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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




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.


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.


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.


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!



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!



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


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.



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




'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.




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!


Chuy's Mexican

'I'm talking the perfect Mexican pepper'

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

ChuysBUBBAsfOver a Mexican lunch last week the Union St. Downtown Farmers Market Elder Charlie Lybrand he mentioned he is a big chili rellenos fan.

"I'm just saying GLOB Master those green Anaheim Peppers are delicious, " Charlie said, "Especially when you stuff them with chicken, or spicy ground beef and Cheese"

I happen to agree with Charlie. The mild flavor of the pepper combined with the crunchy green texture of this Mexican lunch time pepper favorite is hard to beat in Tex-Mex taco world.

"Have you been to Chuy's Mexican Charlie and tasted one of their Chili Rellenos with the 'made especially for Chuy's Hatch Peppers." I asked.

The Hatch Pepper thicker than the average pepper membrane is made perfect for the quick deep frying of your chili rellenos. Plus the thicker 'flesh' of the pepper offer a pronounced pepper flavor with just the special amount of heat.


CHUYSchilis480Chuy's love for the green chili dates back to 1989 when Mike and John traveled to Hatch, New Mexico, in search of the perfect pepper -- Capsicum annuum 'Anaheim' -- to complement our authentic Tex-Mex. The unique climate and rich soil of the Hatch Valley, not found anywhere else in the world, are key to the green chile's legendary flavor. Chuy's commitment to offering the most flavorful pepper on the planet continues today, and each year Chuy's contracts with farmers in the Hatch Valley to grow over 1.75 million pounds of the freshest green chiles just for our restaurants. When they reach their height of flavor in August, Chuy's sends a team to New Mexico to bring back the finest, fresh-picked crop just for you. We celebrate our love affair for this special pepper every year with our annual three-week Green Chile Festival in each of our restaurants.

I have probably ordered something other than the Chuy's Chili Relleno Plate for lunch at this Tex-Mex lunch stop. But I'm really not sure when, if, and what I ordered other than these green delights.

Sitting there thinking of my pal Farmer Lybrand it was easy to order the Chili Relleno plate with a choice of cheese, ground sirloin, roasted chicken, or shrimp. My fresh Anaheim pepper was fire-roasted and filled my choice of chicken. The pepper was battered and fried to perfection and drizzled with sour cream. My lunch plate was covered with my sides of Mexican Rice, and Black Beans. $10,99.

I looked longingly at the red rice on my plate thinking, "Just this once I will eat my rice." The Hatch pepper was all I imagined in flavor and more. Each crunch of the pepper made me smile as I waited for the delayed heat factor to kick on. The goo of the melted cheese combined with the texture of the chicken combined for a comforting, special awakening of all the taste bids in my mouth. YUM!

I did show some discipline in refraining from enjoying the red tinctured Mexican rice.

I wish I could have said tyhe sameabout theamazing, homemade, paper thin fried tortillas.



I thought about taking an order of the peppers to Chili at the market this Wednesday. Thinking I thought cold, Hatch peppers with cold-er melted cheese would be the wrong introduction this Mexican lunch time masterpiece.

It's good Chuy's is on the other side of town from where I live. I could see the GLOB Master making this restaurant a two or three times a week lunch stop.




There are not many things New Mexicans cherish more than chile. The best green chile in the world is grown in the fertile Hatch Valley here in Southern in New Mexico. For many generations, chile has been part of the rich culture and heritage New Mexico is famous for. New Mexico Chiles are a staple ingredient in the state's most popular culinary dishes. Locals and visitors alike slather their food with chile, share recipes passed down from tias, abuelas — aunts and grandmothers, and argue over who makes the best rellenos.

There are not many things New Mexicans cherish more than chile. The best green chile in the world is grown in the fertile Hatch Valley here in Southern in New Mexico. For many generations, chile has been part of the rich culture and heritage New Mexico is famous for. New Mexico Chiles are a staple ingredient in the state's most popular culinary dishes. Locals and visitors alike slather their food with chile, share recipes passed down from tias, abuelas — aunts and grandmothers, and argue over who makes the best rellenos.



100515HatchWhen my lunch partner says Chuy's Tex-Mex, I automatically think Hatch chili peppers. They grow in one place in this world and could be one of the tastiest peppers you will ever enjoy. A recent story says it best: "Hatch chiles are a foodie dream food: They have a short season (in the late summer to early fall) and a unique flavor profile—and they're hard to get your hands on." Chuy's has a great Chili Relleno Two-Fer of two chile rellenos: fire-roasted Hatch chilis with your choice of filling battered and fried to perfection and drizzled with sour cream, with ranch sauce and tomatillo sauce on the side. The flavor and the texture of the thick-walled pepper is indeed a foodie dream. The gooey ranch sauce combined with the perfectly deep fried crunch. The customary sides of refried beans and Mexican rice are nice mediums to absorb the extra sauce and cheese. BTW were you aware the unique climate and rich soil of Hatch Valley, not found anywhere else in the world, are key to the green chile's legendary flavor? Each year Chuy's contracts with farmers in the Hatch Valley to grow over 1.75 million pounds of the freshest green chilis just for Chuy's restaurants. Carumba! That's a lot of Meatless Monday lunch orders GLOBers.

- GLOB Master




Tex-Mex lunch serves up Austin memories

> PRO iNK's Terry Van Nortwick discusses learning the Chuy's culture

> The GLOB Master presents his impressions of Chuy's Mexican below this feature

By Bubba Scott, GLOB Correspondent

Editor's Note: Farmer Bubba Scott is a container vegetable farmer. To help support the farm, he is also a P.H.D., Professional Home Developer/Repairman

ChuysBUBBAsfI recently received a call on my red Gaineville Lunch Out Blog emergency phone, from GLOB Master Mike about visiting a new restaurant in town that should take me back to my good ole days in Austin, Texas, when I used to go to a restaurant  called Chuy's.

When Lynn was recently visiting my farm, she mentioned Chuy's to me, and I asked if it was the one from Austin, Texas.  After further investigation I found out it was.

Oh my! Chuy's started in Austin in 1982 -- see other story link above -- on Barton Springs Road. That was the same year I started my home improvement business. Boy does that bring back some memories.

Barton Springs was the outdoor 'place to go' in Austin on weekends. When I lived there, I can remember taking my two daughters there for some good ole Tex-Mex cuisine and fun times. Chuy's was wildly decorated and if you've ever been to Austin, you would know Chuy's was tops in Southern hospitality.  Yes, Texas is Southern to me.

When we drove up in front of the Gainesville Chuy's for lunch, I recognized the wildly decorated sign on the outside, but did they bring a little of Austin with 'em was my question.



Upon entering, I said to myself, oh yes they did. We were met with smiles and much Southern hospitality. We were greeted by our server Brittany. Again, all smiles. We were a group of four GLOB representatives:  the GLOB Master, Mike; Lynn the Content Editor; Joan. a GLOB contributor, and myself.  After a quick vote, we chose a booth for our lunch. We just wanted the comfort of a little extra space.

I just kept look'n around the restaurant thinking about what I left behind in Texas.

