast Fifth Avenue and Second Street, which is also open today, serves the last of its hamburgers and shakes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Owner Tom Pennisi, 75, cited slow business and his age for his decision to close the diner and sell the property.
His father, Louis Pennisi, opened the business in 1928.
 


Hey Jules I want to start running the feature below every day. 
I would like to include CHOW NOW with a new location but I would need your location by 8:30 in the morning . . .?
Today’s Lunch Plans
Tuesday, October 27, 2010

The GLOB’s Lunch Plans:  Sandwich Inn, Northeast, 110 NE 16th Ave.

CHOW NOW Food Truck Plans: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast, Hawthorne Rd.
GLOB Lunch Spot Update
Downtown:
Newly Opened:
Urban Flatbread, Warehouse
Closed: Louis Lunch, Tori's Big Burger

Midtown:
Newly Opened
: Anthony's Pizza & Subs, O!O Garden Grill (Tentative)
Closed for lunch: Farah's on the Avenue

Archer Rd.:
Newly Opened:
Ghengis Grill, Michael's

34th St.:
Newly Opened:
Bagle Land (tentative)
Closed: J. Doobies Wraps
Read more...

afternoon opens on NW 10th Ave.

October 9, 2017 – The afternoon restaurant has opened on NE 10th Ave. This lunch stop is serving a mid-day meal with a brunch attitude. Co-Owner Grace Gannon has just relocated back to Gainesville from Seattle and is excited about showing Gainesville how they do food on the NW coast. The fast casual approach to lunch with counter service, locally sourced products and several teas and coffees including black, green and herbal tea, and Panther drip coffee, and Tea-Project Hot teas selections from Seattle.  Afternoon Entrees are available with a meatless attitude including Whipped Feta Toast, and White Corn Grits. Meat proteins are available to add to your meal as extras. There another six entrees including several sandwiches and the Shakshouka -- tomato baked eggs, za'atar, and sourdough toast. The brunch/lunch stop is open every day except Wednesday from 9-4:00

zzsmallknifefork0311

ShulasSTEAKhilton

Shula's American Steakhouse opens on SW 34th St.

Gainesville now has a steakhouse serving lunch seven days a week from 11:30-2:00 on SW 34th St in the University of Florida Hilton Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St. Founded by Miami Dolphins football coaching legend Don in 1989, and today encompasses several restaurant brands with nearly 30 locations spanning nine states Shula's presents a complete lunch menu including appetizers, Lunch Salads and Knife and Fork sandwiches including the French Onion Burger with caramelized onions, double Gruyère cheese, garlic herb mayo and crushed croutons on a brioche style bun ($15). The complete steak menu is available at lunch. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Shula's menu.

zzsmallknifefork0311

BIGMILLSsf

Big Mill's Cheesesteak opens on NW 13th St.

September 25, 2017 – There is a new cheesesteak and hot dog stand at 2111 NW 13th St. Next to Adam's Rib Co. You have one week left for their September special of a Big Mill's Chicago Style Cheesesteak for $8.75. Big Mill's Cheesesteaks is all about carnivores, and meat proteins. With hot dogs, sausage subs, and cheesesteak subs, both steak or chicken. Chicago native Keith Miller has been selling his sandwiches on game days and he decided it was time to give Big Mill's 100 per cent of his attention. With a menu featuring cheesesteak sub sandwiches you can try the BM Cheesesteak in either angus sirloin beef, or chicken breast. The menu includes four kinds of sausage sandwiches including a combo steak and sausage sub. In addition to hot dogs Big Mills also serves a hamburger, meatball sub and three salads. Open Monday – Saturday at 11:00 FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Big Mill's Cheesesteaks menu

zzsmallknifefork0311

082217DavesSF

August 22, 2017 – Dave's New York Deli has opened a second location, Dave's NY Deli Express at the corner of Tower Road and Archer road in the Park Lane Plaza next to Dominos Pizza.. The new deli serves the same NY Bagels, Opus Coffee, Pastrami, Corned Beef, hot and cold subs, sandwiches and more as the Dave's NY Deli in Tioga Town Center on Newberry Rd. Both restaurants are open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, 7:30 to 3:00 M-F and 8:30-3:00 Saturday and Sunday.

zzsmallknifefork0311

1pizzaPLUSsf

1 Pizza Plus opens on NW 23rd Ave

August 10, 2017 – 1 Pizza Plus has opened for business in the building that formerly housed Lisa's Corner Café on NW 23rd Ave. near Salvation Army. In addition to 16 different specialty pizzas, whole pies, and pizza by the slice, the menu includes The menu includes pastas, baked chicken wings, toasted and cold sub sandwiches, and six different made-to-order salads. 1PP is open Monday thru Saturday from 11 am - 8 pm. The Owner, Mike Case, who formerly owned I LOVE NY Pizza, has plans in the works to sell beer and to create a mozzarella bar at a later date.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

TSCsfMH600

Tropical Smoothie opens 2nd location

August 4, 2017 - The Tropical Smoothie Café at 4125 NW 16th Blvd. will open its doors today with a Grand Opening starting at 7:00 this morning. Free samples, giveaways and a free smoothies for a year will be available for the first 50 customers Friday morning. TSC owner Dhairya Chaudhari is opening his second Tropical Smoothie franchise with the first located South of Archer Rd. at 3345 SW 34th St. Primarily a dessert stop TSC serves a varied menu of wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads, bowls and salads. A savory smoothie is available in the Avocolada consisting of avocado, pineapple, spinach, kale, coconut & lime as well as the Watermelon Mojito. Open seven days at 7:00 in the morning serving a light breakfast menu. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

AmerquanaSF

Wood fired pizza moves into Cairo Grill buidling

August 4, 2017 - Another artisan pizza shop has opened on NW 43rd St. in the old Cairo Grille restaurant building. Rising from the food truck ashes Ameraucana wood fired pizza ls now serving what they describe as "PRE-INDUSTRIAL STYLE WILD YEAST SOURDOUGH PIZZA" in their new restaurant at 2410 NW 43rd St. Currently Ameraucana serves appetizers they call Small Plates that includes salads, meatball, and Marinated Olives with Burnt Citrus & Rosemary. Three desserts are available and six pizzas starting at $10. The Fromage A Trois pizza caught the GLOB Master's eye with Fior Di Latte, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, thinly sliced red onions, Fresh oregano, olive oil. pancetta, and other additional toppings. Open Tuesday – Saturday beginning at 5:00, lunch hour plans will be discussed at a later date. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

BbreezeSF

Bahama Breeze opens in Butler Plaza

BbreezeMEGHANJuly 26, 2017 – The Caribbean islands have opened for lunch in Butler Plaza world Mon'. Located at 3989 Plaza Blvd. This big box lunch stop -- with 43 plus locations in 13 states – opens the door to tropical island cuisine in SW Gainesville. Drinks with parasols, an every day lunch special, and a menu with 40 plus entrees including Appetizers. Snacks & Small Plates. Soups, Side Salads, Entree Salads, Steak & Beef, Pork, Seafood, Rice Bowls, Chicken, Burgers, Tacos, Sandwiches, Lunch Combos, Fresh Catches. Appetizers. Snacks & Small Plates. Soups, Side Salads, Entree Salads, Steak & Beef, Pork, Seafood, Rice Bowls, Chicken, Burgers, Tacos, Sandwiches, Lunch Combos, Fresh Catches, await your mealtime delight. A dessert menu with seven choices, and a kid's menu category featuring seven selections including hamburgers, Mac 'n Cheese, and chicken tenders are also available. Bahama Breeze has live music in the evenings, handcrafted island cocktails, happy hour drink specials Mon.- Fri, from 4 – 6:00. A late night happy hour continues the evening Sun. – Thurs. from 9:00 to closing with beer, wine, cocktails, and premium Tequilas. Now GLOBer. Is that big box enough for you? FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Bahama Breeze information I might I have missed.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

ElectricRsf

Electric Ramen Opens on NE 23rd Avenue

ElectriRamenLOGOMay 1, 2017: Is Gainesville big enough for two soup shops GLOBers? Electric Ramen on NW 23rd Avenue -- in the former The Jones location at 401 NE 23rd Ave thinks so with their lunch time soup & noodle cafe now open Monday - Saturday 11-3 pm. Still in the formative stages, Electric Ramen is offering a limited menu:
Shoyu Ramen with Pork, $7.99
shoyu (soy sauce) based broth, dashi (fish broth), pork, soft egg, scallions
Vegetarian Ramen, 7.99
miso based broth, tofu, soft egg, scallions
Steamed Bun with Pork or Tofu, $3.25
   pork or tofu, hoisin sauce, pickled cucumber, scallions

zzsmallknifefork0311

Keke's Breakfast Cafe opens in Butler Plaza

KekesSFApril 24, 2017: Keke's Breakfast Café in Butler Plaza, at 4062 Plaza Blvd. With 26 locations, this franchisee generator is open and serving lunch and breakfast every day from 7- 2:20. Keke's menu lists 10 paninis, 5 burgers, and 9 wraps including an Italian Chicken Panini: Chicken breast, pesto sauce, roasted red pepper and provolone cheese (8.99), a Turkey Burger: One-third pound turkey burger on toasted ciabatta bread with your choice of toppings (7.99), and a Portabella wrap: Grilled Portabella, pesto sauce, roasted red pepper, provolone and romaine (8.49). The Keke's lunch menu also includes 8 salads including the Tuna Salad and Fresh Fruit: Tuna Salad, strawberry, banana, blueberry, grape & orange slices on romaine (9.99). Keke's is open every day and you can FOLLOW THIS LiNK for breakfast and lunch menus that have more entrees than you than you can shake a strip of crisp, crunchy bacon at.

zzsmallknifefork0311

wearhouse

Warehouse Restaurant & lounge reopens for lunch

April 3, 2017: Downtown's Warehouse Restaurant & Lounge is one once again open for lunch. Located in the new, and growing Power District South of downtown Gainesville. This multi cuisine restaurant now serves lunch, dinner and drinks from a menu of salads, seafood, pork, and poultry with daily specials.

zzsmallknifefork0311

zzGLOBbullet HEROsfIT'S HERO'S NOT HOGAN'S! Since the GLOB's outset seven years ago the GLOB Master has enjoyed saying, "there are 243 places to eat lunch in Gainesville." That statement makes it a tough task of keeping track of all the openings, and closing that happen each and every month. And that's not even talking about name changes, and lunch stops that sneak up, open for business without any kind of public notice.

