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Restaurant lunch highlights:

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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...

Piesano's Stone Fired Pizza, Midtown

A little while back I asked GLOBers what restaurant made the best Philly Cheese Steak. Of course we received a lot of good suggestions, and Piesano's Stone Fired Pizza's Philly Cheese Steak was right at the top of the list. I make an excellent Philly cheese steak sandwich myself. But growing up in Melbourne, Florida, my favorite go-to place for food and hanging out was Charlie's Pizza on U.S Highway 1 near the Eau Gallie Causeway. It might have been the aged grill that Charlie used to cook the mushroom, peppers, onion, garlic, and chopped steak conglomeration, but to this day I haven't enjoyed a steak sandwich as tasty as that great high school memory. All that said, Piesano's Philly Cheese Steak is an excellent sandwich with perfect sautéed onions and peppers topped with a delicious coating of yummy, gooey, melted provolone cheese. The steak is thinly sliced steak and pulls together all the other flavors. The Philly Cheese Steak rolls are not too thick but easily wrap around all the ingredients. I would have no problem suggesting Piesano's Philly Cheese Steak to a hungry lunch time carnivore.  Thinking about it GLOBers, back in the day before thin sliced, pre-packaged steak protein, the grill cook would chop his meat for the sandwich from a nice cut of sirloin steak resulting in cubed, diced pieces of delicious red meat.  This created a unique texture, bite size taste of spicy protein.  That's how I cook my cheesesteaks at home. Maybe that's what's missing from todays' steak thin sliced sammies . . .

- Mike Sanford

Italian lunch stop works for this Piesano

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

PIESANOsffMIDTOwnIt was shortly after Lynn Dirk and I sat down at the bar at the new Midtown Piesanos on the corner of University Avenue and 13th St that I knew this new additional location for the local, well-regarded pizza restaurant was going to do well.

"Check this out Mike," Piesanos's General Manager, Ryan Zachow,  said waving at a long line of beer taps behind the Piesano's bar. We have 40 taps available connected to 40 different kegs back in our cooler. Ryan was quick to point out that selections from Swamphead and First Magnitude breweries, the newest Gainesville craft beer are proudly included.

 

PIESANObarThe Piesanos crew spent a lot of time and money remodeling the old Beef O'Brady's pub into a stylish restaurant ready to handle the pizza-pie eating, beer-drinking gators of all varieties.

"Sure we expect to do a big student crowd late in the evening, but we also want to let people know this is an excellent family restaurant too with lunch specials and awesome dinner entrees," Ryan added.

 

PIESmidtownTAPS

Along with a very impressive bar, Piesanos has booths, tables, and a customer-friendly high-top table that can accommodate larger groups of 12 or more.

Since I consider myself a lunch-time eating professional, as I looked over the Piesanos menu, I quickly realized there were a multitude of lunch and dinner choices -- the menu is not for the faint at heart with an extensive menu of Italian and American cuisine entrees, appetizers, baked breads, soup, salads, pizza, calzones, subs, burgers, 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. The Piesanos menu is available at the link below.

The GLOB's Content Editor and I were ready to see what Piesanos had to offer. We decided to share a personal pan pizza and an order of Eggplant Parmesan.

 

PIESANOpizzaEP

The affordable Personal Pan Pizza made sense since we were also ordering an entree. The pie was cut into four slices. Lynn and I had broccoli and spicy Italian sausage topping our pizza, and we were pleasantly surprised that there was left over eggplant and side spaghetti to take home.

The Piesanos red sauce had a certain identifiable spiciness that was pleasing. The Italian sausage enhanced the heat and added a savory flavor to the pie that had the GLOB Master smiling. The crust was very crunchy and somehwhat yeasty and Ms. Dirk detected corn meal in the somewhat crust, which was slightly thicker than a typical thin crust.

The pizza was very good, and I look forward to returning to Piesanos with pals so I can taste the MANY different pies over time.

 

PIESANOspecials

I had to smile when the Eggplant Parmesan entrée arrived with my share of pasta and red sauce in separate plate. I'm sorry, if you have read any of my other Italian lunches you already know noodles and tomato sauce, with or without a spoon, are wasted on the GLOB Master. I guess I will be going to my grave missing the savory, home cooked joy of these two ingredients that I believe need bountiful assistance from almost any other other ingredient to get me a little excited.

Remembering that we started lunch with a nice helping of warm, complementary garlic rolls and with an oil dip that was more like Italian dressing, we were eating a lot of food at Piesanos.

My share of the Piesanos Eggplant Parmesan was ample and cheesy with large pieces of eggplant in every bite.  It was a very good entrée, however I did add my remaining pasta and red sauce to the mix as the eggplant needed a little more sauce.

 

PIESANOtable

This was fun lunch experience. The Piesanos bar is a very cool, friendly place to enjoy lunch and watch the light show reflecting off the countless wine glasses about the beer taps as rainbow colors, one slowly after the other, lit up the glasses.  It's probably even better at night.

I'm going back to Piesanos. I just checked their menu and they have Shrimp & Mussels.  They also have Fra Diavolo: "Garlic, white wine, and spicy marinara." Come on -- any lunch stop that talks about Diavolo certainly gets the devil in me.

Follow this link for another piesanos lunch feature.

The Pluses and Minuses of Piesanos:

Piesanos + indicators: A lot of lunch time choices here. Excellent pizza, 40 beer taps!

Piesan's - indicators: I'm thinking this larger than the average lunch stop for midtown could get crowded really quickly/

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

Read more...

I love N. Y. Pizza

Choices abound at Haile Market pizza shop

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

ilovenypizzaSFA lunch time statement that I hear a lot is, You can tell how good a restaurant is by the number of government vehicles in the parking lot.

I was out at the Haile Market Place Shopping Center to have lunch with former GLOB staffers Tonya Upton and Kendall Crews when I noticed several men with hard hats and fluorescent vests walking in and out of I Love New York Pizza.