For lunch I ordered the taco salad with chicken and a side of jalapeno peppers.

Before my food arrived, Christine Brittany made sure my tea glass was filled and asked if there was anything else we needed.



We were served chips with three kinds of salsa, the Tex Mex, tomatillo, and the creamy Jalapeno.

Chuy's corn chips and their tortillas are made fresh and in three varieties:  corn, blue corn and flour. Really, you can watch 'em make 'em at the tortilla creation station. Now thats some creative Southern word play that rolls off your tongue.

When my taco salad arrived, I thought, WOW! This is Austin style. Along with the taco salad came little bowls of goodies. WOW again.



How was my Taco Salad? The first thing I realized is they put a variety of mixed greens in the salad. Before I added anything to it, I wanted to see if the veggie ingredients had their own flavors. Being a grower of greens and other vegetables I know what good produce should taste like. My salad veggies met teh taste test and had a variety of good flavors.

The grilled chicken added its own flavor. Now this was a taco salad. The jalapeno peppers were warm but not hot and all of the sauces had their own heat and flavor.

One thing I found very interesting was that I never had to ask for anything. Once they knew what I needed, it was always there. I can't say that about other places I have visited for lunch.

When we arrived for lunch close to 11:30, Chuy's was a bit empty. After about 30 minutes, I'm glad we got there early. This place filled up fast.

I'm giving Chuy's a big 10 on the food scale and want to thank Brittany for making my first visit one that calls for a re-visit.

I think of it like this. I just ate some of the best Tex-Mex food from Austin, Texas, and didn't have to take a plane trip to eat it.



100515HatchWhen my lunch partner says Chuy's Tex-Mex, I automatically think Hatch chili peppers. They grow in one place in this world and could be one of the tastiest peppers you will ever enjoy. A recent story says it best: "Hatch chiles are a foodie dream food: They have a short season (in the late summer to early fall) and a unique flavor profile—and they're hard to get your hands on." Chuy's has a great Chili Relleno Two-Fer of two chile rellenos: fire-roasted Hatch chilis with your choice of filling battered and fried to perfection and drizzled with sour cream, with ranch sauce and tomatillo sauce on the side. The flavor and the texture of the thick-walled pepper is indeed a foodie dream. The gooey ranch sauce combined with the perfectly deep fried crunch. The customary sides of refried beans and Mexican rice are nice mediums to absorb the extra sauce and cheese. BTW were you aware the unique climate and rich soil of Hatch Valley, not found anywhere else in the world, are key to the green chile's legendary flavor? Each year Chuy's contracts with farmers in the Hatch Valley to grow over 1.75 million pounds of the freshest green chilis just for Chuy's restaurants. Carumba! That's a lot of Meatless Monday lunch orders GLOBers.

- GLOB Master

Tex-Mex, '56 Buick and Elvis at one lunch stop

All Gainesville Lunch Out Blogers should have Elayna Rexrode join them for lunch the first time they visit Chuy's Mexican restaurant.

Elayna is the Operations Director for PRO iNK, the marketing and public relations firm that has helped Chuy's establish their Tex-Mex presence in Gainesville.

Before Chuy's opened in Gainesville, Elayna spent several days in Austin to acquaint herself with the nuts and bolts, facts and figures and, most importantly, the Chuy's fascination with Elvis (see other Chuy's feature) and the unique culture that characterizes the 33 Chuy's restaurants. Although the culture is the same, no two Chuy's restaurants have the exact same décor.

CHUYSdog1Chuy's has partnered with Pet Smart and the St. Francis House Pet Care Clinic to memorialize many pet care clinic dogs by hanging images of them throughout the restaurant.

NOTE TO GLOBers: Read the sign in the second dog photo.

Gainesville's Chuy’s is a CHUYSdogGator blue with a 1956 Buick 'loaded' with all the necessary Tex-Mex nacho ingredients to get your lunch started. Elayna and the GLOB Master discussed which was coolest – the blue Buick fins or the retro hub caps.

Mexico’s Mil Pescado from the village of Tlaquepaque in Mexico hand-carved and hand-painted the 1,000 wooden fish hanging from the Chuy’s ceiling He also delivered the fish to Gainesville and hung each one according to exacting specifications.

The Chuy's tortilla station stays busy making flour, corn and blue corn tortillas for chips, chalupas, enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, and burritos.

CHUYSnachoCarElliot, Chuy's Assistant General Manager, has been in Gainesville since planning for Chuy’s began and says the quality of a Tex-Mex restaurant is always identified first by the quality of their chips and salsa. Chuy's sports eight different salsas. Be sure to try the Creamy Jalapeno!

Oh, that's right, we were there for lunch. Giant portions, everything made fresh, I ordered the beef fajita and UF Entomology Art Director, Jane Medley, my lunch partner, ordered the Deluxe Chicken Enchilada.

CHUYSdinner3"OMG I think I am in heaven, this is so good," was Jane's comment several times while enjoying her Chuy's lunch. GLOB Staffer Farmer Bubba Scott grew up in Texas and is looking forward to visiting Chuy's and making some comments soon.

There is a Chuy's menu available at the Restaurant link below this feature.

- Mike S., GLOB Master

> PRO iNK's Elayna Rexrode and Terry Van Nortwick report on trip to Chuy's home base in Austin, Texas to get a first hand glimpse of life in the Chuy's Mexican world. 



With 19 Spanish and Mexican lunch stops on the Urban GLOP map, Chuy's Mexican on SW 34 th St. never disappoints with excellent, quick, service plus they have their own special link to some of the best peppers -- the Texas Hatch Anaheim Chilis. The big, thick, pepper membrane is unlike any other yummy, spicy pepper I have seen in Gainesville. Add to that the fact that the extensive Chuy's menu is loaded with veggie and meatless options. I was set for my obligatory Chuy's Chili Relleno with the fresh Anaheim pepper, fire-roasted and filled with my choice of ground sirloin, chicken, or shrimp and cheese when I noticed the daily Special was a Big Mambo Burrito. This burrito was so big it looked to me like two people could not eat this Mexican lunch prize in a lunch hour. My very friendly server suggested they could create the Big Mambo in a half size portion for me. CARUMBA! Now that was a great idea. I'm really starting to have a hard time with lunch options that are so darn big I can't finish them. I eat lunch to satisfy my palette, not to take home left overs for the rest of the week. The burrito was excellent and loaded with refried beans, cheese, my favorite pepper, and some delicious tomatillo sauce. I was in Tex-Mex lunch heaven. With the smaller burrito, it felt good OK to also indulge in the treat of a crunchy hard shell taco with refried beans, cheese topped with the Chuy's spicy, refresh salsa. With the addition of Costa Vida At the same SW Archer Rd. corner as 3 other Mexican lunch stands within walking distance of each other, Chuy's is a stand out with their full menu and awesome Hatch green chilis.