The GLOB worldwide offices received a nice comment from Heros 'Great Sandwiches' owner Aaron Newbold about our failure to mention the Hogan's heroes sub shop on SW 34th St. changed owners over a year ago and is now HEROS 'Great Sandwiches':

"The owner of Hogan's a year ago April 18 sold me 34th location and I renamed Heros and have tried to become my own entity while also showing where I was inspired from by keeping a lot of the things that makes Hogan's so great. " - READ MORE.

Thanks for the wakeup call Aaron. I love your sandwiches, and tomato crowns!

zzsmallknifefork0311

SOULfoodSD

Downtown adds three new restaurants

Just like that three new restaurants have opened in 2017 and they are all available, downtown lunch stops:

zzGLOBbullet Celebrity's Soul Seafood, 201 SE 2nd Ave #101, Downtown. Located behind next to Mark's Prime Steakhouse, this neck bones-and-rice lunch stop also serves chicken wings, and fried chicken. A veritable smorgasbord of traditional Southern food, this is the third restaurant opening for owners Fredrick and Taja Jacobs. The first was opened in California and the 3rd is ... in Ft White of all places!

zzGLOBbullet China Garden, Gainesville Shopping Center, 1216 N. Main St. Just south of the Main Street Publix, Café Gardens owner Fiona Liangfoiny is serving a complete Chinese menu with $5.49 lunch specials served with fried rice from 10:30 am to 3 pm. The menu also includes a $7.49 Dinner Special, House Combination Specials, and a diet menu, all dishes available for take-out or in-house dining.

zzGLOBbullet Flaming Subs, Gainesville Shopping Center, 1122.N. Main StNot a lot has changed in this poplar lunch time sub shop except ownership and the new name. Open from 10 am to 4 pm, Flaming Subs serves the same menu of salads and hot and cold sub sandwiches as Larry's Giant Subs.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

032117CuriaSF.jpg

December 16, 2017 - Three new restaurants have recently opened including a sandwich shop, a vegan restaurant, and a golf course café:

zzGLOBbullet With outdoor seating and a drive-through pickup window, Piper Gi's will be open starting with lunch from 11 am -3 pm and other times. Piper at 204 SW 2nd Ave.  According to owner Tommy Newman the former Wholly BBQ location next to the High Dive will be run with his wife, Shanti Aura Riesch-Newman, and brother-in-law, Jacob Riesch, with combined experience as chefs for several notable Gainesville restaurants including Manuel's Vintage Room, Emiliano's Cafe, and Napalanto's. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzGLOBbullet Curia On the Drag, 2029 NW 6th Street, has opened a vegan café to complement their coffee shop and wine bar. Serving lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee, Curia presents a complete vegan menu. Including mac 'n cheese, jackfruit, fish-less tacos, and many more plant-based entrees. The three-building location also touts domestic and imported beer, sparkling wines, happy hour, board games, and entertainment. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Curia menu

zzGLOBbulletDivot's Café & Banquet has opened in the Meadow Brook Golf Club on 3200 NW 98th and NW 39th Ave. Lisa's Corner Café owner and manager, Lisa Freeze, has jumped across town to accommodate lunch outers and golf enthusiasts with a $7 Cheeseburger and French fry specials and a varied menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and hot entrees

zzsmallknifefork0311

LonghornSF

Butler Plaza opens new lunch stops

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – The Longhorn Steakhouse returns after several years to Gainesville at 2933 Clark Butler Blvd with more steaks than you shake a prime cut at. Featuring 100% grade A beef in over 30 different combinations, entrees with chicken and salmon, and salads and burgers. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

Culver's, a restaurant that features "butterburgers" and frozen custard for dessert has opened in Butler Plaza at 912 NW 56 Terr. In 1984, George and Ruth Culver had the idea for a restaurant no one could resist: a combination of his "love for his mom's homemade hamburgers with his favorite childhood treat." Four flavors of frozen custard are offered each day with over 30 mix-ins and toppings. In addition to dessert, the menu also includes fried Wisconsin cheese curds, salads, chicken and fish sandwiches, and dinner entres and kids' meals. Culver's is open from 10 am to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and 10 am to midnight Friday and Saturday. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

Jersey Mike's Subs touting 'east coast style' sub sandwiches Jersey Mike's  has opened a second location in Gainesville at at 2803 SW 42nd Street in Butler Plaza. Franchise owners Angelo and Kimberly Crowell own two Jersey Mike's in Tallahassee. Jersey Mike's is open from 10 am to 9 pm 7 days a week. This nationwide franchise has over 750 locations, the first having been established on the New Jersey shore in 1956. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

ainesville's oldest restaurant closes Saturday after 82 years.
Related Links:

Louis' Lunch at Southeast Fifth Avenue and Second Street, which is also open today, serves the last of its hamburgers and shakes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Owner Tom Pennisi, 75, cited slow business and his age for his decision to close the diner and sell the property.
His father, Louis Pennisi, opened the business in 1928.
 


Hey Jules I want to start running the feature below every day. 
I would like to include CHOW NOW with a new location but I would need your location by 8:30 in the morning . . .?
Today’s Lunch Plans
Tuesday, October 27, 2010

The GLOB’s Lunch Plans:  Sandwich Inn, Northeast, 110 NE 16th Ave.

CHOW NOW Food Truck Plans: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast, Hawthorne Rd.
GLOB Lunch Spot Update
Downtown:
Newly Opened:
Urban Flatbread, Warehouse
Closed: Louis Lunch, Tori's Big Burger

Midtown:
Newly Opened
: Anthony's Pizza & Subs, O!O Garden Grill (Tentative)
Closed for lunch: Farah's on the Avenue

Archer Rd.:
Newly Opened:
Ghengis Grill, Michael's

34th St.:
Newly Opened:
Bagle Land (tentative)
Closed: J. Doobies Wraps
Read more...

Tamal

Tomatillo's, corn stew compliment tamales

TAMALhorseABy Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Talking about a special, unique lunch treat, a trip to Tamal's on downtown S. Main St. surprises the GLOB Master with unique, Mexican flavor profiles in a good, cheap lunch of entrees like nowhere else in town.

Not only that GLOBers you are getting this home cooked meal from mama Rachel Iannelli's Mexican kitchen with a smile and a serious need to make you a happy customer. I was lucky thinking veggie tamales with two of three Tamal Daily Specials fell in Meatless Monday category with THE VEG, and the O-T-P sounding really delicious:

zzGLOBbullet THE VEG consisted of poblano peppers, cheddar cheese and tomatoes wrapped into an amazing masa harina corn meal casing that scream tomatillo sauce. Which is a good thing because the homemade sauce is incredible on any food entrée I can think of .

zzGLOBbullet I was excited about trying the Olive, Tomato, Potato (O-T-P) tamale. The bitter flavors of the olives sound like an interesting, inviting partnering with the mild tomato, and potato combination. I was correct. The bitter bite of olive mixed in with the tomato, potato and tomatillo sauce was incredibly good. YUM!

 

menuBRDsides

The Tamal tamales are reasonably priced at $3. That allowed me to feel good about ordering the home made corn stew

 

CornStew4ho

The delightful prize of my Mexican meal was the 'Esquites' Corn Stew with cream and lime ($3.00). OMG! The freshly shucked corn happily intermingling with the tomatoes was amazing. Fresh tasting, pronounced flavors in the corn and tomatoes the spices in the broth made the GLOB Master sit up straighter with copious appreciation.

The crema sauce mentioned above is very good. Lunch Outers have told me the house mole, is equally fabulous with pungent flavors and textures. Built please allow me to make the case for the Tamal Tomatillo Sauce. The tomatillo pepper is such a unique flavor standing all on its lonesome. The way the pepper combines with other spices bumps up the lunch plate partnership in this Mexican lunch is spectacular.

The GLOB Master will never give up his Tamal tomatillo sauce. Now, if mama Rachel could bottle that sauce. . .

The Pluses and Minuses of the Tamal Premiere Tamale Shop:

Tamal Premiere Tamale Shop (+) indicators: Tmatillo sauce, extraordinary cord stew

Tamal Premiere Tamale Shop (-) indicators: The GLOB Master woud like am American soda available for lunch.

 

 

TAMALpoblano2

Unique sides take Tamal center stage

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

It was a hot tamale lunch at Tamal's with Gainesville Lunch Out Blog Content Editor, Lynn Dirk, and Healthy Eating Columnist and UF Assistant Professor, Michelle Cardel. Michelle was excited as it was her first Tamal experience, and Lynn was contemplating giving the Tamal Spicy Cucumber on a Stick a try. The GLOB Master was thinking tomatillo salsa would make a nice accompaniment to the mild corn meal shells encasing fresh, nothing-but-Mexican flavors, and the side order of black beans.

For your lunch time eatification, Tamal Chef Rachel Iannelli and the Tamal cooking team fly by the seat of their chinos and come up with their tamale choices in the morning and post them on their FaceBook page. Between the three of us we ordered all three tamales available:

CUKEstickzzGLOBbullet The Veg tamale that consisted of poblano chili peppers, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. I added a generous addition of a fabulous tasting homemade tomatillo salsa. MAGNIFICO!

zzGLOBbullet The Chorizo+Potato tamale that Michelle ordered really looked good, however I showed good restraint and stayed away from the diced potatoes.

zzGLOBbullet The Green Mole Chicken tamale was picture perfect with large chunks of chicken slathered with a tomatillo sauce.