Many more workmen were at the tables inside and standing at the counter surveying the menu.

For a narrow, busy pizza palace, this family-owned lunch stop has a menu of broad lunch choices:  salads (7), pizzas (20), sub sandwiches(10), strombolis, calzones, and Italian entrees.  NYP also has appetizers, kids meals and desserts.  You can find a NYP menu at the restaurant web link below.

At this lunch outing, the NYP was also touting a special called 20-Sausage Bite, which is deep fried sausage with a choice of sauce. The sausage bites looked pretty good to the GLOB Master.

Phew! With all those different items available you would think the kitchen was larger than the dining room.

The GLOB Staffers placed our order and when we were done I was thinking we ordered a lot of food.

 

NYPpizza

Tonya and Kendall both ordered pizza from the pans sitting at the counter. Kendall selected the pepperoni and Tonya picked the Margharita slice with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic, and fresh basil (right).

Tonya and Kendall approached their pizza cautiously and both agreed pizza was a good choice and did a good job of consuming the very large slice.

 

NYPgardenSalad

Tonya liked her salad, "It is the perfect portion for a salad,"Upton said.

Kendall also ordered 10 chicken wings.  She said the wings were tasty but they could have had a little spice added to them.

 

NYPwings

No one has called the GLOB Master a picky eater but I am always a little leery of pizza that has been sitting around for who knows how long. I opted for the antipasta salad with ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, and giardinera vegetables (top picture).

My salad was very good and the Giardinera vegetables were a very, spicy, pickled addition to my salad, which was a good size with rolled slices of meat and cheese. As we took our trays to the disposal area at the end of the meal, I surveyed the remains of my lunch partners' entrees and surmised my salad was a good selection.

I can see why the NYP has a good following of regulars with ample portions and the wide menu selection. The GLOB Master will continue his process of elimination on his next visit searching for the ultimate I Love N Y Pizza lunch.

The Pluses and Minuses of I love N Y Pizza

I love N Y Pizza + indicators : Quick service, broad menu. Kendall's wings looked good, and my antipasta salad was very good.

I love N Y Pizza - indicators: I don't know about pizza that's been sitting on a counter for an extended period of time .

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

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Francesca's Trattoria

Style, class, really good homemade sausage

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pluses and Minuses of Francesca's Trattoria:

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

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

 

 

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Panini featured in fine dining lunch

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Did I say this was an excellent lunch?

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

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

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

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

The Pluses and Minuses of Francesca's Trattoria:

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

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

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

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Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza

Archer Rd. pizza served 'blazing fast'

By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

BLAZEsfIt's hard to beat a personal 11" pizza for under $9, and certainly when that includes any and all of the toppings you want.

Blaze Pizza is a national fast food chain, a pizza joint similar in ordering style to Chipotle. This conveyor-belt ordering system allows you to customize from the base up. Then the pizza is "fast fire'd" for 180 seconds and served up hot. Located in the old Willy's spot on bustling Archer Rd. Blaze Pizza is laid out the same way that Willy's Merxican was, booths being in close proximity to the ordering line.  According to the locations map on the BP website, there are over 20 in the continental U.S., and over 20 more are opening soon. That is a lot of fast and ready pizza!

How did I Blaze you might ask this Eating Advewnturer? I contemplated a Signature Pizza, such as the "Art Lover" with artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, and red sauce dollops, but I knew I needed to do my Food Adventurer title justice.

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I like my pizzas pretty loaded (image right), but this was on another level. First the dough (gluten free dough is available but is prepared on the same surface as gluten-filled dough) is pressed to size onto the pizza pan, my name (misspelled) written on the paper beneath. Then it's as if you were making the pizza yourself: Add sauce, cheese, meats, veggies that are applied after the pizza is baked. My selections were as follows: spicy red sauce, ovalini mozzarella, ricotta, applewood bacon, Italian sausage, artichokes, black olives, basil, jalapenos, and mushrooms, topped by arugula, an olive oil drizzle, oregano and sea salt. This may have been 14 components on one pizza, but there were so many other appetizing-sounding options also, including pesto, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, meatballs and BBQ sauce (note: not all on one pizza).

There is a complete Blaze Pizza menu at the link below.

MKblaze3As advertised, it took only a few minutes (180 seconds = 3 minutes, to be exact) for my pizza to cook. Even with the line of pizzas waiting to be quick-fired, it still only took about 5-7 minutes to receive my pizza. The pizza ordered by my dining companion, Holly (image right), came out as the antithesis to my heavily-topped pizza: A one-topping pizza with red sauce, shredded mozzarella and black olives (image above left). I joked that she was the "sane plain Jane to my adventurous weirdo self."

We dove right in, and I was happy with my combination. There was not a ton of each topping, so despite the variety, the thin crust did not wilt under the weight of the toppings. Everything tasted pretty fresh, but I probably should have opted for either the spicy red sauce OR the jalapenos. My mouth felt the heat immediately from the medium-hot sauce. I am not a big fan of the thin crust -- if a pizza joint serves deep dish I order it every time. Also, considering how quickly the crust is cooked and based on flavor, it was not a high-quality base. I was, however, pleased that my pizza seemed to be cooked evenly, a slight char underneath and on the top crust, but that was not the case for Holly's pizza. One side of her very simple pizza was charred, and the other side had a few seriously, almost doughy undercooked pieces. Her response: "I've had worse."

MKblazeOVENFor a "personal" pizza, 11" seems quite large. Yes, it can easily be completely consumed, and Holly surprised me by doing just that, but I calculated my pizza nutrition info on www.blazepizza.com and my pizza racked up over 1400 calories. While it was worth one experience, you get what you pay for and I'd rather pay for tastier dining fare. Still, I am sure this convenience and price of Blaze Pizza will be well-received for some time.

The Pluses and Minuses of Blaze Pizza:

Blaze Pizza + indicators: A lot of pizza for a low price, unlimited toppings for no extra cost, fast-moving line, quick food preparation, taste ok

Blaze Pizza - Indicators: Not great quality, dough questionable, fast prep may result in undercooked pizza.

