There is a majority agreement among the hamburger lovers I have heard from that the Red Onion's hamburgers should be on any list of best burgers in Hogtown. After eating the Red Onion Kickin' BBQ Cheddar Cheese Burger special, I want to be included in that group of happy burger eaters. Have you studied the layered mountain of topping delights that are included on this bigger-than-your-mouth belly bomb? On top of the patty covered with cheese you will find bacon, tomato, onion, onion rings, and a very spicy BBQ sauce that had enough kick to open the GLOB Master's eyes. The crunch factor of the onions rings and bacon offset with the gooey cheddar cheese and soft, fresh tomato. This burger is a winner. The R.O. has 6 different burgers on their menu including a turkey burger. My lunch was accompanied by a very nice plate of RO ORs. The onion rings were a little greasy for my lunch partners, but that didn't keep them from eating every last one of them. BTW the 'Onion" is very Meatless Monday friendly including salads like the R O Brazilian Chop, and a veggie flat bread entree called the Fried Grilled Veggies. There is a Red Onion restaurant menu link at the bottom of this GLOB restaurant feature.
The 'Onion': A lunch stop that feels like home
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
The Red Onion Grill is the consummate neighborhood bar and grill.
Located in the Uptown Village apartment complex on NW 24th Blvd off of NW 39th Ave, The Red Onion possesses all the amenities that speak out to you: "Hi, come on in. Have a seat and relax."
This, coupled with excellent service, had me thinking the Onion could easily make my regular lunch rotation list. Plus, the Red Onion has an extensive menu. It has sections with clever titles: Small Bites for their appetizer list, Greens & Flats for salads and flat bread sandwiches, Plates for entrees, and Hand Held for a special entrees where I discovered the Reuben sandwich, and decided that would be lunch.
The Reuben's rye bread was grilled to perfection – nicely browned and not greasy. Thinly sliced, moist corned beef was piled very high and topped with very tasty sauerkraut – not too bitter and with a fresh taste -- and Thousand Island dressing that had me thinking this is the best sandwich I have had in recent memory. What a good sandwich!
My lunch partner selected the Brazilian Chop salad from the Greens & Flats menu and was equally pleased with her salad, which consisted of grilled corn, hearts of palm, tomato, avocado, black beans, cashews, and -- of course red onion. She noted that it was the best hearts of palm she had ever had and she had been to Cedar Key and had their famous heart of palm salad and didn't remember being as impressed with that as with the RO hearts.
Like my Reuben, the Brazil Chop salad was big enough for two to enjoy at lunch, and we did.
My lunch partner noted the décor was very nice including very interesting light fixtures that hung down and were red and then she realized they were like elongated red onions – a nice touch for a local place that represents the pride and care of the proprietors.
The Red Onion Grill is a keeper on my lunch list. The friendly environment is special and the food is very good, a combination making this lunch spot perfect.
During the inaugural GLOB FAB FIVE best hamburger adventure we received several comments from Red Onion Cafe fans about their hamburgers and that the Monday Hamburger & Beer special at Red Onion is one of the better hamburger specials in town. The GLOB Master and GLOB staffer Lynn Dirk made it to the Red Onion Monday to check out their burgers and to see what was so special about the beer & burger special.
The Red Onion has at least 7 regular burgers on their menu plus have two 'special burgers' on menu board for the Monday Special. This Monday the specials were a Caribbean Burger that included a very tasty jerk chicken salsa. The R.O. also offered a Breakfast Burger that included a fried egg, lettuce, tomato and bacon. I opted for the jerk hamburger, all the way with Pepper Jack Cheese and it was very good. I'm going back to try that breakfast burger though; it sounded delicious
Lynn selected the Turkey Burger, photo right, with black beans and corn salsa and commented that this salsa was a great combination with the turkey. Happily adhering to her new practice of local sustainability, she also selected a Swamphead Pale Ale for her free beer. We split our burgers so we could both taste the other's selection. I liked the turkey burger, if I hadn't already eaten my half of the Caribbean Burger, I would have thought I was eating a regular hamburger. A little on the dry side perhaps, but the burger was 100 % protein. Lynn thought the jerk spice tasted a little too much like the filet spice of gumbo rather than a Caribbean jerk flavor.