- GLOB Master

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


Flaco's Cuban Bakery, Midtown, CLOSED: FEBRUARY, 2019

FLACOSmtDINERI have never had a bad Cuban sandwich from Flaco's Cuban Bakery. I was excited about giving Flacos Midtown lunchstop a try and I was glad I did. Nothing fancy in this 15'X50' foot end-of-the-strip-shopping-center location. Flaco's is definitely a midtown Food On The Run lunch stop right next door to Designer Greens. The air conditioning was not working when I arrived and it was as toasty as my pressed sandwich in this little walk up FLACOSmidtownSFdiner. But I was Ok with the warmer than usual temp. The staffers were very friendly and looked at me quizzically like I was the one with a climate change problem. Then we started talking lunch sandwiches and I forgot how hot I was. I explained to the staffers I usually get Flacos' Media Noche with the very special sweet bread made especially for Flacos that includes corn meal and a little sugar. I think it is one of the best sandwiches in town. Today I was ready for something different and the Spot Sausage Pressed Cuban Sandwich was suggested to the GLOB Master because of its spiciness. "But if you really like spicy I can include some spicy mayo in your sandwich that will set you free," suggested the sandwich maker. The Spot Sausage Cuban is spicy chorizo sausage, onions, garlic and swiss cheese pressed in the toastiest, crunchiest, moistest flattened Cuban bread this side of Ybor City. The sandwich's chorizo sausage was very good and was brought to life with the onion, garlic and spicy mayo. It was also suggested that if I like spicy I should try the Scarface Sandwich next time. The Scarface is a ham, salami, chorizo sausage, tomato, spicy mayo, mustard and swiss cheese pressed belly bomb that will make a happy young Cubano out of any lunchouter.

FLACOSlogo0512There is a brief Flacos history and reviews on the back of the Flacos' menu: "We're not the first place to serve Cuban food or ropa vieja and we're definitely not going to be the last but we're going to try our hardest to make it the best."

I can't agree more Flacos, you Cubanos make one of the better, tastiest sandwiches in the Urban GLOB!

Editor's Note: A Gainesville Lunch Out Blog feature story on of Falcos Cuban Bakery can be viewed on the Flacos Downtown GLOB page. -- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of the Flacos Cuban Bakery Midtown

Flacos + indicators : Best Cuban bread intown, excellent sandiches and Cuban choices.

Flacos - indicators: It is going to be a long, hot summer for Midtown Flacos staff and cutomers.

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


Pepper's Mexican Grill & Cantina


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


Tijuana Flats - Archer Rd.

092117TacosFLATSTijuana Flats is one of those restaurants for me when I can't REALLY come up with a good lunch idea TF, and their giant hard shell tacos, are a long time favorite of the GLOB Master's and is hard to resist. Not only that, today was a Tijuana Taco TWO-Fer for me. I was eating a black bean taco with jalapeños, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream & cheese. Plus the black beans, and refried beans, are vegetarian lard free beans cooked in zero trans fast cooking oil. BTW Tijuana Flats proudly says they never use canned foods, EVER. CARUMBA! I understand how all of those things I just mentioned are very important to a lot of GLOBers. Gosh Pee Wee, they are important to me. What I find remarkable is those healthy eating elements are secondary TWO my lunch mission which was TWO enjoy TWO of the best tacos in Hogtown. The refried Bean taco brings back many memories of tacos gone by with the crunchy corn taste of the taco, combined with the plethora of yummy veggies flavors and Mexican Hot sauce Goodness. It's fun standing in front of the TF Hot Sauce Counter and selecting my favorite sauce of the day from the amazing number of different sauces. Today I selected the "House Favorite" hot sauce, and the "Tropical Chile Company Hot N Honey Sauce". Both sauces were a little sweeter than I had expected but they added tons of flavor to my lunch. Tijuans Flats has one of the best taco TWOsday special in town with two giant tacos, chips and a drink for $5.59. That special deserves TWO CARUMBAs!

-GLOB Master









Editor's Note:  A Gainesville Lunch Out Blog feature of Tijuana Flats can be viewed on the Tijuana Flats University Ave. GLOB page.  -GLOB Master 

The Pluses and Minuses of Tijuana Flats

Tijuana Flats (+) indicators: TACO TUESDAZE, 9" taco shells, visiting the comically cool TF website. (see example above.)

Tijuana Flats (-) indicators: Plan to go to the Univ. Ave TF early, when UF is closed, or, be patient and enjoy this unique environment while waiting for your lunch.

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



Hardee's - Red Burrito


The Pluses and Minuses of the 1

 + indicators : Variety, excellently prepared lunch entrees.

 - indicators: This new 13th St. restaurant needs some customers.

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


The La Tienda Latina delivery

GLOBer makes a new Mexican lunch friend!

I Ordered takeout with some friends from La Tienda on SW 13th St. earlier this week. I can not rave ENOUGH about my new favorite restaurant!!  

First of all: it's cheap. I think the most expensive entree was $8.50, and that was for grouper. Most meals are $6.50-$7.50 and include rice, beans and tortillas.

Second: it's fresh. All the ingredients were delicious and ripe including the avocado!!!

We ordered two chicken chimichangas, chicken nachos, a beef tongue burrito and a beef cheek burrito (and a bunch of Coca-Cola made with real sugar).

Where do I start??

The nachos were sooo good, it was a shame I had to share. The chicken was all white meat, shredded finely, flavorful but not overpowering. The cheese coated the nachos in an ample portion. This was one of the most delicious cheese sauces I have ever had (the kind you want to drink!), sour cream, tomato, avocado and lettuce, as well.

The chimichanga was filled with the same chicken, and topped with sour cream, lettuce, tomato and avocado. Fried perfectly, not greasy at all!

The burritos were pronounced delicious by those adventurous enough to order them, (not me!) I was told that the tongue won the burrito contest between the two, though. My husband was so pleased! He loves ordering things like this, and there aren't too many places that serve such delicacies.

Finally, La Tienda serves some of the most fantastic salsas ever to grace my plate. One was red, the other was green. Both were ingested in mass quantities. Both were slightly spicy.

Oh drat, I just drooled all over my keyboard. We will be dreaming of La Tienda until we order from them again, which might be..... tonight??

My only disappointment is that I waited so long to try this place!!

- K. Rossetti


2015 Restaurant News

Chicken Salad Chick opens on SW 34th St.

December 9, 2015 – Chicken Salad Chick has opened adjacent to Earth Fare in the University Towne Center on SW 34th St. Specializing in 15 different kinds of chicken salad, including Cranberry Kelly and Jalapeno Holly. There are also four different deli sandwiches available, including a pimento Cheese for $5.95. Chicken Salad Chick has four Specials including soup and a half of sandwich for $6.95. Gainesville Chicken Salad Chick owner is Mark Singletary. His daughter introduced him to the Chicken Salad Chick and, "after a good bit of conversation, I decided that buying a Chicken Salad Chick franchise and opening a restaurant in Gainesville was exactly the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life." His daughter and her husband, Lauryn and Cope Smith, thought it was a good idea too, and they are now CSC Gainesville business partners.


