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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Relish - Downtown

Relish - Downtown

Relish burger highlights best laid plans

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

It was a Florida Gator game day weekend and I was awakened with an excellent Blood Sugar number. What a fantastic feeling GLOBers. My mind was swirling with the upcoming day's events on ready in front of the GLOB Master:

zzGLOBbullet RELISHflipped300Lunch at the Relish Big & Tasty Downtown.

zzGLOBbullet Check out some of the 400 Fest 17 bands emanating from several downtown venues this mid-day day two of this international alternative rock fest bands.

zzGLOBbullet Go to the Alachua County Supervisor of Election's Office, 515 North Main Street, Suite 300. 2018 Early Voting last's until November 3. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information to assist you in accomplishing your voting responsibility.

zzGLOBbullet Meet a very interesting, long-time friend to watch the Mighty Florida Gators to match up against the Georgia Bulldogs for what is the biggest football game experience for the Gators in a very long time.

I decided I was entitled to break free of my Diabetes chains and treat the GLOB Master right this beautiful day with a relish Big & Tasty Double cheese burger and an order of delicious, crispy French Fres.

I entered the Downtown Relish at just the right time with no customers in front of me. After I walked in the burger stand filled up with FEST-ers and I was feeling very smug enjoying my burger as a line formed out the door.

This lunch stop is breaking all the burger franchise chain rules with now four locally owned, created Relish stops in Gainesville. Kudos to Relish Owner Rob Roche for mastering the art of excellent hamburgers right here, right now.



Relish has been refining the art of the burger since opening in early 2009, after owner Rob Roche unleashed a whirlwind revamp on the smoothie shop positioned between a Pita Pit and beer bar that he owned. A self-made, visionary yet industrious import from Canada, Roche came to America in 2002 and started taking risks in the restaurant industry that really paid off. He eventually branched off from the known in the culinary world to create his own blend of the best qualities that he saw in other food service superstars. With the hopes of one day standing with them at the franchise level, Roche constructed the first Relish with his own two hands in eleven days, and he has since opened two more (but, he had help with those).


The Relish lunch stop has a varied assortment of toppings, many unique to this burger palace like spicy sauces, fresh and cooked peppers, corn relish, guacamole, and fresh avocado plus many more toppings, 16, and 19 sauces including Spicy Mayo (BOOM BOOM). Peanut Butter, and Curry Ketchup.

Feeling like the old Mike Sanford I went the traditional route of lettuce, tomato, pickle and American cheese on my burger. I did include the Spicy Mayo, and fresh Jalapeno peppers to give my belly bomb some additional heat.



My custom designed mid-day, culinary, red meat lunch prize was an impressive sight to behold.

I'm not kidding GLOBers. The French fries circling my protein package atop the Relish aluminum burger in my eyes wrap created a gastronomical mid-day meal beauty.

Excuse me for getting carried away with lunch time joy GLOBers, but I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a cheese burger and fries for lunch.

The French fries were amazingly crisp, fresh, hot, crunchy, and everything I imagined about fried spuds.

I started a conversation with some out-of-town FEST-ers regarding the wonders of French fried potatoes.

"For your information Hastings is the potato capital of Florida and it is just a short drive East of Gainesville," I said thinking of the one stop-light small town on the way to St. Augustine.

"Really," The FEST-er said. "We are from Idaho if you really want to talk potatoes." He added with a smug look.



It was fun watching my burger being created. The Relish server was into his hamburger art carefully stacking my topping one-by-one on top of my read meat protein allowing my imagination to happily RELISH the unique flavor, crunch, of the toppings and delicious spread.

Eating slower than usual I wanted to RELISH every bite and enjoy this unique, savory, infrequent experience.



If you would like to know my planned Saturday with a boatload of expectations.  Unfortunately my mid-day meal was the high point of a Saturday of missed opportunities, changed plans with my planned Saturday partner. Plus a sound beating handed to the Gators by a better Red and Black collection of 'Dawgs.

The series of unfortunate events left me thinking it was a good thing I had planned to start my Saturday being good to Mike Sanford with a fantastic hamburger and French fries.




My name is Mike Sanford and I am a Hamburger-aholic. There I've said it. My story is a simple one of pure satisfaction.  In the middle of the afternoon I can be downtown killing time until I meet my pals for some afternoon discussion and I think, "Go get a hamburger at Relish GLOB Master." This wouldn't be a big deal except I have now done this action twice in recent memory. If you are into blame you can heap a boat load on the friendly Relish Staffers that give the appearance of cordial, happy to please enablers in my ground beef have-it-my-way Jones. Last week it was a single with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, sprouts, fresh jalapeno peppers, horseradish sauce, and a semi hard cooked fried egg. A fried egg and sprouts you may ask. It sounded like a good idea at the time, and it tasted even better. This all beef patty was covered in distinct, spicy, crunch, gooey, creamy flavors and textures. I swear I tasted each, and every topping in an, oral individual inventory of what the heck was I eating. This was an excellent hamburger most likely never to be recreated by the GLOB Master.  That's because there are no cookie cutter burgers in this hamburger world.  Relish Staffer  Leslie, image below, told me there is a guy that comes into Relish and every time orders the same peanut butter, pickle and habanero pepper burger.  How boring is that? To paraphrase Tom Waits, "Now Mr, Jagger, and Mr. Richards I will be satisfied."


I am struggling with a little conflict right at the moment GLOBers.  When I wrote this review I was an All American cheese burger lover.  I still love hamburgers.  On occasion I will even treat my self to a glorious two patty epicurean prize of a hamburger loaded all the way.  These days how ever I eat my burgers with out the bun due to Diabetes eating constraints.  The hamburgers are still delicious.  But the hamburger experience is completely different.  As Elaine in the Seinfeld comedy series would say, "Not that it's a bad thing . . . "



Editor's Note: A Gainesville Lunch Out Blog feature story on of Relish hamburgers can be viewed on the Relish Midtown. GLOB page, and the Relish Tasty Burger in the Royai Park Plaza on Newberry Rd. page.. -- GLOB Master

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

Last modified onMonday, 09 March 2020 07:11

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 352) 225-3539
  • Address: 201 SE 2nd Ave., Gaineville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: Downtown
  • Latitude: 29.649832
  • Longitude: -82.32383


  • Nicole
    Nicole Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:33 Comment Link

    Relish makes a really good black bean burger, too!

  • Jon Rose
    Jon Rose Friday, 09 August 2013 09:02 Comment Link

    Relish certainly should be on GLOB Top Five burgers. Choices are outstanding and as Pam says, they serve beer. Serving burgers, pizza or wings w/o beer should be illegal. Also revisited Red Onion last Saturday and their burger is equally a winner!

  • tom
    tom Thursday, 10 May 2012 19:44 Comment Link

    that was one of the best burgers I've had in a long time. and love all the beer choices too!

  • Pamela
    Pamela Tuesday, 08 May 2012 11:04 Comment Link

    They also offer a bunless burger with all the toppings and did I say they serve beer?

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