Great lunch of friends old, and new
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
It was a great lunch idea. The GLOB staff having lunch at the Harn Museum's Camellia Court Café our guest and new Director of the Harn Museum Lee Anne Chesterfield.
Just to let you know everyone was on there best behavior. I'm thinking that was the case because all the GLOB staffers were on time for lunch. This was a celebrating lunch welcoming Dr. Chesterfield to Gainesville, the University of Florida and the Harn Museum.
We were recognizing Dr. Michele Cardel: Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog Nutrition Columnist, Assistant Professor Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics Faculty, Institute of Child Health Policy Fellow, and founding member of the Obesity Alliance for her National Institute of Health Award for a five year study to develop weight loss intervention programs for teens.
Rounding out the lunch table was GLOB Content Editor Erica Corbett, and GLOB Ayuervedic Health Coach Chaya-Sharon Heller.
It was also was also another lunch in a long line of lunches celebrating the GLOB Master's birthday. What a week of eating!
The Camellia Court Café was the perfect location for what I was thinking would be a major information sharing fest. The spacious café had two tables reserved for us and I smiled quickly realizing there was no background music to interfere with our conversations.
The campus food service company does a good job creating a menu sandwiches and salads with a somewhat different 'flair' than what you might find at other campus lunch spots. There is also a menu list of 'small plates' that included Blackened Chicken Egg Rolls ($8.95), and Bacon Flatbread topped with roasted cauliflower ($6.95).
The CCC menu also contained a House Salad & Half Sandwich entrée that includes your choice of a vegetable, Boar's Head ham or turkey wrap or sandwich and a cup of the Soup of the Day ($8.95). Two Hamburgers, a veggie wrap, a Cuban, Club, and Chicken, Feta & Spinach Panini were also available. There is a complete Camellia Court menu at the bottom of this page.
I selected the Chicken, Feta & Spinach Panini with grilled chicken, baby spinach, tomato, and onion on Italian bread with a feta-garlic spread. The feta and spinach combination sounded delish and the feta garlic spread was very nice touch of pazazz to a sandwich loaded with chuncks of white breasted chicken. The grilled veggies were spectatcularly fresh and crunchy.The toasted 'pannini bread' was unremarkable which allowed to dismiss the white carb from my noon time meal.
Erica enjoyed her lunch:
"I ordered a simple small sized Greek Salad with grilled chicken. It contained the perfect balance of kalamata olives, artichokes and roasted red peppers on romaine lettuce with a lemon vinaigrette on the side. The smaller size left me feeling energized and I was able to eat the entire portion within the time frame of our lunch party. I often end up with leftovers and it's nice to be able to walk around the gallery afterwards without worrying about needing to check my food at the front desk. Overall, the Camellia Court Café is a nice place to eat lunch with friends."
Michelle selected the Greek salad and vegetable soup:
"My salad, image at the top of the page, was ok, and the vegetable soup was very good."
Chaya was not overwhelmed with her Panini Sandwich but she did appreciate the clever 'French fry' basket to share with lunch tablemates.
What a fun lunch. A table full of interesting people gathering to talk todays' topics, discuss Gainesville, sharing ideas. The GLOB Master is reminded once again GLOBer the perfect lunch isn't always about the best lunch entrée in town.
The beautiful weather we have been recently experiencing called for a different lunch experience. Nationally acclaimed photographer Lynne Buchanan, and I opted for the impeccably beautiful surroundings of UF's Cultural Plaza and lunched at the Harn Museum 's Camellia Court Cafe. I did have an ulterior motive of also wanting a walk to Lake Alice and to introduce Lynne to the beautiful Baugham Center. Now there is a location for a great picnic lunch. But back to the Camellia Café – it has several meatless, veggie lunch options including a pear and walnut salad with feta cheese, which Lynne ordered and looked mighty tasty. the salad was loaded with fresh greens and spinach, marinated olives, feta cheese, and crunchy, sweet, pear slices and served with a feta vinaigrette. You can order a half salad for $8.95 or a whole salad for #10.95. Ms. Buchanan ordered the whole salad and was hungry enough by the time the salad arrived that she had no problem eating the entire salad. It was surprising the service was on the slow side even though we arrived late in the lunch hour. I chose the half sandwich and a cup of soup special in the form of the Ham and Cheese wrap with a cup of "New" French Onion soup. The onion soup was very hearty and flavorful. The Ham and Cheese wrap was surprisingly tasty with a savory, hidden flavor included in the mayonnaise. Both the sandwich and the soup were so good I wished I had ordered a full portion of both. OINK! This museum lunch affair is not a lunch experience for the hurried, clock-watching lunch mate. It is a how ever a very special lunch spot for good conversation in a formal, refined setting. Which is why Mike Sanford, rather than the GLOB Master shared this lunch time information
- M ike Sanford, GLOB Editor
Campus lunch satisfies body, mind, palette
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
Walking UF campus and ending up at UF's Harn's Museum Camellia Court Café was a perfect idea. On a rainy morning on which the song of the day was "Should I Stay or Should I Go," the rain stopped while I gave former Gainesville Lunch Out Blog's Day Trippin', thrill seekin' lover of adventure Tonya Upton, her first tour of the University of Florida campus. The trip included sneaking into the Baughman Center, checking Lake Alice for alligators, and cutting through student housing as we worked our way over to the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union.