BurgerQue Opens in Midtown, A Perfect Pie relocates to Oaks Mall

BurgerQueSFNovember 23, 2015 - Hand pattied burgers, fresh ingredients, house smoked BBQ, and craft beers are the hallmarks of BurgerQue next to Bagel & Noodles near the corner of University Avenue and 13th St. Touting 11 hamburgers, eight BBQ sandwiches, "little burgers," and hot dogs, this lunch stop also serves wings, salads, wraps, malts and shakes, and breakfast all day according to the BurgerQue Ft. Myers menu. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more BurgerQue information.



A Perfect Pie, which first opened recently on Waldo Rd., closed that pickup and delivery stand in NE Gainesville and relocated to the Oaks Mall. According to A Perfect Pie owner, Charles Germond, APP is ready to show off his secret family recipe for fresh pizza dough and unique Italian pizza sauce. "This is the best NY Style pizza you will find in Gainesville," says D.M., restaurant manager. The complete Perfect Pie menu is available at the Mall and includes several Italian entrees, salads, subs, and wings. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more A Perfect Pie information.


Candy's opens on SW 20th Ave

CANDYsSFzNonember 18, 2015 - Candy's Latin Restaurant is one of several Latin food stops that have appeared in this strip shopping center over the years. According to the Candy's menu, Latin American food is servied "like your mom and grandma do it." Featuring 12 entrees, (Flatos Especiales), including a stir fried beef and ground beef arepas, Candy's also has five seafood entrees (Mariscos) that include shrimp, tilapia, snapper, and mojarra. Candy's serves beer, wine, natural juices, and milk shakes (Batidos). You will also find empanadas, soft shell tacos, and eight different kinds of arepas. The 12 side orders include both red beans and black beans, plaintains, and yucca. This Latin lunch stop opens at noon. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Candy's information.


The Sweet Tea opens on E. Univ.  Ave.

REALSweetTeaLOGONovember 9, 2015 – The opening of The Sweet Tea lunch stop in the Sweetwater Branch Inn on East University Avenue almost slipped under the radar of the GLOB's worldwide offices. Open Mon-Fri from 11 am-2 pm, according to the Sweetwater Branch website, "The Sweet Tea is located in the Historic McKenzie House on the property of Sweetwater Branch Inn. Our menu features a New Century Southern Cuisine which includes complimentary boiled peanuts, soups, fresh salads, delicious sandwiches and main dishes, bottomless specialty iced tea, house made sodas and one-of-a-kind desserts." Some menu examples include Cracker Crumb Breaded & Butterfly Fried Shrimp, Country Tomato and Corn Custard Pie, Drunken Blueberry BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. The Sweet Tea deserves your noon day meal consideration. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more The Sweet Tea information.


New restaurants open in Midtown


November 2, 2015 – Two new restaurants opened recently in Midtown.  One restaurant has taken an alternative approach to lunch and eating healthy, and another is serving up fast-fired pizza in a matter of minutes:

zzGLOBbullet The 3 Natives Acai & Juice Bar, a Florida-based franchise with only 2 other locations so far (Juno and Tequesta), touts an appreciation for lifestyle and protecting the environment. According to their website, "Our organic, cold-pressed juices are always sold in glass bottles, not plastic, and are never watered down or supplemented with sugar, preservatives, or other additives. The Acai Bowls are made with organic acai and granola and topped with the freshest organic fruit that we aim to source locally when available. Acai also offers an assortment of wraps and salads for customers who appreciate fast, healthy food for lunch."  According to the Mayo Clinic website, "Acai berries are widely touted as a so-called superfood, with proponents claiming that they are helpful for a variety of health concerns, including arthritis, weight loss, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, skin appearance, detoxification, and general health."

zzGLOBbullet  DRstorefrontA few blocks west and located directly in front of the Burrito Brothers Taco Company, the new Dough Religion spews out 8-inch signature pizzas faster than you can spell f-a-s-t f-i-r-e-d p-i-z-z-a, including The Maize--mozzarella, ham, corn, garlic, ricotta, and kalamata olives, and The Veggie--tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushroom, red onion, zucchini, and hummus. You can also create your own 8-inch pizza for $7.95 out of four different sauces and a straw basket full of toppings including broccolini, capers, and grilled chicken. Dough Religion also has a build-your-own salad bar and Signature Caesar and Pizzeria Salads. For dessert you can try the Sweet Pie Nutella and Banana Pizza. Dough Religion is sharing its Gainesville space with ooZoo bar, which serves craft beer and cocktails and gourmet sandwiches.


Jax's Metro Diner opens on SW 34 St.

October 12, 2015 - From being featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to winning top restaurant awards year after year, Jacksonville's Metro Diner is where the locals eat. Now Gainesville locals can also order Metro Diner award-winning lunch, breakfast, and dinner entrees at SW 34th St. and SW 20th Ave. Serving a different Daily Special every day for breakfast and lunch. FOLLOW THIS LINK for the Metro Diners Daily Specials.



2nd Cheese Daddy opens on Archer Rd

CheeseDaddyARCHERaSeptember 14, 2015 – Cheese Daddy has opened its second location at 3841 Archer Rd. next to Chipotle. Serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Cheese Daddy owners also have plans to open a third Cheese Daddy on Tower Rd. in the near future. Cheese Daddy offers a variety of standardized sandwich melts on its menu, plus you have the option to create your own cheese sandwich delight. Sandwiches range from $5 to $8, and all sandwiches come with a small portion of tomato basil soup for dipping. Featured among the 10 different cheese melt sandwiches is a Grilled Cheese Doughnut -- a glazed doughnut paired with American cheese. 


Omi's Playa Azul opens in Sun center

OMISsunCENTERsfSeptember 1, 2015 - Omi's Playa Azul is now open in the Sun Center in Downtown Gainesville. Omi Risco who until recently ran Omi's Kitchen in West Gainesville is now specializing in Cuban cuisine with Latin American lunches including sandwiches, soups, and a Cuban lunch buffet for $10.00. Omi's also serves five 'American' lunches for $9.50 including post roast & gravy, meatloaf and gravy, and beef brisket. Chef Risco asked me to let GLOBers know Omi's will be open Saturday night to view the Gator football game with a full Cuban buffet.  Playa Azul translates to blue beach, and Omi's  Playa Azul is planning for a very cool looking blue surface for their wall-to-wall bar.


Hosse's Grill opens in Newberry

090115HgrillAugust 3, 2015: Amy Tillman, the daughter of the creator of the nationally famous Sonny's BBQ chain, Sonny Tillman, has opened her own restaurant in Newberry called Hoss's Grill. One block off of Newberry's main road, Hoss's Grill serves lunch and dinner every day, with Daily Specials and regular menu entrees including hamburgers, fried chicken, chicken wings, and country fried steak. The HG serves breakfast on Sunday from opening until closing at 3 pm.


16th Avenue Diner opens adjacent to NE Park

16thAveDinerAJuly 27, 3015 – After 32 years there are new managers, and owners serving breakfast and lunch on 207 NE 16th Ave, next to NE Park.  New 16th Avenue Diner owner Keith McKinney has a new team of staff and managers ready to take over and welcome all the old Karol & Bill's customers back into one of the more friendly diner's in Hogtown. "We might tweak the menu here, and there," said the new manager. "The big difference is the staff will not be talking any politics or sharing opinions with the 16th Ave. Diner customers.". 16th Avenue Diner is open for breakfast and lunch starting at 7:00 Mon.-Sat.