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

Fresh ingredients, choices make this lunch stop worth noting

 

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

 

All right, I’ll be honest with you.  I have been thinking about the new Wily’s Mexicana Grill on SW Archer Rd. all week knowing I was going to make a visit sooner, rather than later.  My thought was get in there before the crowds show up and make this place way too busy for a downtown gringo like me. 

 

Plus I really wanted to see the Wily’s salsa bar and exactly how good their green sauce tastes.  GLOB staffer Lynn Dirk is my usual partner for these Mexican lunch stop visits.  Lynn couldn’t make it today so my plan was to pick up a burrito on the way out for Ms. Dirk.

 

The Wily’s menu is impressive.  Like the other, ‘have it your way burrito shops.’ Wily’s has an impressive menu of burritos and taco choices.  This Mexicana Grill also includes a very tasty looking quesadillas and a yummy looking, ample size order of Nacho’s.   There are several “charges for additional ingredients’ on the menu so I’m not really sure how the Wily’s prices compare with the Mexican food outlets. 

 

My suggestion is you check the Wily’s menu out on the restaurant link below this feature before you head out into the Archer Rd. 85 lane quagmire for lunch.   Ok. So there isn’t 85 lanes of traffic, how many do you think exist out there counting turning lanes, no right turn lanes, left only lanes . . .? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quagmire

 

I do know that the Wily’s food service lunch line was fast, friendly, and very generous in helping make my lunch time choices. 

 

Of course I was thinking taco from the get go, and I like the idea of walking through the food line asking for a little bit of this, and a little bit of that to be added to my lunch.  They have a soup and taco combo special that I selected and I added a scoop of guacamole to the soup that made my lunch a little over $7.

 

The Spicy tortilla and chicken soup was perfect for chilly mid-day Thursday lunch. The addition of a dollop of sour cream and strips of fried tortilla chips made for a very fiesta like dance on my palette. 

 

The Wily’s taco was very good.  Of course I put way too many ingredients in my taco shell.  Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do.  The corn salsa, quacamole, peppers & onions, lettuce cheese, pico de gallo, roasted red peppers, and jalepeno peppers sure fit very nicely above the adobe chicken cooked in roasted ancho peppers, and smoked chipotle peppers. (Thank you Mother Lupita for supplying the Wily’s menu online for this taco inventory.)

 

Wily’s sells beer and has a nice setup in the dining area for watching sports and generally hanging out.  There is also patio seating available for people like the Catering Queen Jules Gollner that takes her best friend Rusty the Wonder Dog out to lunch. 

 

Talk about retro cutting edge it is a worth a trip to Wily’s just to check out the Coco-Cola fountain machine in the photo at right.  This deco like design houses twenty different drinking options!  Carumba!!!

 

Like you I am interested in what Staffer Captain Dirk has to say about her lunch time burrito

This was a good lunch.  I can see myself visiting Wily’s every chance I get when I am in the Archer Rd. restaurant triangle.

 

The Pluses and Minuses of Wily’s Mexicana Grill:

 

Wily’s ( +) indicators: Fresh ingredients, good Mexican seasonings, customer friendly portions, way cool soda machine.

 

Willy’s ( - ) indicators:  Maybe Wily’s will make me an Archer Rd. lunch kinda guy . . .   How do we keep the I-75 lunch carpet baggers from knowing we have a Wily’s?

 

 

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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.

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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.

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PERFECTpieOAKS

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.

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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.

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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.

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New restaurants open in Midtown

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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.

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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.

3MEALS

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Fork & Pasta opens in Stadium Club building

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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SababaSF

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.

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Soul Shack opens on Waldo Road

SOULshackPIC

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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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Wholly BBQ opens downtown

WHOLLYbbqCAFE

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 TBN.com readers recognize the Square 1 burger as tops in the hamburger category.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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'.

 

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XPRESSgrillSF

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.

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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..."

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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
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...

Mission Epicurious: Fresco Pizza & Pasta

Frescos reborn in lovely 'village' setting

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

When Fresco's was "Fresco Neighborhood Italian Restaurant" on 34th Street in Gainesville, I never thought to dine there, perhaps because at that time I was smack dab in the middle of my junior year at the University of Florida, and I was subsisting on a wide array of make-it-yourself sandwiches and walking-distance cheap eats. On hearing of the RE-opening of Fresco Pizza and Pasta, the original's more menu-specific child, I didn't want to waste any time. Plus, I have been having a serious hankering for some good Italian eats, and let's just say Domino's pizza could not sound more grotesque right now.

 

HAILEvillage

Fresco's new residence is in the spot of the previously beloved Sisters' cafe in the Haile Village Center. Well, Sisters' brunch was certainly this fan's favorite, but I suppose only the good die young. But I digress. On entering the ghost of Sisters' past, a completely new bistro look unfolded: A dimly lit, very nice bar area straight ahead past the front door gave way to a handful of tables lining the inside walls. I was pleased to see the same sweet, small patio area adjacent to the remodeled building, which allows less than a dozen parties to enjoy the quaint landscape of Haile Village Center in Haile Plantation, especially on such a beautiful day as the day I was there, between its current hours of 5-10 pm Tuesday through Sunday.

 

FRESCOtomatoCHICKvert

At around 6:15 pm on a Thursday, one empty patio table remained, so my dining companion and I snatched it up. Keeping to the standard that this is by no means a fancy place but rather presenting a nice-casual atmosphere, a very nice server wearing blue jeans brought out our drinks and a basket, or two, of hot, fresh garlic bread. A few starters – salad, soup and appetizers –sounded relatively appealing, but with the myriad of pasta and pizza options, I was sold on trying both categories of carbohydrate goodness. There were options to create-your-own pizza or pasta, but for a first visit, I wanted to try a dish the chef deemed worthy of being a menu standard. 