Lynn and Michelle both tried the Tamal Cucumber on a Stick. This is a popular Mexican street food style where a piece of fruit or a veggie is coated in lime juice and then dredged in a mild spice mix. Tamal's spice mix on the cucumber is fantastic – it is a startling combination of tartness from the lime, complex flavor from the spice mix that is not hot at all, and refreshing crunchiness from the cucumber.

Two tamales and a Tamal side order make a good sized lunch. The old Professional Eater in me was really trying to talk me into eating a third tamale, however I abstained thanks to the black bean side order.

 

tamalSOUPmc2

The surprising lunch time winner was the Tamal Esquite –a cup of delicious fresh cut corn off the cob stewed in a mild cilantro broth, topped with special crema, and a squeeze of lime – the flavors of all melded beautifully in a dish that captures all the primary non-meat ingredients of great Mexican food. CARUMBA!

Lynn was very disappointed there was no mole that day and she hopes that is just because it wasn't on the day's menu. The line of people was out the door so Lynn didn't want to interrupt Rachel to hear whether this was a permanent thing or not. Last time she was at Tamal she had the mole and couldn't stop raving about it. Instead I shared some of my tomatillo sauce with her so she could sauce up her tamale, which she very much enjoyed, except the tomatillo sauce is cold unlike the warm mole. Still, she loved her veggie tamale. And she said she's going back!

 

LUNCHline

 

 

 

TAMALtoppings

Flavors abound in corn meal casings

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

TAMALsfI have had a serious love affair with Latin American cuisine my entire adult life. When I came to school in Gainesville one of my first, new experiences was the Taco Bell on W. University Ave. They made – and still do, sort of -- delicious beef burritos with a sauce that was new to me called green sauce. Green sauce can be many things to a food lover. To the GLOB Master a delicious tomatillo sauce enhances anything I am eating.

As I prefer the crunch of a hard shell taco and the wonderfulness of chili rellenos, tamales have generally flown under my radar screen, but with a new tamale restaurant in town, I looked up tamale on the web and found a good, short history of tamales on the Austin Times website:

TAMALtamale2TAMALES can be traced back to pre-Columbian history, as early as 7000 BC, when Aztec women served as battle cooks. A portable yet sustainable food was needed, and tamales could be made ahead of time, packed, and warmed as needed. Wrappings varied from cornhusks to soft tree bark to edible leaves such as those from avocado and banana trees. Even fabric was sometimes used. Today, the most common variety is a tamal composed of masa (hominy flour dough) spread on a corn shuck and filled with either chicken, pork, beef, green chile, cheese, or, more recently, vegetables.

I was feeling like the GLOB's new Eating Adventurer (missing Melissa Kahan :( when I went to TAMAL, Gainesville's first exclusive tamale-only food stand located in the South Main Arts District in the newly-named Power District Development area near the South Main Street fire station.

TAMALrachelHORSEnick

Tamal is a family-owned business with Rachel Lannelli, her husband Nicholas, and her son Cecil manning the Mexican street food lunch stop. Rachel is Tamal's head cook and menu coordinator. Nicholas rolls tamales and manages the front-of-the-house, and Cecil, an Eastside High School culinary student, is TAMAL's part-time prep cook.

The bright, clean, airy, windows-all-around lunch area was a perfect setting for a tamale experience.

TAMALcustomersRachel

"Tamal is like a food truck with no wheels Mike," Rachel said leaning over the lunch counter, looking me straight in the eye to make sure I understood where I was and what I was eating.

TAMAjamaicaThe Tamal Facebook page brags on their chicken, pork, vegetarian, and vegan tamales. They are hand-rolled and served fresh daily with locally-sourced, seasonal side-dishes along with beans, greens and agua fresca beverages -- Horchata, Tamarindo, or a delicious-looking red juice fountain drink called Jamaica -- all made in-house from scratch.

Rachel warned me about Jamaica: "There is a ton of sugar in the Jamaica Mike. That's not for you," the Tamale chef said knowing about my diabetes club membership while she handed me a can of diet soda.

With a few small tables and a lunch counter that seats six, Tamal is an intimate, friendly lunch stop with a very homey feeling. Tamal has only been open for a few months, but I felt like I was at Cheers in Boston, "where everybody knows your name."

Serving lunch Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon until the food runs out, the Lannelli family is enjoying a busy lunch hour and are still trying to figure out feeding all the happy customers.

TMALmenuBDS

"We try to guess-timate how many tamales to make for the day," Rachel said. "Sometimes we get swamped with customers and have to close up early because we are out of tamales," she added with a perplexed look on her face. "It's the price we are paying by using locally-sourced produce and wanting to present the best tamales we can."

The Tamal menu is posted on its Facebook page and usually consists of three different tamales, a few side orders, and a standing side of a 'pickled cucumber on a stick.' Recently there was a notice from the tamale trio: "Hey folks! We will be serving our pumpkin seed pesto, carrot, blueberry tamale @ 1:30 today!! It's vegan!!" This note tells me to check the Tamal FaceBook page before lunch.

Rice bowls are available for a mix of salsa, mole, peppers, beans, and corn for a food-in-a-bowl lunch option.

 

TAMALlunch

I wanted to order all three tamales available the day I went but realized I couldn't eat that much at one sitting. So I selected the poblano and the chorizo tamales with a side order of marinated cucumber on a stick.

 

TAMALcuke

The cucumber is peeled, marinated in lime juice, and rolled in a mix of pepper and red seasoning to create a unique-looking side. Slicing off some of the cucumber and tasting it was amazing: it was a refreshing, delicious, crunchy taste treat."

"Where did you hear about these cukes, Rachel?" I asked.

"I made it up Mike. This is Mexican street food, remember?"

I liked the idea of adding toppings of my choice to the tamales, imager at the top of this review,  and was happy to see tomatilla salsa as an option. The tomatilla sauce was freshly made with – surprise to me again – freshly squeezed lime juice for a delightful, tart, lip-smacking flavor.

 

TAMALtamale

Thinking the corn meal tamales would need some heat assistance, I also added a side of jalapeno peppers.

I avoided the Tamal mole as my experience with this topping is it usually overwhelms the palette, even though GLOB Staffer Lynn Dirk, who had made it to Tamal before me, highly recommended it.

 

TamalWINDOWtopper

The somewhat mild tamales, for my taste, were nevertheless very good. All the flavors in the corn husks took their turn on my palette's center stage making me a very happy lunch outer.

My Tamal lunch was very good and reasonably priced at $3 a tamale. There are a lot of tamales in those corn husks waiting to be discovered by the GLOB Master.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Tamal Premiere Tamale Shop:

Tamal Premiere Tamale Shop (+) indicators: Delicious flavors, a veritable different kind of tamale for every customer. The marinated cucumber is certainly worth your consideration and large enough to share. The fresh lime juice brightens the entire meal.

Tamal Premiere Tamale Shop (-) indicators: A few more poblano peppers in my Tamales would have been nice. I will order the mole as a side item next time.

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

Read more...

Felipes Mexican Taqueria

Perfectly charred veggie tacos

I was thinking of grilled vegetables on a morning walk when the idea of Felipe's Mexican Taqueria grilled vegetable tacos crossed my mind.  Instantaneously my feet turned East and involuntarily my subconscious directed me toward one of the best Tex-Mex have-it-your-way lunch stops in Gainesville in the GLOB Master's opinion. I'm not a big fast-food-line lunch guy but I did want to see what kind of grilled veggies were available for today's Meatless Lunch.

An amazing pan of broiled onions, tomatoes, peppers, and squash looked like perfect ingredients for Felipe's Two Baja Style Tacos that included soft corn tortillas, a choice of shrimp or fish, pickled cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, and baja sauce.

Fortunately, the very attentive server at the bar was more than happy to substitute grilled veggies for meat at my request. I had a sense of holiday gifts as I headed to the Felipe's sauce bar to select my favorite tomatillo salsa, jalapenos, and spicy red sauce.

 

FeliopesSAUCEbarThis is a perfect lunch for any darn day of the week GLOBers. I could taste all of the individual flavors of the veggies and their almost burnt crisp flavor. I felt eight years old playing with my food adding a little bit of salsa here to one taco, more red sauce there on the other.

I love how on a good day of weather Felipe staffers open the giant windows facing University Avenue so you can gaze onto the hectic life of Midtown Gainesville as you casually enjoy your lunch. It was a

 Frederico Felini like moment amidst the sounds of a purring, busy, University Avenue I looked up from my perfect Meatless Monday Tex-Mex lunch and looked across the street to the new McaDonald's lunch stop, beckoning the GLOB Master with 'two all beef patties' . . .

- GLOB MASTER

FeliopesTACOs

 

 

 

FelipesPlateSauce2

Grilled veggies, chorizo, fresh cilantro... Carumba!

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

FELIPEsfMy name is Mike Sanford and I am a Mexican and Latin American food lover.

I find the flavors bright, sharp, tangy, and the texture of the cheeses combined with the crunch of the veggies and corn tortillas is always a remarkable lunch treat. Alright. I also enjoy that spicy heat of the peppers from Mexico and other Central America countries.

When I saw the new restaurant moving into the old End Zone building on the corner of W. University Ave. and SW 12th St. was a Mexican lunch stop, I immediately went into my Sombrero-driven, happy Mexican dance to the sounds of Flaco Jimenez and Ry Cooder. FYI, Flaco Jimenez is recognized as one of the word's greatest Mexican Flamingo guitarists and a rock & roll band favorite, in case you didn't know.

The lunch adventure of Felipe's Taqueria and Mexican Grill was born lunch in what I call one of America's last creative cornerstones -- New Orleans, Louisiana. This taco shop started in Mew Oleans with sevral locarions and has branched into Florida with restaurants nere in Gainesville, and a Tacqueria in Naples, Florida,

Felipe's has a few different approaches to lunch and eating out that make it more than what is now the usual standing-in-the-lunch-line waiting for your turn to order process.

 

FelipesDining

This midtown Taqueria has a very nice patio area with a high wooden wall to diminish some of the University traffic noise. There is also a small bar and several televisions to enjoy during patio lunches.

The giant picture windows that front University Ave open wide like garage doors for the beautiful weather days, which are creeping our way as fall approaches.