Wing Stop opens second location in NE

WINSTOPneSFJuly 22, 3015 – The Wing Stop franchise has opened a second wing shop in the old Buddha Belly/Tasty Buddha  location just west of the corner of NW 16th Avenue and North Main St. Selling classic wings, boneless Wings, and chicken strips, the Wing Stop touts 11 different sauces, including Mango Habanero, Louisiana Rub, and Garlic Parmesan. Side orders of fries, beans, and coleslaw are available, and wings can be purchased in combos, family packs, and by the piece. The Wing Stops are open seven days a week from 11 am – 11 pm.


Full service Korean BBQ opens in RPP

BEQUEsfJuly 20, 2015 - BeQue Holic, a full-service Korean barbecue restaurant, opened Monday om 3812 Newberry Road in Royal Park Plaza in the former Stonewood Grill location.  This building  was recently home to Shila Korean BBQ. BeQue Holic does not serve lunch during the week.  BeQue is open on Saturday and Sunday at noon and serves lunch from the dinner menu.  Meals include the option of diners cooking their own meats on a grill in the center of the table. BeQue staff will also help with the cooking according to the restauarant manager. The dining tables include a downdraft system to remove annoying cooking smoke from customers environment. The menu includes three all-you-can-eat options ranging from $23.95 for five meats to $33.95 for 11 meats.



Fork & Pasta opens in Stadium Club building


June 22, 2015 - Fork & Pasta is having their Grand Opening this week. Located at 1800 W. University Ave., Fork & Pasta offers homemade pasta and homemade sauces made daily. You choose a pasta, a sauce, and extras in a fast casual lunch line format much like Chipotle Grill. During the upcoming Grand Opening Week, the F&P is offering free sangria or cappuccino with every meal. F&P staffer, Cris Robles, suggests you give the sweet potato and goat cheese ravioli a try: "I had it for lunch the other day and, oh my gosh, the goat cheese was an amazing flavor." F&P has a pasta machine from Italy and also the F&P creates their own house made sauces, said manager Jennifer Kaiden. Fork & Pasta is open 7 days a week beginning at 10 am for lunch Mon-Fri. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.


Burrito Brothers Taco Co. opens in new location

BBstAJune 11, 2015 - The Burrito Brothers Taco Company has opened a new restaurant approximately 2 blocks from the where the restaurant began business on NW 13th St. The brand new 2,000-square-foot taco stand is one one block North of University Ave. on the corner of NW 1st Avenue and NW 14th St. In the former Presbyterian Student Center at 1402 W. University Ave. "I thought this day would never get here. We started over there in 1977," Burrito brothers co-owner said Janet Akersson said pointing toward NW 13th St. "And you know what, I still have fond memories of the way we all worked together in that tiny space," Janet added. The burritos, tacos, and the famous Burrito Brothers Guacamole is still made fresh daily. 12 beer taps have been added along with a bar with two large big screen televisions. 12 Beer taps are available including Swamphead Cottonmouth, Wild Night, Big Nose, and Stumpknocker. First Magnitude's Siren 72 Pale Ale Draft, Cigar City's Hard Cider Hotter Than Helles, and Hornswaggle Irish Red


A Perfect Pie opens on Waldo Rd.

APPIEsfMay 28, 2015 - A Perfect Pie is born. And Owner Charles Germond III is ready to show off his secret family recipe for fresh dough, and unique Italian pizza sauce. "This is the best NY Style pizza you will find in Gainesville," Says D.M. A Perfect Pie pizza stand manager. Open for two days this drive thru, walk-up window, red concrete block building is ready to serve you pizza, pasta, chicken wings, salads, hamburgers, French fries and appetizers fast, ready and hot. Located 2 blocks North of NE 16th Ave., A Perfect Pie is open late, MON-Wed 10am-1am, and ​THUR-SUN 10am-3am where you can have your pizza  where you can walk up, drive thru, pick up, or have your pizza delivered.


Applebee's opens Newberry Rd. location

ApplebeesNEWBERRYrdSFFOLLOW THIS LINK for  a Gainesville Lunch Out Blog Applebee's Gril & Bar review.

May 4, 2015 - Applebee's Grill & Bar has branced out with a second, new lunch stop heading West on Newberry Rd. just past Iintersate 75.  With eight new menu entrees, and a completely new Bar Food Menu touting 19 new appetizxers, this big box lunch stop is serious about being your mid-day meal house.  FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Applebee's information.


Steamers resurrected on Bo Diddley Plaza

STEAMERSsfWednesday, April 15, 2015Steamers has opened in the old Lunch Box building in downtown Gainesville. Many years back, Steamers was a popular walk-up lunch stop in Midtown close to th U.S. Post Office. The Steamers menu boasts "mid-western style sandwiches steamed, NOT grilled = less fat!" The Steamers menu lists 9 sandwiches including the SPICY TWISTER, a combination of beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and jalapenos grilled with homemade habanero pepper sauce, served with lettuce and tomato. The Twister and Veggie Twister Are available in mild, medium and hot. The Steamer menu also includes fried rice with egg, onions, carrots, cabbage, peas, special seasonings and a protein including veggie and tempeh and scallops. Indonesian Curry rice dishes are available with steak, chicken, eggie tofu, and tempeh. Beer and soda are also available.Steamers is located on the corner of the Bo Diddey Plaza and is open for lunch every day. Plans are to expand to breakfast at a later date.

PEPPER ALERT:  Reportedly "mild" Steamers heat is very hot, and "hot" is BLAZING hot!


MOJO Bar-B-Que opens on SE 2nd Ave.

MOJOsfWednesday, April 8, 2015 - Now tooting five locations in North Florida the MoJo Q Holdings, LLC has opened MOJO Hogtown Bar-B-Que in the old livery warehouse building behind the Havana's Wine & Cigar Lounge on SEnd Second Ave. A lunch menu featuring BBQ has five different BBQ sandwiches, 9 different kinds of BBQ, 8 kinds of Southern platters, 9 Appetizers, 13 Homemade sides, soups, salads, and desserts. The MOJO Bar-B- Que bar span the entire western wall of Mojo's and the bar boasts 9 different Florida craft beers 12 cocktails, and a boatload of select whiskeys, 'typically aged in wooden casks.' You may buy wine by the glass or bottle. This smoked meats and whiskey bar is open for lunch seven days a week. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.


Original American Kitchen opens Downtown

OACsfThursday, April 2, 2015 - O.A.K. is celebrating their opening today with cocktail, beer, and food samples. According to their website, "Original American Kitchen", features gourmet comfort foods as well as old southern classics. Enjoy our locally sourced ingredients, GMO free dishes, full service bar, and 16 self-service taps for our patrons to enjoy." FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.