Fresco's was created for the modern lifestyle; accessible, casual and local. Urban cuisine in your city today." The Fresco's menu reflects that attitude, style, by featuring two unique dinner ideas in the choices of Urban Dinners and Municipal Meals. Urban Dinners are plates of interesting entrees, including Mushroom & Scallions, and Calamari Costner. The Municipal meals are plates of Italian favorites, such as Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Marsala. There is a complete Fresco's menu at the restaurant link below this review.

To my delight, my dining companion was just as interested in maximizing the tasting experience as possible, so we opted to share one pizza and one pasta entrée. First the side Caesar salad that accompanied the pasta entrée selection arrived, split into a small and fresh serving for each of us. After quickly gobbling those up, about 10 minutes of good conversation and people-watching gave way to a giant pizza (note: the server claimed the 12" would be adequate for the two of us if we were splitting another entrée) and an order of the Sicilian Chicken Pasta. This pizza was definitely larger than 12", which, at Fresco's, is considered the medium option between 10" and 16". When confronted with more pizza than can be consumed in one sitting, I don't think anyone opposes the idea of leftover pizza. Cold or hot, it really is the best.

 

FTRSCOpizza

So this pizza: The Meateater, as it was aptly dubbed, was a loaded, hand-tossed pizza delight of protein and spice. The generous topping of thin pepperoni slices, chunks of hearty Italian sausage and Canadian bacon, genoa salami and meatballs certainly filled my taste palate with a wide variety of very fresh, quality tasting meat options. What really set it over the edge was when we made the Meateater into the Meat with Heat, which entailed adding a heavy-handed sprinkling of jalapeno slices across the pizza. I am not usually one for a thinner crust, but I have to say the combination of generously-applied, fresh meat toppings with the very savory, herb-flecked cheese and thinner layer of red, homemade pizza sauce with a distinguishable taste and texture of the baked crust shining through really made an impression on my taste buds. I may go so far as to say this is my favorite thinner crust pizza in Hogtown, followed shortly by Big Lou's downtown.

I was also pleased to see the Sicilian Chicken pasta entrée was split into a serving size for each of us. It was actually the perfect size, especially with the pizza companion. I was weary when I read that the sauce the linguine pasta, chunks of chicken and handful of spinach would be coated in was a "spicy cream sauce," as the server originally described it as having a slightly pesto-esque coloring and taste, only spicier and creamier. I was up for trying it though, especially when she mentioned this was one of two of her favorite dishes on the menu, and she had to try them all. The sauce wasn't really anything like she described, but it was better and more of what I was looking for anyway: slightly spicier but less chunky-thick than alfredo, but with that recognizable creamy consistency of a good white sauce. It was delicious, especially when topped with tomatoes and chives.

Fresco's is undoubtedly somewhere I would return to, as the new location, great menu selection, and quality relative to price are all exceptional. I venture to say this is my new slightly nicer than casual Italian go-to in Gainesville. There are too many tasty-sounding things on this menu I have yet to explore!

Note: According to the website, lunchtime service is coming soon!

The Pluses and Minuses of Fresco Pizza & Pasta.

Fresco Pizza & Pasta + indicators:Nice Italian menu selection, good quality ingredients, nice presentation, great bang for bug, appealing indoor and outdoor atmosphere, friendly and pretty prompt service

Fresco Pizza & Pasta - indicators: I can see this being a busier spot at peak hours, especially with a limited number of tables

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

Read more...

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

Brewhouse is incorrect for this food world

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

My son Bob and I had a very good lunch in one of the biggest restaurants I have ever enjoyed lunch.

I did think of Bob Seger's great tune, Feel like a number, as my son Bob and I waited to be seated in a dining room that looked like it could also be an indoor athletic pavilion called BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in front of the Oaks Mall. 

BJsBrewhouseThe BJ's website explains this massive lunch spot in one word:  " Our vision is to be the very definition of "WOW" for the casual dining experience."Yeah, I think "WOW" is an accurate term. Humongus, airport like, and gargantuan would also fit this, "big box, move 'em in, move 'em out lunch like assembly line."

Right after we walked in we were steered to our table out on the West 40 acres of this food world Ponderdosa.

Looking around I couldn't see a kitchen area. How ever I did see a lot of people hurriedly about the business eating a fast lunch.

Looking due east I did see the bar. This impressive wooden upright looked like it could be a fun place to catch a sporting event. Heck you could invite all of you best friends and still have room for more. It looked to me like this bar could easily handle 25 to 30 happy drinkers. BJ's offers eight 'home brewed' regular beers on tap at, plus several seasonal or specialty beers.

WOW!

 

BJsDINING

There is a ton of information about BJ's beers below on the restaurant web link.

When Meaghan, our server, returned with menus she handed us 'book' that had a dozen of more pages. I was relieved I wasn't going to be tested on the contents of this Dead Sea Scroll like lunch document. With a quick count I did see that the menu had 13 different food categories.

My cross-eyed look of intimidation was noticed by Meaghan. In a lunch environment where time is money, Meaghen reduced out conversation to nothing but the details.

"Lunch," I asked lifting the first page of this plastic, bracketed, punched, with each page indexed by another page menu looking confused.

"Back page," Meaghan replied using twice as many words as I.

Voila! With a turn of pages my lunch options had been reduced to 13 Lunch Specials.

 

BJtacos

Lunch became a no brainer when I saw the #9 special was Fish and Shrimp Tacos. "Panko-crusted, lightly fried fish or chargrilled shrimp wrapped in our special tortilla with chipotle mayonnaise, Santa Fe dressing, Napa cabbage, carrots, red onions and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips, avocado cream sauce and fire-roasted tomato salsa."

I love tacos, I REALLY love Fish & Seafood tacos.

Bob is relatively new to the lunch hour professional eating wars. He was casually navigating BJ's version of a food Funk & Wagnall's when I cut his mission short with a, "What do you see pal?"