This bright, airy, lunch stop has three different ways to order lunch:

zzGLOBbullet You can walk the Felipe's lunch line and select your choice of veggies, meats, and add-ons such as guacamole, pico de gallo, fresh corn, cilantro, and onions.

zzGLOBbullet If you are unable to separate yourself from your cell phone, you can grab a table and order your lunch from your phone and have it delivered to your table.

zzGLOBbullet Lastly, in a very much appreciated last resort, you can have a Felipe's server take your order at your table.

FelipesLOGONow, can I talk about lunch?

The easy to read menu is divided into the categories of Entrees, Meats & Vegetables, Add-Ons, Apps & Sides, and Desserts.

The eight entrees seem typically Mexican with Baja Tacos and Plato or Bowl. Felipe's will make any entrée a Felipe's Combo with a drink and small chips for an additional $2.80.

Grilled veggies and chorizo are the highlights of the Meats & Vegetable category, which also includes and char grilled steak and the unique choice of caramelized pork with pineapple, cinnamon, and guajillo marinade.

Apps & Sides include taquitos and tamales.  "We want to be sure our staff is ready to prepare your tamales, veggie, or otherwise, exactly the way you prefer," Harry said.

Any entree can become a meatless lunch option by substituting marinated grilled vegetables for the entree's meat ingredient.  For a complete menu see the restaurant web link below this review.

FelipesSALSA

Unique to Felipe's is their fabulous sauce bar. Located in the center of the restaurant, this is the spot where you make your lunch especially tasty with your choice of spicy salsas or add some crunch with diced carrots, radish, or marinated onions.

There is also a full bar at Felipe's with happy hour pricing.

Let's call this a working lunch since Jane Medley, Lynn Dirk, and the GLOB Master were discussing online publishing. Self publishing link

Jane is also a big fan of Mexican cuisine and was excited to see how Felipe's compared with her favorite, usual Mexican lunch stop that will remain nameless. Jane chose the TWO TACO entrée with soft corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, and guacamole sauce. Jane added salsa and spicy red taco sauce from the Sauce Bar for the $4.50 entree. Jane liked the tacos, especially the corn tortillas and guacamole sauce.

 

FelipesBowl1

Captain Dirk has always been a big food in the bowl fan. "I like to mix the ingredients together to capture all the tastes and textures toegether," she said, eager to survey the ingedients on the lunch line.

Lynn's lunch bowl conained rice, beans, pico de gallo, Mexican crema, and salsa roja and was served with warmed corn tortillas wrapped in foil. She also added radishes, marinated onions, and several sauces from the Sauce Bar.

 

FelipesPlateSauce2

I have always been a sucker for presentation and the Felipe's Plato sounded really good. Emily, our server explained the plato is served with each ingredient scooped onto the plate, circling the perimeter of the plato.

This was my second trip to Felipe's and I am already a big fan of the ground chorizo sausage and its spicy flavor. I included fresh corn, onions, pinto beans, Spanish rice, pickled jalapenos, and chopped fresh cilantro to my plato for $5.90. I got carried away with the amazing tomatillo green sauce, which is my favorite sauce concoction. I also added fresh salsa and marinated onions from the Sauce Bar.

 

FelipesGrilledVeggire

Now about the Felipe's GRILLED VEGETABLES. Some of the veggies are marinated, along with fresh cooked pieces of onions, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, spinach and squash cooked to perfection. I was happily surprised with this ingredient medley on my plate creating a very delicious lunch.

 

FelipesBrownie

The three of us concluded our lunch by sharing a tantalizing, large, square of chocolate brownie accentuated with a sprig of fresh mint.

The Felipe's food and service staff is fresh and eager to please the hungry customer. Don't forget to stop at the Sauce Bar to begin your time lunch fiesta. Also, you are missing out if you don't add the grilled veggies to your plato, in your bowl, on your taco, or wrapped in your burrito.

The Pluses and Minuses of the Felipes:

Felipes (+) indicators: The ground chorizo is spicy, very good. Corn tortillas, tomatillo sauce and grilled veggies are winners.

Felipes(-) indicators: Bartools could be higher to eat comfortably at the bar

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

Read more...

Costa Vida: CLOSED, August 2018

Lunch touts fresh Costal Mexico flavors

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

COSTAVIDAsfIt's the GLOB Master's opinion that you can never have too many Mexican restaurants, cafes, or taco stands. So I was a very happy boy to find out there is another salsa, green peppers, tomatillas, crunchy corn tortilla shop on Archer Rd.

So that makes five Mexican restaurants in what I call the Archer Rd. triangle. Knowing there are 21 Mexican Cafés in the Urban GLOB puts a smile on my face.

To paraphrase an old saying, "The worst Mexican lunch I have ever had was still pretty good." And I will be happy saying, "CARUMBA gringo," with a smile to meet you any time you like even if it were at the local Taco Bell.

The Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill was created by a Utah couple after they spent a vacation at Cabo San Lucas. JD and Sarah Gardner opened their first Costa Vida in Layton, Utah.

Applying the trendy fast casual approach to lunch, Costa Vida provides a friendly, fast, and fun survey of all the spicy-tasting Mexican ingredient options before they become your noon-time meal.

CostaVidaLOGOOn its website, Costa Vida explains:

"food is made fresh in each restaurant's kitchen. Each tortilla is hand crafted daily and served hot, ensuring that no customer will ever have to eat a factory-made tortilla pulled from a bag. The sweet pork and shredded beef are perfectly seasoned and slow-cooked for several hours."

Hmmm, interesting they didn't say whether the tortillas were corn or flour. I will check on that.

I hope you know the fast casual lunch line drill by now and Costa Vida has all the Mexican staples available: burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and salads. Appetizers, desserts, and Horchata soft drinks are available.

 

CvMURALblue

The dining area is clean and spacious with tables, booths, and a lunch counter. An 'in-house' feature attraction is a very cool, Disney World-like, framed, moving water display that will easily take a lunch outer into another virtual world.

Costa Vida has six specialty entrees: Fajita Burritos, Enchiladas & Nachos, Mango Chicken Salad, Sweet Shrimp Salad, Sweet Shrimp Tacos & Mahi Mahi Tacos (at select locations). You will also a find different daily special available at different Costa Vida locations, speaking of which, Costa Vida has secured another space in the new building going up on University Avenue and 13th St.

 

CvidaDINING

Having a new attitude about eating, I must admit checking out the Costa Vida Healthy Living page of the Costa Vida website was one of my first tasks and I was pleased to find more nutritional information than I could throw a Horchata soda bottle at.

CVchartAn info-table lists all Costa Vida products and with ingredients of concern to people with allergies who are concerned about sugar or preservatives. There is a also an overview of ingredients and related issues where they describe how Costa Vida deals with such ingredients ... and by the way, there I discovered that information about their tortillas: "Tortillas (Flour, Corn & Whole Wheat) – At Costa Vida we have worked to create the best tortilla simply without the use of lard. Our signature tortillas use only the best quality wheat and corn masa. Our tortillas are 100% vegetarian and made to have the perfect flavor, color and texture."

I was thinking Mexican salad for lunch and with a real 'have-it-my-way' approach I selected black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips, cotija cheese, salsa, and cilantro lime vinaigrette, and I had an additional dollop of guacamole put on top of the salad.

It's funny how some things just work. The salad was served in the familiar aluminum tin bringing back memories of most excellent El Indio lunches. I like the idea of my lunch compacted into a ready-to-heat multi-use container.

 

CvicaSALADhoriz

My salad was beautiful, with melted cheese complementing the fresh greens and spicy red tomatoes. The salad was also excellent. I was feeling like I was eating a lunch that couldn't be any fresher. The Mexican spices had a calming effect of the GLOB Master as I enjoyed the salsa, guac, and Mexican spice flavors melding in a melodic Latin trio flavor serenade.

I'm OK with the idea of Chuy's, Taco Bell, and Chipotle all within walking distance of each other. In fact meet the GLOB Master here in the Archer Rd. Triangle tomorrow and we can have a progressive Mexican lunch party . . .

The Pluses and Minuses of the Costa Vida:

Costa Vida (+) indicators: Fresh, tasty, true Tex-Mex bliss. There is a second Costa Vida planned for The Standard, the high rise multi-purpose, apartment, and condominium building on the corner of 13th St. and University Avenue. 

Costa vida (-) indicators: Well, it is on Archer road. 

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

Read more...

Lunch stop openings close out 2016

December 16, 2017 - Three new restaurants have recently opened including a sandwich shop, a vegan restaurant, and a golf course café:

zzGLOBbullet With outdoor seating and a drive-through pickup window, Piper Gi's will be open starting with lunch from 11 am -3 pm and other times. Piper at 204 SW 2nd Ave.  According to owner Tommy Newman the former Wholly BBQ location next to the High Dive will be run with his wife, Shanti Aura Riesch-Newman, and brother-in-law, Jacob Riesch, with combined experience as chefs for several notable Gainesville restaurants including Manuel's Vintage Room, Emiliano's Cafe, and Napalanto's. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzGLOBbullet Curia On the Drag, 2029 NW 6th Street, has opened a vegan café to complement their coffee shop and wine bar. Serving lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee, Curia presents a complete vegan menu. Including mac 'n cheese, jackfruit, fish-less tacos, and many more plant-based entrees. The three-building location also touts domestic and imported beer, sparkling wines, happy hour, board games, and entertainment. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Curia menu

zzGLOBbulletDivot's Café & Banquet has opened in the Meadow Brook Golf Club on 3200 NW 98th and NW 39th Ave. Lisa's Corner Café owner and manager, Lisa Freeze, has jumped across town to accommodate lunch outers and golf enthusiasts with a $7 Cheeseburger and French fry specials and a varied menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and hot entrees

zzsmallknifefork0311

LonghornSF

Butler Plaza opens new lunch stops

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – The Longhorn Steakhouse returns after several years to Gainesville at 2933 Clark Butler Blvd with more steaks than you shake a prime cut at. Featuring 100% grade A beef in over 30 different combinations, entrees with chicken and salmon, and salads and burgers. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