Friday, March 27, 2015Sababa Israeli Cuisine has relocated from the midtown UF Hillel Center to the Sun Center in downtown Gainesville. The lunch stop boasts vegan, vegetarian, Kosher, and gluten-free fare for lunch and dinner. Sababa also serves a Sunday brunch of lox, bagels, challah and babaka French toast and shakshuka, which is eggs poached in homemade tomato sauce and served with pita bread and a salad. Sababa is open for lunch starting at 11 from Tuesday to Saturday and for Sunday brunch from 11 am – 8 pm.




Soul Shack opens on Waldo Road


Celebrations Catering has opened the Soul Shack serving home-cooked soul food from a walk-up window on NE Waldo Rd, "right around the corner from University Avenue." The menu features ox tails, fried and BBQ ribs, any chicken part you desire including wings, pork chop sandwiches, and a daily special. This is a lunch stop for that down home kinda girl we all know. Open Monday - Saturday from 11-8, the Soul Shack also has 10 side items that would make my momma smile with lunch-time glee.


Crafty Bastards opens for lunch on 39th Ave.

CraftBastardsSFFebruary 17, 2015 – The space previously housing Kazbor's in The Magnolia Park complex across from David's Real Pit BBQ, and Northeast Grill is home to a new tenant touting craft beers and pub grub, including prize-winning chili.  Crafty Bastards, a craft beer pub, serves appetizers--Fried Mac n' Cheese Bites, Onion Rings, Beer Cheese Dip w/Pretzels, Naked Wings, and Basket O'Bacon; garden and Caesar salads; and entrees--Shepherd's Pie, Banger n' Mash, Fish n' Chips, Johnsonville Bratwurst w/Fries, and Sliders w/Fries. Crafty Bastards also serves Margot's Impeccable Chili, which won the 2014 Gainesville Harley Davidson Chili Cook-off. With over 20 craft beers including First Magnitude and Swamp Head options, Crafty Bastard opens for lunch at 11 am. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.


PDQ opens in Grandy's location

PDQsfFebruary 9, 2015 - The People Dedicated to Quality chicken parts lunch stop known as PDQ is open on the corner of 34th St. and University Ave. With a mission of fresh-everything quality, PDQ does not have a freezer or microwave on its premises.  All their food products are delivered and made fresh every day. With a complete focus on chicken, "PDQ is a fast casual restaurant specializing in fresh hand-battered chicken tenders, made-to-order sandwiches, daily cut fries, hand-spun milkshakes, and fresh salads. The original PDQ restaurant opened its doors across from Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. PDQ now has locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas."


Greek-American lunch spot opens in Midtown'

TheSpotSFJanuary 26, 2015 - Toting Greek and American cuisine, The Spot restaurant located in the Robert's Stadium Club building adjacent to Cheese Daddy has opened.  Wtih Greek sandwiches, platters, and salads including dishes such as Chicken Souviaki, Spanikopita, and Greek salad, The Spot also fearues Angus burgers, wings, speciality sandwiches, ands quesadillas. Open for lunch at 11 am every day. The Spot closes at 9 pm except on Friday and Saturday, when they are open until 3 am.  FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.


Blaze Fast Fired Pizza opens on Archer rd.

BLAZE450January 8, 2015 – Blaze Pizza, in the old Willy's Mexican lunch stop, touts blaze-fired cooked in a have-it-your- way process: You select artisanal toppings for a personal 11"-pizza, and the pizza is "fast fire'd" for 180 seconds (GLOB Content Editor Note:  That quote is exact.  Can ANYONE figure out what letters are missing in "fire'd"?). This Friday, from 11 am to 10:30 pm, Blaze Pizza celebrates its opening by offering you a free 11-inch pizza of your choice. Founded in Irvine, California, in August 2012, Blaze Pizza is a chain franchise with restaurants in 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to information provided by the company.


Wholly BBQ opens downtown


To paraphrase the Trailer Park Troubadours, it's not a restaurant until the wheels come off, and the Wholly BBQ food truck has now become a real restaurant by taking residence in the once empty drive through restaurant on SW 2nd Avenue across from the Jones B-Side. Serving all the BBQ standards such as pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, the Wholly BBQ also plans to put BBQ goat on the menu. We applaud Wholly BBQ owner, David Williams, for partnering with Gainesvile's Workforce Innovation to hire young adults in need of acquiring GED credits towards a high school degree.


Panera Bread opens Newberry Rd. location

PANERAsfNEWBERRYrdDecember 7, 2014 – Panera Bread has opened a second big box lunch stop in front of the Hobby Lobby on Newberry Road near the Oaks Mall.  With a varied menu of nine categories including Soups, Salads, Pasta, Panini, Sandwiches, and Flatbreads, PB has something for every GLOBer walking in the front door. Last Summer PB created a plan to eliminate all artificial ingredients and preservatives from the food menu by the end of 2016.


Crane Ramen opens for lunch

CraneRamenSFDecember 1, 2014 – Crane Ramen, Ramen Restaurant, between The Bull and Paramount Grill, in downtown Gainesville opens for lunch today amid great expectations from the designer ramen noodle fan base in North Florida. WRONG. We're not talking about the real cheap, and marginally tasty bag of dried squiggles you boiled up for dinner while you were a student. We're talking Japanese Ramen. Crane Ramen offers a limited menu of nine items, and five types of ramen. Crane Ramen is open Monday through Saturday for lunch from 11 am-3 pm and for dinner from 5-11 pm.

According to the Japan Food Blog, "Ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork, combined with a variety of ingredients such as kombu (kelp), katsuobushi (skipjack tuna flakes), niboshi (dried baby sardines), beef bones, shiitake, and onions, and then flavored with the likes of salt, miso, or soy sauce. The resulting combination is generally divided into four categories: Shio ("salt") ramen soup is clear, Tonkotsu ("pork bone") ramen is usually cloudy white, shoyu ("soy sauce") ramen soup is made from chicken and various vegetables, and Miso ramen." FOLLOW THIS LINK for more ramen noodle information.


Two Asian restaurants open for business

SHILAsfNovember 12, 2014 - Shila Korean BBQ, and the Volcanic Sushi & Saki Bar have been added to the Urban Glob list of Asian restaurants as the 52nd. and 53rd. restaurants serving Asian cuisine. Shila Korean BBQ cuisine opened last week with Saturday, and Sunday lunch only starting at 12:00. The lunch menu includes Spicy BBQ chicken, Spicy Pork Belly, Beef Bulgolgi (marinated beef), Baby Octopus, and Korean seafood pancakes. SKBBQ is open seven days a week for dinner 4:30 – midnight, except Sunday when they close at 10:00 pm.

Volcanic Sushsi and Saki Bar has opened in Haile Shopping Village next door to the Limerock Road café. Chef and owner Nestor Espartero was previously the Sushi Chef at Sabore and planned a 'silent opening ' to 'get things right.' The new sushi bar has several lunch specials including sushi combos, lunch bowls and the self titled 'raw bowl' with your choice of tuna or salmon sashimi, with avocado, cucumber, scallions, sesame seeds, and wakami salad over seasoned sushi rice for #11. Volcanic Sushsi is open for lunch at 11:00 with no lunch on Sunday.

