Burger lunch stop impresses with 'Big Dick'
Here I was GLOBers, standing in the center of the SW 4th St. Food Court gazing upon the new sandwich drive-thru Dick's Mondell's Burgers and Fries. Four lunch time food stop compatriots are working up a good idea deep on the SW side of Hoggetowne.
Just off Main St. heading toward UF's Innovations Square and the UF Campus Humble Wood Fire Pizza, Fehrenbacher's- Artisan Sausages, and now Dick's Hamburgers are creating their own niche of mid-day food stops. Newberry's Cilantro's Tacos has a lunch stop here on the SW side of town.
Having lived in SW Gainesville when I came to Gainesville to go to school many moons ago I always appreciated the chicken parts vendors who tried this aged concrete box out as a drive thru for sale of fried chicken, chicken gizzards, and lastly chicken wings. Sorrowfully those wing stop thoughts are all just wistful reminders of the good old days.
With a new coat of white paint, a jazzy new, larger than life Dick's Mondell's Burgers and Fries sign this tiny burger palace is getting good recognition and full mouth smiles from walk-up customers that can park across the street at the Elk's Lodge. Conversly at first glance the Dick's two lane drive thru process at lunch time appears to be a parking, maneuvering, getting-out-of-the-street adventure.
Dick was thinking of the old '60s-themed drive-thru restaurant. "We want people to experience an old-school, original feel, sense of old Gainesville," said partner Connor Castelli said. That also might explain the idea of getting lunch outers in and out of the food line process in a quick way.
Dick Mondell's co-owners Chris Leckerling, left, and Connor Castelli on the patio outside their restaurant. (Image courtesy of Gainesville Downtown)
Nothing fancy in this meat and potato fast serve food line idea. The menu is simple, choices are few all under the headline BURGERS. Brand name entrees like Impossible Meatless Burgers, Joyce Farms Chicken and, Wainwright Dairy Ice Cream, and Opus Coffee add some bona fides to what could have been an unremarkable menu.
Hamburgers, chicken burgers, plant based burgers, and veggie burgers. There is also a Garden & Grain salad of grains, chick peas, cucumbers, carrots with a lemon herb vinaigrette, or Dick's Sauce dressing.
There is a menu available at the Dick's weblink link at the bottom of this review.
The menu prize is the celebrated 'The Original' Big Dick. Two four ounce Florida Ranched beef patties stack to your desires . Natural cut French fries, and sweet potato tots are available.
Wainwright Dairy Ice Cream milk shakes, and Opus Coffee are also on the menu as well a variety of sodas.
I had been thinking about 'The Original' Big Dick special ($8). For several days before lunch. I became excited about trying out their poster burger along with their interestingly, crunchy sounding Sweet Potato Fries ($2.50)
The friendly server at the window suggested the Dick's sauce for my lunch. "It's a good mix of mustard and mayo with a little secret spice to make it special, she said with a smile.
My Big Dick half-pound burger was presented in an aluminum wrapping that gave my lunch the appearance of an 8 pound shot put.
I was determined to conquer this all meat protein challenge.
The taste of the two meat patties was juicy, tender, and delicious. The Dick's Sauce did add unique spicy taste to the burger, I also included some jalapeno peppers to create an impressive lunch time belly bomb.
I had to smile as I looked at my hamburger. The old Mike Sanford could have easily devoured this burger along with a large order of French fries. Not so any more GLOBer, three quarters into my Big Dick Special I just couldn't eat any more.
The 'tator tot' like sweet potato tots were hot, crunchy, and possessed the pleasant, pronounced sweetness of alternative spud.
According to the FOOD NETWORK website:
One medium sweet potato contains slightly more calories, coming in at 183. These orange spuds are exploding with antioxidant-rich vitamin A and also contain equally hefty doses of fiber and potassium. Sweet potatoes contain about 15 grams more carbohydrates per serving, but that's no reason to pass on these tubers; they can also make super-tasty and healthy baked fries.
I don't like leaving food on my plate however this hamburger was way more than the GLOB Master could eat. Once again I am finding that restaurant portions have exceeded me as a single lunch outer. I guess lunching out, reviewing lunch entrees, has turned into a two-person sharing lunch idea.
The Pluses and Minuses of Dick's Mondell's Burgers and Fries
Dick's Mondell's Burgers and Fries + indicators: Delicious burger, unique lunch idea, patio tables were nice in the cooler days of January. Ample across the street at the Elks Club for the walk up window.
Dick's Mondell's Burgers and Fries - indicators: Keeping in mind they just opened: I will order the Dick's Jr. single 4 ounce patty next time. Long lines in drive thru could be problem if they become famous. Skip the sweet potatoes, the home cut fries looked really yummy.
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- Phone Number: (352) 225-3214
- Address: 412 SW 4th Ave.
- Urban GLOB Location: Downtown
- Web Site: Dick's Mondell's Burgers and Fries
- Latitude: 29.6484129
- Longitude: -82.329203