After checking out the Union, we turned around and walked to the UF Cultural Plaza for lunch at the Camellia Court Cafe.
I thought about our almost instantaneous transition from noisy, to noiseless walking into the sparsely occupied cafe.
It seemed like only minutes earlier we were standing in the Reitz Union amid the noise of students filling up all the tables and munching their lunch down, laughing, studying, and having a good time, and Tonya was taking a photo (right) to send to her son Chase, who was lunching out at South Carolina's University of Clemson.
Just like that we were being seated at Camellia Court Cafe enjoying the peacefulness of our table next to the window looking out on the beautifully landscaped grounds outside the museum. The GLOB Master was feeling very adult like and civilized in this lunch setting.
CCC has a typical lunch menu but with special ingredients and/or presentations of salads, sandwiches, burgers, tapas, and flat bread pizzas, The CCC menu is available at the restaurant link below.
Since this was a special lunch on UF campus, I wanted to veer away from my standard burger and fries routine. Camellia Court has a lunch special of a half sandwich, a cup of soup, and a side order. This day the special sandwich was the Italian Panini, and the idea of capicola, pepperoni, provolone cheese, ham, and roasted red peppers flattened panini style sounded good.
Tonya was thinking outloud perusing the menu and finding several interesting lunch entrees. After much internal debate with herself, she selected a half portion of the Classic Cobb Salad with assorted greens, diced tomato, chopped egg, crispy bacon, sliced chicken breast and avocado served with a balsamic vinaigrette. Tonya is a lover of avocado and asked for some extra Persea americana on her salad.
Camellia Court is a lunchout gem. You will be surprised to know that you can park in reserved parking for the Harn Museum for a nominal charge and walk right into your lunch rendevous spot. The tough part is passing by many of the exhibits to get down to CCC without stopping for a curious, interested artifact look.
Our two very attractive, yummy looking lunch entrees arrived in a timely fashion.
The half a sandwich and soup idea was smart and it was just the right amount of food for lunch after a serious hour of exercise.
The panini had an excellent char on the bread from the grill and the ingredients were peeking out of pocket-like sandwich in a very inviting way.
All right, I could have easily eaten a second half of that sandwich. It was really good, flavorful, and the texture of the peppers and onions melted into the goo of the provolone cheese made for a five-star sandwich experience.
The Day Tripper was all over the Cobb Salad. Apparently, in the burning of serious calories before eating, Ms. Upton was on the seriously hungry side. Let's hope she adds her own comments below about her lunch and her first trip around the University of Florida campus.
Tonya's Cobb Salad was beautiful. All that avocado sitting right on top of all the other salad ingredients stirred thoughts of making some kind of lunch time trade with my lunchmate. Unfortunately my sandwich really wasn't big enough to share . . . See, I told you I should have ordered a whole sandwich.
The accompanying cup of tomato bisque included with my special was good, albeit a little on the bland side for the GLOB Master.
This was a great lunch experience, and the Camellia Court Cafe is a fun lunch stop where you also have to luxury of space and comfort to share good food, and thoughtful conversation.
I'm going back. There are several things on the CCC menu that deserve my lunchtime attention, and consideration.
The Pluses and Minuses of Camellia Court Cafe:
Camellia Court Café + indicators: Good lunch entrees, comfortable, friendly setting.
Camellia Court Cafe - indicators: Parking is available exclusively for Harn Museum visitors for a nominal charge
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Camellia Court Cafe. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!