Culver's, a restaurant that features "butterburgers" and frozen custard for dessert has opened in Butler Plaza at 912 NW 56 Terr. In 1984, George and Ruth Culver had the idea for a restaurant no one could resist: a combination of his "love for his mom's homemade hamburgers with his favorite childhood treat." Four flavors of frozen custard are offered each day with over 30 mix-ins and toppings. In addition to dessert, the menu also includes fried Wisconsin cheese curds, salads, chicken and fish sandwiches, and dinner entres and kids' meals. Culver's is open from 10 am to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and 10 am to midnight Friday and Saturday. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

Jersey Mike's Subs touting 'east coast style' sub sandwiches Jersey Mike's  has opened a second location in Gainesville at at 2803 SW 42nd Street in Butler Plaza. Franchise owners Angelo and Kimberly Crowell own two Jersey Mike's in Tallahassee. Jersey Mike's is open from 10 am to 9 pm 7 days a week. This nationwide franchise has over 750 locations, the first having been established on the New Jersey shore in 1956. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

TamalWINDOWtopper

New lunch stops open for business

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2016: From fresh tamales to breakfast all day new lunch stops are popping up all over Gainesville:

zzGLOBbullet TAMALhorseATamale shop opens downtown: "When the Tamale Horse is on the sidewalk, there are fresh, hot tamales waiting inside," Tamal Head Cook and Owner Rachel Iannelli, said proudly scratching Tamale's white mane. Two blocks north of the new Depot Park complex, in the heart of Gainesville's South Main arts district, daily Tamal offers unique and healthy meat, vegetarian, and vegan tamales at reasonable prices. Owners, Cecil Iannelli and Rachel Nicholas, who are also long-time Gainesvillians and food lovers, use locally sourced meat, produce, and eggs whenever possible, and the aquas frescas are sweetened only with turbinado sugar. After three decades in the restaurant business and working on her doctorate degree, a tamale shop wasn't always Rachel's first career consideration, but now, she says, "As far as I know, we are the first tamale shop in Gainesville, and we are excited sharing our passion for handmade tamales." FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

 

KRAZYGtopperzzGLOBbullet Krazy G'opens in Midtown: Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner and open from 7 AM – 2 AM (yes, 2 AM in the morning!) every day, Krazy G's will be serving organic gourmet burgers from grass-fed beef, locally brewed beer, and biscuits and other breakfast food. This fast casual spot will host a smoker for burgers, brisket, pork shoulder, house-made bacon, and bologna. For long-time Hog Towners, the breakfast menu includes the return of the Asher Special from Skeeter's Breakfast House -- a popular Gainesville restaurant from the late 1970s to 1995 -- that includes Skeeter potatoes, melted cheese, a choice of eggs, choice of sausage or bacon, and a biscuit. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

zzGLOBbullet Fresh Corner opens in Stadium Club Bldg: Specializing in breakfast all day, the Fresh Corner is open and ready to serve you breakfast "In hand. " With a menu that includes bagels, toast, crispy waffles, and fresh bowls, there are many breakfast entrée variations such as the Captain's Way Bagel consisting of smoked salmon, sliced bananas, honey, and sunflower seeds. There are three kinds of bowls all featuring a base of coconut chia seed pudding, Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit. Smoked Chicken & Waffles has already become a Fresh Corner favorite. Open Daily 8 am -5 pm, the Fresh Corner offers gluten-free and vegan options along with avocado toast and mini-bagels.

 

BigIslandFoodTruck

zzGLOBbullet Big Island Bowls opens in Root & Pecker facility: To paraphrase the Trailer Park Troubadours, "It ain't a restaurant until the wheels come off." A Big Island food truck has planted itself on the Root & Pecker grounds at 5432 NW 8th Ave. With tentative plans to be open from 9 am-6 pm daily, lunch every day at the Big Island Bowls features smoothies and fruit and acai bowls. All of their bowls are free of additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and dairy. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

patticakesSF

September 12, 2016 - Patticakes on the Bo Diddley Plaza downtown has opened on the NE corner of the Plaza with a limited menu this week. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, the lunch menu includes salads, sandwiches, wraps, and paninis. Patticakes will have a full espresso menu with lattes and cappuccinos plus tea, smoothies, and milk shakes. Breakfast items include muffins, scones, pastries, quiche, bagels, and yogurt. Next week Patticakes will be open Monday through Saturday until 9 p.m. and later when there are concerts on the Plaza and will be open on Sundays during festivals. Seating includes a limjited number of lunch counter seats, a patio, and the Bo Diddley Plaza.

Also now open for lunch:

zzGLOBbullet Felipe's Mexican Taqueria has opened in midtown on the corner of W. University Ave and NW 12th St. With the standard tacos, burritos, and quesadilla, Felipe's also offers Tinga Chicken Breast, Al Pastor, Chorizo, and Grilled Vegetables. With several restaurants in Louisiana, this is Felipe's second venture into Florida, the other being in Naples. Felipe's offers three ways top place you lunch order: a fast casual lunch line, by cell phone from your table, or from a server at the bar or in the bar area. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Felipe's menu.

zzGLOBbullet The Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grille has opened at 3581 SW Archer Rd. "Costa Vida is a laid-back counter-serve Mexican restaurant with Baja-style tacos and burritos plus gluten-free options. Fresh food created with using real ingredients." Offering the standard Tex-Mex lunch fare, Costa Vida lists some interesting specialties such as Fajita Burritos, Mango Chicken Salad, and Sweet Shrimp Salad or Tacos. FOLLOW THJIS LINK for a complete Costa Vida menu.

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

Chipotle Mexican Grille opens third location

CHIPOTLEsfASeptember 6, 2016: Chipotle Mexican Grille has opened a third Gainesville location on the corner of NW 13th St. and NW 23rd Ave. Chipotle touts 'Food with Integrity" such as "Vegetables grown in healthy soil, and pork from pigs allowed to freely root and roam outdoors or in deeply bedded barns" and claim that "with every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we're working to cultivate a better world." Chipotle serves burritos with meats, sofritas, rice, beans, fajita veggies, several salsa options, quacamole, sour cream, cheese, and/or romaine lettuce. FOLLOW THIS LINK for Chipotle reviews.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

VpizzaSF

V Pizza opens in Vello's Building downtown

August 29, 2016: V Pizza/Sidecar Bar have opened in the space vacated by Vello's in downtown Gainesville.  Serving an Italian menu of specialty pizzas, create your own pizzas, calzones, and strombolis, the fast casual restaurant (order at the counter) has a "Lunch Special Pricing" at $9.95 for a beverage, cheese pizza plus 1 topping or 10.95 with any house pizza. For gluten free pizza, add $3. Other Lunch Special options for $9.95: A calzone plus 1 topping; a panini, or chicken wings. Touting authenticity, the Jacksonville creators of V Pizza feature imported and dry-aged Italian meats, San Marzano tomatoes, '00 flour', water buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala), pizzas that aren't perfectly round, and burn marks on the crust. These are the elements V Pizza creators believe that validate their authentic Napoletana pizza. According to the About Food website Neapolitan pizza originated in Naples, Italy, and is made from simple basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil--no fancy toppings here. According to the Jacksonville Sidecar website,  "Sidecar honors the original definition of the cocktail – a combination of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters [and] spirit-forward drinks are accompanied by rotating draft beers, over 50 bottled beers, two cocktails on tap, whiskey on tap, and a great list of old and new world wine varietals." FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information and a complete Z Pizza menu.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

HWFsf

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

Humble Pie opens store front, changes name

081816HUMBLEwoodfireLOGOAugust 21, 2016:  After much planning, and making arrangements the Humble Pie food truck has opened a 'brick and mortar' lunch stop at 405 SW 4th Ave. next to their Humble Wood Fire kitchen. The new lunch stop will have a daily $10 lunch special for an 8" pizza and the Humble Wood Fire salad of the day. The Humble staff will post the daily special on their social media connections.After being named in a lawsuit for using the Humble Pie name by a Manhattan, New York law firm representing a Humble Pie pizza chain in Arizona, the HWF pizza boys have decided to change their name to Humble Wood Fire. According to their FaceBook page: "Our new name embodies the heart of what we have always been about. Humble Wood Fire also enables us to move beyond being known solely for our wood fired pies." FOLLOW THIS LINKfor more information, and a Humble Wood Fire menu.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

WINGSteriyakiSF

Wings & Teriyaki opens in NE, Flaming Crab on Newberry Rd.

May 10, 2016: Listing a complete menu of hibachi/teriyaki entrees including chicken, beef, shrimp, steak and tofu, the Wings & Teriyaki lunch stop on NE 23rd Ave. also specializes in chicken wings in 25 different flavors. Need more lunch GLOBer? Wings & Teriyaki also serves gyros, Philly steaks sandwiches, hamburgers, and salads. You can also get fried shrimp with white or fried rice and a drink for $9.99. There are two chicken wing combos on the menu and 12 combos served with steamed veggies and white or fried rice. Wings & Teriyaki is Open seven days a week.