 

BJjambalaya

Bob selected the Jambalaya. BJ's jambalaya combines blackened chicken, shrimp and chicken-andouille sausage, sautéed with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes in a spicy sauce. Served over a rice pilaf and topped with green onions.

(BTW I used the BJ's online menu for some lunch menu specifics. The menu was so large it should have a "search" function to find things.)

Meaghan retuned in a surprisingly short time with our lunch.

Bob's 'jamby' looked yummy with a lot of ingredients. He said there was a good amount of spice in the entrée. We were both surprised that the ingredients were placed on top of a bed of rice, not mixed into the rice.

Bob was satisfied lunchouter, and said he would order it again.
WOW!

My fish and shrimp tacos were delightfully enjoyable. The fish taco was a crispy, crunchy piece of white fish filet that added a good texture to the taco offsetting the toasty crunch of the tortilla. These were good tacos with many veggies and flavors. The tacos would have been better with some green pepper sauce to punch up the heat a little, but none was to be found.

This was a good lunch. BJ's isn't the place for a casual, intimate lunch stop where you plan to discuss things, get to know each other better.
This place is your big time, beat-the-clock lunch race opportunity.

Yeah, that's an idea. BJ should punch your ticket when you come in, and if you are done with lunch in 40 minutes you win . . . a free tour of the kitchen.

WOW!

The Pluses and Minuses of BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse:

BJ's Brewhouse + indicators: I can't imagine any one saying, "There's nothing to eat.".

BJ's Brewhouse - indicators: After lunch I felt like I just got off the subway in NYC.

 

 

BJsKetchuo

I was near the Oaks Mall on a windy, 'rain-ier' than usual day at lunch hour, and meat loaf sounded like exactly what the epicurean gods wanted the GLOB Master to eat. I didn't need no stinkin' BJ's Brewhouse multi- page menu to search for meat loaf. And that was my first question to the BJ's bartender.

Her reply: "You know I don't think we do." The just out of bar-keep training, Morgan Moceyunas, said giving serious thought to my question, added: "You'd think we would have it wouldn't ya?"

"Then again, no has ever asked if we have meat loaf before." Morgan continued answering her own question and looking at me with a puzzled look.

031517BJburger

I appreciated Morgan's honesty and opted for an open-face Brewhouse Black & Bleu-House Burger that included a 5 oz. beef patty with chipotle, bleu cheese crumbles, Applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes and roasted garlic aioli.

I added a side of fresh asparagus while I felt a tug of longing for a giant plate of thick cut home fries.

The tangy punch of the garlic aioli–mayonnaise surprised me and was special treat. "Morgan do you guys add garlic or something to the mayo," I asked, forgetting about the addition of aioli to my burger that was adding flavor to a normally mundane white condiment.

"I don't think so," she said wracking her brain for answers. "I never put mayo on my hamburger," she replied, stopping and thinking, about the life of a BJ's Brewhouse hamburger.

"Keep in mind I've only been behind this bar for ten days," she added. "Two weeks ago I was a hostess at the front door," she said trying to explain her conundrum.

I was enjoying our banter, plus the hamburger was good, and looked inviting with the bleu cheese and the bacon slices criss-crossing atop the all-beef patty.

The asparagus was really crisp, fresh and delicious. Who would think that the tinier is in fact the better. My baby asparagus was almost jumping off of the plate with flavor and texture delights.

A hamburger-no-bun lunch is an unremarkable lunch experience as a rule. Much applause to Morgan M and her willingness to please, keep the customer happy, and make lunch a special experience.

I'm going back and let Morgan suggest my lunch surprise next time.

- GLOB Master

 

BJsBURGERtopper

Brewhouse puts BIG in 'big box chain'

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

BJsBrewhouseOne restaurant that I always assumed would make its way to Gainesville because of its size, popularity, and menu variety was the Cheesecake Factory: multiple pages of a diverse variety of meal and drink options, from pastas, salads and burgers to wine and beer lists and dessert selections leave you perusing the menu for a good chunk of time. The slightly dimly lit, large dining area is perfect for packing the hungry patrons in at any time of day. I realized that Gainesville does have a comparable rendition, though: BJ's Brewhouse offers all of those options and more, including an unlimited soup and salad lunch option and EnLIGHTened menu with items all under 795 calories for the health-conscious lunch outer.

Its proximity to my job makes BJ's an easy go-to option, especially considering it has something for everyone. Needless to say, I have dined in and even taken food out, too many times to count. So when GLOB Master Mike Sanford wanted to meeet for a work lunch on Thursday, that was an easy option that I knew would have something for whatever craving struck.

The lunch crowd was just what I expected around noon: A conveyor belt of working professionals, kid-toting families, and the occasional couple kept BJ's bustling. However, we were immediately seated at a small booth. You would think that, due to the high volume of patrons at any given time, the noise level would match, but luckily they have worked out the space and the acoustics so we were not shouting across the booth just to hear each other.

 

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As mentioned, there is a whole section of lightened-up fare, as well as a lunch-specific menu. Mike and I stuck to those pages so as not to become sucked into the black whole vortex that is a 15-page menu. I really enjoy the Kale and Roasted Brussel Sprout Salad with choice of protein, which came to about $15 with my addition of blackened salmon.

Mike was feeling a little more adventurous and his first question to the server was, "Where can I find an open-faced burger?" There was one on the menu, so Mike opted for it, although really you can make any burger open-faced.

Not even 15 minutes later, my salad, minus the raw onions, and Mike's burger with a side of roasted Brussel sprouts for good health arrived. The salad was not a lunch portion size, and I was presented with a heaping bowl of greens topped with lots of sweet goodies, such as blueberries, grapes, dried cranberries and candied pecans, and I loved their contrast to the rich goat cheese. Some toasted pepitas and cucumbers added an additional salt element with the Brussel sprouts, but the strawberry vinaigrette kept the sweetness fully intact. Blackened salmon is one of my favorite protein options, so regardless of the salad or dish I do not hesitate to add it to my plate; in this case it was a relatively large portion. I tried to get through most of the salad--once the dressing permeates the layers of the salad, there is no saving that for later. It was way too much for one person to comfortably finish, but it was just as tasty as the last time I ordered it, and consistency is something I always look for in any restaurant.

