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Restaurant lunch highlights:

La Cocina De Abuela

La Cocina De Abuela

DE ABUELAS: Mucho grande buffet lunch line

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

AbuelasSFPot roast and the GLOB Master go way back down the lunch line. Sunday lunch was always a big occasion growing up with my five siblings, girl friends, husbands, wives, children gathered around the Sunday dinner table over flowing with delicious food and a dining room filled with laughter, snide remarks, and hungry Sanfords.

The lunch time centerpiece was more often the than not two, or maybe three healthy cuts of chuck roast browned and roasted in a deep dish pan with potatoes, carrots, and onions guaranteeing a luscious au jus that created a magnificent gravy for this hearty, stick-to-your-ribs no-left-overs dinner.

By the time I was married I had created my own variation of pot roast dinner that always elicited a good number of ooohs, and aaaahs as we passed around second helpings at the table.

Being first for lunch at La Cocina De Abuela,125 NW 23rd Ave., I had a de ja vue moment remembering years back when another Latin American buffet style lunch stop inhabited this same building.



La Cocina De Abuela is a unique lunch stop with an extensive variety of homemade Cuban favorites of rice, three kinds, beans two choices, pork, chicken, and beef proteins in a number of selections, and of course some amazing arepas, and warm and tasty glazed, cooked plaintains. There is a complete menu at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

Walking in the door the restaurant exudes a home style friendliness from the Menu board at the door, to a cozy kids corner with games and toys to keep children happy while the adults talk 'grown-up issues'.


The buffet line fills the East end of the diner with countless mid-day choices of carbs and proteins with the Sanford lunch time centerpiece of Pot Roast taking center stage slowly cooking in a giant pot of pot roast gravy.

The aforementioned menu board lists several entrees of the day GLOBer. However to my recollection the buffet line is the lunch preference of choice at this Cuban Café.

I was meeting three good friends and foodies for what would be our first visit to the Cuban lunch stop.

Now, without further ado let's talk lunch:


zzGLOBbullet JANE OSMOND: SweetBerries Eatery and Frozen Custard partner, culinary school trained, serious eating professional, and delightful lunch partner was first in line, created an amazing looking plate of Keto-friendly lunch choices.

"I had the chicken fricasse and two helpings of mixed veggies. Both were delicious. The chicken was tender, in ample portion, and had great flavor. I topped it with their chimichurri sauce which I totally loved. It added the perfect amount of fresh herb flavor and heat. I did not want all the carbs from beans and rice so I doubled up on their mixed veggies. They were cooked perfectly, contained a surprising variety of different veggies, and had great flavor."



zzGLOBbullet TRISH RILEY: Director, Cinema Verde Film & Arts Festival, fought back her meat and starch constraints.

"Cuban food is rather famous for it's comforting meats and heavy starches, things I try to avoid, and La Cocina d'Abuela's was true to form... but I'm not complaining! I enjoyed my lunch plate for three solid days. The place is so authentic that the lady who first was ready to serve us spoke only Spanish - a good sign that rang true. The gentleman who took over serving us (perhaps he's the owner?) was so generous, he gave me a large Passion Juice although I ordered small, and brought me a second delicious arepa because the edges of the first had burned. Paired with tender, juicy chicken and a nice, eclectic mix of vegetables, it all welcomed a splash of hot sauce that went well with veggie-rice and pinto beans (there were options for white-, chicken-rice or black beans). I topped it off with a favorite - fried plantains. If only I'd thought to try a Cafe Con Leche!"



zzGLOBbullet LYNN DIRK: GLOB Content Editor Emeritus, VA Scientific Editor, Food lover.

"The maduros were great. The chorizo was dry and not very flavorful—as a vegetarian wannabe, that's what I get for ordering meat. The black beans and rice were OK, but again not much flavor. Thank goodness for the chimichurri sauce! It saved the day and made everything wonderful."



zzGLOBbullet GLOB MASTER: Affectionately known as Gainesville's Eating Professional with constraints.

"The pot roast and gravy was spectacular. My plate contained several pieces of the luscious protein sliced into uniform pieces with an ample portion of deep dark gravy. The meat was tender – my recipe cooks the roast for a more fall-off-the bone tenderness -- I agree with Jane O. the mixed veggies were an excellent addition with crunch, flavor and a smart variety of veggies. Yum! I could eat an entire plate of the sugary-coated banana like Plaintains."

This is a lot of food for your $9 buffet lunch GLOBer. Come on. Let's go. Open Monday – Saturday at 11:00 tell the GLOB Master when to meet you and I am there. I'm going back to La Cocina De Abuela. I'm thinking I will re-create each of my lunch partner's lunch plates for future noon-day meals.

The Pluses and Minuses of La Cocina De Abuela

La Cocina De Abuela + indicators:  Muitple fresh, yummy buffet entrees, rice(s) looked delicious, Plainytains are spot on. $9 price is a good , faiur price.authentic.

La Cocina De Abuela - indicators:  Get there early for fresh-er entrees.

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

Last modified onTuesday, 23 July 2019 05:37

Additional Info

  • Address: Highlights info row image 125 nw 23rd ave Gainesville, Florida
  • Urban GLOB Location: NW 23rd Avenue
  • Latitude: 29.674130
  • Longitude: -82.333052
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