My name is Mike Sanford, and I eat meat. I do enjoy the oxymoron-like irony of meeting for a Meatless Monday lunch at a restaurant with a name like Heavenly Ham. My first thought is always the same -- thinking about my lunch order: "This better be good, I'm walking into one of the best red meat protein lunch stops in Gainesville and thinking leafy green, stick to your ribs vegetables?" You see, GLOBers, my expectations could be higher than most non-meat lunch outers. That's why entrée names like the Milano Vegetarian Panini get the GLOB Master's enzymes in high gear. The MVP sounded like a yummy veggie adventure with roasted portabello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese, spring mix, and balsamic vinaigrette on garlic rosemary focaccia bread. The sandwich ingredients were sliced in nice, large healthy pieces that made it easier to enjoy their flavors. I am finally realizing that, for me, the high point to my Meatless Monday lunch experience is usually the added condiments. In this case the balsamic vinaigrette added a sharp tang and acidic smack-your-lips attention to my veggie amalgamation. This was a very good sandwich I ordered from the HH Hot Sandwich Box Lunch special category, which includes your choice of hot sandwich, side item, cookie, and a drink. As mentioned below, Heavenly Ham also has an awesome DIY salad bar that shines dramatically on the leafy green barometer of lunch yumminess. P.S.: There is a $1 off lunch coupon on the Heavenly Ham website. An added note was the HH Staffers were all abuzz with the idea the Honey Baked Ham cafe was buying out the local heavenly Ham Cafe moving the crew to he Honey Baked Ham store some time in the near future.
- Mike Sanford
'Secret lunch spot' never fails to please
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
I have a favorite lunch spot on University Avenue that seems like it is one of the better kept secrets in the Urban GLOB.
The sandwiches are served on seven different kinds of breads and rolls, and they should be win a prize of some sort since this lunch spot is known for 'the other white meat'.
Their customer friendly, 'have it your way' lunch line approach to selecting salads and sandwiches has made several of their competitors more recognizable in a competitive lunch time market.
The Plaza Royale parking lot behind Stonewood Grill & Tavern can be counted on for at least one more lunch time parking space.
Have you figured out I was talking about the Heavenly Ham Cafe on the second floor of the Plaza Royale shopping center just west of the Royal Park Theater multiplex?
Being a professional eater, I can go into this cafe and wander around looking at delectable food items that I can fantasize about taking home with me. These same food products are the very same ingredients used to create their sandwiches and salads.
The sandwiches are nothin' but good old fashioned homemade style sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies piled high on the bread of your choice. Trust me -- this is a taste bud experience that will leave your mouth completing an inventory of each and every flavor explosion nestled between the two slices of your bread. You will find a Heavenly Ham Cafe menu at the restuarant web link below this feature.
Another plus about the Heavenly Ham Cafe is, while I am grooving on my excellent ham and cheese sandwich with mayo, lettuce, and tomato extending out from all sides of my onion roll, my lunch mate is casually walking down the food line selecting each ingredient for her custom made salad.
It's hard for me to understand, but she is happier about her salad than I am about my sandwich. But when I inspect the salad, it easy to see why she's so happy. the salad was six stars on a five-star scale, including a lot of ingredients you don't normally find in a restaurant-made salad. And that's why she has decided that Heavenly Ham has the best salads in town – and don't tell anyone, because that is her salad secret.
Like most restaurants these days, when Lynn was finished with lunch, she was taking more home for later than she had eaten. I, on the other hand, was taught by my momma to clean my plate.
I'm reluctant to go any further with kudos and applause about the HHC-- I don't want everyone else to be in line ahead of me the next time I get there.
The Pluses and Minuses of Heavenly Ham Cafe:
HHC (+) indicators: Sandwiches and salads from prime, select protein, cheeses, veggies and breads.
HHC (-) indicators: This is my 'secret favorite spot.' I'm not going to make up some negative statements to steer GLOBers away, but I should.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Heavenly Ham. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 375-8050
- Address: 3832 W Newberry Rd.4780 NW 39th Ave #1 Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: University Avenue
- Web Site: Heavenly Ham
- Latitude: 29.6883781
- Longitude: -82.3258986
DH Thursday, 01 May 2014 15:46 Comment Link
Heavenly Ham is one of my favorite lunch spots. I especially appreciate the the quick service, fresh food, variety of sandwiches and(especially) salads, courteous staff, and cleanliness. So glad they're in the neighborhood!