FLAMINGcrabLOGOThe Flaming Crab has opened on Newberry Rd. near Tower Rd. in the old Yummy House location. Taking seafood boils to a new level, the Flaming Crab touts Cajun style crab boils with a twist -- your fresh catch is boiled in a Cajun-style-blend of spices, then tossed with a choice of signature seasonings, and served in a bag to preserve the flavors. Menu items range from $27 to $65: The Flaming Crab has a Po Boy Sandwich Special at $7.99 and a 2-lb fresh crawfish special for $18.99.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

KAPLEbiscuitSF

Maple St. Biscuit opens in Butler Plaza

April 15, 2016: The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened yesterday in Butler Plaza in the Target Shopping area. Touting consistent southern comfort food with a modern twist.  The MSBC serves an assortment of sandwiches including the Chicken Club, the Iron Goeat, and the Sticky Maple ll served on Flaky Biscuits. Side orders include oatmeal, Hashups, (home fries with chopped smoked ham, red and green peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms, and melted cheese & Gravy), and Sweet Potato Fries with maple mustard dipping sauce. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzsmallknifefork0311

Three restaurants open April 4, 2016

GovindaSF

zzGLOBbullet GOVINDA'S BAKERY & CAFÉ: The big, green building on NW 13th St. has a bright new coat of beige pain and is now selling breakfast delights and lunch. Soups with free refills and veggie sandwiches served on ciabatta rolls are the main components of the veggie menu. According to GOVINDA's website, "We are a vegetarian bakery and café . . . We specialize in healthy, wholesome, yummy food prepared with love and care! Our mission here at Govinda's is to encourage an atmosphere of peace, serenity, and harmony in our community and in ourselves."

zzGLOBbullet WINE & CHEESE GALLERY: This long time downtown favorite has been resurrected with new lunch ideas and a fast causal approach to lunch. With a menu that includes lads, sandwiches, and soups the Wine and Cheese has included cheese boards totheir menu.

zzGLOBbullet YUMMYHOUSUEsf2016YUMMY HOUSE: After a short hiatus, Yummy House has reopened in the old Crispers location on 34th St. A dimly-lit atmosphere houses multiple tables adorning white tablecloths, a long bar area, and sharp, clean decor. Yummy House's extensive menu is still available on the inside with added, east parking now available at this SW 24th location.

zzsmallknifefork0311

Grill Fresh opens behind the Swamp

GRILLfreshSFMarch 21, 2016: Grill Fresh opens for lunch today in the old Café Gardens location behind the Swamp in mid-town. With a mix 'n match of bowl entrees with a base foundation ranging from sweet potato noodles for salad to warm veggie spiced rice and fresh herb roasted potatoes. After the base ingredient, the choices are toppings of veggies, protein, and sauce. Bowls can be ordered in three categories: GREEN BOWL that includes 2 greens, 2 veggies and 1 protein, the FOUR BOWL that consists of 2 base ingredients, 1 veggie, and 1 protein, to the SIX BOWL that includes 2 base ingredients, 2 veggies, and 2 proteins. Breakfast is available every morning with breakfast bowls of 1 base ingredient, 1 egg or tofu, 2 proteins, and 1 cheese.

- Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

zzsmallknifefork0311

Harvest Thyme burgers, SweetBerries buy local specials

March 14, 2016: The NW 39th Ave. Harvest Thyme Café is now serving hamburgers and brunch. You can choose from two $8.25 burgers, both with grass fed, local beef: The Cheeseburger – with lettuce, tomato, and cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or American cheese, OR the Carolina Classic with chili, coleslaw, mustard, and onions. Two additional of the following toppings included in price: raw onion, pickles, coleslaw, bacon, grilled peppers, grilled onions, and jalapenos; each additional topping at $0.50 (Be sure to add one of the HT brownies to your lunch for dessert, they are really yummy.  - GLOB Master.).)

031416HarvestHarvest Thyme Café at this location is also serving Brunch until 2 pm with Omelettes and Skillets, both types with eggs and Michael's home style potatoes along with your choice of meat and/or cheese and two of the following ingredients: spinach, tomato, onion, jalapeno, black olives, mushrooms, scallions, green peppers. Other brunch items include waffles, gluten free waffles, pancakes, French toast, and plates, which consist of two eggs served your way with Michael's homestyle potatoes, toast, and bacon, sausage or ham. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.

zzGLOBbullet Sweetberries Eatery and Frozen Custard has come up with a smart Friday-Saturday-Sunday Special with an emphasis on buying local.  The Osmond sisters will be attending the Wednesday Unions St. Downtown Farmers Market each week with the purpose of seeking out a local farmer or food artisan's locally grown or locally made product to feature in their upcoming Weekend Special. "We decided after featuring White Apron's Fig Preserves on our Chicken, Brie and Fig Preserve sandwich, image at the top of this news, last weekend this would be a good way to showcase the abundance of produce and artisanal food items available in our area," Co-Owner Jane Osmond said. "If at all possible, we'll also have their products for sale in our store during the Special in which their product if featured"

KUDOS to SweetBerries! That is such a good idea the Daily GLOB will start featuring Sweetberrie’s Weekend End specials Friday mornings and including a link to the participating local farmer and producer.

zzsmallknifefork0311

SandwihcDepotSF

Sandwich Depot moves into Adam's Rib Co. building

March 7, 2016: The Sandwich Depot has opened shop in the old Adam's Rib Co. building on NW 13th. St. adjacent to the new Adam's Rib Co. Open for lunch and dinner with the same menu Monday – Saturday the Sandwich Depot boasts over 15 different sandwiches featuring wraps, hamburgers, tacos, a veggie burger and various salads including a chicken Caesar salad and a Cobb salad. Sandwich depot was established in 2013 as a food truck. Family-owned-and-operated menu items are original, inspired creations by chef and owner Travis Mylott. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information

zzsmallknifefork0311

Twisted Peacock opens on SW 13th St.

TpeacockSFJanuary 9, 2016: The Twisted Peacock has opened on SW 13th St. for lunch and dinner and serves Indian cuisine "in a contemporary fashion rooted in Indian cooking. " The full Indian menu includes entrees like Palak Chole (creamed spinach and chick peas), Nandu Varuval (South Indian fried, spicy, soft shell crab), and Chicken Tikki Masala. There are also sandwiches, salads, vegetarian entrees such as Malai Kofta ("dumplings made with cashews and tossed in a rich, creamy gravy"), and both meat and seafood entrees. Appetizers, which are called Street Food, consist of five options, and three kinds of Indian bread are available. The Twisted Peacock opens at 11 am seven days a week.

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

LISAstoreFront

Lisa's Corner opens on NW 23rd Ave

February 2, 2016: Lisa's Corner Café has opened on the corner of NW 23rd Ave at 125 NW 23rd Ave. Suite 9 in the former location of La Fortuna. With a new homey décor, options include a hot lunch buffet and a soup and salad bar. The menu includes sandwiches, wraps, Hot Baskets, chicken wings, fried fish, and daily Hot Bar Specials. Lisa's Corner Café is open 7 days a week at 8 am for breakfast, including a breakfast bar until 11:30 am.

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

Buffalo Wild Wings opens in Oaks Mall

BWWsf

BWWwingsJanuary 13, 2016: With Chicken Wings, Beer, and sports the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar in front of the Oaks Mall you can count on this second, and third joint lunch palace being a busy. Chicken wings. and boneless wings are available in 17 flavors including Bourbon Honey Mustard,Thai Curry, And a Reformulated Blazin' wing. There is a Veggie boat, potato wedges, and Cheddar Cheese Curds available for the veggie lunch outer. Add seven kinds of salads including a prime rib salad, seven different wraps, street tacos, five kinds of hamburgers, two kinds of chicken sandwiches, a pulled pork sandwich, and a Southwest Philly sandwich it becomes apparent why BFW emphasises a "Fast Break Lunch" approach.  The FBL menu allows customers to create a customizable lunch order and eat in 30 to 40 minutes. The Fast Break Lunch is available Monday - Friday, 11- 2:00 pm. NOTE TO BOB SANFORD: BWW has chicken tenders in both a naked, and crispy variety

ainesville's oldest restaurant closes Saturday after 82 years.
Related Links:

Louis' Lunch at Southeast Fifth Avenue and Second Street, which is also open today, serves the last of its hamburgers and shakes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Owner Tom Pennisi, 75, cited slow business and his age for his decision to close the diner and sell the property.
His father, Louis Pennisi, opened the business in 1928.
 


Hey Jules I want to start running the feature below every day. 
I would like to include CHOW NOW with a new location but I would need your location by 8:30 in the morning . . .?
Today’s Lunch Plans
Tuesday, October 27, 2010

The GLOB’s Lunch Plans:  Sandwich Inn, Northeast, 110 NE 16th Ave.

CHOW NOW Food Truck Plans: Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast, Hawthorne Rd.
GLOB Lunch Spot Update
Downtown:
Newly Opened:
Urban Flatbread, Warehouse
Closed: Louis Lunch, Tori's Big Burger

Midtown:
Newly Opened
: Anthony's Pizza & Subs, O!O Garden Grill (Tentative)
Closed for lunch: Farah's on the Avenue

Archer Rd.:
Newly Opened:
Ghengis Grill, Michael's

34th St.:
Newly Opened:
Bagle Land (tentative)
Closed: J. Doobies Wraps
Read more...

Blue Agave

Mexican cuisine wasn't even on my menu I was thinking as I turned into the Blue Agave parking lot off of NW 43rd St.

I have mentioned more than once the GLOB Master is a big Mexican food lover. It all started when I cam to Gainesville to go to school many years ago and discovered Taco Bell. I thought the crunchy, hard shell tacos were cheap and very good. Gosh GLOBer not to show my age but sift shell tacos were thing rarely even discussed.

But a Taco Bell lunch of two tacos and a spicy green burrito was lunch time bliss for me any day of the week.

Walking with long time Jon Roosenraad one Friday morning the subject of Mexican lunch stops popped up and conversation shifted to the twenty Mexican/Tex Mex restaurants in Gainesville.

The good Doctor opined on the good old days -- back in 1990 -- how the El Torro restaurant on SW 13th St. was the only Tex/Mex lunch stop in town. "You know they have moved to Alachua and they have become a popular restaurant out there GLOB Master," Jonny said wistfully. "I haven't seen a good Mexican restaurant like that in Gainesville since they left." he added.

That's when I made my pitch for Blue Agave being my favorite Mexican lunch stop.

"If for no other reason Blue Agave has 10 different tacos on their menu," I said. "Plus they have tacos for $1 on Wednesday," I exclaimed.

BagaveSALSA300If that isn't a testament to my lunch time desires I confessed the Pollo Poblano entrée with slices of grilled chicken, onions and mushrooms simmered in poblano sauce served with Mexican rice, black beans, feta cheese and three flour tortillas – $12 - was big enough to share and hads become my favorite Mexican dish.