 

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The open-faced burger is not on the online site/ordering system, but for about $10 this visually-busy burger is quite a mouthful: A thick, in this case medium-rare, patty was topped with a generous smear of spicy salsa verde, crispy bacon slices, melted cheese, and a ready-to-pop sunny side up egg, which coated the burger in runny, delicious yolk. This would have been a fork and knife burger, with or without being presented as open-faced. It was cooked very well, and the multiple ingredients actually collided into an explosion of tasty, albeit strong, flavor sensations. Mike's once-full side bowl of Brussel sprouts spoke for itself.

 

BJSbogoAt peak hours, namely lunch time from 11 am to 1 pm and dinner time from 6 pm to 8 pm, you may have to wait, but other than that there is usually a table available. The most attractive aspect of BJ's is the BJ's Rewards Program, by which you accumulate points as you dine and which leads to plenty of actually useful rewards, such as dollars off your purchase, BOGO lunch meals, half-off pizzas on select days, and so on.

In addition to the Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad, some of my other go-to menu items include: the Honey-Crisp Chicken Salad, which is essentially a cobb salad with fried chicken tenders and honey mustard dressing; the BJ' Favorite Deep Dish Pizza; and the Flatbreads. The pizookies are a dessert experience in and out itself, so it would absolutely behoove any first-timer to save some room for these warm, fresh skillet cookies topped with ice cream. There is a very large, BJ's menu available at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

 

BJsBeer

Don't forget the BEER in the BJ's name.  In addition to ten signature beers, including BJ's Brewhouse Blonde and Jeremiah Red, BJ's offers regular seasonal beers such as BJ's Pumpkin Ale and Annual Grand Cru, and experimental beers that we brew out of Boulder, CO. Each season of the year a seasonal beer is available for dinner. BJ's partners with other breweries and features their beers alongside BJ's beers for a multi-course, beer-paired meal.

The Pluses and Minuses of BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse:

BJ's Brewhouse + indicators: Wide selection, open late 7 days a week, large portions, pretty consistent quality, good value for meal, brews some of its own beer, well-crafted cocktails

BJ's Brewhouse - indicators: Can get busy and service does noticeably slow down, big-box chain style, potential traffic being in Oaks Mall prking lot.

 

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Franchise, big box lunch opportunities are not my favorite. I'm also not a big fan of lunch room, cafeteria like dining. If I walk into a crowed dining room and feel like a person in Bob Seeger's "Feel Like a Number" tune, typically for the GLOB Master, lunch becomes a get in, get out experience. I stopped in at BJ's Brewhouse in front of the Oaks Mall recently. The last time I saw that many people in one place it was a Florida Gator basketball game. I was by myself so I decided I was going to be a big boy about this lunch. As the hostess walked me down the aisle of 35 to 40 talking, laughing, customers enjoying themselves, she gave me the two-fer table at the end of the aisle in front of the servers' work area. That's OK--I had room to read my newspaper, and there was an interesting table of 10 customers speaking so loud across the aisle I could have joined their conversation. I asked my server what to eat, and she said I should try the hamburger: "BJ's has an awesome hamburger," she said looking down at me from above my tiny table.  So I did.  In fact I selected the BJ's Brewhouse Crispy Jalapeño Burger. It sounded good from the menu description with fried jalapeños, pepper jack cream cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, Baja sauce, red onions, tomato and lettuce. When it arrived at my table, this big boy hamburger looked even more impressive.  This protein bomb requiring a two-fisted grip and dripping toppings on all sides was very good. BJs must be steaming their hamburger rolls because this was the softest, lightest hamburger wrap I have had in some time. Do you know about those tiny Crystal hamburger rolls? Think of something like that on steroids. The jalapeno peppers supplied just enough heat, and the flavor reminded me that this was in fact a spicy, hot burger. True to form, by the time of my last few bites, my hamburger had disintegrated into a plate of hamburger hash. What do I care? I was enjoying my hamburger, and only slightly concerned that the people at the table next to me might ask for a bite of my BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Crispy Jalapeño Burger.

- GLOB Master

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

“Here I sit like a tiny blade of grass in great big field.”

- Bob Seger

­

Brewhouse is wrong name for this food world

 

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

 

My son Bob and I had a very good lunch in one of the biggest restaurants I have eaten in in a very long time.

 

I did think of Bob Seger’s great tune, “Feel like a number”, as Bob and I waited to be seated in a dining room that looked like it could also be an indoor athletic pavilion called BJ’s Brewhouse and restaurant in front of the Oaks Mall.

 

The BJ’s website explains this massive lunch spot in one word:

“ Our vision is to be the very definition of "WOW" for the casual dining experience.”

Yeah, I think "WOW" is an accurate term.  Humongus, airport like, and gargantuan would also fit this, “big box, move ’em in, move ’em out lunch like assembly line.”

 

Right after we walked in we were steered to our table out on the West 40 acres of this food world Ponderdosa.

 

Looking around I couldn’t see a kitchen area.  How ever I did see a lot of people hurriedly about the business eating a fast lunch. 

 

Looking due east I did see the bar.  This impressive wooden upright looked like it could be a fun place to catch a sporting event.  Heck you could invite all of you best friends and still have room for more.    It looked to me like this bar could easily handle 25 to 30 happy drinkers.   BJ’s offers eight ‘home brewed’ regular beers on tap at, plus several seasonal or specialty beers

WOW!

The is a ton of information about BJ’s beers below on the restaurant web link.

 

When Meaghan, our server, returned with menus she handed us ‘book’ that had a dozen of more pages.   I was relieved I wasn’t going to be tested on the contents of this Dead Sea Scroll like lunch document.   With a quick count I did see that the menu had 13 different food categories.   

