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Restaurant lunch highlights:

One Love Cafe

One Love Cafe

Veranda, roof make for great lunch spot

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

As luck would have it, good friend, GLOB Health Coach and ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts, owned by UF Health EducatorChaya Sharon-Heller, is situated just around the corner from the worldwide offices of the Gainesville Lunch Out Blog. Recently we decided to have lunch and good conversation together at Magnolia Parke's One Love Café on NW 39th Avenue. One Love was the correct choice on both counts thanks to their new, spacious, high ceiling patio canopy sheltering all the lunch outers from the noon day sun and creating a fabulously beautiful lunch spot.

 

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This popular lunch spot has got food and eating out covered –- pun intended! -- with lunch Wednesday through Saturday at 12-3, Sunday Brunch at 11-2 and dinner with entertainment Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until 9. 

I knew Chaya was quietly particular about her diet and I was relieved to find several meatless, healthier options on the OLC menu that includes salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and an interesting- sounding lettuce wrap.

It was fun to see the gears in Chaya's head work as she searched the menu for an entrée healthy plus enjoyable enough to meet her lunch requirements. She decided on the Black Bean Burger with cheese, avocado, arugula, and tomato.

 

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"The burger was good, the avocado was yummy and a nice addition" Chaya said. "The cole slaw was really good with the interesting pineapple, cilantro pairing. That was a lot of lunch for me, because I am a light eater as a rule," she added surveying the leftovers on her plate..

The One Love Daily Special menu entrees, which are posted on its FaceBook page, are comprised of items from their organic vegetable selection from Swallowtail Farms, including broccoli, cauliflower, rutabaga, collard greens, carrots, beets, and turnips depending on what is being harvested. Chaya's side item was navy beans in a thick delicious sauce. 

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I was excited about giving the lettuce wrap sammie a try. It came delightfully presented as trio of green, pink, and white edibles waiting for me to create my lunch wrap. Being a lettuce-wrap newbie I reached in with two hands to 'burrito wrap' the first of three. I think it worked. However I did feel like the famous Mr. Ed, the talking horse, imagining pieces of lettuce hanging out of the sides of my mouth, as I inhaled the evidence of having no lettuce-wrap eating experience. I decided to take a fork to the remaining two wraps and enjoyed them much more. The avocado was a nice complement to the pickled shrimp. I would have liked to pump up the flavors with a pepper sauce, but I wasn't about to go in the One Love front door to battle the food lunch line again for such a small request.

Thank you One Love Café for a great lunch. We over spent our hour listening to each other postulate on the finer points of lunch, work, and future collaborations.

That is what makes One love Café a great lunch idea. Especially if you know what you want and can order it all on your first trip through the lunch line. 

 

lunch prospects fall short at patio lunch stop

MKchickenENTREE

By Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent

OneLoveSFEvery year around this time, as the spring weather smiles down upon Hogtown one blissful, comfortably sunny day at a time, I always find myself looking for an excuse to dine outside. I want to bask in everything the season has to offer: namely the sun-kissed, breezy days that beg you to come outside and play. I love hiking, kayaking and laying by the pool, but enjoying a nice outdoor patio with good food, good company and perhaps some live music is my idea of a great afternoon. However, Gainesville seems to be sorely lacking the trifecta of springtime enjoyment: quality food, atmosphere, and music. The Swamp Restaurant has such a nice outdoor area, but the food leaves much to be desired every visit, without fail. Loosey's in Haile Plantation has wonderful live music and great bar food, but I cannot enjoy this music outdoors.

 

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One Love Café off of NW 39th Avenue in Magnolia Parke had been on my list to try for quite some time, but mixed reviews held me back. Some said the bottomless mimosa Saturday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. was a good value, while others claimed the bartenders skimped on the champagne and had spotty service. When my dad came into town on a particularly gorgeous spring Saturday, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy some live instrumentals while seated under a shaded outdoor patio, enjoying the day and some much-needed catching up with him. I had been to One Love one time prior to this instance, and overall it was a mediocre experience. The "flatbreads," one consisting of a pita with some chicken and avocado and another with steak thrown on top, left much to be desired in terms of creativity or effort. I was hoping that by giving the spot another chance, I could order a series of other items that would negate my first experience.