Sitting down and surveying the B A menu I wasn't ready to commit to such a large lunch. That is when a server walked by with delicious looking salad. I think I could be an expert on lunchtime salads these days. More and more a cruchy salad with a boatload of different ingredients is ringing the GLOB Master's lunch time chimes. So I felt good about selecting the Blue Agave Taco Salad with crispy flour tortilla shell topped with, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole and tomatoes, ($7.50).

The spicy, cool, refreshing flavors worked nicely with a giant dollop of a really good salsa.

I used the complimentary chips to scoop up the salad ingredients smiling thinking I was in fact Tex/Mex heaven less than a half of a mile from my doorstop.

 - Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

zzsmallknifefork0311

 

BonataTOPPER

GLOB colleagues meet for muy, muy, lunch

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

Blue Agave Mexican restaurantFall seems to be laden with holidays to celebrate, from birthdays to anniversary celebrations. Not only is the GLOB celebrating five years of world-wide web publishing this month, but I can mark my two-year anniversary contributing to the GLOB, as well. First up, though, GLOB Editor, Mike Sanford, was celebrating a birthday and had a few places in mind to ring in another year wiser.

Homemade Mexican cuisine, including taquitos, nachos and taco salad, are in my meal planning rotation just as much as anything else. However, I rarely dine out at Mexican joints. Regardless, I was looking forward to trying out Mike's birthday spot pick, Blue Agave, as it had been on my list to try ever since Mike first raved over the tasty tacos.

MElynnNestled off of 43rd Street by 43rd St. Deli and Saporito Oil, Vinegar & Spice Shop, Blue Agave makes a bold statement upon first glance, colorful signage and interior seeming to be a typical aesthetic for Mexican restaurants. It was just around opening time, so the GLOB staff did not have any wait to be seated at a booth by the window. Several parties filed in and out, though, over the course of our meal, giving the appearance of a somewhat popular spot.

SangriaThe service was very prompt without much wait time for food or refills. After the easiest decision of the day was made to split half a pitcher of red wine sangria, which was actually a little too sweet for my taste which is saying something, we all decided a family-style meal time of shared plates would aid us each in trying as many different items as possible.

Bnota480

The complimentary chips and salsa left much to be desired, in my opinion. The chips tasted a little stale, and the salsa needed to be doctored up with hot sauce to gain some flavor. The Botana (no roll on the "n," although we certainly tried including one), was the Mexican food equivalent of a combo appetizer at any big-box chain restaurant. This medley of quesadillas, fried chicken flautas and individual nacho chips with either chicken or beef and cheese provided a nice little sampler platter for the table wanting it all, so to speak. It was an adequate portion size for three or four people. Each section of the platter was cut into smaller pieces while still including plenty of the tasty fresh fixings that make each meal customizable, including a small cup of queso cheese dip, guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, jalapenos and sour cream. One of the best parts of this multi-topping system is creating new flavor combinations. 

Lynn Dirk, the 3rd GLOBer in our birthday fiesta, noted that the menu has an interesting section of sides:  a side order of onions or tomatoes is $1 each, which seems steep, but then some of the a la cart items like one taco or beans or rice seemed very reasonable at about $3.

PorkVerde

TacosMike was also interested in trying something new at the spot where he has ordered many a taco. The Chile Verde dish, image above, piqued his interest. Although advertised as "hot," I did not think the spiciness level surpassed even a medium heat. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the dish: Thick chunks of tender pork coated in green sauce and cilantro fell apart in my mouth, every bite as juicy and flavorful as the last. The addition of rice and beans also pleased my dining companions, and I took to dousing the leftover tortillas from the meal in the Botana's queso sauce. However, true to form, Mike insisted we include tacos into this feast, and no one was ready to deny the birthday boy. He ordered fish tacos, a protein filling that he claimed he had not previously tried at the restaurant, and seemed very pleased with the grilled chunks of tilapia that rested in the flour tortilla. Of course there were again plenty of toppings to customize each taco.  I took to adding some green salsa, red hot sauce, a little pico de gallo and lettuce for a pretty decent stuffed taco. While not the best I have ever had, it did the trick.  There is a complete Blue Agave menu at the restaurant link below.

Dessert480

What is a birthday celebration without a little dessert? Yes, our ambitious birthday party finished two slices of cheesecake as well as all the aforementioned food. The server informed us that this particular cheesecake wasn't on the menu, but it was his favorite and worth a try. It certainly did not disappoint: Traditional-flavored cheesecake was met with a layer of fudgy chocolate in the middle and a generous top coating of caramel that dripped down over the sides. The graham cracker crust was Mike's favorite part, but I had no problem devouring the rest!

Mike claims that Blue Agave is one of the better Mexican restaurants in town, and I do feel that it was a satisfactory experience. As mentioned previously, I rarely dine out Mexican, but if the opportunity to dine at Blue Agave presented itself again, I hope it would be during lunch on a weekday when they have all the great lunch specials.

The Pluses and Minuses of Blue Agave: speedy food delivery, attentive and friendly service, tasty food, wide variety of meat and meatless options, reasonably priced for quantities, enticing lunch specials.

Blue Agave + indicators:  One of the more unique Mexican menus in town with eight different tacos. OMG the fish tacos include pico de gallo and tomatillo sauce!  The red, and green sauce available on the tables add nice heat to the B A house salsa.

Blue Agave - indicators: Somewhat standard Mexican food, hard to get to if on other side of 43rd Street.

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

 

TacoTOPPER

Tacos astound GLOB Master with variety

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Blue Agave Mexican restaurantI made it my mission to seek out the best tacos in GLOB land primarily because I am a giant taco fan.  I’m not too proud to say that it has only been recently that the GLOB Master has discovered that the new millennial meaning of taco is way more involved than the yummy fried corn tortilla that encased cheddar cheese, onions, and tomatoes that has symbolized Mexican sandwich bliss for me since I was old enough to pay for my own lunch

On my first trip to Blue Agave off NW 43rd St across from the Thornebrook Village, I experienced the spicy, green, flavorful joy of the BA Enchiladas Poblanas.  If you are a poblano pepper fan you have to give the Blue Agave poblano sauce heartfelt culinary consideration.  The mild but tangy, creamy green sauce added a rich, smooth flavor to the over-stuffed-with-chicken corn tortillas. CARUMBA muchacho! This was an excellent South of the border lunch.  On my second trip, it was the tacos.  More on that shortly

Blue Agave is the third restaurant in this old Las Margaritas location in the last few years.  Not a lot of change has taken place to the design inside the stucco walls of this lunch time hacienda.  There is still a lounge area on the lower level of Blue Agave, plus ample seating inside the restaurant, and some tables line a patio on the outside wall of the café.

Blue Agave has the traditional Mexican combo lunch platters ranging from the $5 Speedy Gonzalez consisting ofone beef taco, one enchilada, and Mexican rice or beans to Special #25, which is your choice of a shredded chicken or beef chimichanga served with Mexican rice, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and sour cream for $7.  That is 25 lunch combo platters ranging from $4.50 to $7.

In addition to the combo platters, BA has a full menu ranging from antojitos (appetizers)  to fajitas, ala carte selections, and nine vegetarian lunch options including Chiles Poblano with two poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, fried in egg batter and covered with special sauce and sour cream, and served with Mexican rice and refried beans. (There is that poblano sauce again . . .!)

There is a restaurant link to the Blue Agave menu below

It was tough overlooking all those spicy green choices, but it was a taco kind of lunch day for the GLOB Master, and Blue Agave had an impressive taco of eight, distinctly different, choices ranging from cilantro flavored chopped steak to my selection, the Taco de Alambre.

I think I need a little GLOB help here, amigos.  I am not aware of any other restaurant in Hogtown that serves up that many different taco flavor options.

Carumba!  I have never had a better taco than the Taco de Alambre.  The flavors were battling for my attention from the grilled chicken to the chorizo and bacon.  The bacon and chorizo added a little more salt to my palate than normal, but this taco was GLOB FAB FIVE caliber from the paper thin, crepe like corn tortilla to the cilantro and shredded cheese.

Talk about a conundrum -- I could happily try a different Blue Agave taco every day.  It looks like I will be taking the ala carte Mexican lunch route -- a custom AB Taco with a side of Chile poblanos.   

The Pluses and Minuses of Blue Agave

Blue Agave + indicators :  One of the more unique Mexican menus in town with eight different tacos. OMG the fish tacos include pico de gallo and tomatillo sauce!  The red, and green sauce available on the tables add nice heat to the B A house salsa.

Blue Agave - indicators:  So many choices for such a short lunch hour . .

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

 

BAgreenA

BGchipsSALSAReal estate folks like to make a point of talking location, location, location when they are trying to make a big sale to a motivated buyer. Blue Agave on NW 43rd St. is now less than a half a mile from my residence north of Thornebrook Village. More importantly, I have pretty much decided this Tex-Mex lunch stop has all the green chile, corn tortilla, poblano pepper, hot salsa to make it one of the best Mexican cantinas in Hogtown. I have become a giant fan of the Blue Agave Pollo Poblano, which consists of slices of grilled chicken, onions, and mushrooms simmered in a green spicy poblano sauce. This entrée is served with Mexican rice, black beans, feta cheese, and three flour tortillas. Going meatless, I was ready to step outside my corn tortillas, and I ordered the Chiles Poblanos. This meatless Mexican wonder is two poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, fried in egg batter, and covered with special sauce and sour cream. The entrée is served with Mexican rice and refried beans. The Blue Agave Tomatillo Sauce could very well be one of the best, tangy, spicy, green, salsas around. I substituted this gem of a topping instead of the BA Special Sauce on my poblanos. CARUMBA GLOBers! At $10 this entrée is $2 cheaper than my favorite Pollo Poblano and quite possibly more flavorful with the inclusion of the pobalno peppers AND tomatillo sauce. This isn't just a Meatless Monday Special GLOBers, this is an every-darn-day of the week special for the GLOB Master. BTW the Blue Agave free chips and salsa are worth their weight in corn meal and tomato salsa and add a very special 'Mexican side order' to this Meatless Monday prize winner.

- Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Read more...