 

My cross-eyed look of intimidation was noticed by Meaghan.  In a lunch environment where time is money, Meaghen reduced out conversation to nothing but the details.

 

“Lunch,” I asked lifting the first page of this plastic, bracketed, punched, with each page indexed by another page menu looking confused.

 

“Back page,” Meaghan replied using twice as many words as I.

 

Voila!  With a turn of pages my lunch options had been reduced to 13 Lunch Specials.

 

Lunch became a no brainer when I saw the #9 special was Fish and Shrimp Tacos.  “Panko-crusted, lightly fried fish or chargrilled shrimp wrapped in our special tortilla with chipotle mayonnaise, Santa Fe dressing, Napa cabbage, carrots, red onions and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips, avocado cream sauce and fire-roasted tomato salsa.”

 

I love tacos,  I REALLY love F & S tacos.

 

Bob is relatively new to the lunch hour professional eating wars.  He was casually navigating BJ’s version of a food Funk & Wagnall’s when I cut his mission short with a, “What do you see pal?”

 

Bob selected the Jambalaya.  BJ’s jambalaya combines blackened chicken, shrimp and chicken-andouille sausage, sautéed with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes in a spicy sauce. Served over a rice pilaf and topped with green onions.

 

(BTW I used the BJ’s online menu for some lunch menu specifics.  The menu was so large it should have a “search” function to find things.)

 

Meaghan retuned in a surprisingly short time with our lunch. 

 

Bob’s ‘jamby’ looked yummy with a lot of ingredients.  He said there was a good amount of spice in the entrée.  We were both surprised that the ingredients were placed on top of a bed of rice, not mixed into the rice.   

 

Bob was satisfied lunchouter, and said he would order it again. 

WOW!

 

My fish and shrimp tacos were delightfully enjoyable. The fish taco was a crispy, crunchy piece of white fish filet that added a good texture to the taco offsetting the toasty crunch of the tortilla.  These were good tacos with many veggies and flavors.  The tacos would have been better with some green pepper sauce to punch up the heat a little, but none was to be found.

 

This was a good lunch.  BJ’s isn’t the place for a casual., intimate lunch stop where you plan to discuss things, get to know each other better. 

This place is your big time, beat-the-clock lunch race opportunity.

 

Yeah, that’s an idea.  BJ should punch your ticket when you come in, and if you are done with lunch in 40 minutes you win . . .   a free tour of the kitchen.

 

WOW!    

 

The Pluses and Minuses of BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant:

BJ’s Brewhouse + indicators:  I can’t imagine any one saying, “There’s nothing to eat.”.

BJ’s Brewhouse - indicators:  After lunch I felt like I just got off the subway in NYC.

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Satchel's Pizza

SatchelsSALADjune115"The GLOB Master and I got there before the lunch crowd and by the time we left, we were surrounded, because the food at Satchel's is as good as ever." We started with our drinks, and it occurred to me to ask about their homemade sodas. Plain soda water can be hard to find in restaurants, so I asked if it were available and lo and behold, it was, and at no extra charge. Bingo! I say that because I have a strange habit of mixing microbrewery beer with plain soda water (no ice!) and lemon because microbrew is just a little too strong for me. I also tasted Mike's Stevia Z, which is Satchel's no-calorie cola that is made with . . . no secret, Stevia. I don't like stevia that much, but the Stevia Z was very good. For food, we started out with a small salad to share. The small salad is big enough for 4 because what you see in the photo is what is left after the two of us had our fill of salad and were ready to start on pizza. The salad has always had almonds, and now there are pecans. I think that is a new pleasing addition – or else I haven't been paying attention the last few times I've been there. For pizza, we ordered a medium (so we would have leftovers!) with artichokes and sausage on half and – always trying to push myself to be vegetarian -- red pepper on the other half. YUM. Satchel's is a great place – great food, interesting art all around, and living wage for all employees. Thanks Satch!

- Lynn Dirk

 

NE pizza shop is a feast to your senses

By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Content Editor

SatchelsSFI can't say enough good things about Satchel's – both the food and the place. You have to go at least once to experience it.

It was featured by ESPN. It is the most interesting restaurant in the world. It's not called Satchel's for nothing. Satchel is the actual owner, and you learn from his menus and his restaurant that he is independent and creative and a good guy. For example – and this is important – it is a cash only place. Why cash only? "Instead of giving tons of money to Visa/Mastercard, we provide an ATM and donate the $1.50 fee to local charities."

 

SatchelsPIZZA

Satchel likes to say "Every pizza is a work of art." And part of the art is the amazing list of pizza toppings – 31! The crust around the edge is big and buttery and garlicky. Otherwise the usual crust is thin, although there is also a thick crust pizza that is sometimes on the menu. The ingredients I usually get on Satchel's pizza are red peppers, artichokes, and sausage. They have a "white" and a pesto pizza. The pesto is wonderful but very rich. They have a new crust I haven't tried yet but I intend to: millet and flax.

They have a great salad with red and green leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, apples, some diced tomato, almonds, sunflower seeds, romano cheese, their special dressing – and a walnut or pecan -- for luck. How sweet is that? Plus it is a substantial serving.

The SP calzones are cery popular and I had a part of one of those and it was excellent. They have homemade desserts.

 

SatchelsJunk

Beware – it can get VERY crowded. But have no fear – Satchel provides an entertaining place to wait behind the restaurant: Lightening Salvage, which has all kinds of retro kitsch that you will remember from when you were a little kid mixed in with "collections" of "objet de curiosite" that employees or others put on display.

There is art, crazy "found" art everywhere. ALSO -- one of the places to eat there is a Ford Van permanently "parked" in front of the restaurant.