Cairo Grill opens behind Garden Gate Nursery

CAIROgrillSFOctober 20, 2014 - the Cairo Grill has opened in the old Buddha Belly location behind the Garden Gate Nursery on NW 43rd St. Touting a complete Egyptian menu the CG website says, "On our menu you will find many examples of the foods Egyptians eat daily, from kabobs, falafel and hummus, to kochary." Open every day for lunch with a 12:00 opening on Sunday the Cairo Grill offers vegan, gluten free menu entrees, and catering, as well as a full dessert menu.


Cheese Daddy opens in Roberts' Stadium Club

CheeseDaddySFAugust 25, 2014 – Grilled cheese sandwich lovers now have a convenient lunch stop for acquiring melted cheese in a toasted sandwich directly across the street from the St. Augustine Catholic Church. Founder and UF graduate, Andre Norman, thinks he has found the perfect model for melted fast food on the run happiness.  Cheese Daddy offers a variety of sandwich melts on its menu, plus options to create your own cheese sandwich delight. Sandwiches range from $5 to $8, and all sandwiches come with a small portion of tomato basil soup for dipping. Featured among the grilled cheese melts is a Grilled Cheese Doughnut -- a glazed doughnut paired with American cheese--and 10 different cheese melt sandwiches. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more Cheese Daddy information.


Piesano's Pizza opens in Midtown

August 16, 2014 - Piesano's Stone Fired Pizza has created a tri-fecta of pizza shops in Gainesville with today's opening in Midtown in the Holiday Inn on the corner of University Ave. and 13th Street. With an extensive menu of Italian and American cuisine, Piesano's website touts appetizers, baked breads, soup, salads, pizza, calzones, subs, burgers, entrées, specialty entrées, sides, a kids menu, and desserts. Oh, they also have veggie selections, gluten-free crust, and 30 different pizzas on their Gourmet Specialty Pizza Category. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Piesano's menu.


Square 1 Burgers & Bar opens on SW 34th St.

SQUAREsfJuly 21, 2014 - Square 1 Burgers and Bar has opened on SW 34th St. in the old Maui Tewriyaki building.  Touting more than 20 burgers including veggie, turkey, buffalo, and lamb burgers in this Tampa bay based chain of popular restaurants. Square 1 is ranked in the Top 10% Worldwide on TripAdvisor, plus readers recognize the Square 1 burger as tops in the hamburger category.


Relish opens Royal Park location, Wharf Express becomes Po Boys

July 7, 2014 - Relish Big & Tasty Burgers has opened a third location in Royal Park Plaza at 3822 W. Newberry Rd. Suite D, close to the Coldstone Creamery in the old Coffee Culture location. Relish is celebrating the Grand Opening of their new Location Monday, July 7. Recognized as one of the better burger lunch stops Relish makes your burger to order with a plethora of choices including fried egg, and a boatload of sauces and toppings.

zzGLOBbulletPoBoysZPo Boy's Seafood and Grill has replaced the Wharf Express at the University Towne Center on SW 34th St. Po Boy's opened in May keeping much of the Wharf's menu but adding some new items. According to the new menu, Po Boy's specializes in 'Famous' Po Boy sandwiches, seafood combo platters, seafood tacos, grouper, scallops and several signature seafood side item favorites.


Daylight Donut opens downtown, Maui Grill Midtown

May 12, 2014 – To quote GLOBer Alan Morrow, "Breakfast is a good meal any time of the day." If you agree with that statement and you are near the Publix on N. Main St. you will want to give serious lunch time consideration to the recently opened Daylight Donuts. This national chain is touting sausage rolls and bacon, ham, and cheese breakfast sandwiches for lunch outers. Plus Daylight Donut also serves fresh made kolaches, croissants, pastries, fancies, and specialties daily. Daylight D is open Mon-Sat, 6 am-6 pm and Sun 6 am-2 pm.

MAUIGrillSFThe Maui Grill has replaced Latin CORNER Fusion restaurant in midtown near the Holiday Inn. According to Justin, the Maui Grill lunch manager, the Maui Grill is different from Gainesville's sister Maui restaurants because the midtown location specializes in Hawaiian barbecue. "Where the other Maui restaurants specialize in teriyaki dishes, we also serve our meals ala carte where customers can choose their specific ingredients when ordering," Justin added. Maui Grill also serves a Maui Burger and a Maui hoagie sandwich.  Vegetable Medley, Power veggies, French fries, plaintains, grilled onions, mushrooms, and pepper sides items are available.


BugerFi opens on Archer Rd.

BFstorefrontMarch 14, 2014 - the nationally popular BurgerFi hamburger chain -- with over 100 restaitants in the country -- will open a 'gourmet' hamburger stand at 3518 SW Archer Road. Touting hamburgers, "with a focus on all-natural, free-range beef, no chemicals, and no additives. BurgerFi® has built a menu with specialty items like Kobe beef hot dogs, gourmet toppings, delectable desserts, craft beer & wine, and an overall focus on a healthier menu selection." An extensive menu that includes Natural Angus Beef, Veggie Burgers, Breakfast Burgers, you can also order your burger Green Style, which is any burger or dog in a crisp lettuce instead of a bun. BurgerFi has a menu category called the Secret Menu that lists eight designer burger and fries selections. Craft beer and wine choices are also available .


Formaggio's Bistro & Wine Bar opens in Thornebrook Village

FormaggiosSTOREFRONTMarch 10, 2014 - The Formaggio family has just opened a Bistro and Wine Bar in Thornebrook Village Shopping Center near Thornebrook Chocolates that will make a lot of lunch outers very happy for a lot of reasons. Formaggio's Bistro and Wine Bar does have a lunch special for $7.95 that is your choice of one-half of six different sandwiches, and a cup of the Soup Du Jour. Cream of tomato soup is always available at Formaggio's. Offering a lunch menu of salads, sandwiches, and antipasto platters this Italian Bistro also has ample outdoor seating on the patio immediately outside Formaggios'.




Xpress Grill Opens on NE 23rd Ave.

March 3, 2014, The Xpress Grille has opened in the restaurant that formerly housed Mamma Mia's Pizzaeria on NW 23rd Ave. close to N. Main St. With a menu of cold sandwiches, salads, soups, grilled sandwiches, hamburgers, burritos, Cuban sandwiches, and a spicy black bean veggie burger. the Xpress Grille also has an assortment of interesting side dishes including Paremsan Crispy Coated French Fries, and Sweet Potato Fries that can be ordered by the basket with bacon, melted cheese. 'Hot Baskets' are on the menu including baskets of chicken tenders, jumbo chicken wings, fried chicken bites, and a 1/2 pound Hot Basket of Fish & Chips.  Currently the Xpress Grille is open for lunch every day at 11:00 am.  Ecening closing times are still under consideration.