 

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I do love the space One Love has created: A couple dozen patio tables and chairs are disbursed under the shaded patio area and on the grassy area, which is mostly in direct sunlight. The ordering system is a bit cluttered, as you wait in a line that usually extends out the door of the small inside ordering counter — the kitchen hidden behind it — and get a number to bring to your table that directs the servers to you. At about 1:15 p.m. on a picturesque spring Saturday, I anticipated a wait to some degree. After about 20 minutes waiting in line, I approached the counter to order the Creamy Carbonara Pasta with bacon and peas for my dad only to be told they wouldn't start preparing that dish until 3 p.m. Bummer. So instead, I swapped the order for the Pesto Pasta with an addition of chicken. I had been eyeing the Healthy Life Bowl on the lunch menu for some time, so though I would give that a try.

 

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If it wasn't for the good conversation and overall pleasing atmosphere, the over-an-hour wait for our food would have felt like an eternity. But that's no excuse for it; that was way too long of a wait for two entrees. The pasta dish did not end up being pesto at all, but more like a creamy, lighter-than-alfredo white sauce blended with the penne noodles and chunks of grilled chicken and tomatoes. It was pretty unremarkable, and it certainly wasn't the pesto dish I thought I ordered for him, but at least it was closer to the sauce that would have come on that carbonara pasta my dad originally planned to order.

 

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The main draw to the Healthy Life Bowl, image at the top of this feature, was the prospect of a myriad of seasonal vegetables in one unique-sounding dish. While not exactly a pleasing curry-greenish color, my bowl was relatively tasty. Slightly undercooked chunks of sweet potato and turnips with a few mushrooms thrown in were coated in a mild, creamy curry sauce over a small bed of zucchini noodles (I substituted regular pasta noodles for these). My addition of chicken was not included in the dish. After waiting 10 minutes from the time I brought up my lack of protein addition to the server, I went back up to check on things only to have been forgotten. My dad felt bad eating without me so we both picked at his pasta. I will say that his garlic bread was extra buttery, just how I like it. There is a complete One Love at the restaurant link below this menu.

MKdessertThe best part of the meal, other than the Swamphead beer, was the Twix blondie that I ordered on a whim. It was gooey and had a great texture. It actually tasted like something I have baked before, which I guess is a good thing.

Although only open from 11 a.m. on Wednesday through Saturday each week, you would think the sizeable weekly turnout, especially with nicer weather, would warrant a better system at One Love. The food at each of my visits was mediocre, other than the dessert. Once again, I have found a restaurant that covers a portion of my spring weather dining out criteria, as the live music provided enjoyable background noise and the outdoor patio allowed us to enjoy the day.

The Pluses and Minuses of the One Love Cafe

One Love Cafe + Indicators: Nice outdoor atmosphere, kid and dog friendly, source local ingredients, nice food presentation, sizeable quantities, live music often.

One Love Cafe - Indicators: Slow service, very subpar food, menu items sound better than they taste.

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

Last modified onTuesday, 10 April 2018 10:54

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 352-509-3131
  • Address: 4989 Northwest 40th Place
  • Urban GLOB Location: NW 39th Avenue
  • Latitude: 29.689715
  • Longitude: -82.395186
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2 comments

  • ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts
    ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts Monday, 08 May 2017 10:00 Comment Link

    As always, it was nice catching up with you for lunch. Your review captured the experience beautifully

    http://chayaveda.massagetherapy.com/chayaveda-transformative-wellness-education

  • Food Nymph
    Food Nymph Monday, 01 June 2015 16:02 Comment Link

    One Love Cafe is a wonderful little place off of 39th Ave. Perfect for families it is kid and pet friendly with corn hole games and tether ball for the kids. Plenty of outdoor seating and often live music outside. Food is simple but unique with fresh flavors from local farms.
    Also good selection of beers and wines, as well as a Kombucha on tap.

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