 

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And where is Satchel's? On the far east side of town on NE 23rd Ave.. A place you wouldn't expect to pack them in. On the back of one of his menus – they all have interesting essays or stories from Satchel himself – and the following is from the one that is titled "History and Philosophy," he says (and I paraphrase except for the cliché) that "location, location, location" is bull. It's all about the food and making sure it's good. Sure enough . . . I have been to Satchel's many times, and the pizza is consistently good as is the service, the vibes, and the visuals.

Going to lunch at Satchel's will not be a quickee, so you better make it a business lunch. And if you have time, go to Lightening Salvage and check out the amazing door, photo above, that is a work of art – it has TONS of things glued on it and it all comes together in a beautiful, delightful way. There are all kinds of other art works around too – most made from everyday objects like toothbrushes and hubcaps. And the fountain in the parking lot is something to see. All amazing!

 

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Lucy Marsh, a Shiatsu practitioner from Brattleboro, Vermont, came all the way to Gainesville to attend Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in downtown Gainesville for a couple of years. Upon graduation, she was treated to a goodbye dinner by friends with her first visit to Satchel's Pizza.  She had heard Satchel's serves gluten-free pizza, and sure enough, the restaurant gets a weekly shipment of millet seed and flax pizza crusts from Jacksonville. Satchel's also offers dairy free cheese and pesto vegan pizza options.

The millet seed crust was novel. Crunchy and garlicky flavored, the millet had a unique texture new to the GLOB Master. If I was with someone who wanted to try the millet seed crust, that would OK with me. In the car afterward, wistful mention was made of gluten-crust, which has a good-sized rim of pizza bread around the edge that was lacking on the millet-flax crust.

Both the gluten-free pizzas were excellently prepared in different ways: The sausage pizza was ladled with traditional marinara sauce, had a lot of garlic, and was well done – which is how Satchel likes to cook them according to his recent post on the GLOB. The veggie pizza had more cheese, less red sauce, and was "cooked light."

Standing in Satchel's newly remodeled back room waiting for a table, I was once again reminded of John Prine, Delbert McClinton, and Lyle Lovett singing about too much stuff. Satchel's has a whole lot of stuff in his Lightening Salvage shop!

- GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minuses of Satchel's:

Satchels (+) indicators: Everything!

Satchel's (-) Indicator's: Nothing – even the waiting is good what with Lightening Salvage.

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

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Piesano's Pies & Pints

ComboSHOTIt was a birthday lunch for good friend and former UF Entomology and Nematology pal, Kathy Milne, and her favorite birthday lunch this year would be pizza, red sauce, assorted toppings, and the always yummy-pizza shop salads. Ms. Milne was driving in from Alachua to the Piesano's on NW 43rd St., a perfect product placement for this trio of bug lovers that included former UF Ento-Nema Graphic Designer Jane Medley.

At Piesano's, looking over an army of Gourmet Specialty Pizzas, I was somewhat flummoxed until I saw they have a lunchtime 8" pizza they call they Personal 8" Pizza that starts at a reasonable $6.99, plus $.89 for each additional topping. Lately when the GLOB Master had been thinking pizza, it was of a slice or two of a good, flat crusted, toasted to perfection NY slice with a generous topping of artichokes. The birthday girl opted for an 8" pizza with italian sausage and black olives, image right.  Did you know artichokes were unknown on this continent until a group of Italian immigrants planted a few hundred acres of the crop near Half Moon Bay in California in the late nineteenth century? The artichoke quickly became a popular delicacy in California and filled fields in Monterey County. I must say the 8-inch pie was perfect, image at the top of this story. I cut my lunch into 4 perfect slices and gave the fourth slice to good friend Jane Medley to take home for another meal. Ms. Medley ordered a Greek Salad with her pie and it sounded so good I did the same thing, image right. I added feta cheese to my salad and it was delicious. The salad was fresh, tart, crisp, and very yummy. There might have been just a little too much Feta cheese on my salad. So I added some of the feta to my pizza. YUM! There is a complete Piesano's menu at the bottom of this page.

- GLOB Master

N. Pelletier: 'It's an obsession, my obsession!'

By Natalie Pelletier, Guest Writer

Editor's Note: Natalie Pelletier works on the Blu Dove Design team specializing in sales and marketing.Plus FOLLOW THIS LINK for another Piesano's feature.

PiesanosI was first introduced to Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza by Lisa Renshaw. I figured it was going to be "another Italian restaurant"...good but not the best in town. Since she introduced me to it about a month and a half ago no joke I have probably been there about 10 times with my boyfriend. Should I go on?

I haven't been there because it is close by our house, inexpensive or a nice atmosphere, which are all true...it's just so good!

I'm pretty selective when it comes to Italian food. I try to think of every excuse possible to convince my boyfriend go to Piesanos when we can't think of what to make for dinner. He gives in too because their Italian rolls are sooo good and original!

I would definitely recommend Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza if you have'n't tried it yet. The pizza is amazing along with their many entrees. I love their spinach ravioli, eggplant, pastas, etc. I hope I get to go there again this weekend!

Hope you like it!

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With there now being three Piesano's Pizza & Pint locations in the Urban GLOB you really don't have a reason to not enjoy a Meatless Monday Piesano's Eggplant Parmesan Cheese sub with breaded baked eggplant, a layer of ricotta cheese, marinara sauce and covered with mozzarella cheese for your noon-day meal. Piesano's has a special, secret ingredient in their red sauce that makes me smack my lips thinking, "That's good." The cheese was stacked high on the sub roll, however the ricotta, and mozzarella cheese combo did wonders enhancing the marinara sauce.  Since I was enjoying a business lunch I felt it would be awkward to talk about sharing my sandwich, so I thought of my dear mother and her words of wisdom, "shut and eat your lunch." My smartest move of the day was listening to our server who said a sub sandwich and a salad was an awful lot of food, so i forgo a very yummy looking salad. Taking the kid's meal route through the Piesano's lunch menu might be the best alternative to a 5,000 calorie lunch experience.

FOLLOW THIS LINK  for another Piesanos feature

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

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