Bangkok Square opens near I-75

BangkokSQUAREsfFebruary 17, 2014, Thai cuisine fans can rejoice at the second Thai restaurant opening in the Urban GLOB in 2014. Bangkok Square recently opened on Archer Rd. near Interstate I-75. Offering both Thai, including Pad, Thai Japanese cuisine, sushi, shrimp tempura rolls or a combination plate. Bangkok Square also has an extensive sushi menu. 

zzGLOBbulletMatsu Sushi &  Grill has changed their name to reflect the owners Identity.  A'xin Sushi & Grill is still the popular Asian lunch stop in the Williston Plaza off od the corner of Willsiton Rd., and SW 34th St.  Only the name has changed and continues with the same owner and chef according to the Matsu Sushi & Grill FaceBook Page, "Same Chef, Same Service, Same Place, With a NEW NAME~ We're still the same, Always fresh Fishes..."


WhichWichSFWhichWich? Opens on Archer Rd.

January 21, 2014 - WhichWich? Superior Sandwiches has opened in Butler Plaza at 3524 Archer Rd.  Whichwich? touts more than 50 customizable “wiches”, including the signature 'Wicked' loaded with five meats and three cheeses.  Serving Sandwiches, bowls, and lettuce wraps Whichwich creates 10 sandwiches including a breakfast sandwich.  According to the WhichWich website, "Which Wich is known for its revolutionary ordering system. Find the bag with the category you want, grab a red Sharpie®, and mark up the pre-printed menu on the sandwich bag. Select your sandwich, then choose the bread, cheese, spreads, and veggies. Your wich is prepared just the way you want it and delivered in your personalized sandwich bag. After you’ve enjoyed your wich, grab another red Sharpie, doodle on the back of your bag, and hang your masterpiece on the community wall. Wicked, right?"

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
Newly Opened:
Urban Flatbread, Warehouse
Closed: Louis Lunch, Tori's Big Burger

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

La Pasadita Mexican Grille

It's the mole', If you're thinking authentic

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

LaPasiditaSF"Welcome to La Pasadita. According to Trip Advisor we are the most authentic Mexican restaurant in Gainesville ," Oscar, the La Pasadita Manager, said with a smug smile. My eyes and my lunch companion's were fixed on the large basket of warm, toasted corns chips with a very good salsa on our table at this newly expanded Mexican lunch stop on NW 6th St just past NW 39th Avenue.

This was an inviting start to an excellent meal. A customer-friendly server named, Oscar, tasty toasted chips, and spicy salsa, all accompanied by a very good Double X dark beer is the perfect start for any lunch. Sometimes I am able to see the ingredients for a positive lunch experience right away. Customers were busy enjoying plates of fragrant, really yummy looking entrees. The La Pasadita staff were smiling and bustling about to make sure customers were happy. Farmer Bubba would be happy with the authentic corn chips, the bright Mexican art on tables and chairs, and the soccer match on a Mexican television station.



Mexican mole is not just an option at La Pasadita but a standard lunch time accompaniment for many of the entrees as either red or green mole. There are other sauces listed on the menu with other dishes, such as green tomatillo sauce, pico de gallo (is that the same as the salsa?), and on fish dishes, lime and cilantro sauce. I wanted to try a variety and had some trouble with the server when I tried to explain what I wanted.

I have mentioned more than once I am a chile rellenos, hard shell taco kinda guy. That said I do enjoy looking at the menu to see if there are any differences to note from other 'authentic' restaurants. Three lunch entrees caught the GLOB Master's eye because of the, yep, you're correct, the mole:

zzGLOBbullet  Pollo con Mole verde o rojo: Shredded chicken simmered in "our delicious and unique mole sauce."

zzGLOBbullet Camarones ala Diabla: Grilled shrimp topped with spicy red sauce.

zzGLOBbullet Green or Red Mole Enchiladas: Three corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and topped with green or red mole sauce and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, avocado, and cheese.


According to the Culinary Lore website: Mole typically contains a mixture of chiles, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. It sometimes includes unsweetened chocolate, tomatoes, and raisins. Avocado leaves, epazote, and various spices might also be used. Many moles -- including the most famous Mole Poblano or Poblano de guajolote from Puebla, said to be the first mole -- contain chocolate. That mole being so well known may account for the mole being thought of as a chocolate sauce.



Oscar returned to fill our corn chip basket and to take my order and that of GLOB Content Editor, Lynn Dirk, when I asked about the La Pasadita mole.

"We make our moles fresh every day," Oscar said, "I like the spicy red sauce, but I would say the green and the tomatillo sauces are also very popular," Oscar added. So the spicy red sauce is a mole and maybe the tomatillo sauce is too? Maybe mole just means sauce? To continue ...

La Pasadita has 39 Platillos Caseros – House Dishes including the three above. The menu also includes Tortas – Mexican Sandwiches, Tacos Mexicano, Botanas – Appetizers, Salads, and Soups. Below is a link to the complete La Pasadita restaurant menu, including prices.  There is a complete menu at the La Pasadita restaurant web link below.



As noted above, I was excited to taste all three spicy sauce entrees and asked, "Hey Oscar, can I get the three mole sauces on the enchilada special, a different sauce on each enchilada"

Our lunches arrived covering our plates with copious yummy Mexican food. You know, GLOBers, I am an X-large individual. I have ridden the roller coaster of weight gain and weight loss my entire life. My dear mother made it very clear early on in life that I was to clean my plate. It has taken a long time to reach a point where I see this giant lunch and immediately think I should eat only half of my lunch. What a conundrum. Here I sit with Captain Dirk the other queen of never leave anything to waste, and I want to be a good consumer . . .

However when it got right down to the point of action, I had no problems thinking about cleaning this lunch plate.



My lunch was beautiful, Three nicely lined up enchiladas all dressed in their own mole. The rich, delicious tomatilla green sauce creation was very spicy and added a piquant, crisp flavor along with poblano chile pepper. The pulled chicken and cheese filing created a harmony of warm, melted, spicy adventure and flavors on the tip of my tongue that had me thinking, "Carumba! This is really good."

The red mole sauce enchilada -- center enchilada in image above -- had a beef stuffing and all the flavors blended nicely. My last chicken enchilada enjoyed the standard LPD red sauce which is tart and spicy but could have used some of the green sauce to 'pep it' up.

LaPasaditaLOGOLynn's lunch orders are moving away from meat proteins and she ordered #V4: A cheese stuffed Chile Rellenos. She tried to get it without the egg or batter coating over the pepper, but that got nixed by the chef. But as it turned out, the coating was not very heavy. The dish came with both black beans and refried beans, which she was very happy with, and rice, which was fluffy, sticky rice only slightly flavored and having some potato. All good. The cheese was the soft Mexican Oaxaca cheese. Lynn prefers the hard cheeses like cheddar or jack, but still enjoyed the relleno.

"It's been good for business," Oscar said. "We have good customers from all over town making the trip here for our very special and authentic Mexican lunches."

The Pluses and Minuses of La Pasadita Grill:

The La Pasdita + indicators : NOTE TO MEATLESS CROWD: La Pasadiita has nine distinct vegetarian offerings including a veggie fajita, and a mushroom quesadilla. LP also serves breakfast all day starting at 10:00 when they open.

The La Pasidita - indicators: I could eat here every day and die of a heart attack by September.

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

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