Neighborhood pub works for everybody
You know how some lunch stops just have that special look?
Root & Pecker quickly has me seeing myself sitting on a grand veranda waiting for a picnic lunch.
Formaggio's Bistro & Wine Bar has me on a beautiful patio with the sense of enjoying a very civilized lunch complete with tea and English cookies and eyeing crisp salads and a variety of scrumptious, petite, French bread sandwiches.
Crane Ramen has me off to the Big Apple and downtown Manhattan N.Y. with my very own spot at a hip lunch spot happily discussing the finer attributes of bone broth compared with vegan broth.
Northeast Gainesville's Public & General breaks all the imagination rules as I go through the wood and glass double doors into a new lunchtime experience. Upon entering P&G I am dreamily sent to a far away planet not very far in the future.
That's what Public & General is all about GLOBers. It's a brew house, local diner, meet-up place with a Tuesday night burger special night and some really interesting lunch entrees from pork and brisket sandwiches to some very good chicken wings – 8 for $9.
And here I was. The GLOB Master. Standing smack dab in the middle of a lunchtime daydream.
The Public & General menu that is available at the restaurant link below is a handy reference to start this noon-day mealtime odyssey. Special lunch items are hand written in categories on the wall near the ordering counter. The Daily Specials may overwhelm your decision making power as you scan down the list of amazing food descriptions.
Captain Dirk and I decided to tag-team lunch and share our entrees with Lynn choosing the large Kale and Chard ($9) (image at top). This salad included beets and feta and was fantastic.
I selected the Chicken Wings, which consists of 8 wings with only 1 sauce – Dijon Buffalo sauce ($9). Eight is just the right number for me because it always seems when I get the 10-wings order, I have two left over on my plate. Also, those 8 wings were plump, very flavorful, and cooked perfectly.
What the kale, GLOBers! The Kale and Chard Salad was the high noon lunch star. This was my first experience with kale as a main salad ingredient and I found the crisp, curly, crunchy chard, beets, radishes, feta cheese and cilantro vinaigrette dressing a delightful surprise. The textures of the salad elements made for thoughtful chewing as I tried to account for the veggie flavors. The cilantro dressing and feta cheese wowed my taste buds!
I have been to P&G before and always enjoy the food, and once again, it lived up to my fantastical expectations on this lunch visit. The only thing that would have made lunch better was if Ry Cooder was singing UFO Has Landed in the Ghetto in the background.
The Pluses and Minuses of Public & General:
Public & General + indicators: Amazing daily menu choices; friendly staff; very nice tree-covered outdoor patio.
Public & General - indicators: The low-light atmosphere.
NE 'General Store' serves unique lunch
If you are looking for a different kind of lunch time experience Public and General at 1000 NE 16th Ave Bldg H in northeast Gainesville is a lunch stop worth your consideration. Open since September, this is a building, business sporting several unique characteristics. According to the P&G website:
"Public and General is a reference to a public house (a bar) and general store (a flashback to convenience stores of past). The eatery will offer a high-quality, house-prepared lunch and dinner along with local and international grocery items, a charcuterie and cheese counter, and a unique wine and beer selection."
Ya think it was some kind of synchronicity that I discovered that New York Times story on chartreuse as the supreme lunch or dinner entrée.
In a friendlier than usual, fast casual approach, a Public and General lunch starts with ordering your lunch at the counter that immediately greets you as you enter this unique neighborhood island of communal gathering.
Also, as you walk into Public and General, you will quickly recognize the "convenience" idea of the building with deli-like cases of cheeses, cured meats, and a varied selection of wines, craft beers, and sodas. This can all be experienced while waiting to place your lunch order.
Walking into the separate dining and bar area adjacent to the general store area is a very nice, wide, natural wood bar allowing for comfortable, friendly conversation I imagine much like it was done in the neighborhood pubs of old.
Also, a door on the far side of the dining area opens up to an outdoor patio dining area, and P&G has a acquired a fan club of local patrons who enjoy the idea of outdoor eating and letting their children enjoy themselves playing under their feet as well as at the play area in one corner of the patio while you enjoy lunch.
It was refreshing to see a menu with a smaller list than usual in an uncluttered format and detailing interesting lunch time entrees that are standard daily choices. The lunch options consist of sandwiches, including brisket, a BBQ Mushroom, and a very good hamburger. There are always three salads available, including a Roasted Cabbage Salad with sautéed breadcrumbs, anchovies, and Parmesan buttermilk dressing that deserves your consideration. Fried beets with horseradish mayo for $6 and fried turnips with honey herb vinegar highlight a list of side orders that are big enough to share. There is a complete Public and General menu at the link below.
While the limited menu of standard options is smart and easy to peruse, kudos to the P&G staff for also including daily specials that will surprise and please many lunch outers. You can check out their FaceBook page for several images of prior menu boards that include things like bucatini with Brussels, bacon, butternut squash, arugula, and parsley and the popular DiMarco Classico with Italian loose meats, spinach and provolone for $10.
I recently had lunch with the GLOB's Content Editor Lynn Dirk and the three taco special caught my eye with 'double wrapped' soft shell corn tacos of pork, chicken, and a surprisingly tasty bacon, egg, and cheese and onion taco that was delicious with a complementary dollop of hot sauce. The house cut fries with a side of house mayo were very flavorful. I'm OK with fries not being cooked to a deep crunch. My friend Jules Gollner would have sent these fries back to be "extra well done."
Captain Dirk has become a big fan of Public and General and adds the following: "The food has been fantastic every time. Turnips and beets? I'm sold. The soft tacos, which are mainly available on Sundays I think, just might be the best town. Had one of the pasta dishes and it was delectable. The outdoor patio is perfect with lots of trees around. This is now one of my favorite lunch spots."
There are a lot of yummy good reasons to make a few more trips to this friendly, pub-like lunch stop. I am going back just to check out the menu board for lunch time surprises.
The Pluses and Minuses of Public & General:
Public & General + indicators: Friendly atmosphere, a neighborhood sense of comfort. Interesting, unique entrees. I could sit at the P&G bar for a considerable amount of time. FYI: Saturday night is Bingo night.
Public & General - indicators: Unique 'family pub' experience could be disconcerting to some GLOBers.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Public & General. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a NEGATIVES SIGN (-) for critical comments.
- Phone Number: 352 745-7358
- Address: 1000 NE 16th Ave.
- Urban GLOB Location: Northeast
- Web Site: Public & General
- Latitude: 29.66745
- Longitude: -82.31321
Jane osmond Tuesday, 29 March 2016 13:55 Comment Link
P&G is turning out to be one of my favorite neighborhood haunts. Original food choices, great wines, and tasty cheeses always present something new and interesting to try.