Burrito Famous

Burrito bowl GM's new lunch approach

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

BFstoreFrontWalking in the Westgate shopping area I realized it was a perfect opportunity for a Burrito Famous lunch.

Like me, most likely for many GLOBers, Burrito Famous isn't normally on my lunchtime radar screen. Nestled just off the corner of University Avenue, and 34th St. with an extremely long concrete median directly in front of the burrito stand makes what should be an easy in-and-out lunch stop opportunity difficult.

A Giant burrito in a bowl lunch sounded like a good idea. With a have-it-your-way thought process conjuring up a variety of taste explosions in my head for a spicy Mexican flavored mid-day meal.

BFkimThis lunch time adventure became more interesting when Kim, behind the BF lunch counter, said she was a vegetarian and the Burrito Famous Veggie with Artie's Tempeh, plaintains, or avocado ($6,75) was her favorite as a Burrito Famous Bowl salad.

And my fast casual a lunch line odyssey began.

"Would you like beans, or rice as your base," Kim asked reaching for the extra-large spoon.

"No rice, black beans please, " I reply thinking a double order of beans was a lot of beans.

"I put a bed of spinach on the bottom of my bowl," Kim offered. "We have avocado slices and an avocado spread, I select the sliced avocado as my protein," Kim says with an engaging smile.

Voila! What good ideas I think to myself as we move on down the ingredient line ready to fill my lunch bowl with veggie goodness when I spy the assortment of salsas and toppings.

"How about the mild, and the spicy salsa please," I ask eyeing the delicious looking yellow corn salsa for flavor and a dramatic yellow color, and red tomatoes to my lunch time image. Likewise the chopped, fresh jalapeno peppers added a much appreciated smack of heat to my lunch. Grated cheese, onions, and mango habanero chili lime sauce topped off my mountain of meatless delight in a spectacular fashion.

 

BFdining

The long, up and down format of the Burrito Famous building left room at the end of the line for several tables inside the burrito stand. There are multiple tables, seating opportunities available around the outside of the burrito stand.

UTBANglobMAPMy BF custom salad was spectacular with the spicy salsas awakening each and every one of my taste buds. The textures of the crunchy corn and creamy avocado melded nicely with the heat from for the fresh jalapenos. I could enjoy this being a regular lunch stop, if it was located somewhere else on the Urban GLOB lunch map. (FYI there is a second Burrito Famous in Butler Plaza, Archer Rd. Triangle. . .)

I was feeling smart about my Burrito lunch salad thinking of all the automobiles lined up on University Avenue just outside my lunch table waiting their turn to navigate one of the busiest intersections in Hoggetowne.

I smiled voicing a phrase from James Taylor's ode to bad traffic, Damn This Traffic Jam!

Well I left my job about 5 o'clock, it took fifteen minutes go three blocks,
Just in time to stand in line with the freeway looking like a parking lot.
Damn this traffic jam, how I hate to be late, it hurts my motor to go so slow.
- Damn This Traffic Jam
-- James Taylor

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

burritofamTOPPERgif

'Burrito stand' challenges burrito big shots

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

BFstoreFrontI don't know about anyone else, but when I crave a burrito, one with exceptional variety and quality of ingredients, my go-to burrito spot is Chipotle Mexican Grill. While not a local food stop, I have always loved the size, flavors and assembly of the large burritos served there; as I typically describe them, they are comparable to "the size of a baby." However, Burrito Famous, close to the corner of 34th St. and University Avenue, is now giving my tried-and-true burrito haven a run for its money.

My friend, Alyssa, has been asking me to go to Burrito Famous for a few weeks. After hearing about the quick and easy Mexican food spot when it opened, which boasts everything from burritos and salads to tacos and nachos, it has been on my to-go list. A few grueling days of studying pushed me over the top, and I took Alyssa up on the study break offer of a satiating burrito. Not to mention that Alyssa and I have frequented Chipotle to a borderline embarrassing degree, so if there was anyone I should venture to a new burrito place with, I could think of no one better.

burritofamSIGNI approached the small food joint as skeptical as any new customer might be, as I felt like I was cheating on Chipotle in a way. My friend's first reaction to Burrito Famous was an observation: "Wait, this is it? It's a tiny hole in the wall!" Nonetheless, we entered to four employees happily ready to create our meal of choice.

True to form, both Alyssa and I desired a burrito. It is hands-down one of the best features at these small Mexican conveyer line-type restaurants, in my opinion. I was, however, surprised to find that there were multiple options aside from a burrito that I would not find at Chipotle, such as nachos, tempeh, and plantains. It was the available burrito fillings that sent me into indecisive food adventurer mode, as I wanted to try everything and get the most fulfilling experience for my first time there while not overdoing it in response to my overzealous food excitement.

burritofamTOPPERgifAs I often do at newly-visited restaurants, I ask the people who know the product best, the employees, to determine my order. In this case, it was my burrito assembler, Ryan, who guided me through the assembly process. I was glad that he gave me a well thought-out answer, too. I always — and I mean always — order the pork carnitas burrito from Chipotle. I was about to resort to that when Ryan suggested a combination of the beef barbacoa with the pork carnitas for a happy marriage of meaty flavor. He even guaranteed a re-do if I was not satisfied with that particular burrito option, but he added, "I have never had to remake a burrito, and I'm pretty sure you'll think it's delicious."

To continue my surprise, the choice of a veggie burrito with an avocado, tempeh or plantain base; the Baja Fish option; and the Egg N'Chorizo alternative sparked my interest. These are also not seen on the Chipotle menu. Burrito Famous even has the "BFamous Freestyle" menu with pre-combined items. If my food experiences have prefaced anything, I am a huge fan of the pre-selected choices. But to give the burrito joint a true shot, I had to go about it as I always do at these places with an off-the-cuff burrito arrangement. There is a complete Burrito Famous menu at the restaurant web link below.

burritofamCHOICESelecting the meat base was hardly scratching the surface of the assembly process. As previously mentioned, the topping selection was slightly overwhelming. I wanted to keep it simple with what I feel is the burrito essentials: beans (they only had the option of black), cilantro white rice, medium salsa, shredded cheese, guacamole (which was an extra, but oh-so worth it, cost), sour cream, black olives, lettuce, extra cilantro and tomato slices, all delicately wrapped in a warm, toasted tortilla blanket. I was very tempted by the unique toppings available, though, including plantains, bacon(!), pickled jalapenos and chipotle ranch/curry mayo sauces, among others. Due to the sheer size of the finished product, I was audibly concerned as to whether the tortilla would bend beneath the weight of toppings. Alas, my expectations were exceeded.

Alyssa and I decided the cooler weather was cause to dine at one of the few outside tables — I wouldn't be surprised, though, if there was more seating available outside than inside — and we wasted no time digging in. Her spicier chicken-based burrito, complete with peppers, sriracha sauce and hot salsa, left me wishing I had added a spicy and crunchy element to my somewhat monotone-textured burrito. While one bite of the thick, tender chicken chunks and crunchy spice pleased my taste buds, she said that multiple bites left her mouth searing, the spicy elements overwhelming even the cooling elements of the burrito, such as guacamole and cheese.

burritofamMKeatingMy pork carnitas/beef barbacoa burrito set the stage for a completely unique burrito experience, but what I received was an experience reminiscent of so many others I've had. As hard as I tried, I could not help but compare this burrito to that of Chipotle's. Sue me. The noticeable spiciness level of Chipotle's medium salsa led me to select the medium Burrito Famous salsa, but there was not even a hint of spice in it. Honestly, it was a similar experience to a Chipotle burrito. The toppings overpowered the meat, but, when I managed to get a bite of it over the overflowing toppings, it was well-seasoned and juicy, the shredded texture of each meat type complementing each other and the richness of the creamy sour cream and guacamole. The lettuce, which I rely on for that much-needed crunch in a sea of softer ingredients, did not quite deliver, but that could be easily remedied with a few jalapenos or peppers tossed in next time. However, it was a flavor-packed burrito, and it definitely hit the spot.

While Chipotle will never leave the top five spot in my burrito repertoire, Burrito Famous, in a word, delighted. It met my pretty high burrito expectation and left me wanting more. I was thoroughly impressed by the unique selection, homemade ingredients, which is what sold me on the fresh guacamole, and I paid under $7, even considering I combined meat options! Next up (and there will be a "next"): the tempeh burrito or, if I'm feeling really crazy, a bowl, which I have never attempted even at Chipotle.

 

zzsmallknifefork0311

MMtacosNEWBERRY

Is it a 'do-it-yourself taco' if I tell a taco maker exactly what ingredients I want? Whatever you call it, it is a good feature of taco stands to specialize in letting the eater of the taco do the creating. Come on, look at the choices you can load into your crispy or soft (first decision!) taco shell: Pick your rice, pick your beans, pick your cheese, and then mix and match over 30 different toppings, including sour cream, banana peppers, pineapple, Sriracha sauce, guacamole, and jalapenos. Was that enough Meatless Monday toppings for you GLOBers?

I had fun creating my 3-taco (crispy!) Meatless Monday lunch with some very special flavors:

zzGLOBbullet Pinto beans with rice, pico de gallo, onions, fresh jalapeno peppers, and habanero sauce.

zzGLOBbullet Avocado with onions, peppers, fresh jalapenos, banana peppers, cilantro lime slaw, Jack cheese.

zzGLOBbullet Fried plaintains with corn relish, red onions, tomatoes, peppers, guacamole sauce, Jack cheese.

The avocado taco was excellent. The creaminess of the avocado combined with the heat from the peppers made for a bright, eye-opening flavor attack. The fried plaintain taco with a soft banana texture, sweet, pronounced, flavorful Spanish flair was my favorite. Now I wonder if I will be able to remember the fried plaintain taco ingredients on my next trip . . .

- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of Burrito Famous:

 Burrito Famous + indicators : wide variety; helpful and amiable staff; good price for the portion; many fresh ingredients made in-house

 Burrito Famous - indicators: Very Little seating; My Chipotle-influenced mindset speaking . . .

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

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed