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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Chopstix Bistro

Chopstix Bistro

Daughter makes B-Day lunch special

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CHOPsticks480PATIOYou know how there are times as a child when you're parents never missed an opportunity to remind you of things you think are completely unimportant?

"One of these days you're going to be sorry when your kids are too busy for you," was a favorite saying of my mother as my siblings grew up and moved out of the house.

JANAchopsticksI've always thought I was/am a pretty good parent. I must have done something correct because my Occupational Therapist, mother of two, good wife to her man, middle daughter of three children has become one of my best lunch pals.

That said Jana does make me smile with her mom like questions directed at dear old dad:

"Are you taking your medicine Dad?"

"What did the doctor say the other day?"

"I brought this bandage for your knee."

It was Jana's birthday recently and she chose Chopstix Bistro in the Thornebrook Village for her birthday lunch.



In the GLOB Master's opinion Thornebrook's SW corner with Chopstix Bistro and Formaggio's Bistro & Wine Bar and their patios, umbrellas, shaded, and spacious seating is a beautiful place for an intimate lunch of conversation and friendship.

Chopstix works for the GLOB Master because Jana can get excited about a Sushi lunch, and I don't have to.

CHOPsticksMENUbdOld friend, now deceased Al Hall enjoyed calling sushi nothing but bait. I equate eating sushi with eating raw fish out of my old salt water aquarium.

Jana is a sushi lover and scanned the voluminous Chopstix menu with over 30 Sushi selections, eight veggie rolls, and three Temaki hand rolled sushi choices. I also noticed several Sashami selections and boatload of Special Makimono, Come to find out Makimono Sushi consists of sushi rice and other ingredients generally wrapped in nori (thin sheets of seaweed), but is occasionally wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber or shiso (perilla) leaves.

The Chopstix menu also has Pan Asian bowls, vegetarian noodle bowls, rice dishes, salads, Bento boxes, and lunch specials. Phew!

There is a restaurant link to their complete menu at the bottom of this page.

"The Threer Amigos Roll" roll with Jalapenos and avocado sounds good Dad," Jana said.


"My Three Amigos Roll ($12.10), was as spicy roll with fresh jalapenos, spicy tuna, shrimp and cilantro. It was very spicy, but fresh and not too heavy. I took out about half of the jalapenos and only needed a touch of soy sauce since the fresh cilantro gave it so much flavor," The best daughter-in-the-world said.

It did sound good, and looked even better. One of the highlights for me in the Asian lunch setting is the beauty of the lunchtime experience. The care and precision of the plate preparation is always spectacular.

My lunchtime selection was the Chicken Teriyaki Bento Lunch ($10.89). Prepared with your choice of chicken, beef, fried or steamed tofu or salmon for an additional $1.21. Served with: Miso Soup, Fried Wonton, Salad and Steamed Rice.



Jana and I shared a cup of miso soups that had a distinct broth and tasty flavor. Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called "dashi" into which softened miso paste is mixed with tasty scallions pieces.



I love the way Asian veggies are served crisp, fresh, and pleasing to  the eye. Since rice in on the GLOB Master's no than you list I like to substitute veggies when I can. My plate of vegetables was surprisingly large with delicious pieces of squash, broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms. Speaking of parents I adhered to my momma's meal time declaration and cleaned my plate.



It was a nice surprise seeing my lunch served in a Bento Box. My compartmentalized lunch became a check this ingredient out lunch adventure. The teriyaki chicken was crispy fried with good size chicken of tender chicken. Jana ate my fried wonton. The salad was good, albeit somewhat unremarkable.

What a perfectly enjoyable lunch with my birthday daughter. Just talking stuff. Nothing important. I was sharing lunch with my perfect lunch mate living in the here and now, not worrying about what might happen as I get older.

I'm going back to the Chopstix Bistro!

The Pluses and Minuses of Chopstix Bistro:

The CSB + indicators : Beautiful lunch setting. Amazing selection of interesting entrees. I am always impressed with myself leaving the white rice behind.

The CSB - indicators :  Chopstix is known for being slow so keep an eye on the clock.

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




Chopstix patio creates perfect lunch spot

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CHOPSsf0117Thornebrook Village, with its array of shops and restaurants, is fast becoming The GLOB Master's favorite, go to lunch spot for a host of reasons.

First, my residence is a short, delightful, 10-minute walk to Thornebrook Village. Next, with three different cuisines available, a triumvirate of lunch ideas abound for this eating professional.


The dining patios in front of Chopstix Bistro and Formaggio's Bistro & Wine Bar could very well be the most serene, inviting, friendly, perfect spot for conversation and lunch in Gainesville.

CHAYA0217This lunch I was meeting Gaineville Lunch Out Blog Ayuervedic Health Coach Chaya Sharon-Heller to dicsuss upcoming story ideas.

I have to quote the GLOB's Bicycle Boy Ron Cunningham now because here I sit on an incredibly beautiful, sunny, afternoon with the temperature close to 80 degrees having a unique, interesting conversation a captivating lunch partner.

I'm not sure which came first with Chaya, her healing arts profession or her close attention to her diet, but the four-page Chopstix menu loaded with meatless lunch options throughout allowed for some excellent discussion about menu entrees like Kal Cashew Stir Fry, Mongolian Fried Tofu, and the Thai Eggplant with Thai Curry Sauce

CHOPSvertThe menu is separated into many detailed categories: Bowls, Salads, Chopstix's Famous Noodle Soups , Pan Asian Vegetarian, Vegetarian Noodle Bowls, Rice Dishes, Dinner Bento, and Pan Asian Specials.

The menu also includes sashimi rolls and an extensive sushi menu listing more sushi roll choices than you can wave a fishing pole at, plus eight veggie rolls.

There is a web link to the Chopstix Bistro's complete menu below.

I was happy to see the voluminous menu had a specific list of lunch specials that also included several meatless options.

After much consideration with the very attentive Chopstix server, Chaya opted for the Indian Curry Fried Tofu and Vegetable ($10.89) (image at top). Chaya enjoyed the vegetables, and the curried tofu satisfied her desire for an Indian flavor profile.

The Chopstix Daily Specials offered a choice of shrimp, chicken, or beef sautéed with broccoli, ($8.99) that caught my eye and I asked for an additional side of Chinese vegetables to pump up my lunch time flavor palette.

I love Asian, stir fried veggies. I like the way they remain crisp, crunchy, with vibrant colors looking like we are in fact eating right out of the garden. Were you aware that many nutrients in broccoli are sensitive to total steaming time, and, as a rule, studies suggest total steaming time be kept relatively short. Researchers find nutrients differ in broccoli steamed for 1 versus 2 minutes or 3 versus 5 minutes.



As Roseann Rosanna Dana says, "If it ain't something . . ."  My side order of veggies was a less than remarkable, smallish collection of snow peas, carrot slices, and broccoli. But they did make my meal too large to finish and, since I now live down the street, I took leftovers home for another lunch on an another day.

It was a deligtful lunch and I could have sat there for the rest of the afternoon in the worm afternoon sunlight like a very happy feline.

CHAYAlogoChaya is also a University of Florida Integrative Health Educator with more than 25 years of experience as a dietitian-nutritionist, holistic health educator, massage therapist, performing artist, Ayurvedic practitioner, and yoga therapist and teacher.

Chaya's ChayaVeda™ Integrative Healing Arts Studio is Gainesville's first Ayurvedic Clinic where a traditional Ayurvedic approach is applied to health care that includes massage and body treatments, cleansing and rejuvenation programs and panchakarma, diet, herbal and lifestyle education, yoga therapy, mindfulness, and integrative healing techniques.

The Pluses and Minuses of Chopstix Bistro:

The CSB + indicators : Great food, varied selections, Fabulous patio.!

The CSB - indicators :  Pricey-er than a lot of Asian lunch stops.

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


Chopstix Bistro – Delight and Dissonance Collide

By Lynn Dirk, Staff Writer, Content Editor

Editor's Note: Lynn Dirk, a medical research writer/editor with the Department of Veterans Affairs, is an enthusiast for healthy foods.

I am mostly familiar with the Chopstix cafe on South 13th St and was very surprised to just learn there is a Chopstix Bistro at Thornebrook. It's hard to talk about one without referring to the other. I haven't been to the 13th St restaurant in quite awhile, but I usually get their chicken curry. And I love to sit by the window to enjoy the view. I love to look for gators and and osprey.

I also love the aquarium. That's a good thing because the 13th St. Chopstix service is always SLOW. In fact, I would not recommend this restaurant for lunch exactly for that reason. Considering it is easy to get in and out of there transportation-wise, at least from the health center complex area, it should not take 2 hours, but it has. I guess that might be OK if the boss is with you.

My very first visit to the Chopstix Bistro (CSB) at Thornebrook was this past week. It looks very different from the one on 13th St. There's no lake but there is a very nice gurgling fountain and plenty of shaded outdoor seating. There is outdoor seating at the 13 St. location too but I've only taken advantage of that once because it's not shaded. On the day of the CSB visit, however, it seemed a little chilly so I sat indoors. I was quite disappointed for 2 reasons – not only did I miss being outdoors, but the indoors was not that welcoming to me. That's just a superficial impression, however, because I did not realize I was going to be writing this review and so I was not paying close attention. Part of that impression might have been related to the CSB bar, which is the first thing you see when you walk in.

I saw Pad Thai on the menu and was very tempted, but decided not to chance it. The only place that makes really good Pad Thai that I have found in Gainesville is Tim's Thai. Unfortunately, they are not open for lunch.

Many other dishes looked very tempting. It was hard to decide. The menu has a "Famous Noodle Bowl" section. I LOVE noodles so I decided this was where I would find my lunch. It's possible these are famous because there are so many different TYPES of noodles. It was a bit overwhelming. A young Asian waiter came and very patiently provided more information about several of the bowls to my lunch companion, and I listened closely. The information did help a bit, but it was a difficult choice – I counted 8 different types of noodles in 12 dishes: thin rice noodles, bean thread noodles, pan fried wide steamed rice noodles (that's a twice cooked technique like fried rice I guess), rice vermicelli, traditional Chinese noodle, udon (this might be the only kind of noodle I don't like – these are thick squarish noodles that have a dumpling-like texture), crispy noodles, and Korean clear noodles.

I finally decided on Pad Kee Mow, stir fried thin rice noodles sautéed with scallions, eggs, Malaysian curry spices, peanuts and basil. It took quite awhile to get the food even though there were very few people. So that aspect of the two Chop Stix is the same.

I didn't realize it at first but, when I got the dish, it had regular (wide) noodles. It slowly dawned on me, in particular as I kept noticing my friend had thin noodles in her bowl. BUT the wider noodles were also good, so I just let it go. There was also broccoli, carrots, fresh bean sprouts, all of which I love. If you have never had fresh bean sprouts, you are missing out. They are so refreshing – they are like straws filled with this wonderful liquid that has just barely taken solid form and has this unique flavor that is delicate and possibly epitomizes healthiness. So that made up for the wide noodles but then another problem arose – my dish was quite salty, not overpowering but just enough to be distracting.

A wait person came by – not the waiter, maybe the cook? – and my friend spoke up on my behalf about the saltiness. The response was that it was part of the dish, but he would bring more bean sprouts and I should mix it all in and that would fix the problem. It did help and, of course, getting more bean sprouts was great, but I was not convinced that it wasn't over salted. My friend thought it might have been MSG, but I have a very distinct reaction to MSG and that did not occur, so I think it was just regular salt.

The curry was wonderful despite the saltiness. My friend and I tasted each other's dishes and I liked hers a lot – she had the thin noodles I was hoping for and they were very good, but my dish had more flavor.

There was LOTS of food in my Famous Noodle Bowl, so I took the leftovers home, combined them with beet greens and vegetable broth, and that made a FANTASTIC soup and totally "fixed" the saltiness.

I will go there again, but not when I'm in hurry – it would probably work to call in an order (if they take call ins), pick it up, and take it to work. That would be a good lunch!

The Pluses and Minuses of Chopstix Bistro:

The CSB + indicators : Good food even when it's not perfect!

The CSB - indicators :  SLOW service that is also a little out of kilter.

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

Last modified onTuesday, 21 January 2020 04:38

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 352 505-3131
  • Address: 2441 NW 43rd St., Gainesville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: Millhopper Area
  • Latitude: 29.676081
  • Longitude: -82.387944


  • ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts
    ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts Monday, 06 February 2017 17:36 Comment Link

    Hi Mike! It was a great lunch and purposeful conversation. To answer your question, which came first? Attention to diet came with my professional dance career, but though I paid much attention to what I ate, I can't say it was always the best choice for my constitution and condition. It is difficult to separate eating for one's constitution and good health and vitality from a healthy lifestyle, so it was a very natural progression to graduate from professional dancer to professional Ayurvedic and Holistic healing arts educator and to learn and then teach others how to discern what a healthy diet and lifestyle even means. What it meant to me then is different than what I know it means now.

  • Gloria Kersh
    Gloria Kersh Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:53 Comment Link

    I love this place, ate there yesterday and yes they do call in orders. We call in our order and promptly leave the office. They have a table ready for us when we get there, take our drink orders and our food is out shortly. I love that they have many vegan options!

  • Kim Harris
    Kim Harris Wednesday, 04 May 2011 10:05 Comment Link

    You're probably right that Chopstix Bistro is not fast enough for lunch on a work day, but it is open for lunch on Saturday too! Go on a cool afternoon and enjoy their outdoor seating. Lots of options for vegetarians. Try the veggie Summer Rolls and Saute Fried Tofu Rice Vermicelli Bowl--even better the next day!

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