Red Onion fans are correct when they say you will find an excellent hamburger on NW 39th Ave. I agree. However I can't think of which of the GLOB's FAB FIVE hamburgers I would delete to make room for this tasty substitute. Does the RO turn the FAB FIVE into a FAB SIX, or -- is the R.O. Caribbean burger just another great hamburger waiting in the All-Star Hamburger dugout waiting to be eaten?
The Pluses and Minuses of the Red Onion Grill:
Red Onion (+) indicators: Friendly, inviting back drop for tasty morsels and excellent lunch ambience.
Red Onion(-) indicators: No negatives here!
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Red Onion Grill. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 505-0088
- Address: 3901 NW 24th Blvd., Gaineville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: NW 39th Avenue
- Web Site: Red Onion Grill
- Latitude: 29.688305
- Longitude: -82.358124
Jessie B Saturday, 16 August 2014 07:33 Comment Link
Hi Mike, Met my new friend Maureen at the Red Onion for lunch. I had the Onion Soup, sweet potato fries and we shared onion rings. That is the best French Onion Soup that I have ever tasted. I usually can't eat it because of salt content. They brought me a sample and I liked that. I emptied my bowl, it was that wonderful. Thought you'd like to know.
Andy Caldwell Monday, 12 August 2013 18:36 Comment Link
Fun was had by all at my Red Onon house waring party. The music by Blues Lightning was awesome, the food was great and the attendees were the best. Thanks to everyone for a great night.
Gator Bill Evans Monday, 12 August 2013 08:24 Comment Link
"Sorry Gator Bill couldn't make the Caldwell Bash. As GLOB's Foreign Correspondent, was on assignment in Paris interviewing Brad & Angelina at the annual Caviar Fest (but I still made it back for our Sunday Happy Hour at Harry's Seafood B & G!)"
bob Saturday, 11 August 2012 05:48 Comment Link
My wife and I had dinner there and the half pound angus burger and baha tacos were awsome. Try the red onion rings and Swamphead beers.
Dionne Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:54 Comment Link
+Red Onion is CONSISTENTLY good. I've never been unhappy and I've been there a million times.
+The Sunday brunch is my favorite thing about Red Onion. You have to try the homemade donuts. Plus, you can't beat a $4 bloody Mary!
+The outdoor seating is nice, even when it's cool outside. They have a heated patio!
Jon Roosenraad Friday, 09 December 2011 08:43 Comment Link
Has the feel of the old neighborhood bar and grills I am used to from Midwest. One of few places in Gainesville with that atmosphere. Great food, good place to watch sports.
skinnjhee Thursday, 08 December 2011 15:06 Comment Link
Do not pay with a debit card... They doubled charched me and it took a week to have it posted correctly. I was told if I was on they property the police would be called!@!!!!Very non busness like..I will not give a star for this place!!!!!
lc Thursday, 08 December 2011 12:39 Comment Link
+++ Bill and Katrina have done an incredible job with RONG. Great food, great music on Friday nights (Kenny and Barry), our group tries to do the RONG thing every Friday! It's just the right thing to do. The staff learns quickly your name, what you like to drink and are very quick to oblige--what's not to like about that? It is very much a hometown place to be and it is wonderful to support the local (not chain) restaurants in GNV.
Bob H. Wednesday, 02 November 2011 10:07 Comment Link
Red Onion Grill has become one of my very favorite restaurants. Having eaten there many times, the food is always good, the servers polite and knowledgeable, the drinks well done and the prices very reasonable for the quality and quantity. They have live music just about every time I go and the music is loud enough to enjoy but not so loud you have to yell at other diners to be heard. As you can tell, I really enjoy the place (and the sweet potato fries, which are the best in town!).